Formula 1: Lewis Hamilton becomes driver with most victories


Lewis Hamilton won Sunday’s Portuguese Grand Prix to take the 92nd victory of his career and move one clear of Michael Schumacher in the list of all time F1 victories.

Hamilton crossed the line 25.5s clear of teammate Valtteri Bottas following a dominant display, but had to work hard for the victory after losing the lead on the opening lap. Light rain and cool track temperatures saw Hamilton struggle for tyre temperature and drop behind both Bottas and Carlos Sainz in the McLaren on the opening lap.

Sainz led the race until lap six when Bottas passed him midway around the lap, with Hamilton forcing his way past a lap later.

Max Verstappen, who finished third, dropped to fifth at the start after contact with the Racing Point of Sergio Perez, but soon worked his way back up to third behind the two Mercedes drivers.

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The threat of rain continued to hang over the circuit for the remainder of the race but did not play a major part in the outcome.

Despite the presence of the Red Bull in third, it soon became clear the grand prix would be a straight fight between Bottas and Hamilton as the Mercedes teammates eased clear of Verstappen.

Bottas maintained a two second lead over Hamilton until lap 15 when the six-time world champion started to set fastest lap times.

By lap 19, Bottas’ mirrors were filled being filled by Hamilton’s car and on the start of lap 20, Hamilton got a better exit from the final corner to pass his teammate on the pit straight with the help of the DRS overtaking aid.

Hamilton pitted for fresh tyres on lap 40, but despite Bottas hoping to take on an alternative strategy on the following lap by switching to the soft tyre for the final stint, Mercedes played it safe and put both drivers on the hard compound.

Hamilton’s victory extends his lead at the top of the championship to 77 points, putting him on target to secure his seventh world championship at the Turkish Grand Prix, but ruling out clinching it at the next round at Imola.

Behind the Mercedes drivers, Verstappen finished 8.9s off Bottas with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc 30.8s further back in fourth.

Pierre Gasly passed Sergio Perez on the penultimate lap to secure fifth place for AlphaTauri, with Carlos Sainz taking sixth from Perez on the final lap. It was an impressive performance by Perez, nonetheless, who recovered from his first lap collision with Verstappen to take seventh.

Renault teammates Esteban Ocon and Daniel Ricciardo secured six points for the French team ahead of the second Ferrari driver of Sebastian Vettel, who scored his first point since the Tuscan Grand Prix last month.

Source: ESPN