Lewis Hamilton made Formula One history in the Portuguese Grand Prix by winning for a record 92nd time.
The 35-year-old from Stevenage largely dominated the race to move ahead of Michael Schumacher, the retired legend who is now stricken at home after a terrible skiing accident seven years ago.
The landmark triumph also took Hamilton yet closer to a seventh world title, a haul he would then share with the German.
But that near-inevitable elevation to another high-water mark can wait. There is this magic afternoon in the Algarve to savour first. It came about after a captivating opening first few laps. Hamilton, unable to get his medium tyres working in the windy, cool, autumnal air, was momentarily skating around the Portimao track.
Although away cleanly from pole position, he was soon passed by Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas and McLaren’s Carlos Sainz.
This was not in the script. Nor was Sainz taking the lead on lap one. But until the sixth lap, when Bottas overtook him, that is how it was. Giddy moments for the British team and their Spanish driver.
Hamilton, running third, then passed Sainz. He followed this up by banging in three consecutive fastest laps to put himself right on the tail of Bottas.
What followed was as inevitable as night following day.
Hamilton duly passed the Finn at the start of lap 20. After you Claude! Too easy.
Hamilton had led away at the start of the race heading downhill into turn one following a good start in Portimao
But as Mercedes struggled with tyre temperatures in the first few laps, Carlos Sainz took a shock lead for McLaren
After Sainz fell away, Bottas moved into first but was soon caught and passed by Hamilton within the first 20 laps
And then the Briton was away. Whereas a few moments earlier the champion had been worried about his tyre wear, now he was in his element, opening up a lead of seven seconds in nine pulverising laps. He now declared his rubber in fine fettle.
The only concern on Hamilton’s horizon was contained in the grey clouds that framed this rollercoaster circuit. A few times he asked if rain was coming. He was reassured that little or any precipitation would fall. There were, in fact, drops of the lightest drizzle for much of the race.
Off Hamilton rode majestically into the pages of history. His Mercedes is a car on its own. He, in turn, is a driver on his own, putting light years between himself and Bottas – 25 seconds. Max Verstappen finished third for Red Bull with Charles Leclerc fourth for Ferrari.
Max Verstappen took a distant third for Red Bull in a day which saw Mercedes once again dominate their rivals
Sparks fly from Charles Leclerc who took a highly impressive fourth place for Ferrari to maintain his relatively fine season
But nobody was in the frame once Hamilton put his foot on the larynx of his would-be pursuers the moment he took the lead.
Joy for Hamilton 13 years after he opened up his account in Canada in 2007, his maiden triumph that presaged the glory that was to come.
Aged 35, he will now aim for a century of victories, his ability and fitness virtually undimmed.
Perhaps the other star performer on the day was Racing Point’s Sergio Perez. He was punted by Verstappen on lap one, fell to the back but scrapped his way up from the very back to finish seventh.
Verstappen heavily locks his tyres as he looks to defend from Sainz and Leclerc during the opening lap of the race
After a first lap collision, Sergio Perez (front) took a superb seventh place having fought back from the back of the pack
His team-mate Lance Stroll suffered double ignominy – penalised for causing a collision with McLaren’s Lando Norris and then for an abuse of track limits. He retired.
By the time the action had ended Hamilton had lapped all but the top four. He leads Bottas by 77 points with 130 on offer.
He set the fastest lap for good measure.
A man apart.
RE-LIVE ALL THE PORTUGUESE GP ACTION...
LEWIS HAMILTON WINS THE PORTUGUESE GRAND PRIX
Hamilton breaks Michael Schumacher's record of 91 race wins.
1. Hamilton, 2. Bottas, 3. Verstappen, 4. Leclerc, 5.Gasly, 6. Perez, 7. Ocon, 9. Ricciardo, 10. Vettel.
LAP 64/66: Gasly does pass Perez on the next lap around theoutside of turn one, now Perez has to defend form Carlos Sainz.
LAP 63/66: Big fight for fifth. Sergio Perez is having to defend heavily from Pierre Gasly. I don't think the Mexican is going to be able to hold him out too long though,
LAP 61/66: Another fastest lap for Hamilton - he is going to break Schumacher's record of 91 race wins in style.
LAP 60/66: New fastest lap for Hamilton - he is now as good as 19 seconds clear of Bottas. This is Hamilton in cruise control don't forget, he is not even trying.
LAP 57/66: A very lonely afternoon but a strong one for Leclerc. He is 20 seconds down on Verstappen, yet half-a-minute clear of Perez.
Ferrari have been woeful this term, but Leclerc's reputation has taken no damage at all.
LAP 55/66: Meanwhile out on front, Hamilton is over 16 seconds clear of Bottas. Doesn't sound a lot really, but in F1 terms, the thrashing he has given his team-mate is like a 6-1 beating. WIth Bottas's '1' coming in the early laps when he passed the Brit - see I have thought about this (a bit).
LAP 54/66: Through goes Vettel on Raikkoenn down the straight for tenth as Esteban Ocon finally pits, emerging in eighth.
