Lewis Hamilton equals Michael Schumacher’s F1 wins record with Eifel GP victory

Germany F1 GP Auto Racing

Lewis Hamilton has made history after matching Michael Schumacher's Formula One victory record by winning the Eifel Grand Prix.

The British driver started second at the Nurburgring but assumed control of the race on lap 13 when Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas slid off the road.

Despite a late safety car, Hamilton kept his cool to cross the line 4.4 seconds clear of Red Bull's Max Verstappen and claim the 91st win of his remarkable career, 14 years and 10 days after Schumacher's final grand prix triumph in China.

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NUERBURG, GERMANY - OCTOBER 11: Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP celebrates on the podium during the F1 Eifel Grand Prix at Nuerburgring on October 11, 2020 in Nuerburg, Germany. (Photo by Clive Mason - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain, center, drinks champagne at the podium after winning the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. Hamilton, is flanked by Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands, left who finished second and Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo of Australia right, who finished third. (Ronald Wittek, Pool via AP)
Winner Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton celebrates on the podium after the German Formula One Eifel Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring circuit in Nuerburg, western Germany, on October 11, 2020. (Photo by WOLFGANG RATTAY / POOL / AFP) (Photo by WOLFGANG RATTAY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain launches the trophy in the aircelebrates on the podium after winning the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. (Wolfgang Rattay, Pool via AP)
NUERBURG, GERMANY - OCTOBER 11: Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP celebrates on the podium during the F1 Eifel Grand Prix at Nuerburgring on October 11, 2020 in Nuerburg, Germany. (Photo by Mario Renzi - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands, left, who finished second at the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, sprays champagne to Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo of Australia, right, who finished third, at the podium, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain won the race. (Ronald Wittek, Pool via AP)
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain launches the trophy in the air on the podium after winning the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. (Wolfgang Rattay, Pool via AP)
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain celebrates on the podium after he won the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader, Pool)
Winner Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning with the trophy on the podium after the German Formula One Eifel Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring circuit in Nuerburg, western Germany, on October 11, 2020. (Photo by WOLFGANG RATTAY / POOL / AFP) (Photo by WOLFGANG RATTAY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
NUERBURG, GERMANY - OCTOBER 11: Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP celebrates with his trainer Angela Cullen after being presented with a helmet of Michael Schumacher for matching his record of 91 race wins during the F1 Eifel Grand Prix at Nuerburgring on October 11, 2020 in Nuerburg, Germany. (Photo by Dan Istitene - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
Winner Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton (L), congratulates second placed Red Bull's Dutch driver Max Verstappen after the German Formula One Eifel Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring circuit in Nuerburg, western Germany, on October 11, 2020. (Photo by Ina Fassbender / POOL / AFP) (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain celebrates after winning during the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. (Bryn Lennon, Pool via AP)
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain celebrates with his team after winning the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. (Bryn Lennon, Pool via AP)
Drivers steer their cars on the first corner, during the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. (Ina Fassbender, Pool via AP)
Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany steers his car during the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. (Ina Fassbender, Pool via AP)
Drivers steer their cars on the first corner, during the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. (Ina Fassbender, Pool via AP)
Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc of Monaco steers his car during the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. (Ronald Wittek, Pool via AP)
Cars line up during the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader, Pool)
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain, bottom left, leads the pack on the first corner, during the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. (Ronald Wittek, Pool via AP)
Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas of Finland, left, celebrates with his teammate Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain, second fastest time, after setting the pole position during the qualifying session for the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. The Germany F1 Grand Prix will be held on Sunday. (Wolfgang Rattay, Pool via AP)
Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas of Finland, left, celebrates with his teammate Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain, second fastest time, after setting the pole position during the qualifying session for the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. The Germany F1 Grand Prix will be held on Sunday. (Wolfgang Rattay, Pool via AP)
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, front, of Britain and Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas, behinds, of Finland steer their cars during the the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. (Bryn Lennon, Pool via AP)
NUERBURG, GERMANY - OCTOBER 11: Nico Hulkenberg of Germany driving the (27) Racing Point RP20 Mercedes makes a pitstop during the F1 Eifel Grand Prix at Nuerburgring on October 11, 2020 in Nuerburg, Germany. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images)
NUERBURG, GERMANY - OCTOBER 11: The FIA Safety Car leads the field during the F1 Eifel Grand Prix at Nuerburgring on October 11, 2020 in Nuerburg, Germany. (Photo by Clive Mason - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
NUERBURG, GERMANY - OCTOBER 11: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB16 passes his pit board indicating two laps remaining during the F1 Eifel Grand Prix at Nuerburgring on October 11, 2020 in Nuerburg, Germany. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
NUERBURG, GERMANY - OCTOBER 11: Sebastian Vettel of Germany driving the (5) Scuderia Ferrari SF1000 leads Kimi Raikkonen of Finland driving the (7) Alfa Romeo Racing C39 Ferrari during the F1 Eifel Grand Prix at Nuerburgring on October 11, 2020 in Nuerburg, Germany. (Photo by Clive Mason - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
NUERBURG, GERMANY - OCTOBER 11: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB16 during the F1 Eifel Grand Prix at Nuerburgring on October 11, 2020 in Nuerburg, Germany. (Photo by Clive Mason - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
NUERBURG, GERMANY - OCTOBER 11: The Mercedes logo is pictured on top of a grandstand during the F1 Eifel Grand Prix at Nuerburgring on October 11, 2020 in Nuerburg, Germany. (Photo by Clive Mason - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
NUERBURG, GERMANY - OCTOBER 11: Antonio Giovinazzi of Italy driving the (99) Alfa Romeo Racing C39 Ferrari leads Sebastian Vettel of Germany driving the (5) Scuderia Ferrari SF1000 during the F1 Eifel Grand Prix at Nuerburgring on October 11, 2020 in Nuerburg, Germany. (Photo by Dan Istitene - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas of Finland gets a pit service during the qualifying session for the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. The Germany F1 Grand Prix will be held on Sunday. (Wolfgang Rattay, Pool via AP)
