Yesterday (25th October 2020) a record was broken, a once in a generation record.
Lewis Hamilton crossed the line at the Portimao Circuit in Portugal to win his 92nd Formula 1 Race.
The previous record of 91 race wins, set by another legend Michael Schumacher; was achieved on his 247th race start at the 2006 Chinese GP.
Fast forward 14 years later, a new record has been set by Lewis Hamilton. It has taken the British driver 14 years, 2 teams and many ups and downs but he has reached the unprecedented number of 92 wins.
Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton, from Stevenage UK arrived into the Formula 1 World under the wing of Ron Dennis at Mclaren in 2007. Almost instantly the Formula 1 world took notice of the impressive rookie, driving the Mclaren MP4-22 in his distinct Ayrton Senna inspired helmet.
Lewis finished 3rd on his debut at the opening round of the 2007 season, becoming the 13th driver to achieve a podium at their first race. It became clear that Lewis was special, he would finish 2nd in his next 4 races, putting himself firmly in the Championship hunt.
1 of 92 … Canada
Lewis started chasing down Michael Schumacher’s record in Canada. He would go on to win another 4 races that season, finishing agonisingly close to his first Driver’s Championship.
Lewis finished in 2nd behind eventual Champion Kimi Raikonen.
A debut season that set the tone for the dominance to come.
The first of 6 Drivers titles arrived for Lewis in 2008, he added 5 more wins to his tally in his first title winning season. A season and championship that was decided on the last corner, on the last lap of the last race.
Winning the WDC in 2008 came at a price for Mclaren and Hamilton. The 2008 season was such a tight Championship that Mclaren were not able to focus on the 2009 car as much as they wanted, as a result he was only able to win 2 races in 2009 season finishing 5th in the Drivers Championship.
Lewis and Mclaren would not win another Drivers Title together, however he did win a total of 21 races with the team before moving to Mercedes in 2013.
The Hamilton/Mercedes Dominance began in very low key fashion. With only 1 win in 2013 many people within Formula 1 wondered if Lewis had made a mistake.
The answer was given in 2014, when Lewis won 11 races and his 2nd Drivers Title, adding his 3rd the following year with another 10 race wins.
In 2016 Lewis would lose out to the World Drivers Championship to his former friend and team mate Nico Rosberg, however he was still able to add another 10 races to his win list.
2017 saw a new Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes partnered with talented Finnish driver Valterri Bottas, replacing the now retired Nico Rosberg.
Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton would dominate the next 3 years with a total of 37 wins and 3 more Drivers Titles for Lewis.
92 and Counting
Lewis Hamilton is something of an enigma within Formula 1. In all my years of following the sport I have never seen a driver divide opinion as much as Lewis, now is not the time to discuss that topic. It is time to absorb what we have just witnessed.
This is a record that few thought we would ever see broken and certinly not in the manner that has just occurred.
Lewis is a legend of the sport, the type of driver that not only trancends a generation but helps to define it.
The next question is what will his final number be?