Lewis Hamilton set new milestone challenge which Max Verstappen may never beat
Lewis Hamilton has been challenged to reach a new milestone after notching the 100th Grand Prix win of his career in Russia on Sunday. Hamilton, 36, became the first driver to bring up a century of F1 wins following a dramatic afternoon in Sochi, which saw the Mercedes man overtake McLaren’s Lando Norris after heavy rain caused chaos in the final few laps.
Despite the change of conditions, Norris opted to stay out on slick tyres while Hamilton chose to head into the pits for intermediates. The gamble backfired for the 21-year-old, who was barely able to stay on the track as Hamilton passed him, and he eventually had to pit himself before finishing seventh.
It let Hamilton in for his history-making win, and now F1 managing director Ross Brawn has set him a new target to reach.
“It’s a milestone no one thought anyone would ever reach,” Brawn wrote in his post-race column on the official F1 website.
“Michael’s (Schumacher) tally of 91 was so far ahead of what anyone else had ever done at that point that it never seemed conceivable that anyone would get near it. But then Lewis beat it – and now Lewis has 100 wins. There is nothing stopping him.
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“It’s a measure of a world champion in a world championship team, that little glitches – such as Lewis hitting the wall in qualifying – look glaring because you make them so infrequently,” he added.
“Mercedes and Lewis weren’t on it in qualifying, at a track where they were expected to dominate given recent history. Friday practice showed they were much quicker on the long runs. It was all there for them to take advantage. So the fact it didn’t go to plan shows that this is not a slam dunk for them.
“They’re going to have to fight hard all the way to the end if they are going to win the championship.”
Indeed, Hamilton now sits just two points clear of Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with seven rounds remaining.
Arguably though, it was the Red Bull driver who had the best result in Sochi, finishing second despite starting at the back of the grid.
The 23-year-old also benefitted from the change of conditions, being one of the first to pit and surging from seventh place onto the podium.
It leaves the title race perfectly poised with seven rounds to go, with the Turkish Grand Prix next on Sunday, October 10.
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