Hamilton edges closer to Schumacher’s record
Briton scoops 76th career win in another Mercedes one-two at Spanish Grand Prix
Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton won last weekend’s 2019 Spanish Grand Prix, registering his 76th career win.
This victory, the fifth successive one-two for Mercedes and a first for any team, brings Hamilton closer to matching seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher's all-time record of 91 race wins.
The 34 year-old Briton seized the lead from team mate Valtteri Bottas who had started on pole position as championship leader but made a slow getaway and lost out in a three-abreast rush to the first corner, with Hamilton on the inside and Vettel trying his chances on the outside before locking up and running wide.
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Moreover, the five times world champion has told reporters he would “far rather be in a battle with Formula One rivals Ferrari and Red Bull than teammate Valtteri".
"We are pedal-to-the-metal, and Valtteri right there pushing all the way," he said. "So I still have to deliver just as if a Ferrari was (right) behind me," he added.
Bottas is the only man to have beaten Hamilton this season in what has become an internal team battle ever since the opening race in Australia, memories of the previously chilly relationship with Nico Rosberg in 2016 being feared.
Bottas is a different character, and there is still plenty of respect with team boss Toto Wolff assuring reporters there would be no repeat of 2016. Hamilton said Mercedes were still working as hard as ever, pushing the car to the limit. "It's not like we go to the race and because we have a margin we back off," he explained.
SIPUKA LOANS HIS CAR TO TEAMMATE
An endearing act of sportsmanship was demonstrated by veteran racer Tschops Sipuka at last weekend’s 2019 GTC championship held at Killarney Raceway, Cape Town.
After a series of technical issues plagued both Audi A4s of Sipuka and his team mate Simon Moss during qualifying, championship leader Moss’s car refused to fire up on race day.
Sipuka, who returned to racing this year after a six-year sabbatical, promptly offered his race car to Moss to ensure his championship hopes remain alive.
Moss thanked Sipuka by working his loan car up the ranks from stone last to third position in race one, and scoring 14 points. For the second heat, still in Sipuka's Audi, Moss started fourth on the grid and drove flawlessly to win the second race of the day.
"I have to take my hat off to Tschops," Terry Moss, Audi Team Principal said after the race.
"He's been in the game for a long time and he is a true sportsman for giving his car to Simon to save the championship for him. It takes a real man to do that and I sincerely appreciate what he's done for the team,” added Moss Snr.
TANAK WINS RALLYE CHILE BUT OGIER RETAKES CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD
Estonian Ott Tanak won the inaugural Rally of Chile for Toyota in a race which saw championship leader Thierry Neuville flown to hospital for precautionary checks after crashing out.
Hyundai’s Neuville had started the rally with a 10-point lead over reigning champion Sebastien Ogier (Citroen) after six rounds of the season, and was running in third place at the time of the crash. Tanak, who now has two wins for the season, claimed five bonus points for winning the final power stage, with Ogier, a six-time world champion, coming in second to retake the championship lead.
Sebastien Loeb finished a close third for Hyundai. Ogier now has 122 points to Tanak's 112 and Neuville's 110. Hyundai lead the manufacturer's standings with 178 to Toyota's 149.