Lewis Hamilton has vowed to continue rewriting Formula One’s record books after drawing level with Michael Schumacher’s all-time victory tally.
Hamilton, a Catholic, claimed the 91st win of his career at Sunday’s Eifel Grand Prix after crossing the line 4.4 seconds clear of Red Bull driver Max Verstappen.
The British driver also moved 69 points clear of Valtteri Bottas, who failed to finish following an engine failure, in his quest for a record-equalling seventh world crown.
“Of course I can set goals and I will continue to charge on and see what is possible,” said Hamilton.
“I love the sport, the smell of it, the whole aura and atmosphere it creates, and it is going to be difficult to let it go.
“While I am older than these guys, I feel as young as them in spirit. That will change when I start seeing grey hairs but for now, I am good.”
Hamilton clinched the landmark win 14 years and 10 days after Schumacher drove to his final victory in China.
For most it seemed inconceivable that Schumacher’s extraordinary haul would be beaten, but Hamilton could now move one win clear of the 51-year-old at the next round in Portugal later this month.
Hamilton equalled the record at the Nurburgring, a historic circuit 52 miles south of the Kerpen kart track where Schumacher, who is also a Catholic, honed his skills.
Little is known of the German’s condition following his skiing accident almost seven years ago.
His son Mick, who was alongside him in the French Alps that fateful day, presented Hamilton with his father’s crash helmet in the moments after Sunday’s race as a present from the family.
“I grew up watching Michael winning all those grands prix and I could not ever fathom equalling him,” added Hamilton.
“Getting to Formula One was the first step of the dream and then emulating Ayrton Senna. But Michael’s record was just so far ahead.
“It is beyond my wildest dreams that I am here today having equalled that record and I just feel humbled by the moment. It has not sunk in.
“Michael is, and always will be, a legend of the sport and I feel very honoured to have one of his helmets.”
The Schumacher family tweeted: ‘Big congrats, an impressive achievement of a great driver.
‘We cannot deny we would have loved for Michael to hold those records, but as he always used to say: records are there to be broken.’
Picture: File photo, dated 20-02-2020, of Lewis Hamilton. (David Davies).