Britain's most successful F1 driver? Lewis Hamilton equals Nigel Mansell's record of 31 wins after Russia GP

 
Joe Hall
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Lewis Hamilton celebrates his ninth win of the season (Source: Getty)
Lewis Hamilton extended his championship lead with ease at the Russian Grand Prix today, dominating the track in Sochi to secure his ninth win of the season, giving him a 17 point lead over teammate Nico Rosberg.
With just three stages left to go, Hamilton is in pole position to record his second Formula One World Drivers’ Championship.
Yet having picked up the 31st win of his career today, Hamilton has already made history. The Hertfordshire born boy is now level with Nigel Mansell with the most wins from a British driver.
Hamilton overtook Jackie Stewart’s record of 27 stage wins with victory in Italy last month. After picking up three wins out of three races since, is now just one more popped champagne cork away from becoming the most successful British F1 driver of all time, in terms of wins.
Hamilton has already secured the record for the most podium positions for a British racing driver, having finished in the top three positions on 67 occasions throughout his career - five more than David Coulthard on 62 and eight more than Mansell on 59.
However, even if the 29-year-old seals the deal and powers to the 2014 championship in Abu Dhabi next month, Stewart will still have the edge in terms of total championship wins.
Hamilton’s only championship win to date came six years ago in 2008 for McLaren. Stewart, however recorded a championship win once every other season between 1969 and 1973 to finish on three. Only two other British drivers have won the F1 Championship more than once; Graham Hill in 1962 and 1968, and Jim Clark in 1963 and 1965.
Considering the competition I haven’t even mentioned yet - Damon Hill, James Hunt, Jenson Button - cementing himself as the best British F1 driver of all time would be a pretty impressive feat on Hamilton’s part.
However, he still has a way to go to be considered the best of the very best. Five F1 drivers have won more races than Hamilton, including contemporary rivals Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso.

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