SILVERSTONE, England (Reuters) - Lewis Hamilton answered his critics with a dominant British Grand Prix victory, his fourth in a row at Silverstone and fifth there in total, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said on Sunday.
The triple world champion, his name booed by some and condemned by others after snubbing a Formula One promotional event in London and taking a holiday instead, led every lap from pole position to chequered flag.
The Briton also set the fastest lap and stepped out of his car only one point behind Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel at the halfway stage in the season.
“I think that sometimes he just needs the right impulse to extract maximum performance,” Wolff told reporters after his team’s one-two victory with Valtteri Bottas coming in second.
”I think maybe that is an answer to the critics.
“I still don’t understand why the British hero is being beaten up before the grand prix. It probably made him even more determined to show his fans how he can drive. And he can drive,” added the Austrian.
Hamilton, who ended a run of two races off the podium thanks to problems beyond his control, told reporters separately that there had been no reason to question his preparations.
“I have more poles than most,” said the Briton, who is now one off Michael Schumacher’s all-time record of 68 after Saturday’s pole.
“I am obviously building up the wins that I have. My performance is second to none. If you don’t know now that my preparation is mostly on point, then I guess you never will,” added the winner of 57 grands prix.
No other British driver has won as many races as Hamilton, second only to seven times champion Schumacher in the record books, and only the late Jim Clark and Frenchman Alain Prost can match his five British Grand Prix wins.
“I will be training hard next week in different locations, as I always do,” Hamilton said when asked if he had another holiday planned before Hungary.
“I will be working and focussing all week and then I will be in the UK for at least two days, when I will be at the factory and then I will go to the race.”
Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Rex Gowar