How soon can Hamilton equal and surpass Schumacher’s 91 wins? Mercedes driver goes for career win 80 in Austrian GP this weekend
Last Updated: 27/06/19 8:48am
Lewis Hamilton is now just a dozen race wins away from matching Michael Schumacher’s all-time Formula 1 record of 91 Grand Prix victories.
Schumacher’s milestone, set in 2006, had long been considered untouchable but Hamilton’s is currently closing on one of F1’s two most prestigious records at a rate of knots.
The five-time world champion has won six of this season’s eight races and 14 of the last 19 stretching back to last season, the best run of his career.
Hamilton heads into this weekend’s Austrian GP chasing a milestone 80th victory, although he has only won at the Red Bull Ring once before in five attempts. Last year’s race represented the 34-year-old’s only DNF in the last 54 races, when his car failed.
Most F1 race wins
1. Michael Schumacher – 91
2. Lewis Hamilton – 79
3. Sebastian Vettel – 52
4. Alain Prost – 51
5. Ayrton Senna – 41
Twelve wins adrift of Schumacher, Hamilton could mathematically equal the record this year – but would have to win all-but one of the remaining 13 events between Austria and the season-concluding Abu Dhabi GP on December 1.
Hamilton has already surpassed Schumacher over recent seasons for the most pole positions (86 to 68) and front-row starts (139 to 116), while he is just 14 podium finishes away from taking another record from the former Ferrari driver.
A sixth world title this year would also place him just one behind Schumacher’s famous seven.
Hamilton’s current Mercedes contract runs to the end of 2020, although he has indicated he could well continue in F1 beyond that and into his late 30s.
Is Hamilton appreciated enough?
Despite his already-glittering success in motorsport, debate continues as to whether Hamilton is given sufficient recognition for his achievements.
Toto Wolff, the Englishman’s boss at Mercedes, has warned that critics of the five-time champion are missing out on an unique opportunity.
“I think in the United Kingdom, in Britain, Lewis is not recognised how he should be recognised,” Wolff said.
“One day he’s going to stop his career with multiple records and people will say he was the greatest driver on the planet and we were witnesses of that journey – and wasn’t he an interesting personality with all the things he did.
“But for whatever reason there is this idea of hitting out which maybe provides the better headline.
“I don’t think [we] recognise the opportunity that we are part of, to see maybe the best driver that has ever existed on an exceptional journey.”
The whole Austrian GP weekend is live only on Sky Sports F1. Sunday’s race begins at 2.10pm with build-up from 12.30pm. Find out more about Formula 1 on Sky Sports