To win the Formula One championship at Istanbul Park, the Mercedes driver needed to finish ahead of teammate Valtteri Bottas, and he handled it with ease in often treacherous conditions, claiming a fourth title in a row, winning the race after starting sixth.
If he stays in the sport, many expect Hamilton to add to his roster of world titles. But whatever he achieves in the coming years, his place in the F1 pantheon is assured.
“For all the kids who dream the impossible, you can do it too – I believe in you guys,” Hamilton said over the radio after crossing the finish line on his 94th Grand Prix win.
It was a brilliant drive from one of the greatest men of all time. After unsuccessful training and qualifying sessions this weekend, questions have been raised as to whether Hamilton can win in Turkey. In wet conditions, it was Hamilton who made the decisive tire choice, which ultimately proved decisive when the Mercedes driver took control mid-race.
After the win, Hamilton hugged his team and tearfully told Sky Sports that he was “at a loss for words”.
“I have to start by saying a huge thank you to all the guys that are here and to all the guys that came back to the factory… I couldn’t have done it if I hadn’t joined this team and the journey we have been on has been monumental “, – he said.
“I want to say a big thank you to the LH team for being with me all these years and to my family. We dreamed about it when I was young and it’s far, far beyond our dreams.”
Hamilton, who set a record that many considered untouchable when Schumacher won his seventh title in 2004, received congratulations from his fellow drivers, sports stars from around the world and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Racing Point’s Sergio Perez finished second, more than 31 seconds behind Hamilton, while Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was third. Finishing 14th, Bottas – the only person who could deny Hamilton the title – conceded to his teammate and finished without points.
Bottas’ performance behind the wheel of the same Mercedes vehicle showed just how talented Hamilton is. No one came close to challenging the world champion during this shortened season and he took the title with three races to go, winning four races in a row and 10 out of 14 races this year.
No driver has been as successful on the track as Hamilton, and no F1 world champion has used his height as much as Hamilton, the sport’s first and only black world champion in its 70-year history.
The 35-year-old has long been the face of his sport – his dominance and fearless nature has made him arguably the most recognizable British athlete on the planet – but especially in 2020, he has emerged as one of Britain’s leading athletes. voices supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and therefore his athletic voice too.
Ahead of the Turkish Grand Prix, Hamilton said the equal rights campaign made him “much more proud” than the prospect of a seventh world title.
But as the checkered flag waved, it became clear how much this title meant to this once-in-a-generation talent.
“Probably all my life I secretly dreamed about this, but it seemed so far-fetched. Seven is just unimaginable,” said Hamilton on the podium.
“I feel like I’m just getting started, it’s really weird. I feel in excellent physical shape and mentally, this year has been the most difficult for probably millions of people.
“I know that from here on the big stage, everything always looks great, (but) for us athletes, this is no exception. It was a test, I didn’t know how to deal with it. I managed to keep my head above the water and stay focused. … “