Silverstone (CNN)Even Silverstone VIP guest George Lucas couldn't have written a better script for the 2015 British Grand Prix.
British Grand Prix 2015: Lewis Hamilton wins Silverstone blockbuster
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Home hero Lewis Hamilton won the race, but only after the Mercedes driver had battled past the plucky Williams duo and survived a burst of British summertime rain.
It was an escape to rival Lucas' famous film heroes Hans Solo and Indiana Jones, and delighted the sell-out crowd with an unpredictable blockbuster race.
It was a third British Grand Prix victory for Hamilton and his fifth race win of the season.
The maximum points haul helped Hamilton extend his lead in the Formula One world championship to 17 points over Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg, who finished second.
Sebastian Vettel also took advantage of the late rain to grab an unexpected third place for Ferrari.
"I'm so elated," said Hamilton, who dedicated the win to the British fans, from the top step of the podium. "It's a very special weekend for me.
"I started to tear up on that last lap. I was gunning the whole way and I really just wanted to do it for you guys. I'm going to keep pushing for this championship."
The drama began in the opening scenes of the grand prix when Williams duo Felipe Massa and Valterri Bottas swooped past pole-sitter Hamilton off the line.
Eager to wrestle back position, Hamilton stuck to the inside line and passed Bottas for second at the third corner.
But the Mercedes man slid back to third when he locked up his tires and ran wide onto the grass as he attempted to retake the lead from Massa.
As the two Williams engaged in an exciting fight at the front, Hamilton stuck to his own race and pitted for fresh rubber on lap 19.
When he came back onto Silverstone's snaking high-speed circuit he went full throttle, setting the fastest lap of the race at the time.
The Williams had to respond to Hamilton's pit stop with Massa coming in on lap 20 and Bottas on lap 21, but by the time they rejoined the fray Hamilton had clean air in front.
The world champion, who was born just 50 miles [80km] from the famous circuit, looked to be cruising to victory with a healthy lead when a dose of typically British weather decided to interrupt his fun.
"I could see the weather getting worse and worse and I thought 'please don't rain!'" he said.
Hamilton slithered off the circuit at the 265kph Copse corner as the rain began to dance off the asphalt.
But the British racer, and his teammate Rosberg, decided to risk staying on the faster dry-weather tires as long as they could.
Toto Wolff's face, as he gingerly watched his Mercedes drivers negotiate the changeable conditions, was a picture.
Hamilton, however, was in control, and another perfectly timed pit stop was the key to his victory.
The world champion made the decision from the cockpit of his car to come in for the intermediate tires, used in wet weather, on lap 43.
Rosberg, Massa and Bottas pitted at the end of the next lap -- but it was one lap too late to catch Hamilton.
"I think it's the first time in my Formula One career that I made the perfect choice about coming in," he explained. "I could see more rain coming. It was one of the trickiest races I've had here."
A frustrating day for Williams got even worse when the popular team, based in Britain, was denied a place on the podium.
As Rosberg rejoined the race in second place, Massa and Bottas emerged from the pit lane staring at the rear of Vettel's scarlet racer in fourth and fifth respectively, where they ultimately finished.
"It is a frustrating result because the race was amazing today," said Massa. "I had a fantastic start and we were fighting with Mercedes.
"It could even have been possible to win the race if it had stayed dry but it was a shame to have lost position in the rain."
Vettel had stopped for the wet-weather tires at the same time as Hamilton to gain track position in his Ferrari.
"Without the rain, we would not be on the podium," the German commented. "We kept our head down and were patient to wait until it poured down.
"That's England for us, a couple of minutes later you have sunshine."
There was also a bright note for two-time world champion Fernando Alonso, who grabbed his first point of a difficult season for CNN-sponsored McLaren.
The Spaniard finished 10th despite a first-lap incident with teammate Jenson Button, which unfortunately put him out of his home race.
"I know that it was important for the team morale and the motivation of everyone," Alonso said. "To put some points on the table is always important."
Long after the checkered flag had fallen and the drivers finished their media interviews, the British fans stayed gathered at the finish line, waving flags and banners in homage to Hamilton.
The end credits may have rolled on another Hamilton thriller but his loyal fans remain eager for a sequel at the next race in Hungary on 26th July.