Nobody in Formula One’s 70-year history has won more grand prix than the British driver.
Here, the Livesportcentre runs the rule over the key attributes behind Hamilton’s startling success.
The statistics speak for themselves. Hamilton has 92 victories, one more than Schumacher and 39 clear of the next driver on the list, Sebastian Vettel. Over one lap, Hamilton is the standout leader in the sport. His pole at the Portuguese Grand Prix was the 97th of his career – there is every chance he will reach a landmark century before the end of the year. Hamilton has 29 more poles than Schumacher and 32 more than Ayrton Senna. Staggering.
“Lewis is exceptionally talented, and he does not play games. He will never play dirty. In fact, I think he’s the cleanest guy I ever raced against.” That is the verdict of Jenson Button, the 2009 world champion who partnered Hamilton at McLaren for three seasons. Indeed, it is almost impossible to recall an on-track misdemeanour during Hamilton’s career. The same could not be said of Schumacher or Senna, who were both involved in controversial incidents.
Hamilton has had three world champions as team-mates; Fernando Alonso, Button and Nico Rosberg. Following Rosberg’s retirement, Hamilton was joined by Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes. While steady, the Finn is not a top-level performer and that has aided Hamilton’s run to the past three championships with his fourth in as many seasons set to follow this year. Would Hamilton have as many titles if Rosberg remained in the sport?
Hamilton arrived in Formula One as the most prepared driver in the sport’s history after he was signed by McLaren at the age of 13. He was in a world championship-winning machine from the outset before he moved to Mercedes in 2013 with the manufacturer then going on to dominate F1. Car reliability is much greater in Hamilton’s age than ever before. Indeed, today’s victory marked the 45th race in succession that Hamilton has reached the end of the race. Credit to both man and machine.
Hamilton can boast the impressive record of winning at least one race in each of the 14 seasons he has now contested. The remarkable streak is testament to Hamilton’s hunger, desire and hard work to remain at the top of his game. Speaking ahead of Sunday’s race, he said: “People take for granted the time I allow myself to be focused on being the best I can be, physically in the right shape and also mentally, too. I never do anything that will get in the way or hinder that. Only I know how far or how thinly I can stretch myself, and I have managed to strike a decent balance.”