Lewis Hamilton: Michael Schumacher's records still 'so far away'

World Champion Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton says that Michael Schumacher’s record of seven world titles still feels “so far away” as he played down the notion of setting a new Formula 1 benchmark.

Hamilton, on 83 grand prix victories, claimed his sixth world title at last weekend’s United States Grand Prix, putting him one crown away from Schumacher, who took 91 wins in his career.

Hamilton is contracted to Mercedes through the end of 2020 and has intimated that he wants to remain with the team into the next regulatory cycle.

“I’ve always said to [the media] that reaching Michael’s [record] was never a target for me,” said Hamilton.

“I’m not really one that really thinks of records and those kind of things.

“I definitely had thought that getting anywhere near Michael was just so far-fetched and I remember having my one [title] for a long period of time, then getting a second one.

“It was so far away and now yet it seems so close yet it is so far away that I still can’t really even comprehend.

“The challenges that we’ll face in these next coming months, the next season. You look at these other teams that have really been putting some astonishing performances in in the second half of the season.

“It’s going to take another load of incredible performance and work from myself and all the people who are around me.”

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff added that he sees “no reason” why Hamilton cannot match Schumacher in 2020, so long as the team remains at its current level of competitiveness.  

“There is a reason why the Schumacher record stands – because it’s very difficult,” said Wolff.

“If we’re able to provide the drivers with a good car next year, that is competitive, we continue to work on the gaps we still have, try and minimise the mistakes and he has a good season, there is no reason why he couldn’t go for a seventh title.”