Sir Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton MBE HonFREng, Becomes First F1 Driver in History to Record 100 Victories

Sir Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton MBE HonFREng, Becomes First F1 Driver in History to Record 100 Victories
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Lewis Hamilton won the Russian Grand Prix on Sunday to become the first F1 driver in history to record 100 career wins.

Lewis Hamilton, the four-time defending Formula 1 champion, won the Russian Grand Prix on Sunday to become the first F1 driver in history to record 100 career wins.

With the victory, Hamilton also reclaimed the overall season standings lead, overtaking Max Verstappen. Verstappen and Carlos Sainz finished second and third, respectively, in Sunday’s Russian Grand Prix.

“It will come when it comes, but of course, I’ll be giving it absolutely everything tomorrow, chasing that number 100,” Hamilton said earlier this week when asked by reporters about the prospects of reaching the century win mark.

“It’s a big number. It seems like it’s taking longer than ever before to get it. It’s a pretty cool number to wait for.”

Hamilton’s latest win comes amid a boom in the sport’s popularity. Earlier this week, Reed Hastings, the CEO of Netflix, who has produced the hit docuseris Formula 1: Drive to Survive, spoke to German outlet Der Spiegel and said the company “would definitely consider” bidding for F1’s streaming rights.

Lewis Hamilton Wins Instant Classic Russian Grand Prix

Photo credit: Lars Baron - Formula 1 - Getty Images
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On lap 1 of the Russian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton found himself with a run on pole-sitter Lando Norris and nowhere to go. He lifted hard to avoid a crash, falling all at once from third to eighth. He would be stuck behind a train of traffic for the next thirty laps, while Norris would push out to a twelve second lead on the field. Then things got out of control.

Hamilton’s race was seemingly ruined by a long stint behind George Russell in third, but when half of the “DRS train” behind Russell chose to undercut the Williams in an attempt to get ahead, Hamilton and Daniel Ricciardo stayed the course. Both cleared the pit delta to the Williams on pace without undercutting, then stopped for their scheduled stop. A slow stop left Ricciardo behind Russell, but Hamilton came out just ahead on fresh hard tires with half a race to go and a wide variety of cars ahead of on track.

Once the Mercedes got into clean air, none stayed ahead for long. Hamilton was in second in what seemed like a heartbeat, then methodically closed a gap of more than twelve seconds to just two in ten laps. Hamilton was just over a second behind Lando Norris with six laps to go, setting up what would have already been a classic finish between the fastest and the hungriest drivers in the field. Then, finally, rain forecast for today’s race throughout the past week hit. Not heavy rain, mind you, but enough to ruin the racing surface immediately.

Half the field quickly stopped for intermediate tires, but Hamilton and Norris stayed out for another lap. A sketchy, difficult lap saw both drivers go off track, but with just four laps to go Norris decided to stay out again. Hamilton did not, turning the massive 40-second gap he had built over third-placed Carlos Sainz Jr. over the dry stint into an opportunity for a risk-free stop. He had four laps to close what was a 25 second gap, but it was done in a lap and a half. By the time Hamilton actually saw Norris again, the race was already decided. Hamilton flew into the lead for what would become a win by nearly a minute, while Norris would struggle to a distant seventh.

Behind Hamilton, somehow, was Max Verstappen.

The Red Bull driver screamed through the field in the opening laps, bouncing up into the top ten from the back of the grid on hard tires in the first stint before falling into a slower rhythm on medium tires in the second. He seemed stuck in seventh while Hamilton was fighting for the win, but the rain came at a crucial time and Red Bull stopped him at the perfect time. While the cameras were focused on the battle for the win, Verstappen screamed past every other car that had moved onto intermediates and every other car choosing to stay out on dry tires alike. He finished 53 seconds adrift from Hamilton, but he was nine full seconds ahead of Sainz after running four positions behind him on track with seven to go.

Sainz completed the podium, a respectable result after a long day that saw him lead the opening laps and fall back in the field after a disastrously slow first stop. Daniel Ricciardo and Valtteri Bottas would recover to fourth and fifth in the rain after difficult days of their own. Fernando Alonso, Norris, Kimi Raikkonen, Sergio Perez, and George Russell completed the top five after Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel fell out of the points in the wet conditions.

Hamilton’s win is his 100th, making him the first driver in the history of the series to hit triple digit wins. It also inches him forward in his fight for a record eighth championship. While he was in position to gain even more before Verstappen’s own stellar run through the rain, the Mercedes driver has moved back into the championship lead by a margin of two points.

