After equalling Michael Schumacher’s most career wins record, Lewis Hamilton paid tribute to “a legend and an icon of the sport”.
At the Eifel Grand Prix Lewis Hamilton equalled Michael Schumacher’s 91 career wins record. While talking about this amazing accomplishment at the post Eifel Grand Prix press conference, Lewis was visibly emotional.
“It’s definitely not sunk in, that’s for sure,” said the Briton.
“I don’t know how it is for other drivers when they have these wins but it takes some time for you to analyse it and for it to sink in, to realise what it actually means.
“But like all of us, I grew up watching Michael win all of those grands prix and I couldn’t have fathomed equalling him.
“I think getting to Formula 1 was the first step of the dream and obviously emulating Ayrton. But Michael was just so far ahead.
“It’s beyond my wildest dreams to think that I’m here today having equalled him and I just feel really humbled by the moment and the opportunity I was given when I was 13 by Mercedes to join this team and I feel really proud to continue to represent them and to have brought this record to Mercedes.
“Hopefully we have got more records to break and to make. Hopefully they know it was a good investment!”
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Hamilton went on to praise the great German.
“Naturally everyone knows that he is a legend and an icon of the sport.
“I think what he achieved in so many areas but your know pushing the limit in terms of the physicality side, he really was a pioneer in being the fittest driver at the time, and what he did at both the teams he was at, particularly Ferrari, was just remarkable.
“I think for me, that number is so big it’s hard for people to, 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, to deliver weekend in weekend out, year on year on year, and stay so physically in shape and so precise.
“I understand that now more than ever. I can only tell you that it doesn’t get easier. From you first win to your 91st I’m telling you it’s been a long hard run.”
The six-time champion was then asked if he feels a sense of relief now that he has reached this amazing milestone.
“Hopefully you know me well enough by now to know that I never do. I think it definitely doesn’t feel like a relief. I think… I don’t know why. It doesn’t feel that way at all.
“I think I just feel very… I’m just thinking about all the people that have helped me get to this place.
“If you see on the podium with me, Stevo [Stephen Lord – Race Team Coordinator] had been with me every single race in Formula 1. He moved with me from McLaren to Mercedes and he’s been with me through every single one of those 91 wins, which is… The journey that you go on with so many people is what really matters and what really counts.
“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 supporting me all the way,” concluded Hamilton.