How Lewis Hamilton made history and what happens next

Mercedes car that’s a class above the field, no real competition and a relentless desire to top the podium… How Lewis Hamilton made history with record-equalling seventh F1 title and what happens next

  • Lewis Hamilton has won a record-equalling seventh Formula One world title
  • Victory at Turkish Grand Prix drew Briton level with Michael Schumacher record
  • Hamilton’s Mercedes has been by some distance the best car in the field in 2020
  • Only his team-mate Valtteri Bottas has come close to causing him any trouble
  • His £40million-a-year contract with Mercedes expires at the end of the season
  • But it’s likely Hamilton will continue to rewrite the Formula One record books 

Lewis Hamilton has secured his seventh world championship with three rounds remaining.

Hamilton finished seventh in Turkey to draw level with Michael Schumacher’s all-time title haul.

Here, the PA news agency looks at how Hamilton marched to his sixth championship in seven remarkable years.

Lewis Hamilton has made history by winning a record-equalling seventh Formula One title

THE MAN

Hamilton’s hunger and consistency set him apart. This is his 14th campaign in the sport, but his desire to win is resolute. He simply refuses to finish anywhere other than first. 

He has won 10 of the 14 races staged in this Covid-disturbed campaign. No other driver in the sport’s history has more victories (94), poles (97) and podiums (163) and after emulating Schumacher’s championship haul he can now become the greatest of all time with title No 8 in 2021. 

Hamilton has interests outside the sport – notably fashion, music and his humanitarian and environmental crusade – but motor racing remains the love of his life. 

He is 36 in January and, for the moment at least, shows few signs of slowing down. 

He is still quick in qualifying, and his crushing race-day performances in Hungary, Spain, Belgium and Imola are proof that he is almost unbeatable.

Hamilton’s relentless desire to finish first and set records has driven him in an unusual year

THE MACHINE

Hamilton’s Mercedes car has been the absolute class of the field this year. 

Until Saturday’s freak qualifying result here in Istanbul, a Silver Arrows has started from pole at every round. 

Mercedes’ DAS (Dual Axis Steering) system has taken them to another level this season, and Hamilton’s car has been virtually bulletproof, too. 

Indeed, you have to go back 47 races for the last time he failed to finish (2018 – Austrian GP) which equates to just one retirement from 81 appearances. 

And, even when Hamilton has run into trouble this year – obtaining a last-lap puncture at the British Grand Prix – he still finished first.

Hamilton guides his Mercedes across the finish line to win Sunday’s Turkish Grand Prix 

THE COMPETITION

Mercedes have been so dominant that Hamilton’s only real competition has arrived in the form of his team-mate, Valtteri Bottas. 

The Finnish driver might be a solid performer but he is not on Hamilton’s level. 

While he has occasionally out-performed Hamilton over one lap, Bottas has won just two races – the opening round in Austria, and in Russia where Hamilton was penalised for an illegal practice start. 

Max Verstappen has been the sport’s other stand-out performer this year, but his Red Bull machinery cannot match Mercedes. 

Ferrari have been Mercedes’ closest challenger in recent seasons, but the under-performing Italian team are in the midst of their worst campaign for a generation.

Hamilton (second left) was one again head and shoulders above the competition in Turkey

THE FUTURE

Hamilton’s £40million-a-year Mercedes contract expires in six weeks, and, despite recent remarks that this season could be his last, it appears inconceivable that he will hang up his crash helmet. 

Formula One’s overhaul of its regulations, which it is hoped will bring the field closer together, has been put on hold for 12 months following the coronavirus pandemic. 

And with team-mate Bottas unlikely to mount a serious championship challenge, that puts Hamilton on pole to become the sport’s most decorated driver next year with his eighth title.

Hamilton and Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas embrace following the race on Sunday



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