‘Incredibly grateful’ F1 champ Hamilton thanks fans after winning his 5th Russian Grand Prix to seal 100 career victories (VIDEO)

Lewis Hamilton earned a late 100th F1 victory in a dramatic Russian Grand Prix, celebrating in Sochi for the fifth time after torrential rain denied the impressive Lando Norris a maiden win. Read Full Article at RT.com

‘Incredibly grateful’ F1 champ Hamilton thanks fans after winning his 5th Russian Grand Prix to seal 100 career victories (VIDEO)

Lewis Hamilton earned a late 100th F1 victory in a dramatic Russian Grand Prix, celebrating in Sochi for the fifth time after torrential rain denied the impressive Lando Norris a maiden win.

In soaking conditions that threatened to emulate the thunder and lighting which delayed qualifying, 21-year-old Norris was minutes from victory despite rain beginning to batter the track with eight laps to go.

The McLaren prodigy's decision to persist with slick tyres meant he suffered an agonizing finish, failing to even make the podium as Hamilton hauled his way past from the back of the grid, leapfrogging arch-rival Max Verstappen at the top of the standings.

"I want to say a big thank you to all the fans – it's such a great crowd here," Hamilton beamed to fellow British Formula One champion Damon Hill on Sky Sports afterwards, lauding the 30,000 punters who filled the Autodrom to half-capacity by the Black Sea.

"I know it's not been the best of weather but what a race we provided, so thank you for backing us. It's taken a long time to get to 100 [wins] and I wasn't even sure whether or not it would come."

Norris, who spun before finishing seventh, overcame his heartbreak to share a warm handshake and embrace with Hamilton as the seven-time champion spoke in the setting where he has won on three of his last four visits.

"Lando did such an amazing job," said Hamilton. "He had incredible pace. He's doing such a great job for McLaren and it's very bittersweet to see my old team ahead and doing so well. They're doing fantastically.