Lewis Hamilton has shared a touching moment with Mick Schumacher after equalling his father’s all-time record for Formula 1 race wins.
Hamilton was moved, honoured and briefly lost for words after equalling Michael Schumacher's record of 91 career wins at the Eifel Grand Prix on Sunday.
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After the race, the German legend’s son Mick gifted Hamilton a helmet from his father, who has not been seen in public since suffering severe head injuries in a skiing accident seven years ago.
“Congratulations. This is from all of us. A great achievement,” said the young Schumacher, who leads the F2 series and could make his F1 debut next year.
The red helmet was from the 2012 season, Schumacher's last in the sport, with Hamilton then replacing him at Mercedes from 2013 onwards.
“I don't even know what to say,” Hamilton said at the Nurburgring track where the Schumacher-S is named after the German great.
“When you grow up watching someone you generally idolise them in terms of the quality of the driver they are but also what they are able to continuously do race by race, year by year, week by week.
“There was a game called Grand Prix 2 and I remember playing as Michael and seeing his dominance for so long I don't think anyone, especially me, could be anywhere near Michael in terms of records.
“It's an incredible honour. It's going to take some time to get used to it.
“As I came in the pit lane that was only when I realised I had equalled the record. I couldn't have done this without this incredible team pushing behind me.
“So a big thank you and huge respect to Michael.”
F1 world moved by beautiful gesture
Former Schumacher rival Damon Hill tweeted: “Great and hugely generous gift to Lewis Hamilton from Mick Schumacher and the Schumacher family. Great class.”
Ola Kallenius, chairman of the board at Mercedes' parent company Daimler, told Sky TV he had goosebumps, speaking of “a very beautiful gesture.”
Schumacher’s records in the sport seemed untouchable but Hamilton is in the process of re-writing them since a 2007 debut at McLaren and four top spots starting in Canada in his rookie season in which he almost even won the title.
That came a year later, and by now the flamboyant Briton has lifted the season trophy six times and with a 69-point lead after Sunday's race is well on course to equal Schumacher's record of seven world titles.
Hamilton already has the most pole positions with 96 and in his 262nd career race in a fortnight in Portugal, can move ahead of Schumacher with 92 victories.
“It is a historic day, he had a perfect race and deserves it,” Kallenius said.
Mick Schumacher presenting Lewis Hamilton with one of his dad’s race helmets to commemorate his 91st win ❤️ pic.twitter.com/TuTifm18ph— ESPN F1 (@ESPNF1) October 11, 2020
Wearing a #BlackLivesMatter mask, Lewis Hamilton lifts Michael Schumacher's old helmet after equalling the German's all-time record for career F1 victories. Hamilton, 35, is a six-time F1 World Champion, having won five of the last six seasons #EifelGPhttps://t.co/Rnx7G2QT3C pic.twitter.com/bQiWa17RL4— Dionne Grant (@DionneGrant) October 11, 2020
I’m actually crying watching mick give Hamilton michaels helmet, don’t speak to me— ᴍᴇɢᴀɴ (@formulameg1) October 11, 2020
While Hamilton triumphed at the same German circuit where Ferrari great Schumacher won five times, his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas suffered a huge hit to his title hopes with a first retirement of the season.
Red Bull’s Max Versteppen finished second, and took a bonus point for fastest lap, with Australian Daniel Ricciardo finishing third for Renault in his first podium since 2018 when he was at Red Bull.
Hamilton, celebrating his seventh win of the season, is now 69 points clear of Bottas in the standings with six rounds remaining.
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