Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 27 October 2020

Eifel Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton wins to equal Michael Schumacher's record of 91 victories

Max Verstappen for Red Bull was second at the Nurburgring with Renault's Daniel Ricciardo in third

Lewis Hamilton equalled Michael Schumacher's record of 91 Grand Prix wins after taking the chequered flag to win the Eifel Grand Prix.

The six-time world champion put his troubles in Russia last time out behind him to win an action-packed race on F1's return to the Nurburgring circuit for the first time since 2013.

"What a result," he said on the Mercedes team radio after his latest win that saw the podium completed by Max Verstappen for Red Bull with Renault's Daniel Ricciardo in third.

Taking full advantage of teammate and pole-sitter Valtteri Bottas' early retirement with engine problems, the runaway series leader and six-time champion drove a well-judged race to claim his seventh victory from 11 contests this year.

Hamilton extended his lead in the championship in his pursuit of drawing level with Schumacher's record of seven drivers' titles.

In a touching tribute Mick Schumacher presented Hamilton with one of his father's race helmets.

"Thank you so much. It's such an honour," Hamilton said. "I don't know what to say. When you grow up watching someone and idolising them. What he was able to continuously do.

"I remember playing [as] Michael Schumacher on a game called GP2. Seeing his dominance for so long, I don't think I imagined I would be near him in terms of records.

"So it's an incredible honour. It's going to take some time to get used to it. As I came in the pit lane that was only when I realised I had equalled the record.

"I hadn't even computed it when I crossed the line. I couldn't have done this without this incredible team pushing behind me. So a big thank you and huge respect to Michael."

On a circuit where Germany's seven-time champion Schumacher won five times, Hamilton took his second Nurburgring victory - his previous was for McLaren in 2011.

Bottas' bad luck handed Hamilton his chance and almost certainly ended his own title bid as the Briton moved 69 points clear ahead of him in the drivers' championship with only five races before the season finale Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on December 13.

Ricciardo's podium success meant that he had won a wager with Renault team boss Cyril Abiteboul, requiring the Frenchman to take a tattoo prescribed for him by the Australian.

Sergio Perez finished fourth for Racing Point ahead of Carlos Sainz of McLaren, Pierre Gasly of Alpha Tauri, Ferrari's Charles Leclerc and 'super-sub' Nico Hulkenberg of Racing Point.

For Hulkenberg, it was a remarkable result coming only 24 hours after he had jumped into the cockpit of Lance Stroll's car after a late call to action from a cafe in Cologne.

Romain Grosjean, with an injured finger, was ninth for Haas ahead of Antonio Giovinazzi of Alfa Romeo.

Updated: October 11, 2020 08:48 PM

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