Mick Schumacher, gifted Hamilton a helmet from his father who has not been seen in public since suffering severe head injuries in a skiing accident seven years ago.
BERLIN – Lewis Hamilton was briefly lost for words after equalling Michael Schumacher’s record of 91 career wins in Formula One.
That was after the German great’s son, Mick Schumacher, gifted Hamilton a helmet from his father who has not been seen in public since suffering severe head injuries in a skiing accident seven years ago.
“Congratulations. This is from all of us. A great achievement,” said the young Schumacher, who leads the F2 series and could make his F1 debut next year.
The red helmet was from the 2012 season, Schumacher’s last in the sport, with Hamilton then replacing him at Mercedes from 2013 onwards.
“I don’t even know what to say,” Hamilton said at the Nurburgring track where the Schumacher-S is named after the German great.
“When you grow up watching someone you generally idolize them in terms of the quality of the driver they are but also what they are able to continuously do race by race, year by year, week by week.
“There was a game called Grand Prix 2 and I remember playing as Michael and seeing his dominance for so long I don’t think anyone, especially me, could be anywhere near Michael in terms of records.
“It’s an incredible honour. It’s going to take some time to get used to it. As I came in the pit lane that was only when I realized I had equalled the record. I couldn’t have done this without this incredible team pushing behind me.
“So a big thank you and huge respect to Michael.”
Ola Kallenius, chairman of the board at Mercedes’ parent company Daimler, told Sky TV he had goosebumps, speaking of “a very beautiful gesture.”
Schumacher’s records in the sport seemed untouchable but Hamilton is in the process of rewriting them since a 2007 debut at McLaren and four top spots starting in Canada in his rookie season in which he almost even won the title.
That came a year later, and by now the flamboyant Briton has lifted the season trophy six times and with a 69-point lead after Sunday’s race is well on course to equal Schumacher’s record of seven world titles.
Hamilton already has the most pole positions with 96 and in his 262nd career race in a fortnight in Portugal, can move ahead of Schumacher with 92 victories.
On Sunday, he never looked back after passing teammate Valtteri Bottas after a small mistake from the Finn and coasted into the record books.
“It is a historic day, he had a perfect race and deserves it,” Kallenius said.