The road to 100 Formula One Grand Prix wins: How Sir Lewis Hamilton is on the verge of becoming F1’s Grand Prix-winning centurion
Umar Hassan profiles seven-time Formula One World Champion Sir Lewis Hamilton’s journey to becoming the first driver in F1 to win 100 Grand Prix races.
No driver in the 70-plus year history of Formula One has ever won 100 Grand Prix races.
Sir Lewis Hamilton is on the verge of setting another record in his Formula One career as he attempts to become the first F1 driver to win 100 Grand Prix races.
How did the Briton end up on this journey to becoming Formula One’s first Grand Prix-winning centurion?
A Star is Born
Following a series of excellent results in his first five races during the 2007 F1 season, the turning point for Hamilton came in Canada.
In his sixth Grand Prix start, Hamilton popped his McLaren into Pole Position and converted Pole into his first F1 Grand Prix win at Montreal.
Three more race wins followed in the United States, Hungary and Japan, but Hamilton failed to win his first F1 World Championship in 2007.
Heartache and redemption
Following the heartache of losing the 2007 F1 World Championship by one point, the 2008 season was another rollercoaster year for Hamilton.
The Briton got off to a perfect start with a win at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.
His second win of the 2008 F1 season came at Monaco, but the standout win in Hamilton’s then-young F1 career was coming around the corner.
The McLaren driver put in a dominant performance in the rain to lap the entire grid and win the 2008 British Grand Prix.
12 months after his McLaren was beached in the gravel, the tables had turned for Hamilton in China.
Hamilton put in a dominant performance in qualifying and won in Shanghai, leading to the final race showdown in Brazil between him and Ferrari’s Felipe Massa.
On the last corner of the last lap at Interlagos, Hamilton overtook Timo Glock to claim fifth place, becoming the youngest-ever F1 World Champion at the time at 23 years, 300 days.
12 wins in four seasons and the big move to Mercedes
Following on from winning his first F1 World Championship in 2008, Lewis Hamilton had won 12 Grand Prix races between 2009 to 2012 for McLaren.
During that period, Hamilton had won 16 percent of his 75 Grand Prix starts over the four F1 seasons from 2009 to 2013.
Hamilton’s last win for McLaren came at the Circuit of the Americas at the 2012 United States Grand Prix, before his move to Mercedes.
The move to Mercedes ended a relationship with McLaren that Hamilton had when he was 13-years-old.
Hammer time — The wins rack up for Hamilton
After claiming one win in Hungary in 2013, the 2014 F1 season started the Mercedes and Hamilton domination of the championship.
From 2014 to 2020, Hamilton had won 69 Grand Prix for Mercedes and six Formula One World Championships in a seven season period.
Michael Schumacher’s record of 91 GP wins was broken by Hamilton with winning the 2020 Portuguese Grand Prix, his 92nd race win in Formula One at the time.
Unlike previous seasons where the Mercedes had the quickest car on the grid, Red Bull provided competition for the Brackley-based team for the 2021 F1 season.
Hamilton has won four Grand Prix so far in the 2021 F1 season, with wins in Bahrain, Portugal, Spain and Great Britain.
100 not out for Hamilton?
While Hamilton failed to win in Hungary, there are opportunities for the Mercedes driver to claim a century of Grand Prix wins in the remaining races of the 2021 F1 season.
The Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium hosts the 12th round of the 2021 F1 season and it’s a track that the Mercedes driver has won on four times in his career.
If Hamilton fails to win in Spa, then he has plenty of chances in the following races left in the season to win a century of Grand Prix races.
That also coincides with the possibility of the Mercedes driver setting another record, overtaking Michael Schumacher’s seven Formula One World Drivers’ Championships.
It’s a matter of sooner, rather than later when Hamilton claims his century of Grand Prix wins in Formula One.