Michael Schumacher, Lewis Hamilton. Monaco, 2012

Hamilton: Surpassing Schumacher is ‘not impossible, but nothing’s given’

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In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton says it’s not impossible he could reach Michael Schumacher’s record of seven world championship titles.

What they say

Hamilton takes 19th win in two years, needs 19 more to equal Schumacher
Asked whether, when Schumacher his seventh title, Hamilton thought it would never be equalled, he said:

Honestly I don’t remember him getting the seventh title. I’ve not got a great memory so I don’t remember what I thought when he won that championship. But I think that was probably everyone’s thought in the business, is it’s unlikely anyone’s going to get anywhere near.

It’s not that it’s impossible, nothing’s impossible, but personally I don’t know how long I’m going to race.

And nothing’s promised. It’s not guaranteed every year we’re going to be able to compete the way we are and have an opportunity to win nine grands prix a year as we have the last couple. I’m not taking anything for granted.

Of course I’m going to keep pushing, keep trying to win. And if the time comes that I’m close then so it shall be but we’ll see. It’s a long way until then.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Force India has a plan to get up to ‘fighting weight’, but what does it say about modern F1 that teams are becoming so big?

It’s actually sad (not surprising though) that a team needs 500-plus staff to compete for a mere podium in F1. And that excludes all the staff at suppliers.

There must be a way that teams sized 250-300 can create sufficient diversity ingenuity and competitiveness to make the sport exciting. (standardise more parts I guess if a budget cap doesn’t work).

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Joao and Matteo!

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On this day in F1

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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27 comments on “Hamilton: Surpassing Schumacher is ‘not impossible, but nothing’s given’”

  1. Really enjoyed the Aguri Suzuki interview on F1.com. Always good to hear from former drivers.

    It really is shame that Japan has not produced a race wining F1 driver yet. I really think that if Ukyo Katayama or Kobayashi were given a fair whack in a top team, they may have come close.

  2. With the #7 Toyota winning Shanghai, I guess they have an equal shot at the WEC title as the #8. The only reason #8 is ahead is because of the LeMans win. A surprise to me is that the “senior” Rebellion car is behind the relatively inexperienced line-up of Laurent/Menezes/Beche. I fully expected Lotterer/Jani to walk all over the others. I guess I was wrong. And congratulations to Aston Martin for the GTE Pro win, after the disappointing season they’ve had with the new car. I hope they remain competitive, or hope BoP allows them to remain competitive (:P).

  3. Pretty sure Bernie has a deal with some entity that will allow him to live forever.

    1. Lol.
      And probably that entity just found out the deal makes them pay money to Bernie…

      1. LOL, that’s priceless, and on the money!

    2. I understand Bernie is funding the law suit of that Dutch guy who wants to slash 20 years off his age.

      PS I’d like to thank my wife, who has the patience when I’m commenting, my parents who taught me to be vocal, all previous F1 drivers and team members who helped me love the sport, and of course Bernie without whom I’d never could have won this humbling accolade ;)

      1. @coldfly – congratulations on the CotD!

    3. It is probably because that neither heaven or hell can afford to pay for his hosting fee

  4. The COTD is spot on, it is a sad thing that you need 500 plus people to be even remotely competitive in F1.

    I pulled Adam Parr’s “The Art of War” off my shelf over the weekend and was struck buy just how accurate he was when he discussed the effect that the now current engine regulations would have on smaller teams. A lot of the arguments from 09/10 are still being had today. It’s quite a sad state of affairs really.

  5. “Williams needs to attack ‘all areas’ – Smedley”
    I used to think Lowe was part of the ‘solution’ for Williams but, if Smedley can identify so many issues in a few days, maybe Lowe is part of the ‘problem’…

  6. Williams needs to make changes in all areas of its organisation if it is going to recover from its disappointing 2018 Formula 1 campaign, says departing engineering chief Rob Smedley.

    For some time now we’ve been hearing about how Williams are focusing on the 2019 car, which is why the 2018 car continues to have a poor run.

    In that context, I’d hope that those changes were already well underway, it’s a short run to the pre-season tests.

  7. Ehi, that’s me in the birthday section. Thank you!

    1. Happy birthday, @m-bagattini and @johnmilk (assuming the João is you!)

      1. Yes I’m.
        Happy birthday @m-bagattini

      2. Btw if you are a man congratulations are in due as well, today is man’s international day. I’m humbled someone decided to make the 19th of November such an important date after me, a trully humbling feeling

  8. Thanks @phylyp, appreciated!

  9. I agree with Hamilton as well as with Chandhok to an extent. I can also see where the COTD is coming from, but that’s more or less how it’s always been in F1 ever since day one.
    – Andy Jones’ 2012 US GP post-race tweet, though, LOL.

