BREAKING: Hamilton equals Schumacher's race win record at Eifel GP!

11-10-2020 14:41 | Updated: 11-10-2020 14:49
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BREAKING: Hamilton equals Schumacher's race win record at Eifel GP!

Lewis Hamilton equalled Michael Schumacher 91 race win record in Formula 1 as he took victory in the Eifel Grand Prix at the Nurburgring. Hamilton and second placed Max Verstappen benefitted by pitting under the Virtual Safety Car, getting ahead of polesitter Valtteri Bottas, who retired soon after with MGU-H issues.

Daniel Ricciardo joined Hamilton and Bottas on the podium, claiming his first top three finish since winning the Monaco GP in 2018.

Hamilton and Schumacher are now level for race wins, with the Brit looking to equal Schumacher’s record of seven world championships later this year.

Hamilton got the better getaway of the Mercedes pair and he forced Bottas wide at Turn 1, but the Finn got a strong exit to retake the lead down the inside at Turn 2.

Daniel Ricciardo started strongly, getting the better of Alex Albon and moving up into fifth.

Bottas immediately looked to set a gap to Hamilton behind, setting the fastest lap as he escaped the one-second DRS window.

Charles Leclerc’s lack of pace in the Ferrari was visible straight away, and Ricciardo looked to attack the Monegasque.

On Lap 9, the Renault finally made the move stick, performing a perfect switchback on the exit of Turn 1.

Leclerc was then under pressure from Lando Norris, but he pitted on Lap 11 for new tyres.

Almost simultaneously, teammate Sebastian Vettel had a half spin and went off track at Turn 1 whilst fighting Antonio Giovinazzi, adding to his collection of errors in recent times.

On Lap 13, Bottas locked up massively into Turn 1, running wide and allowing Hamilton to pass for the lead.

There was a huge flat spot on his tyre, and he had to put for mediums at the end of the lap, forcing him to move on to a two-stop strategy.

Following a collision between Kimi Raikkonen and George Russell, the Brit was forced to pull over the side of the track, triggering a Virtual Safety Car.

Hamilton and Verstappen both took advantage, pitting and getting out ahead of Bottas.

After pitting early, Albon was charging through the field, but clashed with Daniil Kvyat on the run into the final corner, ripping off the front wing of the Alpha Tauri. The Thai driver received a five second penalty for the clash, but moments after receiving the penalty he came into the pits and retired from the race with an engine problem.

With 18 laps gone, Bottas slowed, complaining of a lack of power and he dropped back down the field. At the end of the lap he came into the pits and retired, putting a massive dent in his title hopes.

A few laps later, Esteban Ocon became the next retirement, missing out on what looked like being a solid points finish.

Norris was running in third midway through the race, but began to also suffer from power issues. He pitted but when he returned to the track, he was still struggling and Perez breezed past him.

The Mexican continued his attack, passing Leclerc on the way out of the final chicane. However, he gave Leclerc the DRS for the pit straight, and the Ferrari star retook the place.

A lap later, Perez pulled the same move, but Leclerc couldn’t take the position back and Perez kept P4.

On Lap 44, Norris’ problems finally proved terminal and he pulled over and retired, his first DNF of the season.

The safety car was called out due to the stricken McLaren, causing a flurry of activity in the pitlane.

The race got back underway with 11 laps to go and Ricciardo looked to attack Verstappen straight away. The Australian went to the outside, but couldn’t make the move for P2 stick.

With his poor restart, Verstappen's chance of victory was gone and Hamilton cruised home for his 91st race victory, equalling Schumacher' all-time win record. Verstappen had to settle for second ahead of a delighted Ricciardo, claiming Renault's first podium finish since they returned to the sport in 2016.

Perez grabbed a strong fourth place, ahead of Carlos Sainz and Pierre Gasly. Leclerc took a solid seventh ahead of Nico Hulkenberg, who performed admirably from 20th on the grid after standing in for Lance Stroll.

Romain Grosjean drove a superb race to take his first points of the season in ninth, ahead of Giovinazzi in tenth.

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