Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix – Lewis Hamilton 100th Win: Lewis Hamilton became the first Formula One driver to win 100 Grand Prix with a dramatic rain-assisted victory in Russia that sent the Mercedes driver back to the top of the championship on Sunday. The champion hailed the historical moment as the ‘most magical moment’ of his life.
‘It is a magical moment. I could only have dreamed of still being here, to have this opportunity to win these races, and to drive with such phenomenal talents this late on in my career.
‘I am so proud of everything we have done with Mercedes, on and off the track, and this is a special moment for everyone that has been part of it.
‘My dad called me last night and he has always been the one to reassure me. I feel incredibly grateful for that and all the support I have received.’
Lewis Hamilton 100th Win: Mercedes star Lewis Hamilton creates history of Formula 1, hails 100th race win ‘most magical’
Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix – Lewis Hamilton 100th Win: Red Bull’s Max Verstappen finished an impressive second at Sochi’s Olympic Park, after starting 20th and last due to engine penalties, thereby limiting the damage from his rival’s win.
Seven-time world champion Hamilton is now two points clear of Verstappen with seven races remaining, after starting fourth on the grid and five points behind the young Dutchman.
Spaniard Carlos Sainz was third for Ferrari on a day of heartbreak for McLaren’s Lando Norris, who led three laps from the end but decided to stay out on slicks as the rain began to fall and ended up seventh.
“What a race the weather provided. It’s taken a long time to get to 100 and, I wasn’t sure it would come,” said Hamilton, who last season passed Ferrari great Michael Schumacher’s previous record of 91 wins.
“Max must’ve done a really great job to come up to second from last. We’ve got our work cut out,” added the Briton.
Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix – Lewis Hamilton 100th Win: Hamilton had pitted from second place for intermediates with four laps to go and, it was the right decision as Norris, on pole for the first time in his career and heading for a first win, found out to his dismay.
The 21-year-old Briton slid and slithered on the treacherous surface as Hamilton made up the 25-second gap and seized the lead.
“The team made a great call right at the end. I didn’t want to let Lando go and, I didn’t know what the weather was doing,” said Hamilton.
“It would’ve been tough to get past Lando unless we came up to some traffic or he made a mistake, which he hasn’t been doing, so then the rain came and, it was very opportunistic.”
While Hamilton celebrated a personal century, his Mercedes team maintained their own 100% record in Sochi.
The champions have won every Russian Grand Prix since the first in 2014, Hamilton triumphant in five of them.
Australian Daniel Ricciardo, winner of the previous race at Italy’s Monza circuit, was fourth for McLaren, with Valtteri Bottas fifth for Mercedes after starting 16th.