The British Grand Prix at Silverstone can scarcely have had a sunnier setting than was provided by a baking weekend in Northamptonshire. But the sun shone most on Sebastian Vettel as he secured a priceless victory.
Fans had flocked to the circuit on a wave of patriotic optimism, boosted by England's World Cup run and hoping for more joy from Lewis Hamilton.
Hamilton had successfully completed his first task in the record temperatures, securing pole position. However, he started poorly and was swiftly overtaken by both Vettel and teammate Valtteri Bottas. In trying to recover his position, he was sent into a spin off the track, as Kimi Raikkonen collided with him from behind. The Finn was given a ten-second penalty.
That could have forced Hamilton out of the race, but he set about battling his way through the field. With the Mercedes, Red Bulls and Ferraris again well ahead of the rest, he was soon able to cut through. Moreover, the introduction of the safety car on lap 32 after Marcus Ericsson's Sauber crashed started to close the race up again.
Bottas held the lead from Vettel up until lap 47 when, in his umpteenth attack, the German was able to slip in down the inside. It was a brilliant move that was to win him the race and put him out in front in the driver's championship.
Hamilton then managed to overtake Bottas on the following lap and, with four to go, he finally had Vettel in his sights. Try as he might, though, he was not quite able to catch the Ferrari. The German held his nerve and his lead to secure a 51st career win, while Bottas slipped back to fourth as Raikkonen passed him to take third.
Hamilton's disappointment was palpable and, while he refused to blame Raikkonen personally, he commented: "It's now two races that the Ferraris have taken out one of the Mercedes, and a five-second penalty and a ten-second penalty doesn’t work. Ultimately, it spoils the race.
"It's a lot of points that ultimately Valtteri and I have lost in those two scenarios."
Later, however, Hamilton came back and admitted some regret at his words, describing them as "dumb". He acknowledged that the collision was an accident and not a deliberate act by the Finn and blamed his remarks on a feeling of exhaustion, having sweated out three pounds of fluid during the race.
It was certainly a dramatic Grand Prix, so while Britons were left disappointed that their man couldn't add to the joy of the football, they were able to enjoy a great treat, and a reminder that