Imperious Hamilton claims win in Portugal to become most successful driver in history

The Mercedes man claims his 92nd victory to extend his title lead
Lewis Hamilton wins in Portugal to become the most successful driver in terms of race winsLewis Hamilton wins in Portugal to become the most successful driver in terms of race wins
Lewis Hamilton wins in Portugal to become the most successful driver in terms of race wins

Lewis Hamilton became the most successful F1 driver in terms of race wins on Sunday by winning the Portuguese Grand Prix in dominant fashion.

The Mercedes driver dropped to third from pole position on the opening lap as he struggled to get heat in his tyres, but after dispatching Carlos Sainz in the McLaren, Hamilton cruised up to team-mate Valtteri Bottas to retake the lead.

From there, Hamilton was untouchable in front and won the race by a mighty 25 seconds to claim his record breaking win, moving one clear of Michael Schumacher, while closing in on his record-equalling seventh championship.

"I owe it all to my team here and back at the factory. It has been such a privilege working with them. The reliability has been amazing. No-one is sitting back on this success.

"Today was tough, it was all about temperature but it's something I preempted. That first lap was hard, I backed off massively but I knew I could come back later on.

"I had cramp in my calf so I was lifting down the straights so it was pretty painful!

"I never dreamed of being where I am today. I didn't have a crystal ball when I came to Mercedes. My dad is here which is amazing, it's a very blessed day.

"It will take some time to sink in. I was flat out right to the line, so I'm still in race mode. I can't find words for you."

Bottas was second for Mercedes, while Max Verstappen recovered from a first lap crash with Sergio Perez to take third.

Bottas said: "The opening lap was pretty good, I was pleased to get the lead but I just had no pace today, I don't know why.

"I tried to defend Lewis but there was nothing I could do."

Verstappen said: "We had low grip and tried to stay out of trouble but he didn't give me enough space. Once everything stabilised, I did my own race. We had good pace but the gap was so big I couldn't do anything.

"We finished where we deserved to."

Charles Leclerc was fourth for Ferrari, with Pierre Gasly fifth, Sainz sixth and Perez seventh. The Renault pair of Esteban Ocon and Daniel Ricciardo followed, with Sebastian Vettel claiming the final point.