Mercedes’ British driver Lewis Hamilton (C) celebrates in pits with his team after the Formula One Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari race track in Imola, Italy (AFP)
Lewis Hamilton made the most of his luck to lead team-mate Valtteri Bottas home in yesterdays Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix as Mercedes sealed a record seventh consecutive constructors’ championship triumph.
The six-time champion capitalised on pole-sitter Bottas’s ill fortune in picking up a debris-damaged floor to win with a near-flawless tactical drive and the fastest lap of a dramatic and incident-filled race at Imola.
Hamilton recovered from a poor start, when he dropped to third, to fight back with a long first stint and the aid of a timely Virtual Safety Car (VSC) intervention to grab the lead on a memorable day for the ‘silver arrows’.
Daniel Ricciardo finished third for Renault ahead of Daniil Kvyat of Alpha Tauri and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc after Max Verstappen had crashed out of the race in his Red Bull in the closing stages. He was unhurt.
Sergio Perez was sixth for Racing Point, Carlos Sainz finished seventh ahead of his McLaren team-mate Lando Norris and the two Alfa Romeos of Kimi Raikkonen, in his 325th Grand Prix race, and Antonio Giovinazzi.
It was Hamilton’s record-increasing 93rd victory in a race that saw him complete 5000 laps as a race leader. The Mercedes one-two finish also not only secured the teams’ title, but also ensured that a Mercedes driver will take the drivers’ championship.