Lewis Hamilton reached another personal milestone by winning his 100th ever Formula One race after McLaren’s young driver Lando Norris endured late heartache in Sochi
Lewis Hamilton made more history as he clinched a last-gasp victory at the Russian Grand Prix on Sunday.
The seven-time world champion reached another personal milestone as he became the first ever Formula One driver to win 100 races – finishing ahead of Max Verstappen in second and Carlos Sainz in second and third respectively.
And it wasn’t without drama yet again, as he capitalised on Lando Norris’ horrid misfortunes right at the death in Sochi.
The McLaren driver, who finished second at the Italian Grand Prix, was on course for his first ever victory in F1 but late rain dramatically shattered his dreams.
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With Norris, who will surely win his maiden race soon enough, holding off Hamilton it looked likely to be another brilliant weekend for McLaren – winning back-to-back races after Daniel Ricciardo’s success in Monza.
But with just laps remaining, rain started falling and causing havoc on track, with several drivers losing grip as they fought for maximum points.
And in the end, it came down to a strategical decision – should you pit or hold on with what you’ve got?
Norris was determined to stay out on the track but his McLaren never looked comfortable, and with him losing vital pace, Hamilton was ordered to pit.
And Norris’ decision to stay out there backfired as he eventually span off track with two laps left before finishing seventh, allowing the Mercedes driver to capitalise and take the lead at the death.
Hamilton held on and in doing so, made more history in an already spectacular career – but more importantly retook the lead in the title race ahead of Verstappen, who enjoyed a brilliant display to finish second after starting from the back of the grid.
Speaking after his dramatic win, Hamilton said: “It has not been the best of weather, but what a race it provided. It has taken a long time to get to 100, and I wasn’t sure if it would come.”
The great British driver, who is now two points ahead of Verstappen in the title race, added: “Lando did such an amazing job, he had incredible pace. He is doing such a great job for McLaren and it was bittersweet.
“My team made the right call at the end, I am incredibly grateful to these men and women here and back at the factory. Wow 100.”
“I wasn’t the happiest with the job I did yesterday, I watched the replay over and over again. I was so determined today to do the best job I could. It was tough, I lost pace at the start.”
“It would have been tough to get past Lando unless there was traffic or he made a mistake, then the rain came and the team did a great job. I am grateful for the points.”
Norris meanwhile couldn’t hide his emotions, and was understandably gutted at the end as his first ever F1 win was taken away from him.
“I don’t know where to start. Obviously, I am devastated in a way. We made a call to stay out, but it was the wrong one in the end. They thought I should box but I decided to stay out.
“It’s just a bit of heartbreak, I thought I did everything I could.”