F1’s next scheduled race will be held at Turkey in two weeks, the track that held no grip at all throughout its return race weekend last season. This season-long fight is far from over, though: The unbelievably long 2021 F1 schedule goes until December 12th.

Lewis Hamilton takes 100th win in Russian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton won the Russian Grand Prix after a frantic last few laps caused by heavy rain dashed Lando Norris’ hopes of a maiden victory.

And the rain helped Hamilton’s title rival Max Verstappen vault from seventh to second in his Red Bull after timing his change to wet tyres perfectly.

The Mercedes driver’s 100th career win puts him back into the title lead.

Verstappen’s drive from the back of the grid meant Hamilton’s advantage is only two points.

The late race downpour turned the race on its head and while it gave Hamilton a victory it helped Verstappen even more.

Norris, who took his maiden pole position on Saturday, was leading with five laps to go when it started to rain.

The rain started light and only over a few corners, but Verstappen, who was at that point struggling in seventh place, was one the first drivers to pit for treaded intermediate tyres.

It was the making of his afternoon as Norris and Hamilton – more than 30 seconds up the road in their battle for the lead – initially stayed out.

A similar decision briefly vaulted Alpine’s Fernando Alonso, who was leading Verstappen in sixth place before the rain, to third.

Halfway around the lap following Verstappen’s stop, Norris was asked if he wanted to stop for intermediate tyres and he said: “No.”

Hamilton was also saying it was not raining that heavily, but was advised to come in because more rain was coming.

He stopped a lap after Verstappen, with four to go, leaving Norris out in front on his slick tyres as the rain fell increasingly heavily.

Hamilton was 14.9 seconds behind Norris a lap after he had stopped, but the rain was by now so bad that the seven-time champion caught the McLaren within five more corners and swept by into the lead.

Norris finally stopped after tip-toeing around the rest of the lap but the delay in coming in for tyres dropped him down to seventh place at the end.

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, who stopped for tyres at the same time as Verstappen, took third, while McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo and Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas also benefited from early stops for treaded tyres to take fourth and fifth ahead of Alonso.

Russian GP
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Norris also lost the lead on the first lap

A terrible twist for Norris

The late rain was a bitter blow for Norris after appearing on course for an impressive maiden victory for so long.

The 21-year-old lost the lead to Sainz at the start and tracked the Ferrari for 13 laps before re-passing for the lead.

Hamilton, meanwhile, had dropped from fourth on the grid to seventh on the first lap and he spent the first part of the race stuck in a train behind Williams driver George Russell in third, ahead of Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll and Ricciardo.

When Russell and Stroll pitted out of the way, Ricciardo appeared to be holding Hamilton back to give Norris some breathing space at the front.

At the same time Verstappen had made excellent progress from his place on the back row of the grid following an engine penalty and was only two seconds behind Hamilton – with team-mate Sergio Perez and Alonso between them – after just 20 laps.

After both Norris and Hamilton had pitted, Norris had a 10-second lead, which the Mercedes driver remorselessly closed.

But with 10 laps to go, Norris appeared to be in control, with Hamilton not able to get within a second of him, only for the rain to change everything.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was another to suffer for a late decision to change tyres.

Starting from the back of the grid, he was ninth heading into the closing laps, two spots behind Verstappen, and was briefly up to fourth as the rain threw everything up in the air.

But stopping late on the same lap as Norris meant he dropped down out the points into 15th.

A lucky break for Verstappen

A decision to stop for fresh tyres on lap 26 – about half-distance – appeared to have been damaging for Verstappen when he could have stayed out longer on the hard tyres he had chosen at the start.

It dropped him behind a slow-moving pack of cars and he lost ground to the leaders. And things went from bad to worse when Alonso – who had also started on hards, but stopped 10 laps later for fresh tyres – passed him into Turn Two, Verstappen seemingly unable to do anything about reclaiming sixth place.

But the rain came to his rescue. He made the call to stop for intermediate tyres at exactly the right time and was able to vault up into second, in what could be a critical move in a championship battle so close.

Driver of the day

Really hard to call this one. Norris, Hamilton, Verstappen and Alonso were probably the picks of the field, but let’s give it to Norris for controlling the race so well for so long after re-passing Sainz, even if he and McLaren did bungle the late tyre choice.

What happens next?

A two-week gap until the Turkish Grand Prix. Last year’s race was a chaotic rain-hit affair in which Hamilton put in one of his greatest ever drives to win the title.

