Hamilton hails team after landmark Sochi win

27 September 2021 04:26:10 GMTPlus11
Hamilton was victorious in Sochi

Lewis Hamilton paid tribute to his Mercedes team as he roared back to the top of the Formula 1 leaderboard with a last-gasp victory in the Russian Grand Prix to secure his 100th race win.

The world champion became the first driver to win 100 Grands Prix and he's 4/6 to claim a record-breaking eighth world title at the end of the season. Title rival Max Verstappen is 6/5.

The team made such a good call at the end.

Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton looked to be beaten as things reached a conclusion in Russia but the race was turned on its head as a downpour caused race leader Lando Norris to spin out with just five laps remaining after he opted not to switch tyres.

Pivotal decision

It was enough to let the Briton in and he made the most of his opportunity after Mercedes had directed him to pit for treaded intermediate tyres - a decision which ultimately paid off in stunning fashion.

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Speaking afterwards, Hamilton thanked the fans and his Mercedes team.

He said: "I want to start with thanking the fans - we have such a great crowd here. I know it's not been the best of weather but what a race it provided!

"It's taken a long time to get to 100 wins. I wasn't even sure it would come. The team made such a good call at the end. I didn't want to let Lando go.

"I'm incredibly grateful to all these men and women here and back in the factory. Wow, 100."

Qualifying issues

Hamilton was determined to put things right after some issues in qualifying.

He added: "Going to bed last night, with the job that I did yesterday, there were subtle little mistakes. I was so determined to do the best job I could. It was tough.

Verstappen came from last on the grid to finish second in his Red Bull, ahead of Carlos Sainz Jnr's Ferrari, who was third. Daniel Ricciardo was fourth for McLaren, Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas was fifth, ahead of Alpine's Fernando Alonso in sixth.

There is a two-week gap now until the Turkish Grand Prix.

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