Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Nurburgring, 2020

Hamilton pays tribute to “an icon and a legend” after equalling Schumacher’s wins record

2020 Eifel Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton says he has a new appreciation for Michael Schumacher’s achievements in Formula 1 having equalled his record of 91 victories

The Mercedes driver, who has long been expected to reach Schumacher’s benchmark, spoke at length about his respect for the sport’s most successful driver in the press conference after his victory in the Eifel Grand Prix.

“Naturally everyone knows that he is an icon and a legend of the sport,” he said. “What he achieved in so many areas, pushing the limit in terms of the physicality side, he really was a pioneer in being the fittest driver at the time.

“What he did for both the teams that he was at, particularly at Ferrari, was just remarkable.”

Hamilton replaced Schumacher at Mercedes in 2013. At the end of his first year at the team Hamilton had won 22 races. Since the V6 hybrid turbo era began Hamilton has won 69 times to equal Schumacher’s benchmark.

“That number is so big and when it’s so far away it’s hard for people to perhaps fully understand how hard it was for him to have got those 91 wins,” said Hamilton. “To deliver, weekend in, weekend out, year on year and stay so in shape and so precise. I understand that now more than ever.

“I can only tell you that it doesn’t get easier. From your first win to the 91st I’m telling you it’s been a long, hard run.”

Following his win Schumacher’s son Mick present Hamilton with one of his father’s helmets in recognition of his achievement.

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“I actually already have one of Michael’s helmets,” said Hamilton. “One of the really, really special moments for me was in Abu Dhabi 2012 I went over to the Mercedes hospitality and met with Michael. We exchanged helmets and that was, for me, a moment that I’ll never forget.

“To stand with someone that I grew up watching on TV and having the honour of exchanging jerseys or helmets it’s what us sportsmen do and it’s the highest sign of respect that you can really, I think, show. So to have the legend of the sport do that with me was really special.

“To have his family honour me today, I’m just incredibly humbled. His son is such a great, bright talent, a really genuine human being. Michael’s obviously raised a great man in him and I look forward to seeing how his career will look moving forward. But now I’m going to have two special helmets from Michael in my small living room.”

Mercedes race team coordinator Stephen Lord, who has worked with Hamilton since the pair were at McLaren, joined him on the podium today.

“Steve had been with me every single race in Formula 1,” said Hamilton. “He moved with me from McLaren to Mercedes and he’s been with me through every single one of those 91 wins.

“The journey that you go on with so many people is what really matters and what really counts. And of course, the number is great.

“But I think what we collectively have done, I’m just unbelievably grateful to Mercedes for giving a young black boy a chance when I was 13 years old and supported me all the way.”

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2020 Eifel Grand Prix

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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37 comments on “Hamilton pays tribute to “an icon and a legend” after equalling Schumacher’s wins record”

  1. Lewis is such a generous personality. And so fitting that Mick would make that generous gesture to him as well.

  2. According to ex team biss Eddie Jordan, Michael Schmacher could never ever be considered as great as Lewis Hamilton because Schmacher had written into every f1 contract he saw that where possible his team mate was NOT allowed to beat him. If such being the case you wonder how many titles he would have won if this cheat clause was not included.

    1. This is what makes Schumacher the greatest. How does a man in his mid-20s with no real F1 connections go into the most expensive and political sport on the planet and basically call all the shots at Benetton within two years of being there.

      Same with going to Ferrari, the most toxic, political team of all where no-one succeeds, drivers and team managers leave that organisation with their reputation in tatter, but Schumacher has them eating out of the palm of his hand, delivers them 5 consecutive championships with a three more near misses.

      This is why Schumacher is the best of all time.

      He was obviously operating on a different level to everyone else, the smartest guy in the room.

      Hamilton made a bold move going to Mercedes but all the chatter back in 2012 was about Mercedes most likely having the best engine in the new hybrid era. Basically landed on his feet through no fault of his own. In his first year at Mercedes Rosberg got 2 wins to Hamilton’s 1.