    1. @jerejj

      I can also see where the COTD is coming from, but that’s more or less how it’s always been in F1 ever since day one.

      Ah, no. This is one of the very (very, very, very, …) few times rose-tinted glasses do have some sort of justification.
      Ultimately, success in F1 has always been about outspending and/or out-manpowering everyone else, that much is true.
      But the current situation is markedly different from earlier eras. The sheer explosion of the staff size needed to run even a barely competitive entry is still fairly recent. It’s nigh impossible to give a precise date, but I’d say a staff of less than 100 employees was still the norm for most teams in the late-ish Nineties.
      Even further back in time, non-works entries in the Sixties and Seventies used to operate with a staff of no more than 20-50 people, occasionally even less. Or privateers in the Fifties, who only needed a staff of 2 to 5 people, including the driver, to get through a race weekend.
      Very different times, that.

  10. Hamilton surpassing Schumacher’s championship record is definitely within the realm of possibility, in my opinion. And that’s something that would have seemed unachievable a decade or so ago.

    Hamilton surpassing Schumacher’s win record is almost a certainty. Hamilton is a much cleaner racer than Schumacher, so it would be nice to see him get at least this record.

    1. Fikri Harish (@)
      19th November 2018, 11:54

      The thing is, Hamilton’s chance in breaking those two records isn’t down to him, it pretty much hinges on the possibility of whether Ferrari and/or Redbull Honda could mount a serious challenge in the next three years or so.
      Hamilton has had only one serious rival to contend with since 2014. Rosberg from 2014 to 2016 and Vettel from 2017 onwards.

      If you add Verstappen and possibly Leclerc (and perhaps Gasly? I’m still somewhat unconvinced) into the equation, the outlook starts to get considerably less rosy.
      Even accounting for the long season, I still think Hamilton’s chance of breaking Schumacher’s record to be a long way from a certainty.

      1. @marinatedmonolith – quite true, my comment was based on the assumption that he can maintain his current trajectory. Whether reality will match that is yet to be seen, due to a variety of driver and aero factors in the next two years, as you rightly pointed out.

        I’d think his challengers will be Verstappen and one Ferrari driver – likely Vettel. If anything, Leclerc is more likely to help Hamilton by taking points away from Vettel. And a big point in Hamilton’s favour is that he heads into 2019 with a massive mental advantage.

        I share your lack of conviction about Gasly – he’s shown promise in TR, but whether he can (and will he be allowed to) challenge Verstappen outright is yet to be seen. And that’s assuming that Honda’s 2019 PU matches or improves on Renault’s 2018 PU (or assuming that Mercedes and Ferrari take a step back in aero).

  11. Just been seeing the news about Carlos Ghosn being/to be arrested. How closely involved is he in overseeing and approving funding for Renault F1, and what implications might it have for the team?

    1. Probably none, they are used to handle with crooks

  12. I don’t know about championship titles because surpassing Schumacher’s 7 means that Lewis needs 8 and that’s 3 more championships. I know it seems like a lot but Lewis has won 4 with Mercedes so he would need another 3. I find that unlikely unless Mercedes continues its domination or Lewis moves to another team that starts winning.

    On the other hand, Lewis is so close to passing Schumacher on the poles + wins. He has 154 poles + wins (82 + 72) which is close to Schumacher’s 159 poles + wins (68 + 91). He’s already the only other driver to break the one and a half centuries putting in very rarefied company.

    If Mercedes continues to perform as they do he may break a century of poles (100) which will be pretty incredible.

    If he competes for 2-3 championships, he may come close to a double century of wins + poles. It’s too early to talk about it but next year, we’ll know if a double century is even within the realms of the possible.

  13. Breaking news of Renault (and Nissan) troubles. Look like Red Bull made the right call with Honda next year.

  14. i’m split between seeing history being made, again, or to see other drivers winning.
    Hamilton and Vettel already won WAY TOO MUCH.
    Since 2010, 61 wins for Hamilton ,47 for Vettel, 23 for Rosberg, 11 for Alonso, 8 for Button, 7 for Webber and Ricciardo, 5 for Verstappen, 3 for Bottas and Raikkonen, 1 to Maldonado.

    Their success already denied the drivers that followed (Perez, Ricciardo, Hulk) from achieving anything more than a few wins and podiums.

    It would be interesting to see Hamilton winning 100 races, but i dont know if i want to see that.

Comments are closed.