TUZLA, Turkey – Lewis Hamilton put together a masterful Turkish Grand Prix, rolling from the sixth starting position to his 94th Formula One victory Sunday at Intercity Istanbul Park.
By doing so, Hamilton locked up his seventh Formula One title to match Michael Schumacher for the most Formula One championships.
The race was run in soggy conditions, with Racing Point’s Lance Stroll starting from the pole for the first time in his career. Stroll would lead the first nine laps as Hamilton, who started sixth, battled in the pack.
The field switched from wet tires to intermediate tires within the first dozen laps, with Stroll cycling back into the lead on lap 13. However, Hamilton and Mercedes had a strategy card up their sleeves.
Stroll was forced to pit for fresh tires on lap 36, leaving his teammate Sergio Perez to try and fend off Hamilton. That didn’t last very long as Hamilton moved around Perez to take the lead on lap 37.
Opting to not pit for fresh tires like most of those behind him had done, Hamilton stayed on track and was able to drive to his 10th victory of the season. That, combined with a disastrous day by his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas that saw him spin six times, allowed Hamilton to officially lock up his seventh Formula One title.
“I know often we, or I say, it’s beyond my wildest dreams, but I think my whole life I secretly have dreamt as high as this,” Hamilton said after the race. “But it always felt so farfetched. I remember Michael (Schumacher) winning those championships, and all of us drivers here are doing the best job we can, and just to get one, two or three is so hard to get. So, to get seven, is just unimaginable.
“But when you work with such a great group of people, and you communicate, and trust one another and listen to one another, there is just no end to what we can do together, this team and I together. And I’m so proud of what we’ve done. And them trusting me out there today like they did, that comes with experience.”
Perez ended up second after a late battle with Charles Leclerc that saw Leclerc take second in his Ferrari, only to give it back in turn 12. The runner-up result matches Perez’s best Formula One finish and was his first podium of the season.
Sebastian Vettel came home in third for Ferrari, giving the four-time Formula One champion his first podium of the year in his final season with Ferrari. Leclerc faded to fourth at the finish, with Carlos Sainz Jr. coming from 15th at the start to finish fifth.
Max Verstappen, Alexander Albon, Lando Norris, Stroll and Daniel Ricciardo completed the top-10.