Lewis Hamilton has won his fourth consecutive and seventh overall Drivers' Championship, equalling Michael Schumacher’s record for most F1 titles in the process.
“It was far beyond my wildest dreams thinking that we’d get to seven,” said Hamilton, when reflecting on the possibility of matching the German's record.
He won his first world title with McLaren in 2008, but did not win another until 2014, his second season with Mercedes.
The rest, however, is history.
Since signing with Mercedes, the British icon has dominated the sport, now winning six of the last seven F1 titles. After an already record-breaking season, where he broke Schumacher’s record of 92 race wins, he’s done it again by equalling the Ferrari legend’s title record.
Hamilton came into the Turkish Grand Prix 85 points above his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas. The only chance Bottas had of keeping his slim title challenge alive was to score eight more points than Hamilton, but that looked very unlikely after just the first lap after the Finn spun off during the opening stages of the race, dropping all the way down to 16th in the process.
The now seven-time champion has clinched the title with three races to spare, and even if he didn’t seal his triumph in Istanbul, it was inevitable that he would have secured the crown sooner rather than later.
Despite the win, Hamilton is still more proud of his campaign for equality than his latest crown.
When speaking to the press in Istanbul, he said: “Winning a world championship is very much a personal thing... and that doesn't necessarily impact people's lives.
"Something I'm much prouder of is trying to improve conditions for people around the world... that's the most important thing for me.
"What's important with the journey this year is it's been combined with the fight for equality and a real growing process of learning what's happening around the world and being a little bit more aware of surroundings and starting to see progress with that.”
Hamilton continues to be a voice for change, as well as an inspiration to many with regards to his humanitarian efforts and sporting achievements.
When Schumacher clinched his seventh title in 2004, many questioned whether anyone would come close to re-writing history. There have been many standout drivers since, including Sebastian Vettel’s four consecutive titles between 2010 and 2013, but it was Hamilton who would break boundaries as a person of colour to equal a record many thought would stand for a long period of time.
Despite rumours still circulating on whether Hamilton will re-sign with Mercedes, we know one thing’s for sure: No matter who he’s driving for, he’ll be gunning for that record-breaking eighth title in 2021.
- F1 announces full calendar for next season
- F1 salary caps could impact Hamilton negotiations
- Hamilton deserves a knighthood, claims David Coulthard