NUERBURG, GERMANY - OCTOBER 11: Lando Norris of Great Britain driving the (4) McLaren F1 Team MCL35 Renault makes a pitstop during the F1 Eifel Grand Prix at Nuerburgring on October 11, 2020 in Nuerburg, Germany. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
NUERBURG, GERMANY - OCTOBER 11: The Red Bull Racing team celebrate as second placed Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing crosses the line during the F1 Eifel Grand Prix at Nuerburgring on October 11, 2020 in Nuerburg, Germany. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Racing Point's Mexican driver Sergio Perez competes during the German Formula One Eifel Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring circuit in Nuerburg, western Germany, on October 11, 2020. (Photo by Ina Fassbender / POOL / AFP) (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
NUERBURG, GERMANY - OCTOBER 11: Charles Leclerc of Monaco driving the (16) Scuderia Ferrari SF1000 leads Pierre Gasly of France driving the (10) Scuderia AlphaTauri AT01 Honda during the F1 Eifel Grand Prix at Nuerburgring on October 11, 2020 in Nuerburg, Germany. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
NUERBURG, GERMANY - OCTOBER 11: Mercedes GP team members celebrate on the pitwall as Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W11 crosses the line to win during the F1 Eifel Grand Prix at Nuerburgring on October 11, 2020 in Nuerburg, Germany. (Photo by Joe Portlock/Getty Images)
Racing Point driver Lance Stroll of Canada steers his car during the qualifying session for the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. The Germany F1 Grand Prix will be held on Sunday. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader, Pool)
NUERBURG, GERMANY - OCTOBER 11: Nicholas Latifi of Canada driving the (6) Williams Racing FW43 Mercedes and Romain Grosjean of France driving the (8) Haas F1 Team VF-20 Ferrari battle for position during the F1 Eifel Grand Prix at Nuerburgring on October 11, 2020 in Nuerburg, Germany. (Photo by Dan Istitene - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
Clouds are reflected in a puddle prior to the start of the third practice session for the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. The Germany F1 Grand Prix will be held on Sunday. (Ina Fassbender, Pool via AP)
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain steers his car during the third practice session for the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. The Germany F1 Grand Prix will be held on Sunday. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader, Pool)
Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc of Monaco steers his car during the qualifying session for the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. The Germany F1 Grand Prix will be held on Sunday. (Ina Fassbender, Pool via AP)
Williams driver Nicholas Latifi of Canada steers his car during the qualifying session for the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. The Germany F1 Grand Prix will be held on Sunday. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader, Pool)
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands steers his car during qualification for the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. The Germany F1 Grand Prix will be held on Sunday. (Bryn Lennon, Pool via AP)
Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany steers his car followed by Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain during qualification for the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. The Germany F1 Grand Prix will be held on Sunday. (Bryn Lennon, Pool via AP)
Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas of Finland steers his car during the qualifying session for the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. The Germany F1 Grand Prix will be held on Sunday. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader, Pool)
Spectators are on stands ahead of qualification for the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. The Germany F1 Grand Prix will be held on Sunday. (Ronald Wittek, Pool via AP)
Spectators are on stands ahead of qualification for the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. The Germany F1 Grand Prix will be held on Sunday. (Ronald Wittek, Pool via AP)
Racing Point driver Sergio Perez of Mexico steers his car during the qualifying session for the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. The Germany F1 Grand Prix will be held on Sunday. (Wolfgang Rattay, Pool via AP)
Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas of Finland steers his car during the third practice session for the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. The Germany F1 Grand Prix will be held on Sunday. (Ronald Wittek, Pool via AP)
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff holds the umbrella ahead of the second practice session for the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Friday, Oct. 9, 2020. The Germany F1 Grand Prix will be held on Sunday. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader, Pool)
Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc of Monaco walks at the paddock during the second practice session for the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Friday, Oct. 9, 2020. The Germany F1 Grand Prix will be held on Sunday. (Ronald Wittek, Pool via AP)
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain during a press conference prior the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020. (xpbimages.com/Pool via AP)
Mclaren driver Carlos Sainz of Spain during a press conference prior the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020. (xpbimages.com/Pool via AP)
NUERBURG, GERMANY - OCTOBER 10: Kimi Raikkonen of Finland and Alfa Romeo Racing walks in the Pitlane during qualifying ahead of the F1 Eifel Grand Prix at Nuerburgring on October 10, 2020 in Nuerburg, Germany. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Mercedes' Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas arrives in the pits after winning the pole position after the qualifying session at the Nuerburgring circuit in Nuerburg, western Germany, on October 10, 2020, ahead of the German Formula One Eifel Grand Prix. (Photo by WOLFGANG RATTAY / POOL / AFP) (Photo by WOLFGANG RATTAY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
NUERBURG, GERMANY - OCTOBER 10: Valtteri Bottas of Finland driving the (77) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W11 stops in the Pitlane during qualifying ahead of the F1 Eifel Grand Prix at Nuerburgring on October 10, 2020 in Nuerburg, Germany. (Photo by Wolfgang Rattay - Pool/Getty Images)
NUERBURG, GERMANY - OCTOBER 10: Second placed qualifier Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP walks in parc ferme during qualifying ahead of the F1 Eifel Grand Prix at Nuerburgring on October 10, 2020 in Nuerburg, Germany. (Photo by Dan Istitene - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
NUERBURG, GERMANY - OCTOBER 10: Second placed qualifier Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP looks on in parc ferme during qualifying ahead of the F1 Eifel Grand Prix at Nuerburgring on October 10, 2020 in Nuerburg, Germany. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
NUERBURG, GERMANY - OCTOBER 10: Second placed qualifier Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP stops in parc ferme during qualifying ahead of the F1 Eifel Grand Prix at Nuerburgring on October 10, 2020 in Nuerburg, Germany. (Photo by Dan Istitene - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
NUERBURG, GERMANY - OCTOBER 10: A general view of Sebastian Vettel of Germany driving the (5) Scuderia Ferrari SF1000 in the Pitlane during qualifying ahead of the F1 Eifel Grand Prix at Nuerburgring on October 10, 2020 in Nuerburg, Germany. (Photo by Dan Istitene - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
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Hamilton also moved 69 points clear of Bottas, who retired from the race with an engine failure, in his quest for a record-equalling seventh world championship. Daniel Ricciardo took the final podium position for Renault.

