Hamilton calm about matching Schumacher as Vettel admits mixed feelings

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Lewis Hamilton isn't thinking too much about the prospect of matching Michael Schumacher's record for most Formula 1 wins at the Russian Grand Prix.

The six-time world champion is just one away from the mark the German legend set after his last victory at the 2006 Chinese Grand Prix, with his first chance to do coming at a venue where Mercedes has never lost in Sochi.

Naturally, the looming milestone was on many people's mind on Thursday, but when Hamilton was reminded of how Schumacher famously burst into tears when he matched the previous record of 41 held by Ayrton Senna at Monza in 2000, he admits it's unlikely he'll do the same when he reaches 91.

“Obviously for all of us drivers, there’s a lot of emotion involved in what we do with the love and the pressure and everything,” he said.

“I don’t know why I am the way I am and why numbers are not necessarily something I focus on.

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“I come into this weekend as it being no different to any other weekend.

"I’ve got to work my backside off to beat Valtteri [Bottas] and everyone else out there and I know how hard that is, as do the other drivers. I just don’t think of anything else really.

"If it happens… It’s going to happen at some stage as I’m not quitting any time soon, I can’t tell you how I am going to feel, or what it’s going to mean, or if it’s going to mean anything," he added.

“There’s other and bigger issues happening in the world. Of course it’s an honour, but that doesn’t really mean anything either.”

Right now, Lewis is also on course to match Schumacher's most famous record of seven F1 titles this year, and the Mercedes driver admits reaching that total will probably mean more. 

“I think championship numbers are perhaps a little bit different. When you win a championship, it’s something that is so far in the distance it’s almost impossible or seems out of reach," he explained.

“You try to get there but you are never really sure if you are going to get there and when you do get there, you are already focused on what’s next. Perhaps it’s not until long after that I will realise.”

While Hamilton is pretty laid back, the man third on the all-time wins list, Sebastian Vettel, says the thought of seeing Schumacher's records being broken is quite tricky.

“Seeing obviously the last years and Lewis’s track record, he was getting closer and close and if he – I think it is probably at this point a question of time – reaches that, then on one hand, for sure, I will be sad because Michael is still my hero," he told RaceFans

“On the other hand, I would be very happy for Lewis. I think he deserves all the success he has had in the last years and he is going to have in this year. And – I don’t know if he remains, but I guess so – the next years. So a bit half-half. Mixed emotions, but that’s how I feel."

Vettel Schu

To put Hamilton's achievement into context, Vettel, in spite of his own dominant years with Red Bull, only has not far off half the numberr of wins with 53.

“Obviously I’m far away,” he added. “But it was always one of these numbers that seemed impossible, up to the point where somebody gets there and gets close and breaks it.”