Legendary Michael Schumacher set many records in his days, but Lewis Hamilton has his eye on all of them.
Let’s face it, the greatness of Michael Schumacher can never be doubted. The German has provided a sense of grandeur to a sport that is always evolving. However, over the past years, Hamilton has come desperately close toward matching none other than the “Kaiser” himself.
Let’s take a look at the records Hamilton needs to overcome to reach Schumacher’s level.
World Drivers’ Championships
Michael Schumacher: 7
Lewis Hamilton: 5
When Schumacher secured his seventh and final world drivers’ title in 2004, neither Hamilton nor fellow four-time champion Sebastian Vettel had even made their F1 debuts. Juan Manuel Fangio’s previous record of five titles stood for 46 years until Schumacher eclipsed the Argentine. Above all that, to add a seventh was, to many, a step that would surely never be equalled.
Now, after winning four of the past five championships to add to his maiden title win from 2008, Hamilton has drawn level with Fangio and has only Schumacher ahead.
If this title-winning streak extends to the end of his existing Mercedes agreement, Hamilton will match Schumacher’s seven. It’s not difficult to imagine that he might just be tempted to put off his many interests outside of the sport to attempt to exceed that number.
Grand Prix Wins
Michael Schumacher: 91
Lewis Hamilton: 81
Schumacher’s final win at the 2006 Chinese Grand Prix moved him 40 victories clear of the great Alain Prost, who had previously held this record. For context, Prost’s tally combined with that of his fiercest adversary Ayrton Senna amounts to 92 – just one more than Schumacher’s alone.
— Formula 1 (@F1) August 5, 2019
It’s easy then to see how many believed Schumacher’s count would never be matched, or even threatened. However, Hamilton’s dominance during F1’s hybrid era has changed that. From the beginning of 2014 to the most recent race in Britain, Hamilton has won 58 out of a possible 110 races. That’s 53% and an average of more than 10 per season, which is rising rapidly in 2019.
Barring a shock exit from F1, Hamilton has dozens of races still ahead of him. If he were to continue winning at his current pace, he would end 2020 with nearly a century of grand prix triumphs, suggesting one of Schumacher’s hallmark records is under serious threat.
Grand Prix Podiums
Michael Schumacher: 155
Lewis Hamilton: 146
Hamilton has taken to the podium in 60% of his F1 races to date, a better hit rate than anyone in the modern era.
He has frequented the F1 podium so often in the hybrid era that he must now be considering having his mail redirected there.
An astonishing 80% of races since the start of 2014 have featured Hamilton spraying champagne after the chequered flag has fallen. This is another one that looks certain to leave Schumacher’s hands.
Grand Prix Hat-Tricks (Pole, Win, Fastest Lap)
Michael Schumacher: 22
Lewis Hamilton: 14
Schumacher’s record of 22 hat-tricks, or grand slams, was largely cemented during his five dominant championship-winning seasons at Ferrari from 2000 to 2004. Similarly, Hamilton has achieved 12 during the hybrid era.
It’s a difficult record to surpass as it requires Hamilton to have a number of factors in his favour. Having a dominant car underneath him for the remainder of his contract is not enough. It is all about stringing together a series of near-perfect weekends – not as easy as it sounds.
Most Wins at the Same Grand Prix
Michael Schumacher: 8 (French Grand Prix)
Lewis Hamilton: 7 (Canadian & Hungarian Grand Prix)
Schumacher holds the records for the most wins at several grand prix, but Lewis Hamilton has enjoyed considerable success in many during his own career.
Schumacher’s record haul in one event stands at eight. Despite his name being so intrinsically linked to several memorable wins in Spa, it was – in fact – the French Grand Prix that proved to be his most prolific event.
Hamilton has moved closer to the great man at four races so far in 2019, Canada and Hungary – with both victories coming hugely against the odds.
Most Consecutive Seasons with a Grand Prix Win
Michael Schumacher: 15 (1992-2006)
Lewis Hamilton: 13 (2007-2019)
Schumacher’s record of winning at least one race in 15 consecutive seasons will surely be equalled if Hamilton extends his contract beyond the end of 2020.
In his very first season in F1, Hamilton matched Jacques Villeneuve’s benchmark for the most wins by a rookie and has since gone on to register at least one race victory in each of his subsequent 12 seasons, adding at least nine in each of his past five seasons.
A day to remember. Thank you to everyone in my team for their unwavering support throughout these 7 years. Here we had our first win together in 2013 and today we did it again. To #teamLH I love you guys, so grateful for the constant unconditional love #grateful 🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/KmzCpigv3x
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) August 4, 2019