F1 2020: Hamilton hails unsung heroes with Mercedes in seventh heaven
Runaway championship leader Lewis Hamilton was overwhelmed after winning an "exhausting" and action-packed race at Imola.
Lewis Hamilton paid tribute to Mercedes' "unsung heroes" after he led a Silver Arrows one-two in a chaotic Emilia Romagna Grand Prix to seal a record seventh consecutive constructors' title. Hamilton took another stride towards matching Michael Schumacher's tally of seven Formula One world titles as the Silver Arrows claimed yet another one-two at Imola on Sunday.
Valtteri Bottas has now converted pole to victory just five times in 16 races, finishing second behind his team-mate after Max Verstappen spun off in front of him with a puncture. Hamilton produced another brilliant drive after a poor start, benefiting from a strategy call to stay out for a longer first stint on medium tyres after Bottas and Verstappen pitted from first and second for hard compounds.
Hamilton's 93 F1 wins
The brief deployment of a virtual safety also played into Hamilton's hands and he extended his record tally to 93 F1 victories following a late restart of the race after the safety car was required. Hamilton, who leads Bottas by 85 points with four races to come, was full of praise for the colleagues who have been so key to Mercedes' dominance of the sport after an action-packed race.
He said on the podium: "It was an exhausting race, the speed we were having to go after a poor start. It is very overwhelming right now. I look at my crew and I know all the men and women here and back in the factory and they are the unsung heroes. They are the ones that have continued to graft away, never given up. People watching think we are used to it but it always feels like the first because of the spirit of this team. We have a great leader in our team and a big, big thank you to Mercedes. Seven is unbelievable. While we have great performances it is not easy to continue to deliver weekend in and out. The guys are so precise in how they take the car apart and put it together again weekend after weekend. Seven times champs – something to tell my grandchildren."