Lewis Hamilton Puts Michael Schumacher in Rearview Mirror at F1 Portuguese Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton put everyone, including Michael Schumacher in his rear view mirror at the F1 Portuguese Grand Prix in Portugal on Sunday.

Hamilton took the lead for good from teammate Valtteri Bottas on lap 20 of the 66-lap in Portugal. The six-time champion went on to win by a season-best 25.5 seconds over Bottas. Max Verstappen was third, 34.5 seconds back.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was the only other driver to even finish on the lead lap. Leclerc was 1 minute, 5 seconds behind.

The win was the 92nd of Hamilton’s career, topping the record of Michael Schumacher that Hamilton tied two races ago at the Nurburgring. Hamilton is likely just two races away from mathematically clinching his seventh championship.

Hamilton overcame what he described as a cramp in his right calf to extend his leads in the championship to what looks to be a insurmountable 77 points with five races remaining.

“I owe it all to these guys back at the factory for just tremendous work,” Hamilton said. “They’re continuously innovating the pushing the barrier even higher every year. It’s just a privilege working with them and I’m so grateful for all the moments. The reliability has been absolutely incredible.

“No one is sitting back on the success. Everyone is pushing and pushing and pushing. It inspires you.”

The podium finish was a record-extending 161st in Hamilton’s career, which dates back to 2007.

“I could have only ever dreamed to be where I am today,” Hamilton said. “I didn’t have a magic bullet when I chose to come to this team and partner with these great people, but here I am. I can tell you that I’m just trying to make the most of it every single day.”

Hamilton’s 92nd win was his 71st for Mercedes. The other 21 came with McLaren.

“Yeah, 92 race wins,” Mercedes team prinicipal Toto Wolff said. “Who thought that when we embarked on the project in 2013? It’s almost a surreal amount of wins. It’s his absolute passion, energy, everything that he puts into the sport.

“The talent, the ability. He’s just standing out.”

THE CONTRACT

With the record in his pocket and a record-tying seventh drivers’ championship all but clinched, one more bit of unfinished business for Hamilton is a contract extension with Mercedes that has yet to happen.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff knows with every dominating victory, Hamilton’s price tag only goes up.

“It’s huge,” Wolff said. “We have to sell plenty of inventory, sell some buildings, just to come up with the money.”

THE LIST

All-Time Formula 1 Victories

STOCK UP, STOCK DOWN

Sergio Perez, rumored to be in the discussion for 2021 rides at Red Bull or Williams, did nothing to hurt his case to remain in Formula 1 after earlier this finding out that he was being replaced at Racing Point by Sebastian Vettel next year.

Perez was strong all day, racing in the top five much of the race before slipping to seventh on the last lap as tire degradation caught up with his Racing Point machine.

“I’m getting close to knowing what is in the future for me,” Perez said, when asked about 2021. “I don’t see the point to say anything yet. Right now, I don’t see the point to give away any of my negotiations.”

Meanwhile, Perez’s Racing Point teammate Lance Stroll finished out of the points for the fourth consecutive race (including a missed race for illness in Russia) since posting a podium finish at Monza.

This time, Stroll was slapped by stewards with two five-second penalties (one for an on-track incident and one for exceeding track limits) and ultimately was the lone driver to retire early.

Another driver whose stock took a hit on Sunday may have been Red Bull’s Alex Albon. Albon, rumored to be on outs at Red Bull, finished a quiet 12th and was never really a factor for the points in Portugal. Teammate Max Verstappen finished a solid third.

THE RESULTS

Portuguese Grand Prix

THE POINTS

F1 Drivers Championship following the Portuguese Grand Prix with five races remaing (26 points maximum possible for a single race).

So, does this win make Lewis Hamilton the greatest of all time? Or do you still like Schumacher (or even Senna)? Jump into the Hamilton discussion in the comments section below.

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