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Opinion

Turkish delight for Lewis Hamilton, champion of the world

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Roar Guru
15th November, 2020
3

This year’s championship may have been a foregone conclusion for months but it can now be officially said that Lewis Hamilton is a seven-time world champion.

Hamilton secured his record-equalling seventh title with victory in the Turkish Grand Prix, although any hopes of Valtteri Bottas keeping the title fight mathematically alive were quickly extinguished when the Finn spun at the first corner on the opening lap of the race.

It was one of Hamilton’s harder fought victories, starting from sixth on the grid after a difficult qualifying before being unable to find a way past Sebastian Vettel in the early stages of the race.

Meanwhile, Lance Stroll was leading comfortably, having got away from the starting grid with relative ease, compared to Max Verstappen, who was painfully slow off the line from second place on the grid.

The house of cards may have been beautifully set up for the Canadian but, after the opening round of pit stops, it began to tumble down.

No longer was Stroll comfortable in the lead, with Perez closing the gap to his teammate, who was complaining of understeer.

Once Stroll had pitted for a second time, hopes of a maiden race win to go with his maiden pole position from yesterday faded fast.

Hamilton and Perez ultimately finishing the race on a one-stop strategy didn’t help Stroll, neither did being unable to fend off overtakes from the likes of Sebastian Vettel and Alexander Albon, which dropped the Canadian further down the order.

Lewis Hamilton

(Photo by Mario Renzi – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

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From the lofty heights of a ten-second lead on lap 13, Stroll finished over a minute behind race winner Hamilton in ninth position.

Max Verstappen was also unable to capitalise on his opportunities with his chances ending in a moment of madness on lap 18 when trying to overtake Perez through turn 11, a move which was never on the table, resulting in the Dutchman spinning across the back straight as his car was unsettled by the turbulent wake thrown up by Perez’s car.

As Vettel made a second stop and Albon went for a spin on lap 34, Hamilton was left in the box seat for the win, completing a 50-lap stint on the intermediates as he was assured by race engineer Pete Bonnington that they would be safe to run on until the end of the race.

Perez just about managed to hang on to second place as Charles Leclerc was unable to complete a diving move down the inside of the Mexican at turn 12 on the final lap.

Vettel was able to profit from Leclerc going deep into the corner as a result by taking third place away from his teammate to finish on the podium for the first time since last year’s Mexican Grand Prix.

The German also picked up the Driver of the Day award to cap off a fantastic performance from 11th on the grid, including making up eight positions on the opening lap to be in contention for the podium for the rest of the race.

But yesterday was Lewis Hamilton’s day, a rare day both in the way he had to achieve victory and also in that this is only the second time in Formula One history that a driver has won a seventh world championship.

Michael Schumacher said records are there to be broken, something Hamilton has done with flying colours.

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