Hamilton praised as Wolff denies F1 success only due to Mercedes

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Lewis Hamilton was praised by his fellow podium scorers after matching Michael Schumacher's record for most Formula 1 wins at the Eifel Grand Prix.

The race just fell into the Briton's hands at the Nurburgring as a mistake from Valtteri Bottas allowed Lewis into the lead, and from there he controlled the pace to make 91 career victories.

Immediately after the race, Mick Schumacher was on hand to award Hamilton with one of his father's Mercedes helmets in recognition of his achievement.

And Max Verstappen, the man most tip to take over when Lewis does eventually retire, was full of admiration.

“Simply lovely," he said. “It’s an incredible achievement because I think like Lewis already said, 91 wins… everyone thought that was almost impossible to reach.

“To be there now himself, it’s incredible and very impressive, and I am pretty sure there will be some more victories coming his way and probably also championships. Just very impressive and hard to beat.“

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Renault's Daniel Ricciardo returned to the podium for the first time since 2018, and he tried to put the scale of Hamilton's success into focus.

“Tip of the hat, at the very least, I don’t think that’s enough,” said the Aussie.

“I mean 91… even 91 races. You’re talking five years? Nearly five years worth of races, four and a half. That gives perspective on how much success Lewis has now had, obviously Michael as well.

“To do it week in week out as well and year on year, his career has been well over a decade now in the sport and to keep coming back and show that level of consistency at the front, that’s also not easy and us up here understand that.

“You can have a package and car to do it but doing it every weekend when the lights go out, it’s easier said than done.

"Certainly, big respect and I think also the gift that he received - one of Michael’s helmets, that’s one of the coolest gifts I’ve seen in the sport so that was really nice to see that today.”


Mercedes boss Toto Wolff also paid tribute to his driver.

“It’s unbelievable that Lewis has reached those 91 wins. For me, Michael stands above all. He’s an icon," said the Austrian.

“Equalising that record and us equalising the Ferrari record last year is almost surreal. But records are here to be broken and I think that’s what Michael said as well and Lewis is still on his journey.

“But maybe there’s somebody in nursery or school that will one day go for the Lewis record and this is how it should be.”

To some though Hamilton's success will only be due to the dominance that Mercedes has enjoyed since 2014, with 70 of his wins coming in that time.

“In my opinion, that’s not quite fair,” Wolff said in response via RaceFans. “Winning races and winning championships is always in this sport a team exercise.

“But you need to put yourself in a position that you end up in the best car. There you can see lots of talents and skilled drivers took the wrong decisions, not well-advised decisions.

Ham Merc 2013

"And in that respect, it was him who joined us in 2013, and it is him that sits in the car and is able to execute on track with a tool that we provide to him. But it’s always the two that are part of this.

“We couldn’t achieve the records that we have and he probably couldn’t achieve the records with[out] the right car, full stop," the Austrian insisted.

"I don’t want to allow these voices that say ‘he drives a Mercedes, it’s obvious that he wins so many races’. The drivers who say that should analyse why they haven’t found their way into a Mercedes.”