Lewis Hamilton wins Emilia Romagna GP as Mercedes claim record seventh F1 title

It was another history-making triumph for Lewis Hamilton as he put himself within touching distance of a record-equalling seventh world championship.

Seven days after passing Michael Schumacher's record of 91 race victories, Hamilton delivered another crushing performance to edge closer to matching the German great's all-time tally of world titles.

And Sunday's win in Imola, a circuit where his childhood hero Ayrton Senna tragically died 26 years ago, also bagged Mercedes their seventh consecutive constructors' championship.

The Silver Arrows have now overseen the greatest period of dominance by one team in F1 – and their superstar driver is also on the brink of extending his period of supremacy.

Hamilton can now match Schumacher's record haul of seven world titles by winning in Istanbul a week on Sunday.

The Briton is 85 points clear of team-mate Valtteri Bottas with just four races remaining.

"It was an exhausting race, the speed we were having to go after a poor start," said Hamilton, who will win the title at the next race as long as Bottas does not out-score him by more than seven points.

"It is very overwhelming right now. I look at my crew and I know all the men and women here and back in the factory and they are the unsung heroes.

"They are the ones that have continued to graft away, never given up. People watching think we are used to it but it always feels like the first because of the spirit of this team.

"We have a great leader in our team and a big, big thank you to Mercedes.

"Seven is unbelievable. While we have great performances it is not easy to continue to deliver weekend in and out. The guys are so precise in how they take the car apart and put it together again weekend after weekend.

"Seven times champs – something to tell my grandchildren."

He didn't have it all his own way yesterday though as he dropped to third at the start after Red Bull's Max Verstappen showed his pace with a mighty start off the line.

Hamilton's poor opening saw him adopt a different strategy to Bottas and Verstappen, and ultimately helped him assume control of the race thanks to a number of stunning laps on ageing rubber.

The Briton stopped 11 laps later than Bottas and comfortably emerged in the lead, with the Virtual Safety Car – deployed when Esteban Ocon broke down in his Renault – helping his cause.

Verstappen's retirement late on led to another safety car with a dozen laps to go but Hamilton kept his cool at the restart to hold on and secure a record-extending 93rd career victory.

Bottas, who was hampered by early damage to the floor of his Mercedes, completed a memorable one-two for F1's all-conquering team.

It was the perfect finale and the celebrations quickly got underway, as Hamilton and Co popped the champagne to mark yet another record.

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