LAP 53/66: Stroll retires from the race due to a lot of damage on his car, while Nicholas Latifi is the latest driver to get a track limits warning. Come on, lads- - just stick to the white lines.
LAP 52/66: The battle for the final points paying position is on. Vettel trying to pinch tenth from his former Ferrari team-mate Raikkonen.
LAP 51/66: And there goes Verstappen past the Brit born Thai. To rub salt into the wound, his race engineer also informs him that he is on his final warning in regards to track limits.
LAP 50/66: Bad news for Alex Albon and his hopes of staying at Red Bull for 2021. He has been given the hurry up by his team recently... and he is now about to get lapped byhis team-mate Max Verstappen. He is down in 12th behind Vettel.
LAP 49/66: Right what's happened with Russel. Pit-stops in a nutshell. He is down in 14th and once more it looks like being another weekend without points. In fairness in a race that has yet to see a retirement, chances of him landing a top 10 finish are next to nothing in that struggling Williams.
LAP 47/66: Finally some good news for Bottas. He has picked up some speed and his now steadily building a gap back to third placed Verstappen again.
LAP 46/66: A penny for Sebastian Vettel's thoughts. While his team-mate Leclerc is in fourth he is down in 11th and out of the points and soon to be lapped by his old rival Hamilton. The 2020 season cannot end quick enough for the four-time world champion.
LAP 45/66: Light drops in the air again. Sky Sports'Ted Kravitz claims that Bottas was denied the soft tyres he wanted because once Hamilton pitted for his tyres, it locks in the strategy for the Finn too. I would be surprise if he was not already aware of that Mercedes internal rule.
LAP 44/66: He can forget Hamilton though, his concern may be what's behind him. Verstappen is just eight seconds down on Bottas - and running faster.
LAP 43/66: No wonder Bottas wanted soft tyres, he is really struggling to get heat, thus grip, in his harder tures. Following the pit-stop phase he is now over 12 seconds down on Hamilton.
LAP 42/66: Grosjean's final warning has come and gone and now like STroll he has picked up a five-second penalty for track limits.
LAP 41/66: Fair play to Bottas. He is told by the team that Hamilton is on the hard tyre so he demands to go on the soft to offer a counter strategy.
Once he pits though, his heart must have sunk when he saw the hard tyres going on to his car.
LAP 40/66: Despite telling his team his tyres are comfortable, Hamilton pits which is a sign that even Mercedes know the word champion has the race won. On to the hard tyre he goes.
LAP 38/66: Your top 10 right now are:
1. Hamilton, 2. Bottas, 3. Verstappen, 4. Leclerc, 5. Perez, 6. Ocon, 7, Ricciardo, 8. Gasly, 9. Sainz, 10, Raikkonen.
LAP 37/66: Hamilton is still building his gap to Bottas - it is now up to eight seconds. The Finn is being warned about track limits by his team.
LAP 36/66: Stroll is now pitted for his scheduled stop... and also his two five-second penalties. No surprises to see him emerge well adrift at the back of the pack. His team-mate Perez is in fifth by the way.
LAP 35/66: Still no stops from the Mercedes pair - Hamilton though is more than happy with the set of rubber he is on, He is cruising out in front.
LAP 34/66: Leclerc pits for the hard tyres, as from third he emerges in fourth around seven seconds behind Verstappen.
LAP 32/66: Brilliant from Kimi Raikkonen - he's still got it! After a fight with Carlos Sainz for tenth he battles well to defend his position by repassing the Spaniard having lost out moments earlier
LAP 31/66: Eight seconds between Hamilton ad Bottas now. The Finn apparently just can't generate grip in his car the way Lewis can.
LAP 30/66: I've gone a bit early with the calls for black flags, either way Stroll has broken track limits again and has been given another five-second penalty. Romain Grosjean is also now on a final warning regarding track limits. He has struggled with that all weekend.
LAP 29/66: Hamilton is running seven tenths of a lap faster than Bottas. The difference between being a very good race driver and one of the best of all time.
LAP 28/66: Is this the weekend George Russel finally scores points for Williams? He has yet to score in F1 despite many decent drives since making his debut last season but he is running seventh.
LAP 27/66: With Verstappen having stopped, Leclerc is now running third for Ferrari and is around 21 seconds behind Hamilton.
LAP 26/66: Perez was bundled off the track on the first lap. I thought he was out but he has kept it going and is flying along nicely in eighth.
LAP 25/66: 'Showers in the distance at turn eight' claims Hamilton to his team. Lewis now is happy with his tyres and that is ominous for the rest of the field.
LAP 24/66: Verstappen pits for the medium tyre as Stroll is given a five second penalty for causing a collision with Norris following that earlier botched overtake, which also dropped the McLaren to the back of the pack and ruin the Brit's afternoon.
LAP 23/66: Meanwhile, since Hamilton took the lead he has left Bottas for dead. The gap between the Mercs is over three seconds already.
