Lewis Hamilton hailed his 100th victory as a “magical moment” following a dramatic Russian Grand Prix, on this day in 2021.
Lando Norris, 21, looked set to knock Hamilton off his perch as the youngest Briton to win a Formula One race after a composed and mature drive at Sochi’s Olympic Park.
But the McLaren star was cruelly denied his first triumph when the arrival of rain with just seven laps remaining turned the race on its head.
— Formula 1 (@F1) September 26, 2021
Norris stayed out on slick rubber but the gamble backfired. Hamilton stopped for wet tyres and crossed the line 53 seconds clear of rival Max Verstappen to bring up his landmark win, 14 years and 108 days after his first triumph in Montreal, Canada in just his sixth race.
“It has taken a long time to get to 100 and I wasn’t even sure if it would come,” said Hamilton, then 36.
“It is a magical moment. I could only have dreamed of still being here, to have this opportunity to win these races, and to drive with such phenomenal talents this late on in my career.
Today we won our 100th race! Words can’t describe how it feels to make history with this team of hardworking, driven and passionate human beings. We must keep fighting, keep rising. We’ve got a championship to win #LH100 pic.twitter.com/e2oQHVAVDi
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) September 26, 2021
“I am so proud of everything we have done with Mercedes, on and off the track, and this is a special moment for everyone that has been part of it.”
Hamilton’s landmark victory took him nine clear of Michael Schumacher in the all-time standings and gave him the advantage over Max Verstappen in the title race.
But the Dutchman ultimately pipped Hamilton in a controversial season finale after the British driver extended his win record to 103, with his last success coming in Saudi Arabia.