Portimão (Portugal): Six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton became the most successful Formula One (F1) driver of all time in terms of race wins Sunday with his 92nd career victory at the Portuguese Grand Prix here at the Algarve International Circuit. Lewis Hamilton had equaled Ferrari great Michael Schumacher’s record 91 wins at the previous race at the Nuerburgring.
Hamilton finished nearly 25.6 seconds ahead of Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas. The British driver was also 34.5 seconds ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. Sunday’s win was Hamilton’s eighth win of another dominant season which has been truncated due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He also took an extra point for the fastest lap. It helped him to extend his huge championship lead to 77 points over Bottas with just five races left.
Hamilton won his first F1 race in 2007 and first title the next season. However, when he joined Mercedes in 2013 replacing the retired Schumacher it was then his career really took off. Hamilton has added five F1 titles and the runaway championship leader is now odds-on to equal Schumacher’s record of seven.
Hamilton took a record-extending 97th career pole position, starting ahead of Bottas and Verstappen on a track being used for the first time in F1. McLaren’s Carlos Sainz (Jr) briefly held the race lead and then Bottas led until Hamilton passed him on Lap 20.