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Hamilton matches Schumacher's seven titles with incredible Turkey win

16/11/20

The Briton couldn't be stopped despite starting sixth.

Lewis Hamilton clinched a record-equalling seventh Formula 1® drivers' title by winning an enthralling Turkish Grand Prix in wet conditions on Sunday.

Mercedes driver Hamilton started sixth needed to avoid surrendering eight points to Valtteri Bottas in order to wrap up the title after lapping the Finn, who spun on the first corner and could only finish 14th.

Hamilton now sits level with Michael Schumacher for the most championship successes and surpassed the Ferrari great's record for most wins with a single team by topping the podium with Mercedes for a 73rd time.

Racing Point's decision to pit pole-sitter Lance Stroll for fresh intermediate tyres on a drying track proved costly and they had to settle for a podium via Sergio Perez, who was second ahead of Sebastian Vettel.

The drivers complained about a lack of grip on the newly-laid track following rainfall during qualifying and they found themselves starting in similar conditions on Sunday.

Bottas needed a good drive to keep the title race alive but his chances took a significant hit when he went off at turn one and Hamilton managed to get up to third.

Hamilton's Mercedes struggled on the wet tyres, though, and a lock-up into turn 10 saw him let Vettel, Max Verstappen and Alex Albon through and slip to sixth by the end of a thrilling opening lap.

The Briton botched an attempt to overtake Vettel for fourth at turn 11 on lap 16 and let Albon through, and the Red Bull driver quickly got past the Ferrari too.

Albon was soon behind the Racing Point duo after Verstappen's attempt to get past Perez at turn 11 resulted in him spinning out, getting a flat spot on his tyres and having to pit for fresh ones.

Vettel began to find more pace towards the midway point but his slow pit stop and Albon losing control at turn four enabled Hamilton to get up to third.

Stroll was given a set new set of intermediates on lap 37 despite initially protesting and it proved to be the wrong decision with the track continuing to dry.

Hamilton and Perez stayed out and the Mercedes driver used DRS to overtake the Racing Point into turn 11 and his tyres held out by effectively deteriorating into slicks.

Mercedes wanted to pit Hamilton with two laps remaining amid the threat of rain but he opted to stay out and was able to wrap yet another title by winning a breathtaking race.

LATE DRAMA

The final few corners saw a late shift as Vettel ended a run of 16 straight races without a podium.

Charles Leclerc surged past Perez but was unable to make it stick as he ran wide, with Vettel also going through to send the Monegasque down to fourth.

Perez is without a team for next season and his performance sent a message to Red Bull, who saw Verstappen and Albon finish sixth and seventh respectively in the team's 300th grand prix.

STROLL'S CHANCE EVAPORATES

After questioning why his team wanted to give him fresh inters, Stroll pitted from the lead for them on lap 37 and returned to the race in fourth.

He immediately complained they were graining up and started to slide back through the field, as he went from leading the race by over eight seconds to finishing ninth.

BOTCHED BY BOTTAS

The title race was by no means over when Bottas spun at turn one, but he had another off before the opening lap had been completed.

The Finn ended up spinning five times in the race before being lapped by Hamilton to end what was a dismal day.

IN THE POINTS

  1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
  2. Sergio Perez (Racing Point) +31.633s
  3. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) +31.960s
  4. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) +33.858s
  5. Carlos Sainz (McLaren) +34.363s
  6. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) +44.873s
  7. Alex Albon (Red Bull) +46.484s
  8. Lando Norris (McLaren) +61.259s
  9. Lance Stroll (Racing Point) +72.353s
  10. Daniel Ricciardo (Renault) +95.460s
CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
Drivers
  1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) – 307
  2. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) – 197
  3. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) – 170
  4. Sergio Perez (Racing Point) – 100
  5. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) – 97
Constructors
  1. Mercedes – 504
  2. Red Bull – 240
  3. Racing Point – 154 (after 15-point deduction)
  4. McLaren – 149
  5. Renault – 136
WHAT'S NEXT?

The drivers have a weekend off before the season concludes with three races in as many weeks, starting with the Bahrain Grand Prix – the first of a double-header at Sakhir.