Michael Schumacher’s son has presented Lewis Hamilton with a helmet worn by his father following the Mercedes driver’s record-equalling 91st world championship grand prix win.
Hamilton was victorious in the Eifel Grand Prix at the Nurburgring, after which he received a race-worn helmet in recognition of his achievement.
“I don’t even know what to say,” the Briton admitted after the exchange.
“When you grow up watching someone, you generally idolise them, really just in terms of the driver they are but what they’re able to continuously do year on year, race on race, week on week with their team.
“Seeing his dominance for so long, I don’t think anyone, and especially me, could imagine that I’d be anywhere near Michael in terms of records, so it’s an incredible honour.”
The Finn had started from pole and held that advantage despite a challenge from Hamilton into the first corner.
“Had a good start and got up alongside Valtteri, and we both understeered into this corner, so tried obviously to give as much room as possible.” he explained.
“Then he was in my blind spot, so I didn’t know where he was after that.
“I moved 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 on to him for as long as possible.
“I managed to look after my tyres really well. I could see he was graining his front tyres so I knew those next couple of laps were the time to push, then he had the lock-up.”
That mistake forced Bottas into the pits though his race would fully unravel when a loss of power forced him into retirement.
From there Hamilton needed only manage Verstappen, holding a comfortable margin for most of the race barring the final 10 laps following a Safety Car for Lando Norris’ expired McLaren.
“It was not an easy race at all, the Red Bulls are so fast. Max drove extremely well,” Hamilton reasoned.
“I think the one place and chance he had was the restart, but I was able to pull away, pull a nice gap. But you can see the pace at the end.
“We’ve got a serious fight on our hands.”
Hamilton now holds a 69 point advantage in the championship and could wrap it up as soon as the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in two event’s time.
Doing so would see him tie another record with Schumacher, who also amassed seven championships during his career.