Lewis Hamilton believes he can go on to even greater heights having surpassed Michael Schumacher’s record of Formula One race victories after his win at the Portuguese Grand Prix. The British driver took a commanding victory at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve and is also now within touching distance of Schumacher’s record of seven world championships.
Hamilton won in Portimão despite having lost the lead in the opening laps but came back with a masterful display, taking the flag 25 seconds from his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas. The British driver was ultimately in a league of his own in Portugal and enjoyed an emotional celebration of his 92nd win as he finally surpassed Schumacher as the most successful F1 driver across race victories.
The world champion praised his Mercedes team, and insisted he and they were eager for more. “I don’t believe in the saying ‘the sky is the limit’,” he said. “It depends how much we want it, how much we want to continue to raise the bar and going by our history together, the way we work, we don’t sit back on our results, we keep working, we keep elevating. Every race feels like the first one. I don’t know how this is possible after all these races but it does.”
Hamilton now leads Bottas by 77 points in the world championship. If he is 78 points ahead after the Turkish Grand Prix, which takes place after the next round at Imola, he will secure his seventh title.
The Briton has yet to sign a new contract with Mercedes but is clearly motivated to continue. He has enthusiastically embraced the anti-racism cause and has been a driving force in pushing F1 and Mercedes to push for greater diversity. Initiatives which have only left him enthused to continue in F1.
“We are having to utilise our position as a business, as a leader in the business for inclusivity, for diversity, there is a lot of work to do, that keeps me inspired,” he said. “It keeps my teammates continuously growing, my fans learning through this process with us all and our sport is slowly changing. It’s a real special time. I definitely wonder, well I am 35 years old. I still feel physically strong but of course you wonder when is it going to tip over and you start losing performance but going by today it is not yet.”
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who was third, believes Hamilton will go well past Schumacher’s records. “It’s an incredible achievement 92 victories and he will go to over 100,” he said. “It’s incredible, he looks like he will also get seven world titles as well which is very impressive.”