Lewis Hamilton celebrated making history as the first Formula 1 driver to reach 100 career wins after Lando Norris’ late misfortune to win the Russian Grand Prix on Sunday.
Norris lost his lead late in the race after opting not to change his tires following a deluge of rain which ultimately proved costly.
Despite pitting Hamilton was able to get past Norris who lost control of his McLaren and eventually finished seventh.
“Wow… 100! It’s taken a long time and I wasn’t even sure the 100th would come,” Hamilton said.
“Today was tough - I lost a lot of ground at the start, just trying to stay out of trouble. I was patient and at the end, when the rain came, I didn’t want to let Lando go by boxing.
“Of course I didn’t know what the rain was doing, it was just my feeling but I’m incredibly grateful to the strategy team for the job they did today.
“Getting anywhere near 100 victories wouldn’t be possible without the hard work of the men and women here and back at the factory, I’m so grateful to them - it just feels so special.”
Norris conceded it was his call not to change tires.
“We made the decision that was right at the time for the conditions at the time,” he said.
“It was my call, along with the information from the team, and together we need to review what we could’ve done better. It’s incredibly disappointing of course, because we’ve been strong all weekend and I felt comfortable with the pace and the car today.
“The team has done a great job and I want to thank them for all their hard work. Of course, the result is not a reflection of our weekend, but there are a lot of positive we can take, and now we need to analyse, reset and bounce back in Turkey.
Meanwhile, the other big winner of the weekend was Max Verstappen who surged into second spot after starting from 20th.
Verstappen’s podium finish limited the damage done in the title race, with Hamilton (246.5) top by only two points from the Dutchman (244.5).
“We will definitely take that result,” Verstappen said. “Of course to come from last to second is very good and when I woke up this morning I definitely didn’t expect this result.
“To finish where we did with the penalty we had, we didn’t lose as many points as we could have so as a team we did a really good job.”
The next race is the Turkish Grand Prix on October 10.