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‘That was Formula 1 at its best’ says Hamilton after battling to P3 in home Grand Prix

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After finishing third at Silverstone, a delighted Lewis Hamilton revealed his pleasure at being able to go toe-to-toe with Sergio Perez and Charles Leclerc in this new era of Formula 1 hardware.

The Briton briefly led his first laps of the season but ended up behind both Ferrari drivers Leclerc and Carlos Sainz after his Lap 33 pit stop. The Safety Car gave Hamilton, second-place driver Perez and eventual winner Sainz a chance to fit softs for the final restart. What followed was a stunning battle to conclude the race, in which Hamilton, Perez and fourth-placed Ferrari driver Leclerc went wheel-to-wheel.

READ MORE: ‘It was looking good for victory’ – Leclerc says he ‘cannot hide disappointment’ after falling to P4 at end of British GP

Asked if he enjoyed the battle, Hamilton replied: "I definitely did. That was very reminiscent of the karting days, and I feel like that's Formula 1 at its best: the fact that we were able to follow and dice like that lap by lap is a testament to the direction I think that we're now in.

"I was just grateful that I could be in the battle, because I've not been in that fight for a while."

Lewis Hamilton 'so grateful' for podium fight in British GP

Having led his first laps of the season in an extensively-upgraded Mercedes W13, Hamilton was asked whether it was a "strange feeling" to do so in his 10th race of the season.

"It's not a strange feeling at all. I've had plenty of years in my career, not plenty, but I've definitely had years in my career that I haven't had wins for a period of time.

FACTS AND STATS: Hamilton sets new podium record, as Sainz becomes Spain’s second F1 winner

"The progress we’ve made over the past couple of races has definitely given us hope that there's more to come, there's potential in this car and we have to keep doing our due diligence, keep our heads down, stay focused and not give up."

Mercedes leave their home race, that of Hamilton and George Russell – who retired after a heavy Lap 1 accident – 61 points behind Ferrari and third in the championship heading to Austria.

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