Another record-breaking weekend for Lewis Hamilton, will anybody be able to stop him?
Going into the Heineken Grande Premio de Portugal over the weekend, Hamilton was looking for yet another record-breaking feat after he matched the record currently held by F1 legend Michael Schumacher in his win at the Eifel Grand Prix, with both drivers emphatically reaching 91 wins.
It didn’t take Lewis long to surpass that record, though, moving one ahead after his win in Portugal, leading him to 92 career wins so far.
Autosport first picked out Hamilton's 10 greatest Formula 1 victories after his 50th success at the 2016 United States Grand Prix. However, after his recent win, have felt it fitting to revisit the list again in order to celebrate the occasion four years on, and they have once again gone back into the history books to reminisce over some of the key victories that have helped lead him to the very top of his career.
The list Autosport put together looked at Hamilton's experience at the time, the machinery at his disposal, the challenges he faced on any given weekend and the nature of his success, and a brief overview of the list is below.
10. 2018 German GP, Hockenheim
Car: Mercedes W09
Most of the greats have at least one blast through the pack to victory on their CV, and this race at Hockenheim was Hamilton's only win from outside the top 10 on the grid. “I knew there was the possibility to win when it started to rain. I didn't make any mistakes at all, so I was really proud of today," said Hamilton.
9. 2013 Hungarian GP, Hungaroring
Car: Mercedes F1 W04
Hamilton's move to Mercedes, following frustrations at McLaren as Sebastian Vettel racked up win after win, seemed bold. Somewhat surprisingly, Hamilton's first win came at a baking hot Hungaroring, when his F1 W04 did not eat its rear rubber as anticipated.
8. 2012 United States GP, Austin
Car: McLaren MP4-27
By the time F1 headed to Austin for the first time, Hamilton was already out of the 2012 title fight and Vettel was well on his way to his third consecutive crown. But Hamilton is often one of the first drivers to get on top of a new circuit and he duly qualified on the front row. "I knew I had to grab my chance, so I turned the engine up to maximum revs and pushed like crazy," said Hamilton.
7. 2011 German GP, Nurburgring
Car: McLaren MP4-26
Another swashbuckling racer's performance helped Hamilton beat Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso at Nurburgring in 2011.
6. 2008 German GP, Hockenheim
Car: McLaren MP4-23
The revised MP4-23 and Hamilton was the quickest combination around Hockenheim in 2008 - as proved by a comfortable pole position - but McLaren's strategy forced him to pull out a great drive.
Hamilton, on lap 60, returned to his rightful place at the front after going down the inside of the Renault at the Spitzkehre hairpin.
5. 2019 Monaco GP, Monte Carlo
Car: Mercedes W10
In the wake of the death of Niki Lauda, who had been so instrumental in persuading Hamilton to join the Silver Arrows, emotions were high at Monaco. He had led from the start and his big attack finally came on lap 76. “I think it was one of the hardest races I've had," said Hamilton. "It was one of the most strategic drives that I think I have ever had to do in terms of finding that balance around the track to try and keep the gap. I definitely touched the barrier a lot of times."
4. 2011 Chinese GP, Shanghai
Car: McLaren MP4-26
Hamilton only just made it out in time to line up third in China after his McLaren initially failed to fire. He then dived down the inside of Jenson Button at the first corner before his third and final stop. Once everyone had pitted, Hamilton thus found himself fourth, but the Brit took the flag more than five seconds clear, and reckoned it was one of his best: "This race is in my top three of race wins, up there with Silverstone and Monaco in 2008."
The top three races as voted by Autosport range from Bahrain, Italy and England.
3. 2014 Bahrain GP, Bahrain
Car: Mercedes F1 W05 Hybrid
The third round of the 2014 season is high on the list because it demonstrates that Hamilton can win even when he isn't the fastest. He outraced teammate Nico Rosberg in a way that helped set the tone for their subsequent battles. "It felt like one of the best-calculated races I've ever had - how I was using my power and how I was positioning my car. He'd catch me down the back straight, still be with me at the last corner and have DRS. So I had to accept he was going to come past. I couldn't come to the inside and then block, I had to get him back. I don't know how I did it all the time."
2. 2018 Italian GP, Monza
Car: Mercedes W09
Hamilton breezed into the lead following a safety car period. At the end of lap 44, he got a run on the Ferrari down the start/finish straight. Kimi Raikkonen defended on the inside, but Hamilton broke later and completed the move around the outside into the first chicane. The Mercedes then raced clear to take the chequered flag 8.7s ahead of Raikkonen."This was Hamilton's victory, because he forced errors and made the vital passes when he had to," said Autosport's report.
1. 2008 British GP, Silverstone
Car: McLaren MP4-23
"It's performances of that calibre that make legends," said Autosport after what remains Hamilton's most dominant performance in Formula 1.
In appalling conditions at his home Grand Prix at Silverstone, Hamilton - in only his second F1 season - put on one of the virtuoso wet-weather drives. He drew away, but faced a new challenge when Heikki Kovalainen spun and Raikkonen's Ferrari moved into second and started closing the gap. The rain returned, playing into Hamilton's hands - new intermediates were better than old ones when water levels increased. Raikkonen was 22s behind just five laps after the stops. And that was the last anyone saw of Hamilton, despite a brief off at Abbey when the rain intensified again.
The result was that Hamilton lapped everyone up to and including Raikkonen in fourth, finishing 1m08.6s ahead of second-placed Nick Heidfeld's BMW Sauber.
"There's every chance that his seventh Grand Prix win could stand as his best," said Edd Straw in Autosport.
Given how successful he has been so far, I have no doubt that Autosport will yet again have to produce another top 10 list of his races to come.
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