Hamilton backs Verstappen to break his own F1 race wins record
By Ian Parkes
Friday 16th June, 2023 - 9:32am
Lewis Hamilton feels Max Verstappen could break the record the seven-time F1 champion currently holds for the number of grand prix victories in F1.
When Michael Schumacher retired from the sport with 91 wins to his name – 40 more than the next best at the time from Alain Prost – nobody believed such an astonishing haul would ever be beaten.
Hamilton, however, surpassed Schumacher’s feat in 2020 and has since gone on to stretch the mark to 103.
That last triumph, however, was at the tail end of 2021, since when Red Bull driver Verstappen has dominated, scoring half of his current tally of 40 wins in the last 29 grands prix.
Should Verstappen notch up his 41st in Canada on Sunday, he will equal Ayrton Senna’s haul from his glorious career that was sadly cut short by his tragic death in 1994.
At the age of just 25, 13 years younger than Hamilton, there is every possibility that should Verstappen extend his own career into his 30s, he could easily go on to beat the Briton’s achievements.
“He’s got a very long career ahead of him, so absolutely,” said Mercedes driver Hamilton when asked if Verstappen could one day eclipse him.
“Ultimately records are there to be broken, and he’s got an amazing team.
“We’ve got to work harder to try and continue to extend it (his own number of career wins). I hope we get to have some within at least the last period of time in my career. I hope we get to have some more close racing.”
At this stage, there is every likelihood Hamilton will sign another two-year extension with Mercedes.
Team principal Toto Wolff remarked earlier in the week that he anticipated negotiations with Hamilton to be concluded “within days rather than weeks”, potentially prior to the race in Montréal.
Hamilton, however, remarked there was “nothing else new” on the matter, adding: “I don’t really have a huge amount to say on the contractual side of things. It’ll get done when it’s done.
“If that’s next week, if that’s in a month’s time, as long as it gets done, I’m not really bothered.”