Last weekend, the Turkish Grand Prix saw Lewis Hamilton crossing the finish line as 7-time World Champion, equalling Michael Schumacher’s record.
The 2020 season has been another dominant one for Mercedes, with their lead driver Lewis Hamilton achieving ten victories out of a possible fourteen.
At the Portuguese Grand Prix in late October, Hamilton took his 92nd race win, beating Michael Schumacher’s record, and it was looking increasingly likely that Hamilton would soon equal another of Schumacher’s records: the title of 7-time World Champion. Sure enough, the Turkish Grand Prix presented Hamilton with exactly that opportunity.
Determination kept him in the running, keeping a cool head despite the mayhem of multiple spins from his competitors around him
Treacherous track conditions didn’t make it easy for him, however. Both Mercedes drivers struggled to find grip on the perilous track throughout practice sessions. Heavy rain across the weekend and solid performances from both Racing Point and Red Bull lead to Hamilton’s worst qualifying result of the season, with him starting on the third row of the grid in P6.
His closest competitor – Valtteri Bottas – started three places further back. In order to keep the Championship race alive, Bottas had to secure a result of 7th or higher, but with a spin on the first lap sending him straight to the back of the pack, it seemed certain that Hamilton would take the crown.
A shaky first lap meant Hamilton maintained sixth position, despite a brief stint behind the Racing Points in third. Determination kept him in the running, keeping a cool head despite the mayhem of multiple spins from his competitors around him. The decision to only pit once in the early stages of the race turned out to be a winning one, allowing Hamilton to cross the finish line over 20 seconds clear of Sergio Perez.
With Bottas virtually out of the race in the early stages, Hamilton could have eased his way to the finish line, or even retired from the race, without sacrificing his World Title. The fact he pushed on to take the win, half a minute clear of his nearest rival, highlights exactly why his was a drive worthy of championship status.
It was an emotional weekend for the Briton, who admitted he ‘burst into tears’ as he crossed the finish line, the full weight of his achievements finally hitting him. In his post-race interview, Hamilton said of him and his family, “We dreamed of this when I was young… and this is way, way beyond our dreams.”
The dominance of Lewis Hamilton as he chased his 7th World Championship Title is an element of this unprecedented season that will not soon be forgotten
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel – a four-time World Champion himself, drove a brilliant race to finish in 3rd after starting P11 and congratulated Lewis after the race, calling him ‘the greatest of our era’. With 7 World Championships, the most race wins, and the most pole positions under his belt, one would struggle to dispute Vettel’s claim.
Though Hamilton currently has no contract for 2021 – as his current contract with Mercedes expires this season – he is expected to continue with Mercedes next year. If this is the case, Hamilton could be on track for another World Title win next year, an achievement that would make him the most decorated driver in the sports’ history.
The 2020 Formula One season will be long remembered in the hearts and minds of motorsport fans: a delayed start due to the coronavirus pandemic, multiple new venues, and brand new podium combinations have all contributed to one of the most memorable seasons in recent years. But the dominance of Lewis Hamilton as he chased his 7th World Championship Title is an element of this unprecedented season that will not soon be forgotten.
For more content including uni news, reviews, entertainment, lifestyle, features and so much more, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like our Facebook page for more articles and information on how to get involved.