Lewis Hamilton claims 100th F1 victory in Russia as Lando Norris skids off track

  • World champion beats title rival Max Verstappen into second
  • Lando Norris spins off in heavy rain late on while in the lead
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning his 100th Formula One victory in the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi
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Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning his 100th Formula One victory in the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi. Photograph: Anton Vaganov/Reuters

 

Lewis Hamilton won the Russian Grand Prix, putting in a gutsy performance to claim his 100th Formula One victory. The Mercedes driver beat the Red Bull of his title rival Max Verstappen into second, with the Dutchman pulling off a remarkable recovery drive from the back of the grid.

The McLaren of Daniel Ricciardo was in third. Carlos Sainz was fourth for Ferrari and Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas in fifth. McLaren’s Lando Norris drove a magnificent race, leading for much of it only to be denied a potential win by rain late in the race, he finished seventh.

F1: Hamilton reaches 100 wins with success at Russian Grand Prix – as it happened!

 

Hamilton had started in fourth but he and Mercedes maintained their composure throughout, moving through the field with calm driving and strategy while Norris was superb out front. Holding off Hamilton in the final laps the young British driver gambled on staying out on slick tyres in the rain only for the conditions to worsen, costing him his lead.

Hamilton’s 100th career win alongside his 100th pole position, which he took in Spain earlier this year, seals a remarkable double-century. The scale of his achievement in his 15th season in F1 is remarkable.

He has already surpassed Michael Schumacher’s 91 wins – the next most successful driver is Sebastian Vettel with 53 victories. Hamilton has committed to race on for a further two years with Mercedes, which will doubtless ensure his tally rises further. He remains the only driver to have taken a win in every season in which he has competed and is setting new benchmarks while attempting to take his eighth title this season, which would surpass Schumacher’s seven.

Hamilton’s fifth win at the Russian GP – more than any other driver – has edged him ahead in a tightly fought championship. He leads Verstappen by two points but would have hoped to put more points on the Dutchman, who was sent to the back of the grid after taking a new engine this weekend.

McLaren’s Lando Norris (left) skidded off the track with two laps to go after being unable to cope with the wet conditions
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McLaren’s Lando Norris (left) skidded off the track with two laps to go after being unable to cope with the wet conditions

The leaders got away well but Sainz, with a tow from Norris, took the lead through turn two. Hamilton was boxed in and went backwards, dropping to seventh by the end of lap one, passed by both Ricciardo and Lance Stroll who both made superb starts. Verstappen had already made it up to 17th.

Hamilton moved up to sixth on lap two, quickly catching Ricciardo who was the rear car in a train behind George Russell and Stroll, all well-matched on straightline pace. Verstappen caught Valtteri Bottas in 14th by lap five and swept by on lap six, with Bottas notably putting up no real defence.

With Russell holding up the chasing drivers, Sainz and Norris opened a gap of seven seconds, with Norris right on the Spaniard’s wing. With a clearly quicker car, the British driver was pushing hard and finally made a pass stick on lap 13 down the back straight. Sainz pitted on lap 15 but Mercedes left Hamilton out. Verstappen meanwhile was charging up to sixth, just 10 seconds off Hamilton by lap 17 and on the hard tyre going long.

Norris and Hamilton stayed out, with the world champion having saved his tyres – he was still enjoying good grip and clocked the fastest lap. He pitted on lap 27 to take the hard tyre to go to the end and Verstappen followed him in. Hamilton emerged in ninth, quickly passed Stroll and was now ahead of the train of cars that had been holding him up in the opening stages.

The race leader Norris was comfortable with his grip but with Hamilton quicker on his new rubber McLaren pitted him on lap 28. Crucially he emerged in front of Sainz with the drivers in front of him yet to stop. Hamilton swiftly got past Sainz as Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff told him “Lewis you can win this race”. He was 13 seconds behind Norris with 23 laps remaining. The gap was down to five seconds by lap 35 as the world champion flew.

As the remaining drivers pitted, Norris once more led by two and half seconds from Hamilton but was completely composed with the world champion in his mirrors. Hamilton had closed to just over a second by lap 44 but Norris and his Mercedes engine were a formidable combination.

With a gripping climax on the cards rain began falling with eight laps remaining. Norris went wide on the greasy surface allowing Hamilton to close. Both drivers had to back off as the rain got harder and Mercedes called Hamilton in for wet tyres but he stayed out, as did Norris.

