Lewis Hamilton has made more Formula 1 history as his victory in the United States gives him his 50th race win – a figure reached by only two other drivers.
Michael Schumacher (91) and Alain Prost (51) are the two other men to rack up a half-century of victories.
Germany’s Schumacher and Frenchman Prost won 11 world titles between them, putting three-time champion Hamilton in rarefied company.
BBC Sport takes a look at the key stats behind Hamilton’s race wins, and picks out five of his best victories.
How long did it take them to get to 50?
‘Undoubtedly an all-time great driver’
Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 career is one of many illustrations of the problems with using statistics alone to define a driver’s “greatness”.
In the first seven years of Hamilton’s career, he amassed 22 wins; three years on and he has just taken his 50th. The exponential increase in ratio owing to nothing other than being comfortably the faster driver in the only car capable of winning.
Is Hamilton three times better as a driver now than he was in 2013? Of course not, any more than Michael Schumacher (91 wins) was more than twice as good as Ayrton Senna (41).
This, though, is not to say that Hamilton is not an all-time great driver – that, he undoubtedly is.
His biggest strength is his blistering speed, founded on an incredible feel for a car on the limits of adhesion during the braking phase for a corner. Jenson Button had it right when he said Hamilton is “one of the fastest drivers there has ever been”.
His raw pace is right up there with the very best. Senna, Jim Clark, Juan Manuel Fangio – he’s that good.
All drivers have their flaws and Hamilton is no exception – he has bizarrely off-form days; he is not as rounded a talent as some, or as complete.
But is there a faster driver with more natural talent in F1 today? Almost certainly not.
Andrew Benson, chief F1 writer
Hamilton’s favourite circuits
Five of the best wins…
2007 Japanese Grand Prix
2008 Monaco Grand Prix
2008 British Grand Prix
2011 Chinese Grand Prix
2012 United States Grand Prix
2014 Bahrain Grand Prix
And one that got away…
Good though win number 50 was, numbers alone don’t accurately reflect the career of Lewis Hamilton. When the Englishman is on form, as he was in Austin on Sunday, he’s sublime and his wins take on greater significance than a mere pot in his trophy cabinet.
He told us on Radio 5 live that F1 is a perennial search for perfection, and just occasionally he achieves it. Think Silverstone 2008, Monaco ’08, Turkey ’10; all of them awe-inspiring performances. Peaks such as these are so high that he’s unable to repeat them at every race, but he should remembered as much for them as for mere statistics.
Tom Clarkson – 5 live F1
Only one win in Spain, but not bad elsewhere
He’s won every year…
Only Button got the better of him (so far)…
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Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/formula1/37374267