Lewis Hamilton set a new Mercedes team record as he equalled Michael Schumacher’s seven world titles with victory in Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix.
Hamilton began the day in pole position in Mexico City and extended his lead by dominating the race as his team-mate Valtteri Bottas retired.
The 32-year-old Briton now has 69 race wins – four more than Schumacher – and can equal his compatriot’s record of eight world titles in next weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix.
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“It’s incredible,” said Hamilton on his podium. “I’m really grateful to be in the company of such an exceptional guy as Michael, and I’m sure I’ll only get more inspired to get better at it. I love winning these races, this car and everything around it. We’ve been trying to build up to this point in the last couple of races and we’ve been trying to work on the right things, which I think we did, but just haven’t found a clear grip.”
In the closing laps Schumacher himself had sent the former world champion a message on social media, urging him to “settle down, relax, don’t forget who you are and do the job you have to do. Everyone is here to support you. Enjoy, have fun and try to win – it’s the right way to go.”
The Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel finished second ahead of his Mercedes team-mate Bottas, with Max Verstappen in the Red Bull finishing fourth.
“I like the drama in the final laps but we really had our work cut out trying to get past Mercedes,” said the Red Bull driver. “In the end we weren’t quick enough but I’m very proud of our fight.”