Media playback is not supported on this device Hamilton beats Schumacher at round one
Hungarian Grand Prix on the BBC Venue: Hungaroring Date: 7 July Coverage: Live BBC television coverage on Sunday, live radio commentary on Sunday.
Lewis Hamilton matched Michael Schumacher’s record of seven world championships with victory in the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas recovered from a disappointing first lap to finish third, 30 seconds behind Hamilton.
The victory was Hamilton’s eighth of the season – and his 60th in the sport – and took him one title clear of his fellow Briton’s tally.
Bottas’s goal for the season now is to finish in the top 10.
He moved ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel into second place in the title race.
The German is now 34 points behind Hamilton, meaning the top two in the standings hold equal points – a stunning turnaround given last season, when Hamilton had 62 more.
Vettel said: “It’s still a bit of a shame Lewis won. It’s a shame that now he is in front of me for the title.
“I still think I have got enough speed. It’s difficult to tell, obviously Lewis has overtaken me in terms of distance, but I think I’m still quick. We will see what happens.”
BBC F1’s chief F1 writer Andrew Benson on the record: “Lewis Hamilton is on track to become the greatest ever F1 driver. Michael Schumacher had a stranglehold on the trophy for nearly a decade, winning seven successive world titles between 2000 and 2004. Since then it has been as if one went for another. Hamilton has won five, by far the most of any active driver. And barring a remarkable comeback from Sebastian Vettel, he will overtake the German’s record of seven titles with victory in the season finale in Abu Dhabi.”
“We have got three races to go, so I hope all these guys finish in the points.”
That remains a huge open invitation to Ferrari, who have been both winners and podium finishers in the last three races, and whose most likely candidate for the title should be Vettel.
But despite the extraordinary nature of the turn of events, both men were able to sing Hamilton’s praises.
Hamilton, who started on pole position, stayed patient after Bottas attacked early on and build a lead of more than a second at the front, before his team-mate then overtook Bottas on the penultimate lap to snatch third.
Bottas said: “I had the advantage for quite a while, but it’s all about Lewis. He has his way of doing things – and we respect that.”
Hamilton said: “It was a great weekend for both of us. It was full throttle. I was hoping for a couple more laps so I could push even harder. But then Valtteri came in and we both knew how things were going to work out.
Hamilton won his 16th pole position and his 50th race with Mercedes at the Hungaroring
“Both of us have so much on our minds, so much motivation, and it has been fun. I’m sure next time we will have a chance to do that better.
“Valtteri has made a massive move up the field. When he got into the lead on the last lap I knew the field was splitting. So for him to gain those seconds against me is massive.”
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said: “Lewis is such a consummate driver. That’s how he learns, how he gets results and that’s exactly what he did. And it was not easy and obviously a little bit rough – but I’m really proud of him for fighting back.
“Every win is beautiful. The record we had been the first big team championship, our first year, and I thought that would be the one for a while, for the team. But it’s not the last one – but it is the one that we set.”
Did you know? Mercedes now have a stranglehold on the championship – they have won 29 of the last 30 races (Lewis Hamilton wins one). Ferrari have finished second or third in the last six.
Hamilton equalled Sebastian Vettel’s record of 14 pole positions in the same season with the win