PORTIMAO, Portugal — British driver Lewis Hamilton made Formula One history on Sunday, winning the Portuguese Grand Prix for a 92nd career victory to move one ahead of German great Michael Schumacher.
Hamilton finished nearly 25.6 seconds ahead of Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas and 34.5 clear of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen for his eighth win of another dominant season. He also took an extra point for the fastest lap to extend his huge championship lead to 77 points over Bottas with just five races left.
Hamilton won his first F1 race in 2007 and first title the following year. But his career really took off when he replaced the retired Schumacher at Mercedes in 2013. Hamilton has added five F1 titles and the runaway championship leader is now odds-on to equal Schumacher’s record of seven.
“I could only ever have dreamed of being where I am today,” an emotional Hamilton said. “It’s going to take some time to fully sink in. I can’t find the words at the moment.”
Shortly after crossing the line and celebrating with the team’s mechanics and engineers, Hamilton paused to share a long hug with his father, Anthony Hamilton, who then filmed the scene on his iPad as Hamilton celebrated on the podium while the crowd cheered him loudly.
Then it was time for the traditional Champagne spraying, although Verstappen and Bottas had the last word this time, as Verstappen poured the bottle over Hamilton’s head and Bottas sprayed him good-naturedly in the face with his.
Hamilton took a record-extending 97th career pole position, starting ahead of Bottas and Verstappen on a track being used for the first time in F1.
McLaren’s Carlos Sainz Jr. briefly held the race lead and then Bottas led until Hamilton passed him on Lap 20.
After that he coasted to the finish line and into the record books.
The only thing that did trouble him was a bout of cramp in his right calf muscle, but that did little to deter him.