Lewis Hamilton becomes first F1 driver to 100 wins after Russian Grand Prix victory

Mercedes driver takes the chequered flag in Sochi after Norris spins off in rain

Lewis Hamilton became the first Formula One driver to reach 100 wins after claiming a dramatic victory in the Russian Grand Prix on Sunday.

McLaren's Lando Norris appeared to be heading for a maiden victory and was on course to become the youngest British F1 winner.

But the race turned on its head with just eight laps remaining when rain arrived. Hamilton moved to the wet tyres with four laps left, but Norris stayed out on slick rubber after telling his McLaren team he did not want to stop.

However, the decision came back to haunt the young Englishman as the rain increased and he was unable to keep his McLaren on the track.

Hamilton went on to reach his century of wins, ahead of Max Verstappen, who secured second place despite starting from the back of grid, with Carlos Sainz completing the podium. Norris eventually came home in eighth.

"It's taken a long time to get to 100 wins," Hamilton said, after his first win since the British GP in July. "I wasn't even sure it would come. The team made such a good call at the end. I didn't want to let Lando go. I'm incredibly grateful to all these men and women here and back in the factory. Wow, 100.

"Going to bed last night, with the job that I did yesterday, there were subtle little mistakes. I was so determined to do the best job I could. It was tough.

"Max must have done a good job to get up to second. The rain came and it was opportunistic and great call by the team."

Hamilton, though, admitted he was disappionted for his countryman Norris. "Lando did such an amazing job, he had such incredible pace. He's doing such a great job for McLaren - this was bittersweet." Hamiltion added. "It's nice to see my old team ahead."

Verstappen admitted he was as surprised as anyone by the result, which was helped by the early decision to switch to intermediate tyres. "To come from last to second is very, very good," the Dutchman said.

"The race itself was not very easy, because it was very difficult to pass and when you get stuck it is easy to damage your tyres. Luckily the rain helped us to make that last jump.

"With the penalty we had to only lose one spot is definitely not too bad. When I woke up this morning I definitely didn't expect this result.

"From the back a lot of things happen in the first lap and even in the first stint with a lot of cars fighting each other. You just have to stay clean and I think we managed did that pretty well and then the crucial call to go to the inters worked out."

Updated: September 26th 2021, 2:42 PM
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