Hamilton: Me & Schumacher 'steered' respective teams to success

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Lewis Hamilton believes he and Michael Schumacher shared the same role of "steering" their respective teams to Formula 1 success.

On Sunday, the Briton matched the German legend with his 91st career victory at the Eifel Grand Prix and would receive a famous red helmet worn by Schumacher during his time at Mercedes in recognition of his achievement.

Unsurprisingly, the moment has once again triggered the debate over Hamilton and how he compares to Schumacher, and the 35-year-old admits he doesn't like those who claim his record is only thanks to the dominance of his car.

“It's not always a nice thing to hear, but I’m not mad at it," he said, with 70 wins coming at the Brackley-based team.

“What I do know is that those that often say those things or make those comments, they just don’t know.

“And I think in general in life, we often can sometimes give the wrong opinion on something when we don’t have the full facts. We don’t have the full knowledge of how it really is.”

Also Read:

The other argument many like to make is that Hamilton simply stepped in at Mercedes and inherited the best car when the new hybrid engine regulations were introduced in 2014, whereas Schumacher was much more involved in making Ferrari a top team again. 

“Years ago, I remember when they talked about Michael turning Ferrari around,” Lewis said.

“The fact is it’s not one individual. I have not turned Mercedes around, Michael did not turn Ferrari around – as much as I love Michael and he is a legend, it wasn’t just him.

“There’s so many people in the background. What they did is collaboration.

“I think the thing with a driver like Michael and I, our job is to kind of be the rudder.

“You’ve got this huge powerful force behind you with such intelligence. A computer will tell you that the perfect car is so and so, but when you apply the human element, which is myself or is Michael or other drivers, our job is to steer it.

“I think there’s something that the computer can’t simulate and that’s feel, that’s yaw, that’s the feeling of the car turning and pitching and all these different things.

“Our job is to steer the team in the right direction and point them in the right direction to progress forward, and our job is to continue to elevate and push and hopefully inspire those guys that you work with.”

Schu Ferrari

After the Eifel GP, however, Hamilton does admit his respect for Schumacher has only increased.

“Everyone knows that he is an icon and a legend of the sport, what he achieved in so many areas,” he said.

“But pushing the limit in terms of the physicality side, being the fittest driver at the time and what he did at both the teams that he was at, particularly at Ferrari was just remarkable.

“That number is so big, and it’s hard for people to, when it’s so far away, perhaps fully understand how hard it was for him to have got those 91 wins.

“To deliver, weekend in, weekend out, year on year on year, and stay so in shape, and so precise.

“I understand that now, more than ever and I can only tell you that it doesn’t get easier from your first win to the 91st.”