Otago Daily Times

Hamil­ton claims record for most F1 wins in his­tory

MOTORSPORT

- Sports · Formula One · Car Racing · Motorsports · Lewis Hamilton · Lisbon · Mercedes GP · Valtteri Bottas · Ferrari S.p.A. · Michael Schumacher · Toto Wolff · Max Verstappen · Red Bull GmbH · McLaren · Carlos Sainz · Racing Point F1 Team · Charles Leclerc · Renault Co · Esteban Ocon · Daniel Ricciardo · Sebastian Vettel · Lance Stroll

LIS­BON: Six­time world cham­pion Lewis Hamil­ton be­came the most suc­cess­ful For­mula One driver of all time in terms of race wins yes­ter­day with a dom­i­nant 92nd ca­reer vic­tory at the Por­tuguese Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver, who took the che­quered flag a huge 25.592sec ahead of sec­ond­placed team­mate Valt­teri Bot­tas, had equalled Fer­rari great Michael Schu­macher’s record 91 wins at the pre­vi­ous race at the Nuer­bur­gring.

Vic­tory, along with a bonus point for fastest lap, stretched the Bri­ton’s cham­pi­onship lead over Bot­tas to 77 points with five races re­main­ing.

‘‘You are rewrit­ing the his­tory books,’’ Mercedes told

Hamil­ton over the team ra­dio, with team boss Toto

Wolff adding:

‘‘Lewis, 92.

92.’’

‘‘I owe it all to th­ese guys here and back at the fac­tory,’’ Hamil­ton said.

‘‘It’s just been such a priv­i­lege work­ing with them,’’ the Bri­ton, who was joined on the podium by race en­gi­neer Peter Bon­ning­ton, said.

‘‘To­day was tough but it was all about tem­per­a­tures.’’

Dutch young­ster Max Ver­stap­pen fin­ished third for Red Bull at the Al­garve cir­cuit near Por­ti­mao that was host­ing the coun­try’s first grand prix in 24 years.

Hamil­ton lapped all but the three driv­ers be­hind him but it had not looked so sim­ple at the start when he dropped to third from pole po­si­tion on a lively open­ing lap with oc­ca­sional rain com­pli­cat­ing mat­ters.

Bot­tas, who had gone ahead, was then passed on lap two by

McLaren’s Spansh driver, Car­los Sainz, who had started sev­enth on the soft tyres, as the Mercedes pair strug­gled to get heat into the medium rub­ber.

Ver­stap­pen had mean­while dropped to fifth af­ter tan­gling with Rac­ing Point’s Mex­i­can Sergio Perez, who pit­ted and dropped to last but re­cov­ered to fin­ish sev­enth.

Bot­tas re­took the lead on lap six as the tyres fired up — Hamil­ton mov­ing to sec­ond — and stayed ahead un­til his team­mate over­took him on lap 20 to lead for the first time since the open­ing lap.

Hamil­ton, whose fa­ther was at the cir­cuit to see his tri­umph, re­ported cramp with seven laps to go but then pro­ceeded to set a se­ries of fastest laps.

‘‘I could never have dreamed of be­ing where I am to­day,’’ he said af­ter his eighth win of the sea­son and 71st since he joined Mercedes.

‘‘I didn’t have a magic ball when I chose to come to this team and part­ner with great peo­ple, but here I am and what I can tell you is I’m try­ing to make the most of it every sin­gle day.

‘‘It’s go­ing to take some time to sink in. I was still push­ing flat out com­ing across the line.’’

Bot­tas said he just had no pace.

‘‘I was push­ing hard but couldn’t go faster,’’ the Finn said.

Fer­rari’s Charles Le­clerc fin­ished fourth, Al­phaTauri’s Pierre Gasly fifth and Sainz sixth.

Re­nault’s Este­ban Ocon and Daniel Ric­cia­rdo were eighth and ninth.

Four­time world cham­pion Se­bas­tian Vet­tel took the fi­nal point for Fer­rari.

Lance Stroll, who missed the last race and then tested pos­i­tive for Covid­19, was the only re­tire­ment of the af­ter­noon af­ter the team re­ported floor dam­age. The Cana­dian had al­ready col­lected mul­ti­ple penal­ties by then. — Reuters

 ??  ?? Lewis Hamil­ton
Lewis Hamil­ton

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