Two-time Formula 1 World Champion Mika Hakkinen believes the records set by Lewis Hamilton could be unimaginable by the time he decides to retire from racing.
Hamilton equalled Michael Schumacher’s benchmark of 91 Grand Prix wins at the Eifel Grand Prix and is likely to surpass that mark in the coming events.
Formula 1 will retain its current regulations for a further season, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, while out-of-contract Hamilton is set to stay on at Mercedes for the coming years.
Hakkinen battled Schumacher throughout his Formula 1 career, winning titles in 1998 and 1999, before walking away at the end of 2001, aged 33, and with 20 wins to his name.
“Lewis’s ability to deliver victories, and then to repeat them over time, starting at the age of 21 and continuing now that he is 35, is no easy task,” said Hakkinen in his Unibet column.
“I know how much energy it took to win the title twice, and when I stopped racing in Formula 1 I knew it was the right moment – at 33 – so no one should think that what Lewis has done is simply a question of having the best car.
“It requires ability, fitness, application and focused to keep on winning, and clearly, Lewis has found the way to do that.
“We cannot imagine what the new record will be before Lewis decides to retire.”
“Michael, of course, still holds records such as the most wins in a single season – 13 – and his place in history is assured, but Lewis is right there with him at the top of the record books.”
Michael’s son, Mick Schumacher, presented Hamilton with a race-worn Mercedes helmet as recognition of the Briton’s achievements after the race.
“I was very happy to see Mick Schumacher present Lewis with one of his father’s helmets at the end of the race”, added Hakkinen.
“The Schumacher family is very strong, and Michael is a formidable competitor who will be the first person to recognise Lewis’s achievements, so it was a good moment for Mick to represent him and acknowledge the record of 91 race wins being matched.”