Eifel Grand Prix – Lewis Hamilton was presented with one of Michael Schumacher’s 2012 race helmets after equalling the German’s 91 win record.
It wasn’t an easy run for Hamilton in his record equalling race, his attempt on Valtteri Bottas’ lead at the first corner didn’t pan out. The Brit had to hold station in second until lap thirteen when Bottas locked up and ran wide allowing Hamilton to close the gap and make the move stick.
“I had a good start,” said Hamilton. “Got up alongside Valtteri and we both understeered into the corner so I tried to give as much room as possible then he was in my blindspot so I didn’t know where he was after that.
“I moved as wide to the outside and he came back, he did an amazing job. I remember coming out of that corner thinking “Good on you man. I’m impressed, that was good.” After that I just had to make sure that I tried to hang onto him for as long as possible.
“I managed to look after my tyres really well where I could see he was graining his front tyres so I knew those next couple of laps were the time for me to push and then he had the lock up.”
Hamilton’s main challenge then came from Max Verstappen in the Red Bull but the Mercedes driver had the pace and enough experience of safety car restarts to protect his lead and take his second win at the Nuerburgring track.
“It was not an easy race at all. The Red Bulls are so fast, Max drove extremely well. I think the one place and chance he had was at the restart but I managed to pull away and pull a nice gap. You can see their pace at the end, we’ve got a serious fight on our hands. I’m telling you, I’m knackered.”
As Hamilton’s win today meant he now joins Michael Schumacher on 91 race victories the occasion was marked with a mini ceremony during the post-race interview. Mick Schumacher presented Hamilton with one of his father’s 2012 race helmets, saying “Congratulations. This is from all of us. A great achievement.”
The Brit was visibly moved with the presentation, “I don’t even know what to say. You know when you grow up watching someone, when you genuinely idolise them in terms of the quality of the driver they are, what they’re able to continuously do year on year, race on race and week on week with their team.
“I remember playing Michael on a game called Grand Prix 2, I think it was, I think there was a time I was playing you [to David Coulthard, who was conducting the interview] at one stage too. Just seeing his dominance for so long, I don’t think anyone, and especially me, didn’t imagine that I’d be anywhere near Michael in terms of records.
“It’s an incredible honour and it’s going to take some time to get used to. Honestly, as I came into the pitlane that’s only when I realised that I’d equalled it, I hadn’t even computed it once I crossed the line.
“I couldn’t have done it without this incredible team, everyone continuing to push behind me and giving it their everything so a big, big thank you and huge respect to Michael.”
A very special gift to celebrate a landmark victory 🎁#EifelGP 🇩🇪 #F1 pic.twitter.com/N7GNU97C2v
— Formula 1 (@F1) October 11, 2020