LAP 22/66: The fight for third is getting interesting. Leclerc is just three seconds behind Verstappen and the Ferrari is running faster at this stage of the race.
LAP 21/66: Carlos Sainz claims it is raining again. I'm sure seeing as he is in Portugal he knows better than I do but I can't say I agree.
LAP 20/66: How easy was that!? Hamilton cruises up behind Bottas on the start straight, gets into his slipsteam, pulls back onto the racing line and easily gets the job done.
LAP 19/66: Hamilton is really putting the pressure on Bottas now - he is all over his team-mate's gearbox.
LAP 18/66: Spin, spin spin. Lance Stroll gets past Norris but then spins off the road going around the outside. He has suffered damage.
LAP 16/66: Crickey, Sainz is going backwards since taking the lead early on. He is running fifth but is now coming under heavy pressure from AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly.
LAP 14/66: 'Left front doesn't feel that great' Hamilton tells his team. The Brit has dropped to a couple of seconds behind Bottas.
LAP 13/66: Verstappen is reporting to the radio that his front tyres are cooked, shouldn't be long before he comes in. The understeer will be awful in that Red Bull.
Lance Stroll has been given a black and white flag by the way, for breaking track limits too many times. That's an official warning telling him that if he continues to do that he will be given a black flag and disqualified from the race.
LAP 12/66: Meanwhile Charles Leclerc is up to fourth for Ferrari having passed Sainz and these days that is dizzying heights for the Maranello outfit.
LAP 11/66: Bottas is around two seconds clear of Hamilton now. Verstappen is though starting to drop off the pair with his soft tyres starting to struggling. Mercedes on the medium compound are seeing a long term strategy pay off now.
LAP 8/66: There are six seconds between the top three, and those McLarens are really struggling now a Charles Leclerc's Ferrari gets past Norris for fifth.
LAP 7/66: And there goes Verstappen. A bit more of a familiar top three feel, Bottas from Hamilton and the DUtchman.
LAP 6/66: Hamilton also gets past Sainz on the straight to move back up into second, with the fast chasing Verstappen also now homing on Sainz quickly.
LAP 5/66: Verstappen was under investigation but he has been given the all clear following that incident with Perez. Bottas has now passed Sainz to take the lead of the Portuguese Grand Prix.
LAP 4/66: Mercedes are starting to heat those tyres up though and Mercedes are reeling in Sainz.
LAP 3/66: It's not raining hard enough to make cars pit, but after three laps your top five are Sainz, Bottas, Hamilton, Norris and Verstappen. It appears to be the soft tyres are paying off for the lead McLAren in these tricky conditions. He started seventh!
LAP 2/66: This is mad Carlos Sainz is the man on a charge passing, Verstappen, Hamilton and Bottas to now lead! This is bonkers.
THE PORTUGUESE GRAND PRIX IS UNDERWAY
LAP 1/66: Clean start from Lewis Hamilton, with Max Verstappen moving into second. But the Dutchman soon clips Serio Perez, putting him out the race.
Valtteri Bottas moves up to second then first! How? It's starting to rain!
The drivers get underway on the formation line-up
Here is how they will line-up...
One of the better national anthem performances this season
With backing from acoustic guitars that was a very lovely rendition of the Portuguese national anthem. I think even Daniel Ricciardo was swaying a lot with it at one point. COuntdown to the race starts now though, with just over 10 minutes to go.
Hamilton has only failed to win in two countries that he has raced in, he will hope to avoid it becoming three on Sunday...
The Algarve in October, sounds like a place for some lovely autumn sun
Well, not exactly. It's very windy at the circuit and there are a few concerning clouds hovering over the track. Rain is predicted to fall this afternoon... but only after the race. It's still around 20 degrees Celsius though.
Sebastian Vettel though says bring on the rain...
'We are racing into the unknown. There might be some rain on the way! Why not - it might spice things up! It’s gonna be a fun race'
It's F1's first visit to Portimao
And it's the first time the Portuguese Grand Prix has been staged since 1996 when Jacques Villeneuve took a thrilling victory in front of team-mate Damon Hill.
If you need a guide around the circuit, who better to take you around than our world champion and pole sitter...
Valtteri Bottas was fastest in all three practice sessions but once more when it came to the crunch, it was Hamilton who came out on top in qualifying. Here is how Saturday's action played out...
The script is written for Lewis Hamilton at Portimao
It's been a matter of when and not if Lewis Hamilton would break Michael Schumacher's victories record in the last few years, but now win No 92 for the Brit is on a plate in front of him at the Portuguese Grand Prix as I welcome you to our live coverage.
Lewis Hamilton continues to home in on his seventh world championship but he is on course to set break one of F1's biggest records at the Portuguese Grand Prix.
Starting from pole position alongside Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas, another win at Portimao would see the Brit break Michael Schumacher's 14-year record of 91 grand prix victories.
Follow Sportsmail's DAN RIPLEY for live Formula One coverage from Portimao for all the action as it happens.