Lewis Hamilton says it is an “incredible honour” to equal Michael Schumacher’s record for the most victories in Formula 1 after winning the Eifel Grand Prix at the Nurburgring.
Hamilton lost out to Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas in qualifying, but following a mistake from the Finn at Turn 1 he inherited the lead before the first round of pitstops.
From that point, the Briton built a comfortable lead over Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, until a late safety car wiped out his advantage.
However, Hamilton held on to claim his seventh win of the 2020 season and draw level with seven-time world champion Schumacher’s career tally of 91 race wins set back in 2006.
As a gesture to commemorate the achievement, Mick Schumacher, Michael’s son, presented Hamilton with one of the German’s Mercedes helmets from his final season in 2012.
“I’m honoured, I don’t even know what to say,” Hamilton said. “When you grow up watching someone and you generally idolise them, really just in terms of the quality of the driver they are, but what they’re able to continuously do year on year, race on race and week on week with their team.
“Just seeing his dominance for so long, I don’t think anyone, and especially me, didn’t imagine that I’d be anywhere near Michael in terms of records.
“So it’s an incredible honour, and it’s going to take some time to get used to it.”
The victory saw Hamilton extended his world championship lead to 69 points with six races remaining, edging him closer to equaling another one of Schumacher’s records for most drivers’ titles.
Having been asked about what the significance of tying the statistic would mean to him in the build-up to this weekend’s race, Hamilton admitted it hadn’t even processed once he crossed the finish line.
“Honestly, as I came into the pit lane, that’s when I realised that I’d equalled.” Hamilton said.
“I hadn’t even computed it once I crossed the line, so I couldn’t have done it without this incredible team.
“Everyone, continuing to push behind me, and given it their everything. So a very big thank you and huge, huge respect.”