British race driver Lewis Hamilton has won the Turkish Grand Prix to close out his seventh Formula One World title.
The Mercedes driver claimed the record-equalling world championship to become Formula One’s most successful driver of all time after winning a wet and slippery Turkish Grand Prix on Sunday.
The 35-year-old lapped sole rival and team mate Valtteri Bottas on what was a nightmare afternoon for the spinning Finn.
Before this, Hamilton already had more race wins, pole positions and podium finishes than any other driver in the history of the sport.
“I’m definitely a bit lost for words,” Hamilton said after clinching title number seven, fighting back tears.
“I have to start by saying a huge thank you to all our guys here, and back at both our factories. I wouldn’t be able to be here if I didn’t join this team and the journey we’ve been on has been monumental. I’m so proud.
“And I’ve got to say thank you to my family. We dreamed of this when we were young, watching the Grand Prix, and this is way, way beyond our dreams.”
It was the 94th victory of Hamilton’s career, which is three more than Michael Schumacher managed. It was also remarkable in that he started in sixth place and then delivered a masterclass of skill and tyre management to clinch it.
“I remember watching Michael winning the championships, and just to get one, or two, or three – it’s so hard to get. Seven is just unimaginable.
“What a day. There’s a lot to take in.”
The champ then added: “I feel like I’m only getting started. I feel physically in great shape. This year has been a challenge that I didn’t know how to get through, but with the help of people around me I managed to just keep my head above water and stay focused.
“I’m really hopeful for a better year next year and I would love to stay [at Mercedes]. I feel like we’ve got a lot of work to do here, we’ve only just started our work to make ourselves accountable. I want to help Formula 1, I want to help Mercedes in that journey.”
Bottas, who came home 14th after saying four laps from the end that he wished the race was over already, also offered his congratulations as Hamilton celebrated with his ecstatic teammates.