(Sochi) Lewis Hamilton became the first Formula One driver to win 100 races on Sunday in Russia, and also regained first place in the drivers’ standings, at the expense of Max Verstappen.
Mercedes’ Hamilton slipped to seventh when he got stuck in the first corner.
He closed the gap and beat Lando Norris to take the win when the McLaren driver left the track in the rain at the end of the race, having kept his tires smooth.
“I had to wait a long time for these hundredNS Victory, said the man with five wins in 2021 who hasn’t won since July at Silverstone. I wasn’t sure I could do that. “
It’s a magical moment. I could only imagine being there and having these winning chances alongside such talented people at this point in my career.
Led by five points in the championship at the start of the day, the Englishman is now two points ahead of Red Bull’s Verstappen. He finished second after leaving last Sunday.
Carlos Sainz gave Ferrari the third place.
Hamilton didn’t get off to a great start, but he did start to recover with a masterful pass from outside against Fernando Alonso.
It was reminiscent of their season as teammates when Hamilton was a rookie in 2007.
Verstappen finally started, and was punished for the engine change, but Hamilton was halfway through the race.
Hamilton’s car did better in the second half of the race on hard tyres. Verstappen’s push seemed to be curbed when Alonso’s Alpine joined him, putting him in seventh place.
But then the rain came. Verstappen quickly picked the intermediate tyres, en route to a damage-limiting podium, in his quest for his first drivers’ championship.
“We didn’t miss a lot of points, and that’s very good,” Verstappen said on his team radio.
Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren), Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) and Alonso finished fourth in sixth, ahead of Norris.
“If it wasn’t for the rain, it would have been hard to cross Lando,” said Hamilton. He had a great pace. ”
Norris’ win would have earned McLaren its second straight win, after Ricciardo’s victory in Italy.
At Aston Martin, Quebecer Lance Stroll finished 11thNS, one row ahead of teammate Sebastian Vettel. Stroll started 7th and Vettel 10NS.
The decision was made too late to switch to intermediate frames. It cost us a lot of points.
“It’s even more disappointing because we got off to a good start and got into fourth. The fight was very fun in the first few corners,” said the Canadian.
From now until the end of the season, an open question is whether Hamilton will also have to accept a penalty, if he has to use a new engine.
The next race will be held on October 10 in Turkey.
“Pop culture maven. Unapologetic student. Avid introvert. Gamer. Problem solver. Tv fanatic.”