Lewis Hamilton after securing pole during qualifying at Portimao went on to set a record for the most race wins in Formula 1 history at the Portuguese Grand Prix.
Hamilton equaled the huge haul of 91 wins set by Michael Schumacher in 2006, two weeks ago, and moved to hold the prestigious record outright with a victory in Portugal. He is also just two race wins away from drawing level with the German great as a seven-time world champion.
Formula 1: Most race wins in history
|1. Lewis Hamilton||92|
|2. Michael Schumacher||91|
|3. Sebastian Vettel||53|
|4. Alain Prost||51|
|5. Ayrton Senna||41|
Hamilton currently leads the Drivers’ Championship this season with 77 points and just 130 points left to play with five races to go.
“I could never have dreamed of being where I am today,” said Hamilton, who shared an embrace with his father Anthony after the race.
“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.”
Hamilton’s win at the Portuguese Grand Prix was a dominant one, ultimately finishing 25 seconds ahead of Mercedes team-mate, Valtteri Bottas, on F1’s Portimao debut. However, he was made to work for it in the first 20 laps after dropping from first to third in a dramatic start to the race.
With light rain falling as the race began, Hamilton was first overtaken by Bottas on lap one and then McLaren’s Carlos Sainz, who astonishingly then took the lead himself next time around, having started from seventh on the grid.
Sainz was soon re-overtaken by Bottas and then Hamilton as F1’s normal order was restored, with the latter then claiming the lead back from his team-mate on lap 20 when he overtook the sister Mercedes into Turn One.
Max Verstappen was again third for Red Bull, with Charles Leclerc claiming a brilliant fourth for Ferrari.
In a dramatic finish in the midfield, AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly claimed fifth after a late duel with Sergio Perez, who then dropped behind Sainz on the final lap.
But Perez’s race was still hugely commendable. The Mexican dropped to the back on lap one after being spun around in a tangle with Verstappen, an incident that cost Perez an unplanned pit stop for repairs.
But the ever-canny Racing Point driver raced strongly from there to claim some crucial points for the team in the tight fight for third in the Constructors’ Championship.
Portuguese GP top 10
1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
2. Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes
3. Max Verstappen, Red Bull
4. Charles Leclerc, Ferrari
5. Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri
6. Carlos Sainz, McLaren
7. Sergio Perez, Racing Point
8. Esteban Ocon, Renault
9. Daniel Ricciardo, Renault
10. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari