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Mercedes’ Hamilton wins 100th F1 Grand Prix


Lewis Hamilton, the seven-time world champion, also took the championship lead by two points from Max Verstappen, who finished second.

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton, centre, celebrates on the podium after winning the race alongside second place Red Bull's Max Verstappen and third place Ferrari's Carlos Sainz Jr, Sochi, Russia, on September 26, 2021.
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, centre, celebrates on the podium after winning the race alongside second place Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and third place Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr, Sochi, Russia, on September 26, 2021.
(AP)

Lewis Hamilton has become the first Formula One driver to win 100 races with victory in the Russian Grand Prix to retake the championship lead from Max Verstappen.

Hamilton dropped to seventh place when he was boxed in at the first corner but fought back and passed Lando Norris for the win when the McLaren driver stayed out on slick tires in late rain and slid off the track.

“It’s taken a long time to get to 100 and at times, I wasn’t sure it would come,” Hamilton said. It was Hamilton’s fifth win of the season and his first since the British Grand Prix in July.

Hamilton turned Verstappen’s five-point championship lead into a two-point lead of his own as the Dutch driver finished second after a dramatic drive from last on the grid. Carlos Sainz was third for Ferrari.

Verstappen started last after a penalty for an engine change in his Red Bull but sliced through the field and had Hamilton in sight by the halfway stage. Hamilton’s Mercedes worked better on the hard tires in the second half of the race and Verstappen’s charge seemed to have stalled when he was overtaken by the Alpine of Fernando Alonso and stuck in seventh.

But then the rain came and Verstappen switched to intermediate tires early, allowing him to claim an unexpected podium finish and limit the damage to his hopes of a first title.

READ MORE: Verstappen claims Belgian Grand Prix pole, Russell in second

“We didn’t lose so many points today, so that’s really, really good,” Verstappen told his team over the radio.

Norris trailed in seventh after his gamble to stay on dry tires against the advice of his team failed. If not for the rain, Hamilton said, “it would have been tough to get past Lando. He had great pace.” Norris had been aiming to give McLaren back-to-back wins after Daniel Ricciardo took victory at the last race in Italy when Hamilton and Verstappen collided.

Hamilton has now won the Russian Grand Prix on five of eight occasions, and his victory Sunday continues a clean sweep of victories in Russia for Mercedes cars.

READ MORE:
Hamilton clinches British Grand Prix after Verstappen crash

Source: AP





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