Reigning Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton admits it “doesn’t seem real” that he’s one victory away from equalling Michael Schumacher’s all-time race win record.
After winning the Tuscan Grand Prix at Mugello on 13 September Hamilton heads into this weekend’s Russian GP knowing that victory in Sochi would see him go level with Schumacher’s tally of 91.
Speaking at Mugello, Hamilton told Sky Sports: “It just doesn’t seem real. Obviously it’s ultimately a privilege to be in a position and have such a great team and a car to be able to deliver weekend in, weekend out.
“But I just feel forever grateful to the people that continue to work hard, I’m just a link in the chain but getting the wins is not easy when you have a great driver in Valtteri [Bottas] pushing you the limit, weekend in, weekend out.
“I never thought that I would be here, that’s for sure.”
Racing towards title No.7
The win in Tuscany saw the British ace cement his position at the top of the 2020 drivers’ standings. He now has 190 points from nine races and is 55 points clear of Mercedes team-mate Bottas who is in second.
Schumacher also holds the record for the most F1 world championships – seven – but Hamilton is just one behind that tally with six.
In the nine races so far in 2020 Hamilton has taken the chequered flag six times and he’s looking unstoppable in his march towards world championship No.7. For now though the focus is on Russia.
Schumacher’s race win record has stood for 19 years and it’s often been described as “unmatchable”, says Sky Sports, but Hamilton has it in his sights.
Mercedes chief Toto Wolff has revealed that the Netflix film crew will follow the team in Russia to capture footage for the next series of Formula 1: Drive to Survive.
Although Netflix could be on hand to witness a big celebration for Hamilton and Mercedes, Wolff says the team are staying humble ahead of this weekend, Driving.co.uk reports.
Wolff said: “We believe very much in karma and you need to be able to let things happen and, certainly, who would have ever imagined that somebody is going to break that record of 91 wins.
“If that were the case, I’m sure we are going to come up with some creative ideas [to celebrate].”
Most grand prix victories in F1
Michael Schumacher 91
Lewis Hamilton 90
Sebastian Vettel 53
Alain Prost 51
Ayrton Senna 41
Fernando Alonso 32
Nigel Mansell 31
Sir Jackie Stewart 27
Jim Clark 25
Niki Lauda 25