Lewis Hamilton wins the Portuguese Grand Prix and becomes the record race winner of all time.
Six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton became the record racing winner of all time with a dominant 92nd career win at the Portuguese Grand Prix.
The Mercedes driver crossed the checkered flag on Sunday with a 25.592 second lead over second-placed Valtteri Bottas and 34.5 seconds ahead of Red Bulls Max Verstappen for his eighth win of the season.
Hamilton had reached the record of Ferrari star Michael Schumacher with 91 victories in the last race at the Nürburgring.
He scored an extra point on Sunday for the fastest lap to expand his huge championship lead to 77 points over Bottas. In the coronavirus-affected season, there were only five races left.
Hamilton is within reach to hit Schumacher’s record of seven championships.
He took a record 97th pole position in his career and started ahead of Bottas and Verstappen on a track that was used for the first time in F1.
“I’ve only ever dreamed of being where I am today,” he said after the race and a long hug with his father Anthony, who made his early career.
“I didn’t have a magic (crystal) ball when I came here (Mercedes) – and all we’ve ever tried is to make the most of it every day. We’re all rowing in the same direction.
“I have my father here, which is amazing, and my stepmother Linda – and Roscoe (his dog) – so it’s a very special day. It will take some time to settle in, but I was still trying to get across the line. “
On team radio, he emotionally told Mercedes that it was “a great honor to work with you,” and his race engineer Peter ‘Bono’ Bonnington replied, “It’s the same here, an honor, really.”
After the race, Hamilton added, “I really owe these guys everything for their teamwork, which is continually innovating and raising the barrier every year.”
Lewis Hamilton in action during the race [Rudy Carezzevoli/Reuters]He had cramps in his right calf in the final stages of the race.
“It was quite painful to bring my foot down the straight line. I could feel it pulling, but I had to go through it. It is what it is.”
His Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff, who has led Hamilton to five of his world titles and the team to six in a row, said: “Who would have 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 everything he puts into the sport – and the talent and ability. He just stands out. “
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc finished fourth and AlphaTauris Pierre Gasly fifth in the Algarve near Portimao, where Portugal’s first Grand Prix in 24 years was held.
Sainz finished sixth with Renault’s Esteban Ocon and Daniel Ricciardo eighth and ninth.
The four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel got the last point for Ferrari.
Lance Stroll, who missed the final race and then tested positive for COVID-19, was the only afternoon outage that the team reported floor damage.
Lewis Hamilton celebrates victory on the podium [Rudy Carezzevoli/Reuters]