Overpowered by a huge charge of emotion, the normally cool lewis hamilton just started crying under his helmet.
"When i drove over the line, it hit me and i burst into tears. I just couldn’t understand it," said the brite. With his seventh world championship triumph, he set the record held forever by michael schumacher.
The 35-year-old formula 1 superstar had the competition under control even in the toughest conditions at the turkey grand prix, but not himself. "I very rarely lose control. But in the last few laps, I had to tell myself that I’d hang on," hamilton stressed after his tenth win of the season.
He also hid his teary eyes behind the mirrored visor in istanbul when sebastian vettel was the first to kneel down next to the black-painted silver arrow, shook his hand respectfully and said, "we’re watching you make history today. It’s admirable.He didn’t want people all over the world to see his tears," hamilton later explained.
It took him a few minutes before the joy bubbled out of him, he took off his helmet, got out of his car and ran into the arms of his overjoyed mercedes crew. Shortly before, he had achieved the next milestone in his extraordinary career. The exceptional contender edged out mexican sergio perez in racing point and ex-champion vettel in ferrari for second and third place. "I couldn’t have done better," mercedes motorsport boss toto wolff radioed to his star driver.
After the fourth-last race of the season, hamilton is no longer displaced from the lead. He has 307 world championship points and is uncatchably ahead of his team rival valtteri bottas. The finn had the lead as the 14. Nothing to do with the fight for the top and was even lapped. The cars of world constructors’ champion mercedes were unable to cope with the new asphalt for a long time. Hamilton started from sixth on the grid, but once again showed all his class on the particularly slippery and rain-soaked track.
Hamilton was slowed by vettel for a long time in the battle for fourth place, took over in the 38th lap. The finn had the lead on lap 14 and was able to hold it. Vettel also made a strong start and was rewarded with his first podium finish of the season. Only two corners before the end of the race, he took advantage of a mistake by teammate charles leclerc and celebrated by far his best result of the year.
In sporting terms, hamilton has now reached the top and is statistically on a par with the greatest racing driver in history to date. There is no doubt that he can still overtake schumacher if he continues his career as expected. Negotiations will pick up speed after title win. "We want him in the car and he wants the mercedes," wolff said. Title number eight and perhaps even more are possible. "He’s in the middle of his creation and there’s still something to come," wolff said.
"For all the kids out there who dream of the impossible – you could do it!" Said hamilton. He wants to be a role model, because as the first black champion in the motor sport kingdom, he had to overcome many hurdles. "When i was young, there was no one in this sport who looked like me. It was easy to think that it was impossible for me to be there," he said, adding, "I hope that my performance shows that it doesn’t matter where you come from and that you should dream big."
Hamilton has long been about other things than just a fast car. Not only since the outbreak of the corona crisis does his vision go further. He wants to have a positive impact on people’s lives, is actively involved in the fight against racism and for more diversity in society, and is also concerned about climate and environmental protection.
"The drivers’ title doesn’t necessarily have an impact on people’s lives. Trying to improve conditions for people around the world – to create equal human rights – is the most important thing to me," said hamilton. Remarkable words from the convinced vegan who has changed drastically in recent years. "He has developed a lot. As a driver and also as a person outside the car," said wolff.
Gone are the days of public flirtations with pop starlet nicole scherzinger, he has also given up his private jet and now prefers to use his social media channels, with more than 20.5 million followers on instagram alone, to draw attention to grievances, to showcase a fashion collection he has designed or music he has composed himself. Or just for some videos with his dog roscoe.
In sports, hamilton has long been the mabstab. He holds the records for most pole positions (97) and most grand prix wins (94). He won his first world championship title in 2008 in the mclaren, followed by six more in 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019 and now 2020 in the mercedes. His only defeat in the silver arrow came in 2016, when nico rosberg became champion and then ended his career.
Hamilton’s father used to have four jobs at the same time so that little lewis could pursue motorsport. They were laughed at for wanting to realize their dream of formula 1. "My father always told me to let actions speak for themselves on the track. I hope this performance has spoken for itself," said hamilton: "I’m very strong, but I couldn’t have done it without people like my father."