Rick Zamperin: Lewis Hamilton cements status as greatest racer of all time

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain after his record breaking 92nd win at the Formula One Portuguese Grand Prix at the Algarve International Circuit in Portimao, Portugal, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. Jose Sena Goulao, Pool via AP

There is a saying in sports that records are meant to be broken and that has certainly held true since professional sports came to be more than a century ago.

We see records being broken almost every year in many sports in North America and around the world.

One of the latest examples came Saturday night when Tampa Bay Rays rookie outfielder Randy Arozarena slugged his ninth home run of the playoffs — the most ever in a baseball post-season.

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Some records, however, are such incredible achievements and so much further ahead than anything else that’s been accomplished before that they can be safely deemed as untouchable.

Wayne Gretzky’s NHL record of 2,857 points (936 more than Jaromir Jagr in second place) will never be challenged. In fact, Gretzky had more assists (1,963) in his career than anyone else has points.

Cy Young holds baseball’s record for most career wins by a pitcher at 511. The next closest is Walter Johnson’s 417. Bartolo Colon is the only active pitcher in the top 50 and the 47-year-old hurler has amassed 247 career victories, not even half of Young’s total.

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Michael Schumacher compiled an incredible 91 career wins in Formula One racing between 1991 and 2012, a record that many thought would stand the test of time.

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Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel has massed 53 wins in his career, and F1 legend Alain Prost topped out at 51.

But on Sunday, in his 14th season on the F1 circuit, Lewis Hamilton drove his Mercedes racecar to his 92nd career victory and surpassed the once-thought-of-untouchable mark.

The British driver is also well on his way to a seventh world championship this season, which would equal Schumacher’s all-time mark, and already holds several other records, including most career points, podiums and pole positions.

Even at 35 years of age, Hamilton shows no sign of slowing down and it is anyone’s guess as to how many career wins and championships he will collect by the time he retires from the sport.

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Who knows, years from now we could be talking about another person who breaks Hamilton’s all-time Formula One records.

However, the way he is going, his records — like those of Gretzky and Young — may truly be unbreakable.

Rick Zamperin is the assistant program, news and senior sports director at Global News Radio 900 CHML.

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