From Monaco to Monza, ranking Lewis Hamilton’s top 10 Formula One wins

Record-breaking F1 driver has participated in some incredible races

Andrew Gamble
Sunday 01 November 2020 11:44
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Lewis Hamilton wins a record 92 races

At the Portuguese Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton took the chequered flag – and in doing so, he became the most successful driver in Formula 1 history in terms of race wins.

The Brit secured his 92nd victory that day, edging one ahead of German racing legend Michael Schumacher.

While he may have his critics, it cannot be said that Hamilton is anything but exceptional and his resume across his 14-year career proves that.

From bursting onto the scene with McLaren to dominating the sport with Mercedes, Hamilton has enjoyed some spectacular wins.

Let’s take a look at 10 of his best and most memorable outings.

10. Hungary 2009

Given his recent dominance of Formula 1, it is almost unthinkable to consider Hamilton as an underdog.

Despite being world champion, Hamilton hadn’t won a race in nine months and arrived in Hungary on the back of some abysmal form that saw him not pick up a point in the previous four races. On top of that, McLaren were yet to register a single podium in the season.

Starting eighth, Hamilton was armed with more fuel which proved to be a crucial decision from McLaren – and the Brit made sure he took full advantage.

Hamilton had an electric start and utilised his fuel-packed car to hold the lead comfortably, despite the championship leaders chasing behind.

9. Germany 2008

Hamilton secured pole position and all looked to be in order for a straight-forward win, although it proved to be anything but.

The Brit started strongly, but a safety car after Timo Glock crashed threw off the strategy, particularly when McLaren opted not to bring Hamilton in.

When he finally did change his tyres, Hamilton emerged from the pits in fifth place with 17 laps to go.

He made light work of teammate Heikki Kovalainen and BMW’s Nick Heidfeld before chasing down championship contender Felipe Massa of Ferrari.

On lap 57, Hamilton made a fantastic move to dive past the Brazilian into second, leaving him just 2.1 seconds behind the Renault of Nelson Piquet Jr.

The Brit was dominant, and caught the leader within two laps. On lap 60, Hamilton took the lead by making a brilliant inside move at the hairpin and held on to take his eighth career win.

Lewis Hamilton crosses the finish line

8. Monaco 2008

Ferrari started the 2008 Formula 1 season in fine fashion, and appeared to be the dominant team as Hamilton lined up in third behind Massa and Raikkonen.

With a wet race start, Hamilton moved past Raikkonen effectively but struggled when taking on Massa, and the Brit punctured his right-rear tyre as he hit the barrier on lap six.

He came out the pits with more fuel and had remarkably only dropped to fifth – and Hamilton’s early stop ended up helping him immensely.

When the leading cars pitted for their scheduled stops, Hamilton took the lead.

The torrential conditions meant the two-hour time limit was met before the standard 78 laps, and this shortened race proved to be perfect for Hamilton and McLaren as he suffered another puncture before crossing the line for his maiden Monaco victory.

7. USA 2012

Heading into the first Formula 1 Grand Prix in Austin, Lewis Hamilton was already out of the 2012 championship fight.

Starting second, Hamilton and rival Sebastian Vettel made their stops but were split by Kimi Raikkonen’s Lotus.

Hamilton used DRS to move past the Finn, and Vettel’s lead was just under 2.5 seconds. The Brit continued to press, but the German’s Red Bull was proving to be just too quick for his McLaren.

However, Vettel got stuck behind a slower car and it allowed Hamilton to get within DRS range and take the lead on lap 42 before narrowly holding on to take the win.

"He had one chance to pass, and he took it," said Vettel, who finished just 0.7 seconds behind.

Lewis Hamilton lifts the trophy on top of the podium

6. Italy 2018

Hamilton’s Mercedes was clearly not the fastest car heading into the race, with the Ferrari duo of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen qualifying ahead of him.

As the teammates battled for the lead heading into the second chicane, Hamilton moved to the outside and went the long way around Vettel. The German attempted to respond, but clipped the Mercedes and dramatically spun.

Following a safety car, Hamilton took the lead but quickly lost it to Raikkonen.

At the beginning of lap 45, Hamilton made his move on the long straight. With the Ferrari defending the inside, the Mercedes moved to the outside for the first chicane after braking later to take the lead.

