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Hamilton takes Turkish GP to claim record-equaling 7th world title

Published : 15 Nov 2020, 17:43

  DF News Desk

British Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes-AMG Petronas celebrates after winning the race and the 7th Formula One Championship at the 2020 Formula One Grand of Turkey at the Intercity Istanbul Park circuit, Istanbul, Turkey, 15 November 2020. Photo: EFE/EPA.

Lewis Hamilton won his seventh Formula One world championship on Sunday following a stellar performance to claim victory in the Turkish Grand Prix, reported EFE-EPA.

The Mercedes driver made the top of the podium after starting sixth on the grid at the Istanbul Park, braving the challenging wet conditions that have dogged the circuit all weekend.

Hamilton has now equaled Michael Schumacher’s all-time world championship record in addition to extending the record for individual race wins, which he holds, to 94.

“I am definitely a bit lost for words,” a teary Hamilton told F1 media after the race. “I dreamed of this when I was young.”

“It's so important for kids out there to see this and know to not listen to anybody who tells you that you can't achieve something. Dream the impossible and speak it into existence."

“My whole life I've secretly dreamt as high as this. I remember watching Michael winning those championships. We always hear just to get one or two or even three is so hard to get, seven is just so unimaginable.”

The ever-changing weather meant ever-changing tires for most of the drivers out on the recently resurfaced circuit, but Hamilton overrode his team when called to pit a second time and decided to hold steady with his set of intermediates.

His teammate Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas, the only driver who could have mathematically prevented Hamilton from claiming the championship today, struggled to get grip on the circuit. He spun four times during the race and was lapped by Hamilton.

Racing Point’s Sergio Perez came in second place and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel completed the podium.

The German passed his teammate Charles Leclerc in the dying seconds after the Monegasque's Ferrari locked up following a late attack on Perez in a last-gasp bid to snatch second.

After the race, Vettel said: “I saw that Charles was quite close to Sergio and I heard that Sergio was struggling with his tires.

“As soon as I saw Charles locking up I thought it was an opportunity for me.”

It was a deflating race for Racing Point’s Lance Stroll who, having started from pole for the first time in his career, tumbled from second to ninth after a late pit stop.

Leclerc finished in fourth followed by the McLaren of Carlos Sainz. Max Verstappen, who struggled to keep control of his Red Bull at times finished in sixth followed by teammate Alexander Albon, who is fighting to keep his seat next year.

The other McLaren of Lando Norris crossed the line in eighth place and Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo completed the points behind Stroll.

Hamilton has 307 points in the driver standings, ahead of Bottas with 197.

The 2020 Formula One season heads over to Bahrain in two weeks with just three races, all in the Gulf, left on the calendar.