Hamilton takes record-breaking 92nd win at the Portuguese GP
Mercedes-AMG Petronas’ 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 teammate 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 McLaren’s 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.
Verstappen had had his own dramatic first lap, connecting with Racing Point’s Sergio Perez and sending the Mexican spinning, forcing him 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 Carlos Sainz and Scuderia Alphatauri’s Pierre Gasly.
Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow’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 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 Renault’s 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.
Note: Provisional results. Hamilton scored an additional point for setting the fastest lap of the race.
Formula 1 now makes a trans-European dash back over to Italy for a consecutive weekend of racing on November 1, as the fabled Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari – better known as Imola – returns to the calendar for the first time since 2006.