Lewis Hamilton celebrates in Turkey
Lewis Hamilton celebrates in Turkey Image Credit: Reuters

Dubai: Lewis Hamilton confirmed his coronation as the greatest driver of all time as he won an amazing race in Turkey, teeing up a party in Abu Dhabi to celebrate his record-equalling seventh Drivers’ Championship Formula One title.

Hamilton nursed his Mercedes home for victory on balding intermediate tyres - refusing team orders to pit - after a chaotic race where nine different racers had the outright lead.

The British Mercedes driver was heard sobbing on his team mic after equalling Michael Schumacher's seventh-title record, and with his all-time records in pole positions and GP victories, he is now the greatest driver of all time.

Hamilton can now begin his celebrations, culminating in Abu Dhabi on December 13 as the curtain comes down on a season like no other.

Rivals such as Sebastian Vettel - the great four-time champion -  were all congratulating Hamilton as he composed himself, still sat in his cockpit.

Hamilton, such an assertive and outspoken ambassador for Black Lives Matter, was lost for words as he realised his achievement. And what an achievement...

"I can't begin to think of this," he said after gathering himself. "This is the hard work of my father and the great people I have worked with over the years." He signed off with the ominous: "More to come."

His victory in Istanbul - the 94th of his career - allowed him to add the 2020 title to his championships of 2008, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2019.

The son of a black father and a white mother, whose parents separated in his youth, Hamilton, 35, grew up on a municipal housing estate. His father Anthony at one time held down three jobs to fund his son's embryonic racing career in karting.

Hamilton's journey was unprivileged and without luxury, but it was clear from an early age that he had an outstanding gift for speed and all the gutsy natural instincts of a born racer.

In 1995, aged 10, and wearing a jacket and shoes borrowed from his predecessor as British Formula Cadet karting champion, he went to a glittering awards ceremony in London where he met McLaren's then-boss Ron Dennis.

He asked for an autograph and told him "one day I want to race for you". Dennis replied: "Phone me in nine years and I'll sort you a deal."

Fast forward to 2020 and we have the world's greatest. 

So on to Abu Dhabi and Yas Island Circuit in four short weeks, where - regardless of the winner on that given day - the fireworks and celebrations will only be for one man.