Lewis Hamilton Becomes First F1 Driver With 100 Wins
Lewis Hamilton broke more ground in Formula 1 history on Sunday when he became the first driver with 100 race wins. The seven-time world champion won the Russian Grand Prix in thrilling fashion after qualifying in fourth, sliding down to seventh and then overtaking Lando Norris in the last few laps for the race lead and his 100th victory.
The Mercedes driver is the only person to accomplish such a feat.The next closest competitor is Michael Schumacher, who won 91 races in his storied career. Hamilton broke that record last season with a win at the Portugal Grand Prix on the road to his historic seventh championship. He scored his first Formula 1 victory when he raced for McLaren back in 2007 at the Canadian Grand Prix. This was Hamilton's first race win since Silverstone in July.
With this win, Hamilton takes the lead in the driver's championship by two points. This season's been a close competition between the veteran and 23-year-old Max Verstappen, who is itching for his first championship.
"Words can’t describe how it feels to make history with this team of hardworking, driven and passionate human beings," Hamilton said on social media after the race. "They encourage me to push past the limits and todays win is a result of our incredible teamwork. Thank you for continuing to believe in us — our shared dream is alive and strong. We must keep fighting, keep rising. We’ve got a championship to win."
Clouds loomed all afternoon in Sochi and rain finally hit with about 10 laps to go. Both Hamilton and race leader Norris at first ignored commands from their respective garages to pit for medium tires to acclimate to the weather. The Mercedes driver eventually listened while Norris elected to stay out on hard tires where he slipped around the track and eventually swerved far enough off that Hamilton took the lead and the race. After that, Norris did pit and finished in seventh.
The younger Brit earned his maiden pole position in qualifying on Saturday and was seeking his first win after finishing second at the Italian Grand Prix. He battled early with Carlos Sainz, who had qualified on the front row for the first time in his career, but took the lead again after everyone pitted. Sainz finished in third for his third podium this season.
Verstappen started from the back of the grid after Red Bull exchanged his engine. The Dutchman raced expertly up the standings and through the weather to land second place.
The constructor's championship standings are tense as Valtteri Bottas finished fifth to give Mercedes a further lead over Red Bull who had Sergio Pérez finishing ninth. McLaren stabilized its position in third as Daniel Ricciardo's fifth place finish added points to Norris' race, which also included fastest lap.
The season continues the weekend of October 8-10 at the Turkish Grand Prix.