Stage-diving Lewis Hamilton celebrated by surfing an adoring Silverstone crowd after he claimed a record-equalling fourth victory at the British Grand Prix.
Hamilton mastered a tricky wet start followed by a drying track to equal Nigel Mansell’s haul of wins on home soil and cut title rival Nico Rosberg’s lead in the drivers’ standings to just on point.
Rosberg finished second but was demoted to third place behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen after a stewards’ investigation found the German had received illegal instructions from his team when suffering a gearbox problem and penalised the German 10 seconds.
World champion Hamilton climbed over a fence and threw himself onto a sea of supporters after spraying them with champagne on the podium.
“That wasn’t planned,”said Hamilton. “Every time we do a podium, apart from standing there holding the trophy up and the bottle, there’s no real way of connecting with people.
“I put the trophy down and I ran down and I could see the crowd there and I just wanted to connect with them in some way and then as I got there I was like, I wanted to go over the top.
"I was hoping that I would crowd-surf further in and then I would have to say ‘take me back’ but I got right to the edge and I stayed there for like a second and then they pushed me back on. But [it was] very cool to see the support here – it is just phenomenal.”
Hamilton’s fourth win of the season was also his third in succession at Silverstone, and the Englishman admitted struggling to absorb equalling Mansell as the most successful home driver at this track.
“It’s very, very surreal to think that I’m here and I just saw Nigel in the corridor there and he said ‘welcome to the club’. It’s just crazy to think that I’m up there with them,” he added.
“I should just be used it or it shouldn’t be so surreal – but it just is. I think it’s because it’s that special and I’m incredibly proud. It’s an amazing feeling.”
Verstappen’s Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo was fourth, with former world champion Kimi Raikkonen fifth for Ferrari and Britain’s Jenson Button 12th.