Following Lewis Hamilton’s record-breaking 92nd F1 victory in Portugal this weekend, we take a look back at five of his greatest victories over the last 14 seasons.
Hamilton broke the record with such dominance in Portugal but not all his wins were achieved in similar fashion from his first victory in Canada 2007 to a wet masterclass at only his second British Grand Prix.
Please join us as we count down Hamilton’s five greatest race victories throughout his glittering F1 career, starting with a trip to Montreal.
Number 5 – Canada 2007
Starting off with number five, we have Lewis’s first win all the way back in 2007 at Montreal so it’s only natural that we start with the first of 92 wins.
2007 saw Hamilton partner two-time champion, Fernando Alonso at McLaren and he outqualified his Spanish teammate in Montreal to start the race from pole.
At lights out, Hamilton led from pole ahead of Alonso ahead of a frenetic race as Scott Speed became the first casualty after a collision with Alexander Wurz.
Up front, Hamilton calmly held his nerve as Alonso tried everything to pass his then inexperienced teammate only to run wide at Turn One on lap 15 and 18 to slip to fourth before Hamilton pitted on lap 22 and re-joined in third.
Hamilton’s pit stop however was luckily timed to perfection as Adrian Suitil suffered a crash which triggered a safety car, causing Alonso to illegally stop under the safety car and incur a 10s time penalty
Once the pit lane was reopened, everyone pitted for fuel and fresh tyres but Felipe Massa and Giancarlo Fisichella found themselves disqualified for exiting when the pit exit light was on red.
Hamilton meanwhile aced the restart on lap 26 until Robert Kubica rear-ended Jarno Trulli’s Toyota on the approach to the hairpin, launching the Pole upwards and slamming into the concrete barriers with a carbon fibre spray across the track of debris.
Luckily Kubica emerged with just a fractured ankle as Hamilton again aced the safety car restart and did so another two times after late safety cars for debris then for Vitantonio Liuzzi’s crash into the Wall of Champions.
Ultimately what made this victory that more special other than being Hamilton’s maiden win was the manner in which he held his cool without losing focus at the front to clinch the first of seven Canadian GP victories.
Number 4- Hungary 2019
Although this race took place last year, it was one of Hamilton’s most hard fought victories against Red Bull’s Max Verstappen who had taken pole with Hamilton only qualifying third, before claiming second just two corners into the race after a lock-up from Valtteri Bottas.
Verstappen dominated the opening stint ahead of Hamilton who struggled to keep pace and saw an overcut attempt fail as he pitted for hard tyres, which saw him reel in Verstappen by lap 38 and attempt to claim the lead with DRS into Turn One but was forced to yield.
He then tried a move into Turn Four but ran wide and had to settle back into second which seemed destined to be his finishing position until Mercedes pulled him in on lap 48 for a set of new medium compound tyres, leaving the Brit 40s behind Verstappen.
I personally believed that it was a tough ask to rip through that deficit and still have tyre left for a late attack but Verstappen’s tyres had given up by lap 63, with Hamilton just six seconds behind and eying up the unthinkable which came true on lap 66.
Hamilton had produced a rapid rate of fast laps which saw him exit the final corner to start lap 66 within DRS range and he took full advantage to breeze past the Dutchman to eventually claim victory as Verstappen pitted to ensure he finished the race.
Ultimately, this is definitely one of Hamilton’s finest race wins because it was a proper cat and mouse thriller for the Brit’s fans as he found himself playing the hunter which was rewarded with a fine win through Mercedes’ mid-race gamble on new mediums and a second stop.
Number 3 – Germany 2018
Now we turn our attention to one of Hamilton’s greatest wet victories as he fought his way through the pack to claim a memorable victory.
Qualifying was a disaster for Hamilton as a hydraulics failure at the end of Q1 saw the Brit qualify 14th by virtue of having set a better Q1 time than Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo.
Sebastian Vettel meanwhile began on pole with everyone getting a clean getaway as Hamilton embarked on a long first stint to give him a chance of a podium later in the race, which saw him claim fifth come lap 14 before finding himself in the podium placings when Vettel and Bottas pitted.
Hamilton was warned of race around lap 44 but was forced to pit five laps early with the rain materializing soon afterwards, beginning at the hairpin before eventually soaking the track.
Vettel was one of several drivers to experience slides but his race was ended on lap 52 when he ran deep at Sachs after locking up and slid into the gravel trap, beaching his Ferrari to end hopes of a home victory as the rain increased its intensity.
Mercedes opted to pit Bottas despite the pit crew being unprepared but when it came for Hamilton to pit, he was told to stay out after crossing the pit entry lines as Kimi Raikkonen then pitted the following lap to give Hamilton the lead.
Once the race resumed, Hamilton dug deep to fend off Bottas with Mercedes instructing both drivers to hold position to record a one-two finish at the Silver Arrows’ home race, as Hamilton produced a miraculous drive to clinch a brilliant victory which underlined how great a driver he is from just about anywhere on the grid.
Number 2 – Bahrain 2014
Surely you all knew that the 2014 Bahrain Grand Prix was definitely going to be amongst Hamilton’s two greatest-ever victories given that it was definitely a duel in the desert as it was appropriately named, in a race for the history books.
Nico Rosberg entered Bahrain with a 18 point lead over Hamilton after the two opening rounds of the 2014 season but after winning in Malaysia the previous race, Hamilton was on a mission despite Rosberg claiming pole by 0.055s.
Hamilton however made the better start to get the inside line into Turn One to claim the lead only to launch an immediate defence through the following corners to push Rosberg wide at Turn Five, with both drivers fighting hard despite a brief pause when the battle reignited on lap 18.
Rosberg attempted an inside move into Turn One but Hamilton was able to cut back on the inside line which left Rosberg fuming as both drivers opted for different tyres at their stops, with Hamilton opting for softs as Rosberg took mediums which meant that the Brit had to build a gap before making a second stop.
Hamilton and Rosberg however found themselves making a second stop under the safety car after Pastor Maldonado clipped Sauber’s Esteban Gutierrez to send the Mexican rolling on exit of turn one
The safety car pitted at the end of lap 46 to leave Hamilton fending off Rosberg in a dramatic conclusion as the German tried everything he could to make a race winning pass only to use up the best of his tyres come the last lap as Hamilton clung on for victory following a brilliant display of defending whilst under pressure from his own teammate.
It however was just the first of many clashes over the 2014-16 seasons as Hamilton clinched the 14 and 15 season titles before missing out to Rosberg in 16 with the German immediately retiring afterwards.
Number 1- Britain 2008
If there is one race which stands out as Hamilton’s greatest race victory then it has to be the 2008 British Grand Prix which saw him deliver a wet masterclass to win on home soil for McLaren at their home race.
Hamilton began the race sat fourth on the grid but he made a smashing start with perfect wheelspin to breeze past Mark Webber and Kimi Raikkonen before pressuring Heikki Kovalainen until he claimed the lead into Stowe from lap five in wet conditions.
Raikkonen however began to find pace as conditions soon began to dry and Hamilton proceeded to make his first stop at end of lap 21 for intermediate tyres, handing Nick Heidfeld the lead briefly for a lap before resuming the lead to the flag as the rain returned.
As other drivers struggled to handle the conditions, Hamilton calmly strolled off out in front on what could of easily been a dry track judging by his pace whilst everyone else struggled to stay on a soaking wet Silverstone circuit
Hamilton eventually swept to victory by 68.577 seconds from Heidfeld in a brilliant maiden home win in typical British weather for one of Britain’s finest F1 teams ever despite the pressure of home expectation, underlining just how fearless Hamilton was then and still is now as he continues to break records.