It has been a Formula One season unlike any other. It started with coronavirus wrecking chaos on the season’s schedule, and it’s continuing with Lewis Hamilton’s run of record-breaking achievements. When Hamilton crossed the finish line at the Turkish GP, he officially tied with Michael Schumacher, winning his seventh Formula One World Championship.
Hamilton began the race in the sixth position before gliding into first place after an arduous qualifying session that saw the Mercedes team qualify in their worst result in recent years, coming in at the sixth and ninth positions. Hamilton won his 94th Formula One race in wet conditions at Istanbul, after Racing Point’s Lance Stroll took pole position during Saturday’s qualifying. The race was far from an easy one for the English driver, with Hamilton sitting in the sixth position for most of the first half of the race, before taking the lead after lap 36.
With three races remaining of the season, Hamilton has already clinched the world championship after an impressive ten wins, taking a 110 point lead over his nearest competition. Statistically, Hamilton is now the most successful Formula One driver of all time, and also has more pole positions than any other F1 driver. Lewis Hamilton won his first World Championship with McLaren in 2008 before winning every World Championship since 2014 except for 2016 when his fellow Mercedes driver, Nico Rosberg, won.
Speaking after his historic win, Hamilton thanked his family and recalled watching Michael Schumacher’s World Championship wins, saying that “we dreamed of this when we were young, watching the Grand Prix, and this is way, way beyond our dreams”. Lewis then turned his attention to the next generation of F1 drivers, saying that “it’s so important for kids - dream the impossible. You’ve got to work for it, chase it, and never give up or doubt yourself”.
The driver took to his social media channels after the race, renewing his call for Formula One to become a more diverse and inclusive sport and promising to continue his work of bringing attention to the Black Lives Matter movement.
In the wake of his World Championship win, MPs are calling for Hamilton to receive a knighthood in recognition of his “tremendous sporting achievements”. Hamilton has not yet signed his contract for next season, although Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has indicated that conversations about his new contract would start in the coming days. Wolff stated that his relationship with the record-breaking driver was “one of friendship, one of trust”.
Michael Schumacher famously said, “records are there to be beaten”, which Hamilton has proven this F1 season. After succeeding Schumacher’s record for most race-wins and tying with him for World Championship wins, Lewis Hamilton has secured his place in Formula One history as its most successful driver at the age of 35. With more pole positions, podium finishes, career points, wins and now the joint world-record for World Championships, Hamilton has broken through the glass ceiling of Formula One.