By Charles Ike-Okoh
MON, 16 NOV, 2020-theGBJournal– Lewis Hamilton not only won the Turkish Grand Prix. He won from sixth on the grid with the oldest set of intermediate tyres- turned slick in the end. It was his 10th victory of the season, a season squeezed by the coronavirus pandemic.
Nobody saw that coming, except perhaps only a soothsayer, given his grid position and in a car that refused to switch-on its tyres throughout the weekend.
The resurfaced track was treacherous and tricky to drive. Drivers either tip-toeing around or aquaplaning, tyres transformed from full wet to intermediate to slick as the track dried in patches.
Lap 30, the drag reduction system (DRS) was enabled.
Then it began to happen for him. On lap 37 he took the lead for the first time from the young Canadian driver, Lance Stroll, who driving the race of his life for Racing Point F1 haven started on pole.
Hamilton called the strategy from then on, driving like the maestro he is, nursing his old set of tyres beautifully, even refusing to take on a new set of intermediates despite the team’s call.
When he eventually crossed the line at the end of the 58 lap race, he did 31.633s ahead of Sergio Perez in the other Racing Point.
Sebastian Vettel joined them on the podium in third place.
The win helped cement his place as one of the greatest F1 drivers in history.
Lewis, as predicted by pundits at the beginning of the season, has now equalled and passed Michael Schumacher’s 91 race wins. He has 94 race wins overall.
Second, he has helped Mercedes become the outright consecutive constructors’ champions, ahead of Ferrari.
Third, he surpassed Schumacher’s 221 times finishing on point scoring position.
Fourth, he overtook Aryton Senna as driver who led every lap of a race and won. Senna led 19 of his 41 Grand Prix victories.
Fifth, he topped Schumacher as the all-time podium finisher. Hamilton has achieved 163 podiums. Schumacher achieved 155 podiums from 308 starts.
Sixth, he holds the most consecutive race starts with 264 race starts.
Seventh, he holds the most consecutive race finishes record.
Eight, he is the driver with the most pole positions with 97
Ninth, he has clocked 53 fastest laps over all, more than any driver in F1 history.
And he has scored 3, 738 career points.
Next stop is Bahrain Grand Prix (November 26-29) where he could still stretch the records further.
‘’We dreamed of this when we were young and when I was young, when we were watching the Grand Prix, and this is way, way beyond our dreams,’’ he said after his record breaking win at Istanbul Park Sunday.