In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton shares his thoughts on Michael Schumacher and memories of his first encounters with the seven-times world champion.
What they’re saying
During pre-season testing Hamilton was asked for his memories of going up against Schumacher and what he admired about the seven-times champion whose pole positions record he beat last year. Here’s what he said:
Michael is someone I admire and I only have great things when it comes to thoughts of Michael.
When it comes to the influence he had on me, he just didn’t happen to be the driver I was influenced by. For me it was Ayrton [Senna] that I saw when I was five, and he’s the guy that I first started watching. So straight away he became my favourite guy, that will never change.
But of course I watched every [Schumacher] race, particularly his Benetton and Ferrari days. Admired his perfection and his drive, his fitness level and the way he conducted himself, most of the time.
I have two memories that come to mind. In 2001, I think it was, racing at Kerpen, his track, in karts. The word was Michael was coming to race. I think I was in Formula A or Super A. He raced in our class and I just remember being on the track with him and I thought that was cool. It must have been at the end of the race, and it was wet, weather wasn’t great, I remember pulling into parc ferme afterwards, my kart was parked behind his. I don’t know if he came up to me or I went up to him. He spoke to me the same level and it was just awesome to meet a great.
And then the next time was when I first got to Formula One. I think I was testing, it must’ve been 2006. I saw him ahead of me and I’m like ‘oh my God, I’m on Formula One and there’s Michael Schumacher ahead of me!’ He pulled away from me because I couldn’t keep up at the time. but it was a very surreal moment.
Read more about the time Hamilton and Schumacher faced each other in karts here:
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From the forum
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On this day in F1
- Lewis Hamilton and Robert Kubica claimed the front row of the grid for the Australian Grand Prix on this day in 2008