Lewis Hamilton talked about his 100th F1 win, saying he had almost given up on it ever coming.
Hamilton became a centurion in F1 history by winning a wild and chaotic Russian GP. The seven-time world champion was in the running for second place after a hard-fought battle from P4.
But, the arrival of a last-minute downpour combined with his years of experience saw him take the win. He overtook McLaren’s Lando Norris, who was on course for his first win of his career, and took his century with aplomb.
After the race, the British Knight suggested that this record was something he didn’t have much hopes for. Hamilton talked about his 100th F1 win, saying he had almost given up on it ever coming.
“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!” Hamilton said with joy, as quoted by the Daily Mail.
“It’s taken a long time to get to hundred 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. 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.”
The gamble that worked
The win came down to a high-stakes call that presented itself before the drivers. Hamilton boxed with mere laps to go when the rain arrived, and made the switch to intermediates. Norris, however, stuck with his non-rain tyres, and dearly paid the price for it.
The young McLaren driver slipped off the track and handed the lead to Hamilton. The Mercedes driver then finished in dominating fashion, way ahead of Max Verstappen, who took second place. Norris ended up in P7, having started on pole.