Hamilton scores record-equalling 91st victory

BOITUMELO RANTAO

WORLD champion has equalled F1 great Michael Schumacher’s record of most victories in the sport after he won the Eifel Grand Prix,  a race marked by a myriad of technical problems which forced five drivers to retire.

Hamilton, who started in 2nd position, drove a race of his life, registered several lap records to win ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. The world champion was forced to bring his best performance with ten laps to go after the deployment of the safety car. His 91st win means he now has 231 world championship points.

There was a special moment at the end of the race when, to mark the history-making occasion, Schumacher’s son, Mick presented Hamilton with a commemorative helmet in Ferrari’s colours. 

Hamilton’s teammate Bottas, who started on pole and led most of the early part of the race, was forced to retire with a power unit failure. Bottas remains second in the world championship race but has now lost 34 points to Verstappen.

Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo came third, registering his first podium in two years, an achievement that means team principal Cyril Ateboul has to get a new tattoo. Ricciardo and Abiteboul agreed that the team principal would get a tattoo if the driver got a podium position. 

Ricciardo was happy. “We have all waited a long time for this,” he said. 

Racing Point’s Sergio Perez finished in fourth after unsuccessfully charging down Ricciardo for the last podium place. Perez’s teammate for the weekend Hulkenburg, who was called-in as a replacement mid-day Saturday, finished in eighth after starting from last place. He also finished as Driver of the Day without as much as a single practice session throughout the weekend. 

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc endured a frustrating race falling to seventh place after starting a surprising fourth. Teammate Vettel’s struggles continued as he finished outside the points in his home Grand Prix. 

Haas and Alfa Romeo drivers Romain Grosjean and Antonio Giovinazzi finished in ninth and tenth respectively to achieve their first points finish of the season.

It was a momentous day for Alfa Romeo driver Kimi Raikkonen who broke the record for race starts with a tally of 325.

FINAL CLASSIFICATION:

  1. Hamilton – Mercedes
  2. Verstappen – Red Bull
  3. Ricciardo – Renault
  4. Perez – Racing Point
  5. Sainz – Mclaren 
  6. Gasly – AlphaTauri
  7. Leclerc – Ferrari
  8. Hulkenburg – Racing Point
  9. Grosjean – Haas
  10. Giovinazzi – Alfa Romeo 
  11. Vettel – Ferrari
  12. Raikkonen – Alfa Romeo 
  13. Magnussen – Haas
  14. Latifi – Williams 
  15. Kyvat – AlphaTauri