It was a record-breaking triumph for Lewis Hamilton over the weekend when he passed Michael Schumacher with his 92nd Formula One victory in the Portugese Grand Prix. The world champion, who levelled the record at the Eifel Grand Prix earlier this month, extended his lead over Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, who finished second in Portimao, in the world championship.
Hamilton would level another Schumacher record with a seventh world title this season. It was his eighth win of the season from just 12 races in 2020, with only five remaining in the coronavirus-truncated campaign.
Dutchman Max Verstappen completed the podium for Red Bull, while Charles Leclerc produced a brilliant drive to finish fourth for Ferrari. It was the seventh race this year that Hamilton, Bottas and Verstappen have made up the top three.
His 92nd win lifted him one clear of seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher’s 16-year-old record of 91 wins and opened up a 77-point lead ahead of Mercedes team-mate Bottas, who finished second, in the title race. With five races remaining in the coronavirus-affected season, Hamilton is within reach of a record-equalling seventh championship and a record-increasing 100th pole position.
In dreamland post race
Hamilton, who has become Formula One’s record all-time race winner, said he was in dreamland. “I only ever dreamed of being where I am today,” he said after the race and a long hug with his father Anthony, who managed his early career. “I didn’t have a magic ball when I chose to come here (Mercedes), and all we have ever tried to do is make the most of it every single day. We are all rowing in the same direction.
“I have got my dad here which is amazing and my step-mum Linda – and Roscoe (his dog) – so it’s a very special day. It’s going to take time to sink in, but I was still pushing coming across the line. Even now, I am still in race mode mentally so I can’t find the words right now to describe my emotions at the moment… Maybe I will be able to later on.”
On team radio he emotionally told Mercedes that it was “such an honour to work with you” and his race engineer Peter ‘Bono’ Bonnington replied, saying: “It’s the same here, an honour, genuinely.”
After the race, he added: “I really owe it all to these guys for their teamwork, continually innovating and pushing the barrier ever higher every year. It’s such a privilege working with them. It really is absolutely incredible. Thanks to everyone for continually pushing, no one is sitting back, everyone is pushing. It’s the most incredible thing to be surrounded by these guys, it really inspires you — the collaboration — there is nothing like it.
Hamilton defies a cramp
Hamilton said he had cramp in his right calf in the closing stages of the race. “Lifting my foot down the straight, it was pretty painful. I could feel it pull, but I had to get through it. It is what it is.”
His Mercedes team chief Toto Wolff, who has helped guide Hamilton to five of his world titles and the team to an unprecedented six in a row, said: “Who would’ve thought when we started this project in 2013? It’s almost a surreal number of wins. From Lewis, it’s his absolute passion and energy and its everything he puts into the sport – and the talent and the ability. He’s just standing out.”
Bottas said: “The opening lap was good, I was really pleased to get the lead, but after that I just had no pace and I don’t understand why. I tried to defend, but Lewis was close and there was nothing really that I could do… I was just off the pace. The start was my high point today.”
Source: AFP Relax News