      Eddie Jordan, Johnny Herbert, they’ve always been negative towards Schumacher.

      It’s quite amazing that such a young man from a working class background could manipulate these massive organisations like Ferrari. Ask for number one status and get it, ask for $50 million and get it.

      Vettel and Alonso tried the same at Ferrari but failed miserably.

      1. Please please PLEASE do not feed this troll.

      2. Again with the cut and paste of your own comments from another thread you have polluted!

        🤮

        You are the absolute definition of a troll. It’s incredible! I salute your efficiency. I stand back and admire your efforts to not only denigrate a fantastic sportsman, but to assume all of us readers lack basic recall ability. Even more impressive is your belief that by continuing to cut and paste we will believe you.

        You have to be the only person that thinks LH just happened to not notice the entire world thought he was nuts moving to Mercedes.

        And in 2013 Rosberg inherited his Silverstone win when both Hamilton and Vettel suffered the usual Pirelli issues.

        And remind us all, who led who in the championship that first year in the Mercedes team?

        Further, can you refresh our memories on how many races and pole positions had Mercedes won in the previous three years with mighty Micheal in the team?

    2. If Rosberg hadn’t retired we wouldn’t be here in quite a while yet. If ever. Hamilton has had a de facto no 1 status at Mercedes ever since. By the fact that Bottas just isn’t very impressive

      1. He did when Rosberg was there.

        In there second race together in 2013, Ross Brawn got on the radio to order Rosberg to stay behind 3rd place Hamilton despite Rosberg being much quicker.

        1. Nope, they both had fuel level issues and both were told to hold station and turn the engines down. It was quite obvious neither driver was happy with the decision and at no time did LH have the status you persistently hint he did in an attempt to suggest Shumi doing such did nothing to help his success.

          ROss the Boss wanted the points and knew how critical finishing was.

          Rosberg had his attempts and lost out due to his weaker wheel to wheel ability much earlier in the race.

          1. Only Hamilton had burned too much fuel, not Rosberg. All Brawn had to do was let Rosberg past and tell Hamilton to hold station. Vettel or Webber could have made an error or had a mechanical problem allowing Rosberg to steal second.

            If it was the other way around we wouldn’t have heard the end of it.

  3. The record, if it even matters, is in relatively cleaner hands now.

    1. I think both have a streak of ruthlessness about them – probably one of those things that gives champions the edge over their rivals. If anything Hamilton benefits from having better PR.

      For example I sometimes wonder what people would have said about the collision in Spain 2016 if it had been Schumacher who had gone off the track, kept his foot in and taken his chief title rival out of the race along with him. (Not saying it was deliberate on Hamilton’s part, but I think the perception would have been very different).

    2. Are Mercedes fans really that insecure that they need to constantly point out the reasons why the records are justified?

    3. Schumacher never lied to the stewards after a race in order to deprive someone else of a podium but lewis did . All the greats have had controversial moments with maybe the exception of clark but it in no way detracts from their ability

  4. Did Mercedes also pay for presenting him with a Mercedes Schumacher’s helmet? In other words, how to subtly steal the legacy of the sport into your promotional portfolio and make it seem as if you’ve made two most successful drivers in history.

    1. Most likely Ferrari PR suggested it, and Mick obviously took the chance to build his profile. Michael started out as a Mercedes sports car driver didn’t he, and was their first star in their new F1 team, then Niki persuaded the board to increase their budget so he and Ross could lure Lewis in to take over. Liberty will have loved it, and all the TV and media.

      So it was win, win, win, win, win :)

      1. Also I’ve just noticed the ‘PETRONAS’ front and centre!

  5. How can Schmacher be the greatest when he cheated Damon Hill and Villeanue out of a world championshiP. Eddie Jordan has seen Documents which show chummy cheated by not permitting his team mate to beat him. Ask Rubin Barricallo.

