Mercedes caused a massive earthquake in 2013, convincing Lewis Hamilton to leave McLaren, his home, and join a project that almost a decade later tells the most overwhelming history of dominance in the championship, with seven chained doubles, achieved thanks to the best combination ever, the one formed by the British and the Silver Arrow. Since that first day, the brand of the star has been kneeling before Hamilton, who at the age of 36 mixes his magic as always with a suitcase of infinite experiences accumulated in his 15 seasons in the contest. That homage makes all the sense in the world if you look at the brilliant record of the Stevenage boy. And despite this, this Monday, when he wakes up in his apartment in Monaco or in New York, Hamilton will know that he owes one to his team, mainly responsible for his victory in Sochi, the fifth for him in 2021 and the number 100 of his service record, a capital triumph because it allows him to regain the baton of the general table of the World Cup.
Mercedes not only has one of the best drivers in history but also a technical group that is on par. Engineers like Peter Bonnington, the voice that calms you down or speeds you up on the other side of the radio, a key figure on Sundays like the latter, turned into a frenzied carousel during the last turns as a result of the rain. It must not be easy to contradict Hamilton and make him obey when he thinks he has to do the exact opposite of what is asked of him. And that is exactly what happened at the decisive moment of the race, with five laps to go and when the reigning champion was running second, glued to Lando Norris’ butt. In those that the sky began to unload and the McLaren kid opted to stay on the track despite wearing his car wearing smooth rubber, in an attack that made it clear that the young racer’s first triumph weighed more than the second. since it would have been insured in case of placing the scratched compounds. In just one lap, Hamilton left the workshop and cleaned his compatriot’s 25 seconds of mattress that had generated the stop, passed over him and left him lying, sliding along the margins of the track as if he were rolling on ice.
Norris’ grief contrasted with the revelry of Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz, the two who accompanied the winner on the podium, while Fernando Alonso finished sixth. The Dutchman’s crush exceeds the limits of any logic if one takes into account that he started last after Red Bull’s decision to uncork the fourth of its engines – the regulations only contemplate three without receiving a penalty. This maneuver remixes the cards again with a view to a final stretch of the course that is anticipated explosive, and that will surely be decided in this type of game. Verstappen has a fresh propellant with which he can tighten the nuts on Hamilton, leading by just two points with seven rounds to go, and having salvaged furniture in a way he didn’t expect.
“It took us time to get to that 100th victory,” acknowledged the Mercedes, who had not won since he did it at Silverstone in July. “I am very grateful to the team for calling me to put on the water tires. I didn’t want to let Lando go ahead, but it was the right decision, “added the seven-time champion.
You can follow EL PAÍS DEPORTES in Facebook and Twitter, or sign up here to receive our weekly newsletter.