Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton has become the most successful driver in terms of victories in Formula 1 history, after a dominant display at the Portuguese Grand Prix saw him claim his 92nd victory from team mate Valtteri Bottas and the Red Bull of Max Verstappen.
Having started from pole position, Hamilton’s victory looked in serious doubt after a dramatic opening lap that saw him get passed by both Bottas and the McLaren of Carlos Sainz – Sainz then taking the lead from Bottas a lap later, as the Mercedes pair struggled to get their medium tyres fired up.
Once up to temperature, though, the Mercedes quickly re-passed Sainz, while Hamilton was then able to out-drag Bottas on Lap 20 of 66 to take a lead that he would only briefly relinquish in the pits, as he closed out a victory that moves him ahead of Michael Schumacher in the all-time wins list.
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Verstappen had had his own dramatic first lap, connecting with Sergio Perez and sending the Mexican spinning, forcing Racing Point into an early pit stop. Both drivers had a strong recovery though, Verstappen eventually climbing back into a comfortable third, while Perez made it up to P7 – the Mexican passed in the latter stages by Pierre Gasly and Carlos Sainz.https://61bcae37eba33b721df42caf73d4fce3.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc backed up his stunning P4 in qualifying with the same position in the race, Ferrari appearing to have cracked their recent race pace issues with a strong performance from the Monegasque. He finished ahead of the AlphaTauri of Gasly – the Frenchman driving an excellent race to take fifth – and one-time race leader Sainz in sixth.
The top 10 was rounded out by the Renault pair of Esteban Ocon and Daniel Ricciardo, while a solid recovery from Sebastian Vettel gave him the final points-paying position in the second Ferrari. It was a less-happy day for Racing Point’s Lance Stroll, however, the Canadian colliding with McLaren’s Lando Norris at Turn 1, before receiving a pair of five-second penalties for both the contact and track limits infringements, before Racing Point retired his car.
Despite all that, the 2020 Portuguese Grand Prix will be remembered most of all for the moment where Lewis Hamilton became Formula 1’s most successful driver of all time in terms of victories – a mighty record that came after yet another mighty drive from the six-time World Champion.