Patrick Grimes ’23
Mercedes-AMG Petronas driver Lewis Hamilton has taken the racing world along for a wild ride since he began his career at the ripe age of 23 in 2007. On Sept. 26, 2021, in Sochi, Russia, Lewis Hamilton became the first Formula One driver to collect 100 wins. He did so in dramatic comeback fashion that barely edged out his rival Max Verstappen.
Lewis Hamilton’s 100th win is so remarkable because Lewis has only appeared in 282 races since his debut. This means Hamilton has placed first in just under one in every three races he drives, an absolutely staggering win percentage. Hamilton’s 100th win is not only significant to his career and legacy but was critical to his 2021 season. This win allowed him to retake the top spot in the driver’s championship standings. The one he surpassed, promising young star and fierce rival Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing.
Hamilton began the race in Sochi on Saturday with a rough start unusually far back on the grid. After gaining momentum, he overtook Fernando Alonso of Alpine on the outside. Max Verstappen and Red Bull began the race in last due to a penalty caused by an engine change. Verstappen, like Hamilton, quickly found his way through the field and towards the front of the pack. Like other sports, weather plays a significant role in Formula One. In the last few laps, rain began to downpour. This can cause traction issues quickly for drivers that are not wise. Verstappen changed his tires immediately to account for the track’s slickness and gained a podium finish with his agile thinking.
Lando Norris, fan favorite driver of McLaren, had the lead until the rain began. His gamble to not head to the pit for a tire change resulted in his car careening off the track after taking a corner too quickly. His lead was taken by Lewis Hamilton.
Lewis finished about 56 seconds ahead of second-place rival Max Verstappen, claiming a two-point lead over Verstappen in the driver’s championship standings as a bonus. Carlos Sainz Jr. rounded out the podium at third for Ferrari. The 2021 Formula One season is about halfway through and viewership in the United States is skyrocketing. The action unfolds on Saturday mornings at 8 am at tracks across the world. Tune in because Lewis Hamilton now has win number 100 and shows no sign of slowing down.