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How Hamilton matched Senna after Mercedes Spanish masterclass

How Hamilton matched Senna after Mercedes Spanish masterclass

F1 News

How Hamilton matched Senna after Mercedes Spanish masterclass

How Hamilton matched Senna after Mercedes Spanish masterclass

Lewis Hamilton drew level with his hero Ayrton Senna’s record of consecutive one-venue victories on Sunday in Barcelona following an impressive strategy call that helped Mercedes to convert pole to victory for the 100th time.

Hamilton had claimed his 100th pole on Saturday but Red Bull rival Max Verstappen nipped ahead at the start only to find Hamilton back on top again by the finish as he maintained his impressive pole-to-victory strike rate.

Valtteri Bottas, despite another disappointing race, also had something to celebrate while Red Bull achieved a momentous lap, and there was satisfaction for Ferrari and Carlos Sainz in his home race.

Hamilton matches Senna’s venue victories

As our 'world map of wins' showed when Hamilton took his 92nd last year, the F1 legend has passed the chequered flag first in many different countries – but the Circuit de Catalunya is now one of his happiest hunting grounds.

If the biggest landmark of the weekend was his 100th pole position, perhaps equally as satisfying - and maybe even more humbling - was the fact he has now won as many consecutive races at a single venue as Ayrton Senna after making it five in a row in Spain.

Okay, so Senna took five at Monaco, but achieving this landmark in Barcelona says a lot about Hamilton and Mercedes, because it is the venue where the teams test the most, build up the most knowledge and, in theory, should be the closest.

Superb strike rates for Hamilton and Mercedes

Hamilton may have lost pole at the start and did not lead many laps of the race but when you look at the record book it will simply show a pole and a victory, and this was the 59th time the Briton has achieved that conversion.

After extending his pole record on Saturday with his landmark 100th [now 32 more than the previous best of 68 set by Michael Schumacher], that makes the strike rate statistic a simple sum – coming out at 59%, which is significantly higher than the F1 average of 42%.

It was also Mercedes’ 100th win from pole, making it only the second team to achieve the feat behind Ferrari, while notably, it was Valtteri Bottas' 50th podium for the team after finishing third.

Also significantly, the reigning champions overhauled McLaren to become the second-highest points scorers in F1 history.

Red Bull rockets to laps landmark

Verstappen chalked up Red Bull's 4,000th lap in F1 in the lead during his 54-lap stint at the front of the field in Barcelona, but unfortunately for the team, one of the 12 laps he did not lead was the final one.

But three times a runner-up added to his single victory this season means this is the Dutch driver's best start to an F1 season, leaving him 14 points behind Hamilton, compared to a 36-point deficit at the same stage last year.

Home happiness for Sainz again

Carlos Sainz was disappointed his first race for Ferrari in his native Spain did not achieve better than seventh, but by getting into the points he has now scored in every one of the seven F1 races he has entered on home soil.

Sainz felt his Ferrari could have gone much faster had he not got stuck behind two McLarens and an Alpine, resulting in him finishing 20 seconds behind team-mate Charles Leclerc, who matched Ferrari's best 2021 finish with fourth.

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