Lewis Hamilton is closing in on a sixth Formula One world championship, but he doesn’t think he is “anywhere near” Michael Schumacher’s records.
When Schumacher finally hung up his F1 racing gloves in 2012, there were many who thought his incredible records were never going to be surpassed.
But Hamilton’s dominance in the V6 era with Mercedes has expelled those views with the Briton closing in on a number of records.
The 34-year-old needs only 10 more race wins to beat Schumacher’s immense record of 91 victories in his career.
Schumacher’s record of 142 races led – 56 ahead of the next man on the list – was another that looked unattainable, but Hamilton has already taken over that mark.
The main target though is Schumacher’s seven world championships and Hamilton remains on a similar trajectory to the F1 legend.
If Hamilton does in fact win the 2019 Driver’s Championship – which he could do at the Mexican Grand Prix – then he would do so at the same age as when Schumacher won his sixth world title at 34 years old.
Schumacher went on to win his seventh the following year in 2004 and Hamilton still has at least one more year left in the sport to equal the record and he is expected to sign a contract extension at the end of 2020.
However, the British F1 star clearly doesn’t think he is as close as the stats suggest.
“I’m not even anywhere near it,” he told Bild.
“I’m really so far away from his records.
“Michael’s records are the summit of a huge mountain, and I’m still in base camp.”
He added: “The closer you get, the bigger your footsteps get, but of course I’m unbelievably honoured to be placed in that category and I’ve made it so far,” he added.
“I grew up watching Michael, and what he did is unbelievable.”
Mercedes clinched their record-tying sixth consecutive Constructor’s Championship at the Japanese Grand Prix as Valtteri Bottas took the chequered flag.
Hamilton was frustrated at his team as he finished third, feeling as though he could have challenged for the win with a better strategy.