A year after famously colliding with Verstappen at Silverstone, Hamilton claimed an impressive podium finish, behind winner Carlos Sainz and Sergio Perez.

Hamilton said to Sky about his tussle with Leclerc: “Charles did a great job, what a great battle. 

“He is a very sensible driver - clearly very different to what I experienced last year.

“At Copse for example, the two of us went through there, no problem.”

Verstappen was forced to settle for a disappointing seventh-place.

At Silverstone in 2021, Hamilton and Verstappen clashed wheel-to-wheel at the Copse corner. Verstappen retired and, after a red flag, Hamilton won the race.

The season notoriously ended with Verstappen gaining revenge by winning the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and the championship.

Hamilton returned to the British Grand Prix amid an upturn in form for Mercedes - he has now finished on the podium twice consecutively.

“Definitely, for a while [it felt like I could win],” he said.

“A bunch of things went against us. The start, we got up to third then they put us back to fifth.

“Then I lost ground to Lando Norris.

“Then the gap was five or six seconds to the Ferraris.

“But I was doing good time, catching them up, I did a good long stint and I thought: ‘Yes, maybe we can fight for a win here.’

“Unfortunately the gap was too big. And the pitstop was not very quick. It was so tough today.

“We are on the turning point [of the season], we are still on the bend.

“Thankyou to the team for the upgrades. We need more.

“I am so grateful to be back in the fight.”

Hamilton added: "I gave it everything. I tried to chase down those Ferraris but they were too quick.

"I was in the battle with Checo but those guys are too quick on the straights.

"I am so grateful for the hard work that they team did, to get an upgrade. We took a step closer.

"We lost time in the pitstop. I was chasing, chasing, chasing.

"We have improvements to make. This is a huge bonus to be on the podium.

"I'm glad everyone is safe from the crash at the beginning."