After winning the Russian Grand Prix on Sunday, Lewis Hamilton became the first Formula One driver to achieve 100 victories.
Late in the race, the seven-time World Champion passed long-time leader Lando Norris. Norris, who had been leading for the majority of the race and was looking for his first Grand Prix victory, wrecked his McLaren in heavy rain.
Hamilton won by almost 53 seconds over second-placed Max Verstappen, who started from the rear of the grid after Red Bull switched engines.
He climbed back to the top of the driver’s championship standings, ahead of Verstappen, after winning his 100th Grand Prix and becoming the first driver to do so.
Hamilton praised his crew for helping him achieve to this milestone, surpassing F1 icon Michael Schumacher for the most race victories last year.
“Obviously, it’s taken a long time to get to [win number] 100, and I wasn’t even sure it would happen,” Hamilton remarked after the race.
“It’s nice to have us back together, and the team definitely made a smart call right at the end,” he said.
“I didn’t want to let Lando go, and I had no idea what the weather was going to be like, but I’m really thankful to all of these men and women who are here and back at the factory because, wow, 100.”
The Future Looks Bright
While Hamilton finished on top of the podium on Sunday, another Brit appeared to be on his way to making his own piece of history.
Norris, 21, won his first pole position of the season on Saturday, overcoming difficult circumstances to lead the field.
After surrendering the race lead to Carlos Sainz for a brief while, he recovered it on the 13th lap.
While the weather was dry when the race began, a rain in Sochi made driving difficult.
Norris and Hamilton originally stayed out until Hamilton’s crew recommended him to swap to intermediate tires with four laps to go.
Norris was easily caught by Hamilton as the 36-year-old took the lead late in the race on slippery tires with the rain pouring heavier.
As he struggled to manage the circumstances, the McLaren driver lost speed before losing control and spinning his vehicle on the 51st lap.
He finally finished eighth and was visibly moved by the experience.
He remarked after the race, “I’m upset, devastated in a manner.” “It was my choice; I believed it was the best option.”
Hamilton commended his fellow countryman, calling his work “wonderful.”
“He had tremendous pace, and he’s doing such a good job for McLaren, and it was certainly heartbreaking to see my former team in front — they’re doing so well, and they obviously won the last race — they’re doing terrific.”