F1 2020: Record-equalling Hamilton moves level with Schumacher's wins total at Eifel GP

Oleh Liam Blackburn 11 Oktober 2020 33
F1 2020: Record-equalling Hamilton moves level with Schumacher's wins total at Eifel GP

Lewis Hamilton equalled Michael Schumacher's record for the most Formula One race wins by triumphing at the Eifel Grand Prix.

The six-time world champion took advantage of Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas' early error to seize the lead and then held off Red Bull's Max Verstappen at the Nurburgring.

Bottas, who started on pole, had a rotten day in Germany, retiring on lap 19 because of a mechanical failure, with Renault's Daniel Ricciardo finishing third.

Hamilton was able to increase his lead in the standings due to Bottas' retirement, the Briton now 69 points clear with six races to go as he closes on equalling Schumacher's record drivers' championships tally of seven.

Bottas was bidding to win back-to-back races for the first time in his career but a sluggish start off the grid opened the door to Hamilton in Turn One.

However, the Finn, racing in his 150th grand prix, battled back at Turn Two to regain the lead and show the kind of fighting spirit some have accused him of lacking.

Hamilton was back ahead at the start of lap 12, though, Bottas locking up at Turn One with an error that required him to pit and drop further back.

The introduction of the virtual safety car - brought out after Kimi Raikkonen clipped George Williams on his record 324th start - resulted in both Hamilton and Verstappen pitting to further deject Bottas, whose race was run not long after.

Hamilton was cruising to victory but when McLaren's Lando Norris abandoned the race, having also battled issues with his car for much of the afternoon, another safety car was deployed to give some hope to the chasing pack.

Verstappen very nearly smashed into the back of the race leader on the restart with 10 laps to go, but Hamilton duly delivered a lap record of 1:28.487 on 52 of 60 en route to a slice of history.

BOTTAS BLUNDER BEGINS MISERABLE DAY FOR VALTTERI

Inconsistency has been the biggest reason why Bottas has never been able to truly challenge Hamilton for a world title, and that was evident again here as he failed to follow up his win in Russia two weeks ago.

It was Hamilton's pressure that caused Bottas to lock up and throw away the lead he had worked so hard to preserve in the early stages.

Mechanical issues thereafter were unfortunate, though, with Bottas telling BBC Sport: "Unlucky, what can I say.

"During the VSC [virtual safety car] I started to lose power. It never recovered. It was quite a big loss of power."

RAIKKONEN'S LANDMARK RACE REMEMBERED FOR THE WRONG REASONS

Alfa Romeo's Raikkonen broke Rubens Barrichello's record for the most F1 starts ever.

However, he resembled a far more inexperienced driver when clipping the rear of Williams, whose Williams went airborne, and the young Briton had to retire as a result.

Raikkonen was awarded a 10-second penalty but eventually finished 12th.

RENAULT'S LONG-AWAITED PODIUM

While there was a familiar winner, Ricciardo's spot on the final step of the podium was a long overdue one for Renault.

That was the team's first podium since they returned to the sport in 2016.

Moreover, Ricciardo later confirmed that a bet between him and team principal Cyril Abiteboul means the latter has to get a tattoo after the Australian finally claimed a podium berth.

IN THE POINTS

1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) +4.470s
3. Daniel Ricciardo (Renault) +14.613s
4. Sergio Perez (Racing Point) +16.070s
5. Carlos Sainz (McLaren) +21.905s
6. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) +22.766s
7. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) +30.814s
8. Nico Hulkenberg (Racing Point) +32.596s
9. Romain Grosjean (Haas) +39.081s
10. Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo) +40.035s

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Drivers
1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) – 230
2. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) – 161
3. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) – 147
4. Daniel Ricciardo (Renault) - 78
5. Sergio Perez (Racing Point) - 68

Constructors
1. Mercedes – 391
2. Red Bull – 211
3. Racing Point - 120
4. McLaren – 116
5. Renault – 114

WHAT'S NEXT?

Hamilton will get his chance to break Schumacher's record with a 92nd race victory at the Portuguese Grand Prix in two weeks' time.

Tentang Penulis

Liam Blackburn

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