F1 Russian Grand Prix 2014: Lewis Hamilton realises a dream as he sets sights on winning a second Drivers' Championship

Hamilton dedicated his victory in Sochi to Jules Bianchi as Mercedes wrapped up their first ever Constructors' Championship

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The Independent Online

Lewis Hamilton realised one dream with Mercedes on Sunday, and now all that remains is a fairytale ending to his remarkable season.

In winning the Russian Grand Prix, Hamilton became only the fourth driver in Formula One history to win at least nine races in a year, joining Michael Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel and Nigel Mansell.

Hamilton has also now equalled Mansell's British record of 31 race victories, with a new mark of 32 surely around the corner with a further three grands prix remaining this season.

Such statistics, though, matter little to Hamilton as it is only trophies that count, with the most important being a second drivers' crown come the conclusion to the campaign in Abu Dhabi next month.

At least Hamilton can profess to playing his part in helping Mercedes become constructors' champions for the first time in the illustrious organisation's history.

 

In scoring a ninth one-two with Nico Rosberg at the Sochi Autodrom, Mercedes have been virtually unbeatable this season.

"A great day and an amazing weekend," said Hamilton.

"I'm just so proud to have contributed and worked with this great team, for them to get the first constructors' championship.

"I could have only dreamed of that when I joined this team. It's history for us."

Despite the elation and celebration, not far from Hamilton's thoughts was Jules Bianchi, the Marussia driver still fighting for his life in a hospital in Japan following his violent crash at Suzuka eight days ago.

Hamilton chose to dedicate his latest success to the 25-year-old Frenchman, adding: "All week there's been just one person on my mind, and that's Jules.

"There has been excitement and happiness for the team, but without a doubt every time I've got in the car this week, coming here, being here, I've been thinking about him and his family and keeping him in my prayers every day.

"Whether it means anything, or whether it does anything, it would be great to dedicate this to Jules and his family.

"It will make a very small difference to them, for sure, but every bit of positive energy hopefully will help.

"I need all you guys (the media), and all us teams to send him our positive vibes because positive energy is actually real."

To add to the surreal experience of the weekend, Hamilton was handed his winner's trophy by Russia president Vladimir Putin, whose vision ensured F1 made its debut in his country over the past few days.

"It was very cool to be presented the trophy by the president. He's one of the most powerful men in the world," said Hamilton.

The 29-year-old's latest success was due in part to another mistake from Rosberg, who had passed Hamilton on the longest run in F1 off the line into a braking zone.

Putin-Hamilton.jpg
Hamilton was presented the race winners' trophy by Russian President Vladimir Putin

Rosberg, though, locked up into that turn, flatspotting his tyres and so forcing him into a change of rubber after one lap, which he then remarkably made last for the remaining 52.

Now trailing Hamilton by 17 points, Rosberg said: "I'm delighted for the team we've made history and we're champions.

"But I'm also extremely disappointed because I messed up, which was very unnecessary because I should have been in the lead after that."

Williams' Valtteri Bottas completed the podium, with Jenson Button fourth in his McLaren ahead of Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo, who is now 92 points behind Hamilton with 100 available.

PA

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