Hamilton, 35, was denied the landmark victory at his first attempt in Russia after he was penalised by the stewards. And when pole-sitter Bottas held his nerve to keep the six-time world champion at bay through the opening two bends it looked as though Hamilton's drive into the history books would be put on hold.

But, with just 13 of the 60 laps on the board, Bottas locked his front-right tyre under braking for the first corner, allowing Hamilton to sweep around the outside of the Finn at the following left-hander.

Five laps later, Bottas was forced to park his Mercedes with an engine failure and despite Verstappen again outperforming his Red Bull machinery to keep Hamilton on his toes, and a safety car deployed with only 15 laps to run, it proved to be a straightforward triumph for the Stevenage-born racer.

The historic win is even more poignant for Hamilton, with Schumacher's home town of Kerpen 52 miles north of the Nurburgring. Little is known of the 51-year-old following his skiing accident on the French Alps almost eight years ago.

Here, his son Mick, expected to be racing against Hamilton in F1 next season, watched on from inside the Alfa Romeo garage as his father's winning haul was equalled.

For most, it seemed inconceivable that Schumacher's extraordinary tally would be beaten, but Hamilton will now go beyond it with another victory of his quite stunning career in Portugal later this month.

Aged 22, the Englishman claimed his first triumph in just his sixth appearance at the 2007 Canadian Grand Prix – bursting on to the global sporting stage in a breakthrough campaign for McLaren – and he has won at least one race in each of the 14 seasons in which he has competed. With a seventh title now almost inevitable, he will end this year as the most decorated driver the sport has ever seen.

On a smooth afternoon at a cold Nurburgring, the sole threat to Hamilton's victory arrived with 10 laps remaining when the safety car – deployed after Lando Norris conked out in his McLaren – came into the pits.

But Hamilton executed the perfect restart to leave Verstappen trailing. The Dutchman, the only driver in the same class as Hamilton, finished ahead of former Red Bull team-mate Ricciardo with Racing Point's Sergio Perez fourth and Carlos Sainz sixth for McLaren.

On another sobering day for Vettel, the four-time world champion spun en route to finishing outside the points in 11th.

George Russell was taken out of the race by Kimi Raikkonen after the veteran Finn, in his record-breaking 323rd appearance, sent the Williams driver on to one wheel after a clumsy collision at the first corner.

Hamilton was presented with one of Schumacher's helmets by the German's son Mick in the moments after the race.

The Mercedes driver held the red helmet aloft with his right arm as an applause rang out among the 13,500 spectators here at a venue where Schumacher won on five occasions.

"I don't know what to say," said Hamilton. "I remember seeing Michael's dominance and I don't think anyone, especially me, could imagine I would get anywhere near him in terms of his record."

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