After defying the odds to take pole position here, Racing Point’s Lance Stroll led from team-mate Sergio Perez for much of the race.
But the Canadian’s afternoon began to unravel in the final third. Stroll’s intermediate tyres were shot and after defying the pit wall’s decision to stop for new rubber he eventually surrendered his lead on lap 37. He would finish ninth.
On the same lap as Stroll’s stop, Hamilton – now promoted to third after Sebastian Vettel took on new tyres and Alexander Albon spun in his Red Bull – was suddenly in contention to win.
As he approached the 12th bend, Hamilton swooped round the outside of Perez to take the lead.
From there, the 35-year-old was in a class of one. On older tyres, he lapped the 3.3 miles of recently relayed asphalt at the Istanbul Park circuit consistently faster than anybody else.
It was a mesmerising performance that drew parallels with one of his finest afternoons behind the wheel of a Formula One machine, at Silverstone in 2008, when he romped to victory in similarly testing conditions.
He would go on to win his maiden title that year in Brazil. In a dozen years, it is a feat he has managed to achieve on six additional occasions and must now be considered among the greatest British sportspersons of all time.
Max Verstappen is the obvious heir to Hamilton’s throne, but where the Englishman rarely put a foot wrong on Sunday, the Red Bull man blew his chance of winning when he spun while battling Perez for second. He also had to stop for new tyres three times before crossing the line in sixth.
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