    1. How can he have cheated Villeneuve out of a championship when he actually won it?

      Oh btw, Barrichello and Irvine knew what they signed for, if those claims are correct (in Irvine’s case it definitely is) but it wasn’t illegal, so how is it cheating?

    2. Not to mention the demon hill thing, it was only a competition in 1994 cause schumacher missed or was dq’d out of 4 races, the 25% of the title, even then he (barely) won, it’d have been a dominant season were it not for that, and not thanks to a dominant car considering williams was better on average.

    3. Eddie irvine has stated that his contract never mattered because michael was so much better than him. none of the driver after senna until alonso were anywhere near as good as Schumacher hakkinen was closest but still not on his level . Also the only reason hill was anywhere near him was because they banned him for 2 races and stripped points at a 3rd he was the best driver in 94 by a mile

  6. How a nice gesture turns in horrible bun fight about if Schumi is the goat or not – will you lot be as quick to point out his faults on the day he dies?

    How about just pointing out how amazing these 2 people are for reaching such a milestone!

    Congratulations Hamilton may your words help others others to understand some kindness.

  7. Let’s start the celebration coming to Formula One in 2021

    LEWIS HAMILTON
    SEVEN TIMES WORLD DRIVING CHAMPION OF FORMULA ONE
    COMING IN 2021 NEXT SEASON
    ONE HUNDRED POLES
    ONE HUNDRED VICTORIES
    MOST SUCCESSFUL GRAND PRIX DRIVER IN HISTORY

    Who could Compare to that level of accomplishment in racing ??

    Ain’t nobody

    1. Hamilton is absolutely superb but he has a more dominant car than Schumacher ever had and still hasn’t come close to his record of 13 wins in a season

  8. Hamilton is absolutely superb but he has a more dominant car than Schumacher ever had and still hasn’t come close to his record of 13 wins in a season

  9. Looks like holding up the vanquished’s head. Practically medieval. This was surely not what Mick Schumacher had envisaged giving Hamilton his father’s helmet, lol.

    1. It does look like that but in the post race it was only him showing the helmet to the crowd.

      Especially with the mask on it looks like scorpion from mortal kombat winning by a fatality.

  10. So many negative, boarderline toxic comments. What a shame. I used to think the racefans community was a little better than that but obviously not. I’ll remember to stop at the end of the article next time.

  11. I feel it will be more fitting if the Schumi’s helmet is one from 2006-livery helmet. After all Schumi did achieve 91 win in 2006 with a Ferrari, not 2012 with Mercedes.

  12. Exactly what I thought. Especially when I saw all the regular current Mercedes’ sponsors (Petronas, Monster and of course Mercedes) on MS’ helmet. Hard not to be a bit cynical. Hopefully we’ll remember the gesture more than the adverts!!

  13. Hamilton can now finish 3rd in every race and still win his 7th Championship equaling the great Schumacher in perhaps the most important stat.

  14. Mark in Florida
    13th October 2020, 22:51

    What i like is all of these armchair experts that are quoting something dubious from someone like Eddie Jordan. It’s one thing to talk about someone when they are able to respond to the allegations but to talk about someone when they can’t even respond back and defend themselves is low, lower than a pile of whale waste on the bottom of the sea. Schumacher didn’t achieve what he did because of contracts. He was super talented before he arrived at Benetton. If you were around at the time you could clearly see that Michael was far ahead of everyone else in the talent department. He was into being super fit before others even understood what that meant. After a long hot race he would pull his helmet off and would hardly have a drop of sweat on his face. Other drivers looked like they needed help to get out of the car. I remember Ross Braun telling Michael i need qualifying lap times for the next ten or so and Michael would crank out lap after lap to build gaps to the other cars. Hamilton reminds me a lot Michael with his ability to perform under pressure and produce whatever is needed to win in any given situation. Two great champions from different era’s showing how it’s done.

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