Eifel Grand Prix 2020
Lewis Hamilton made more history at Nurburgring as he matched Michael Schumacher’s record of 91 Formula 1 wins with victory at the Eifel Grand Prix.
Hamilton took over the lead from team-mate Valtteri Bottas, who won pole but unfortunately had to retire early due to engine problems, then strolled to his seventh win of the season.
Meanwhile, Daniel Ricciardo finally made his much-awaited return to the podium — his first since 2018 — with a third-place finish.
Read on below as SBOTOP takes a look back at all the most memorable Eifel Grand Prix 2020 highlights.
Highlights of the game
While all eyes were on Hamilton this weekend, it was team-mate Valtteri Bottas who stole the show in qualifying. The flying Finn had a terrific final lap as he claimed pole — and set a new track record in the process.
Hamilton had to settle for second, with Charles Leclerc’s suddenly improving Ferrari in fourth, splitting the two Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Alex Albon.
Bottas — who capitalised on Hamilton’s penalties to win in Russia — had the best Eifel Grand Prix 2020 odds to top his team-mate, but he would have his hands full against Hamilton.
Hamilton almost overtook Bottas heading into the first corner, but the Finn just about held him off to hang on to the lead.
Meanwhile, Daniel Ricciardo — who started in sixth — quickly overtook Albon for fifth and began to make a move against Leclerc in fourth. The Ferrari driver tried his hardest to hold onto his place, but Ricciardo eventually edged past Leclerc on lap 9.
Leclerc decided to make his first pitstop just a few laps later, while his team-mate Sebastian Vettel — who began in 11th after another rough qualifying session — also had to pit after spinning off.
And at the top of the grid, Hamilton finally got past Bottas, who locked up and gave his team-mate the opening he needed. Bottas dove into the pits a few laps later.
George Russell’s crash brought out the safety car, giving the top two of Hamilton and Verstappen the chance to make their first pitstops as well.
But shortly after the race restarted, Bottas’ race suddenly came to an early end due to engine problems. Red Bull’s Alex Albon also had to retire close to halfway through the race.
With Bottas out, Hamilton looked quite comfortable out in front. The same couldn’t be said of Leclerc, who was again under pressure for his fourth place, this time by Racing Point’s Sergio Perez.
Perez eventually got past Leclerc, who made his way into the pits not long after getting overtaken. Up next for Perez was third-placed Ricciardo, whose older tyres leave him vulnerable.
But the top four get bunched back up together on lap 45 after Lando Norris’ retirement brought out the safety car. That allowed Hamilton, Verstappen, and Ricciardo the opportunity to pit again.
Once the race restarted again, though, Hamilton quickly reasserted his dominance; he set multiple fastest laps over the last 10 laps of the race as he took the historic chequered flag.
Meanwhile, the other two podium spots were fairly secure over the last few laps as Ricciardo built enough of a cushion over Perez.
Of Hamilton’s 91 career wins, two have come at Nurburgring; Schumacher had five wins at the famous German track. Hamilton also gave Mercedes their first win at Nurburging since 1952.
Mercedes have won 10 of the 11 races this season, and as if that wasn’t dominant enough, they have also led every lap in eight of those 10 wins.
Meanwhile, Daniel Ricciardo claimed his first podium since winning the Monaco Grand Prix in 2018. It was also Renault’s first podium finish since Nick Heidfeld in 2011.
Racing Point’s Sergio Perez just missed the podium, but he’s now had back-to-back 4th-place finishes after not having a single top-four finish since his last podium place in 2018.
After another one-week break, it’s off to the Iberian peninsula next for the Portuguese Grand Prix at the Portimao circuit. This will be the first Portuguese Grand Prix to be held in 24 years and is expected to be a one-off race just for 2020.
Hamilton will be gunning for career win no. 92, which would break his tie with Schumacher and give him the all-time wins record outright.
Mercedes have looked incredibly dominant all season long and barring an unforeseen penalty or retirement, there appears to be no stopping them.
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