Lewis Hamilton has made Formula One history few people ever thought they would see as he equalled Michael Schumacher’s record of seven world titles in a brilliant drive at the Turkish Grand Prix.
On a wet, slippery track, Hamilton came from sixth to win the race and the record World Championship by 31 seconds in a tremendous drive that further sealed the Brit in the history books.
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Hamilton has already taken Schumacher’s records for most wins, most pole positions and now equalled the record for most world championships.
The 35-year-old was crying over team radio after wrapping up the title.
“Thank you so much guys,” he said. “For all the kids out there who dream the impossible, you can do it too man, I believe in you man. Thank you so much for your support.”
When he pulled up for the podium, Hamilton needed a second to take in what he had achieved.
Although Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel — after a horror final season for the team — claimed a podium for the first time this season, the four-time German champion made sure he was the first to Hamilton to congratulate him on the victory.
The men shook hands with Vettel leaning in and saying “You have made history”.
Game recognises game..Sebastian Vettel-Lewis Hamilton
📍#F1 #Formula1 #TurkishGP #Motorsport #Ferrari #Mercedes #Vettel #hamilton #lewishamilton #sebastianvettel #formula1 #turkey #istanbul #breakingnews #breakingnewsturkey #f1istanbul #Formula1Turkiye #pazar #GetWellSoonMingi pic.twitter.com/TbgDx26d8N
Vettel spoke to Sky Sports later and was asked about his performance, but quickly turned the discussion to Hamilton.
“It was a good result for us but it was his (Lewis’) day, if you make history like that so the first thoughts go to him,” he said. “It’s a massive achievement and I’m happy I can witness it first hand.”
Social media was raving over the moment.
Its the shriek! The moment he stayed in the car, wiping down a tear. It's the moment of Vettel going down on a knee to congratulate him.
Hamilton, you can keep your arguments please, is the greatest F1 driver of all time.
What a race, what a man, what a team!!!
Seb Vettel congratulating Lewis Hamilton.
I have something in my eye… #TurkishGP pic.twitter.com/buCvpaVNRR
The Vettel / Hamilton bromance is so pure.
Lovely moment as Vettel goes to Hamilton's cockpit to congratulate him. Will be mega to see the two drivers who have defined the last decade of F1 on the podium to share that moment #F1 #TurkishGP
Seb Vettel at the end of #TurkishGP with Hamilton pic.twitter.com/WUpDST0bEQ
Sebastian Vettel was the first person to congratulate an emotional Lewis Hamilton. Who's cutting onions in here ❤️ pic.twitter.com/8OjV0zGmYG
It was just the start of the tributes to the F1 legend from past and present drivers as well as fans.
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff had joined Hamilton on the podium and was drenched in champagne and confetti.
“We have a really great relationship that has grown over all these years,” Wolff said. “The team is 100 per cent behind him and he is 100 per cent behind the team. This is why the days that it is really difficult, he’s able to pull it off against all odds.”
F1 power couple Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff.Source:Getty Images
Racing Point’s Sergio Perez, who finished second, paid tribute to the champion.
“Very happy to be sharing the podium with him,” he said. “It’s a very historic day for our sport and our era, I think he’s definitely the best driver of all, especially of our era. The way he has delivered on difficult conditions, the way he reads the races, I’m just very happy to be able to share such a historic moment in our sport today.
It was just a few in a sea of tributes for the seven-time World Champion with social media also going nuts over the result, including plenty calling for Hamilton to be knighted.
Haas’ Romain Grosjean tweeted: “Congrats @LewisHamilton. Didn‘t think Michael record was ever going to be equalize. Very impressive Congrats @MercedesAMGF1 for the incredible work also”.
2016 F1 World Champion and Hamilton’s former teammate Nico Rosberg was also quick to share his tribute.
“7 x World Champion – that’s insane! Massively deserved. Surely one of the greatest achievements in the history of sports. Congratulations Lewis and enjoy the celebrations with your family and friends,” he tweeted.
Lewis Hamilton has done the unthinkable.Source:Getty Images
In the next #NewYearsHonours Lewis Hamilton should be given a knighthood. He’s a 7-time #F1 world champion, he’s a black man who’s dominated a white man’s sport, he’s a great role model, & he’s a good guy. Read the next part of this 2-tweet thread before you talk about tax. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/SVhwSzHMOS
Lewis Hamilton tying Michael Schumacher’s seven F1 titles is incredible.
Seventh world title for Lewis Hamilton…a true Great Briton, one our greatest ever sportsman. Nobody has done more in motorsport than him. A true legend. 🐐 https://t.co/5gLx1qyauu
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