Norris insisted he could stay on the slicks as Hamilton did pit for inters on lap 50. He emerged 25 seconds back as Norris squirrelled round the track losing time as he tried to keep the car online. It was hugely tense as the rain intensified until Norris could hold it no longer and slid off on lap 51. Hamilton took the lead as Verstappen, who had taken wet tyres much earlier, made it up to second when Norris pitted.

Hamilton and Mercedes had called it well to take the win but it was heartbreaking for Norris, who might well have held on for the win but for the late downpour. Fernando Alonso was in sixth for Alpine and Kimi Raikkonen in eighth for Alfa Romeo. Sergio Pérez was ninth for Red Bull and George Russell 10th for Williams.

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton 2016 Malaysia 2.jpg
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Born
Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton[1]

7 January 1985 (age 36)[2]

Occupation
Parent(s)
  • Anthony Hamilton
  • Carmen Larbalestier
Family Nicolas Hamilton (brother)
Formula One World Championship career
Nationality
United Kingdom
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British
Car number 44[note 1]
Entries 281 (280 starts)
Championships 7 (2008, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020)
Wins 99
Podiums 175
Career points 3999.5
Pole positions 101
Fastest laps 57
First entry 2007 Australian Grand Prix
First win 2007 Canadian Grand Prix
Last win 2021 Russian Grand Prix
Last entry 2021 Russian Grand Prix
2020 position 1st (347 pts)
Website lewishamilton.com
Signature
Signature de Lewis Hamilton png.png
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Sir Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton MBE HonFREng (born 7 January 1985) is a British racing driver. He currently competes in Formula One for Mercedes, having previously driven for McLaren from 2007 to 2012. In Formula One, Hamilton has won a joint-record seven World Drivers’ Championship titles (tied with Michael Schumacher), and holds the records for the most wins (99), pole positions (101), and podium finishes (175), amongst others.

Born and raised in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, Hamilton joined the McLaren young driver programme in 1998. This led to a Formula One drive with McLaren in 2007, making Hamilton the first, and so far only, black driver to race in the series. That season, Hamilton set numerous records as he finished runner-up to Kimi Räikkönen by one point. The following season, he won his maiden title in dramatic fashion – making a crucial overtake on the last lap of the last race of the season – to become the then-youngest Formula One World Champion in history. After four more years with McLaren, Hamilton signed with Mercedes in 2013.

Changes to the regulations for 2014, mandating the use of turbo-hybrid engines, saw the start of a highly successful period for Hamilton, during which he has won six further drivers’ titles. Consecutive titles came in 2014 and 2015 during an intense rivalry with teammate Nico Rosberg. Following Rosberg’s retirement, Ferrari‘s Sebastian Vettel became Hamilton’s closest rival in two intense championship battles, in which Hamilton twice overturned mid-season point deficits to claim consecutive titles again in 2017 and 2018. His third and fourth consecutive titles followed in 2019 and 2020 to equal Schumacher’s record of seven drivers’ titles.

Hamilton has been credited with furthering Formula One’s global following by appealing to a broader audience outside the sport, in part due to his high-profile lifestyle, environmental and social activism, and exploits in music and fashion. He has also become a prominent advocate in support of activism to combat racism and push for increased diversity in motorsport. Hamilton was listed in the 2020 issue of Time as one of the 100 most influential people globally, and was knighted in the 2021 New Year Honours.

Formula One records

Hamilton debuted at the 2007 Australian Grand Prix becoming the first black driver in Formula One.[377][378] He has set several records throughout his career. Hamilton has the most career wins, most pole positions, most podium finishes, most career points, and most laps led, among other records. When Hamilton won the 2008 F1 World Championship, after finishing fifth in the Brazilian Grand Prix, he had become the youngest driver ever to win the championship at age 23 years and 301 days, a triumph that was beaten by Sebastian Vettel in 2010.

Honours and achievements

Formula One

Other awards

Throughout his career, Hamilton has received several awards and honors. He won the Laureus Breakthrough of the Year Award in 2008 and the Sportsman of the Year Award in 2020. Hamilton also won Pride of Britain Awards (2007), Best Driver ESPY Award (2017), BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award (2014; 2020), L’Équipe Champion of Champions (2020), and Gazzetta World Sportsman of the Year (2018; 2020), among others prizes and awards. He was elected FIA Personality of the Year three times (2014; 2018; 2020), and was inducted to FIA Hall of Fame in 2017.

Orders and special awards

Recognition

 

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