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Lewis Hamilton Becomes First F1 Driver in History to Record 100 Victories

Sports Illustrated logo Sports Illustrated 9/26/2021 Ben Pickman
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Lewis Hamilton won the Russian Grand Prix on Sunday to become the first F1 driver in history to record 100 career wins.

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Lewis Hamilton, the four-time defending Formula 1 champion, won the Russian Grand Prix on Sunday to become the first F1 driver in history to record 100 career wins. 

With the victory, Hamilton also reclaimed the overall season standings lead, overtaking Max Verstappen. Verstappen and Carlos Sainz finished second and third, respectively, in Sunday's Russian Grand Prix.

"It will come when it comes, but of course, I'll be giving it absolutely everything tomorrow, chasing that number 100," Hamilton said earlier this week when asked by reporters about the prospects of reaching the century win mark.

"It's a big number. It seems like it's taking longer than ever before to get it. It's a pretty cool number to wait for."

Hamilton's latest win comes amid a boom in the sport's popularity. Earlier this week, Reed Hastings, the CEO of Netflix, who has produced the hit docuseris Formula 1: Drive to Survive, spoke to German outlet Der Spiegel and said the company "would definitely consider" bidding for F1's streaming rights. 

According to data from ESPN in June, viewership was up 50% from the 2020 season and 36% from 2019. The French Grand Prix on June 20 hit 1.1 million viewers, reportedly the largest U.S. audience since the 2019 Canadian Grand Prix on ABC, per NBC News.

Also, this week, Formula 1 announced the dates and course for the 2022 Miami Grand Prix. This marks the first Formula 1 race in Florida since 1959. The new track will be set within the city’s Hard Rock Stadium campus next May.

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