From there, Hamilton pulled away to win his fifth race at Monza, equalling Michael Schumacher’s record at the famous circuit.

5. Monaco 2019

Last season’s victory at Monaco was an incredibly emotional one following the death of Formula 1 legend Niki Lauda, who had been influential in persuading Hamilton to join Mercedes.

After achieving pole position, a safety car on lap 11 sent the cars to the pits with Mercedes opting to put mediums on Hamilton whilst his rivals went for the harder option.

The decision left Hamilton with an enormous task of going 67 laps on his current tyres. The Brit voiced his concerns over radio as he attempted the incredibly difficult challenge of keeping Max Verstappen at bay.

On lap 76, the Dutchman made a move for the lead. His Red Bull was right behind the limping Mercedes, so Verstappen attempted an audacious move down the inside of the chicane after exiting the tunnel. The two made contact, but it wasn’t severe and Hamilton went on to win.

He said: “I think it was one of the hardest races I've had.

“I definitely touched the barrier a lot of times."

4. Germany 2018

This is a particularly impressive win for Hamilton, as this is his only win starting from outside the top 10 on the grid. With championship leader Vettel on pole, the Brit’s Mercedes was down in 14th following mechanical issues.

Hamilton began his long climb up the standings rather impressively, moving into fifth on lap 14 before finding himself in fourth after the pit stops.

With rain beginning to fall, on lap 52 – with a nine second lead over Bottas – Vettel locked up at the Sachskurve in front of his home fans, and slid into the gravel.

Out came the safety car, and whilst Bottas and Raikkonen changed their tyres, a miscommunication on the radio meant Hamilton stayed on track, driving over the grass.

Now in the lead, Hamilton was set to defend from Bottas but Mercedes intervened, and the Brit went on to win one of his greatest challenges.

"I knew there was the possibility to win when it started to rain," said Hamilton.

Hamilton celebrates winning the Chinese Grand Prix

3. China 2011

Following some severe mechanical issues, Hamilton only just made it to the grid in China where he lined up in third.

After a strong start that saw him overtake Vettel’s Red Bull, Hamilton found himself fifth after going to the pits.

Before his final stop, Hamilton dived down the inside of teammate Jenson Button before passing Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes and Massa’s Ferrari with 12 laps to go.

Lewis only needed six laps to negate the 4.6 second advantage of Vettel, and despite some stern defending from the German, the McLaren took the lead with an exceptional move heading into turn seven.

Hamilton said: "This race is in my top three of race wins, up there with Silverstone and Monaco in 2008."

2. Bahrain 2014

Rosberg went into this race leading the championship, and qualified on pole as he eyed potentially extending his lead.

However, Hamilton took the lead on the inside of the first corner and the two pulled away from the rest of the field.

Rosberg had the better tyres and after a safety car, he had 11 laps to try and overtake Hamilton. The German attempted to take the lead several times, notably with six laps to go as the two duelled from turn one through to turn four.

Each time Rosberg tried to surpass Hamilton, the Brit held on. Despite the German setting the fastest lap and starting on pole, his teammate bested him in Bahrain.

Hamilton has enjoyed tremendous success at Silverstone

1. Britain 2008

Starting on the second row in awfully wet conditions at Silverstone, Hamilton got off to a brilliant start and almost overtook his teammate Kovaleinen, who started on pole.

Hamilton took the lead on lap five despite having trouble with a misting visor and he drove brilliantly, perfectly wearing his tyres as others faltered.

With Raikonnen now in second, the two headed into the pits and Ferrari kept the Finn on the same set of intermediates, whilst McLaren gave Hamilton a new set.

The rain duly returned and Hamilton’s tyres were far-better equipped to deal with the conditions.

After just five laps following the pit stop, Raikkonen was 22 seconds behind Lewis.

Hamilton swapped onto new intermediates rather than extreme wets, but the Brit was flying on the compound that was perceived to be slower. As the track dried, his lead grew.

In the end, Hamilton finished a full minute and almost nine seconds ahead of Heidfeld, who was second. The Brit lapped everyone but his fellow podium-sitters in a commanding performance that is still heralded to this day.

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