Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport capped off its hugely dominant 2020 season by clinching record seventh consecutive Formula 1 drivers’ and constructors’ championships at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, underscoring its continuing stranglehold on the current turbo hybrid era. The chaotic race was won yet again by none other than six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, who extends his own record of victories to 93.
The Briton took the lead from teammate and polesitter Valterri Bottas in the middle of the race after benefitting from a pitstop during a virtual safety car, which was activated following the retirement of Renault’s Esteban Ocon. Bottas was hamstrung by damage caused by running over debris early in the race but hung on to secure second place, giving Mercedes a 1-2 finish to sweeten the weekend further.
The team had arguably the easiest run to both titles yet, having widened the performance gap to traditional rivals Red Bull and Ferrari to chasm-like levels over the winter and the extended shutdown brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. It won all but two races so far, losing out only to Red Bull’s Max Verstappen at the 70th Anniversary GP in Silverstone and Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasly at a topsy-turvy Italian GP in Monza.
Not only has Mercedes sealed the team’s title at Imola – surpassing a record set by Ferrari in the early 2000s with the help of Michael Schumacher – but it has also locked out the race for the drivers’ championship, which can now only be won by either Hamilton and Bottas. The former holds a lead of 85 points with three races to go and looks set to clinch his own seventh crown this year, equalling a record again set by Schumacher.
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