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Lewis Hamilton equals Michael Schumacher’s record of 91 race wins at Eifel F1 GP

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton sealed his place in the history of Formula One with his victory at the Eifel Grand Prix, but equalling Michael Schumacher’s record of 91 wins meant so much more than cold statistics. The Brit has always worn his heart on his sleeve, and at the Nürburgring the numbers paled beside the significance of the moment. The win was as ruthless and clinical as any he has scored but this achievement was a collective and all too human effort as the world champion made clear.

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Lewis took his first win in 2007 in Canada and in 2008, the year Hamilton won his first title, Schumacher acknowledged that he might be the one to surpass his tally. “Records are there to be broken,” he said at the time, yet the numbers looked impossibly distant. Unfeasible as it must have seemed to the young Hamilton just beginning his career, he has pursued success tireslessly. Moreover in doing so, having honed his skill across his 14 seasons in F1 and reaching this remarkable peak, he has developed into one of the true great drivers, if not the greatest.

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton crosses the finish line as his team celebrate at the side of the track

Hamilton proudly clutched the helmet as he ascended the podium, holding it aloft, a trophy he will value above any number of those he has received for his 91 wins. Yet he was swift, as this generally self-effacing driver is, to acknowledge this has been far from a one-man show. He profusely thanked his Mercedes team for whom he has delivered 70 of the wins since joining them in 2013. Yet there was also time to highlight how many individuals had contributed over the years.

Lewish phoned his father, Anthony, soon after winning to share the moment with the man who had dedicated his career to ensuring Hamilton could go racing.

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“I just think about all the people that have helped me get to this place,” Hamilton said. “Stevo has been with me every single race in F1, he moved with me from McLaren to Mercedes and has been with me for every single one of those 91 wins. A journey you go on with so many people is what really matters and what counts” Lewis added.

Hamilton did not end there, as praised Schumacher as an icon and a legend, and expressed his admiration for and appreciation of the German. “It is hard for people to understand how hard it was for him to have got those 91 wins,” he said. “To deliver weekend in and out and year on year to stay in shape. I understand that now more than ever and it doesn’t get easier – from the first win to the 91st it has been a long, hard run.”

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In addition, Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo, who was third in the race behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, recognised that hard work. “Ninety-one races is nearly five years’ worth of races,” he said. “That puts it in perspective, how much success Lewis has had. To do it week in, week out and year on year, to keep showing that level of consistency at the front is not easy.”

Mick Schumacher presents a helmet belonging to the German’s father after Lewis Hamilton equalled Michael’s record of 91 race victories.
source: the Guardian

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