Sports Desk, Nov 1 (efe-epa).- Britain’s Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) won the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix on Sunday to move closer to his record-equaling seventh world championship title.
Mercedes, which scored a one-two at Imola after Valtteri Bottas capitalised on Max Verstappen’s (Red Bull) bad luck as his race was ended by a tire puncture while the Dutchman was in second place, secured their seventh consecutive constructor’s championship.
“This is something to be proud of. We have a group that is amazing together. It is a super proud moment with all these guys and proud to be part of it,” Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said.
Hamilton also praised the team, calling his latest victory “overwhelming.”
“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,” he said.
“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.”
Hamilton, who had started behind Bottas in pole position, took the lead after his teammate and Verstappen had pitted, delaying his own pitstop to score some fast laps on the medium tires to open up a gap at the front of the pack.
Bottas can consider himself fortunate to have regained second place, having made an error to gift Verstappen the position, until the puncture knocked the Dutchman out of the race.
It wasn’t France’s Pierre Gasly (Alpha Tauri) day either. First, he lost a place to Australian Daniel Ricciardo (Renault), who would again impress with a second third-place finish in three races. Later, on the ninth lap Gasly had to retire due to a “terminal failure” when in fifth. Carlos Sainz, who benefited from the Frenchman’s mechanical trouble, had overtaken his teammate on the outside on the sixth lap.
In the lead trio, Verstappen stuck with the hard tires, while Hamilton warned the team that he didn’t want to stop. Bottas did, however, and that’s when the victory started to slip away from the Finn.