Seven-time World Champion, Lewis Hamilton, has humbly acknowledged the potential of fierce rival Max Verstappen surpassing his extraordinary achievement in F1.
The British driver is touted as the most successful driver in the sport’s history with an impressive tally of 103 victories, 103 pole positions, 6 Grand Slams and over 190 podiums to his name.
Despite the imminent signing of a contract extension with Mercedes, which will provide the remarkable 38-year-old British driver with ample opportunities to enhance further his records, Hamilton graciously recognized that time is a valuable ally for the talented 25-year-old Dutchman, Max Verstappen.
German and F1 Legend, Michael Schumacher, retired from the sport leaving an astonishing legacy of 91 victories, a feat that surpassed the nearest competitor, Alain Prost, by a staggering 40 wins, it seemed inconceivable that anyone could ever reach such an extraordinary accomplishment.
Yet, in 2020, Lewis Hamilton defied expectations by surpassing Schumacher’s record and has continued to raise the bar, extending his triumphs to an unprecedented 103.
However, Hamilton’s most recent conquest occurred towards the end of 2021. Since then, the Red Bull prodigy, Max Verstappen, has emerged as a dominant force, securing a remarkable 20 wins out of his current tally of 40 victories in a mere 29 grand prix events.
As anticipation builds for the upcoming Canadian Grand Prix, Verstappen finds himself on the cusp of an extraordinary milestone.
Should the Red Bull driver clinch his 41st victory on Sunday, he will equal the illustrious achievement of the late Ayrton Senna.
With a significant age difference of 13 years separating Max Verstappen from Hamilton, the 25-year-old Dutch prodigy holds immense potential to surpass the seasoned British racer’s accomplishments.
When Hamilton was asked about the possibility of Max Verstappen surpassing his achievements in the future, the seasoned racer responded: “He’s got a very long career ahead of him so absolutely (he can do it).”
“Ultimately, records are there to be broken. We’ve got to work harder to continue to extend it and, at least within the last period of time of my career, I hope we get to have some more close racing.”
The Mercedes driver further emphasized that not all victories are reflected solely in the win column, highlighting a specific instance to support his point.
He pointed to the Spanish Grand Prix held in early June, where drivers from the Mercedes team, including himself, secured podium finishes.
Hamilton attributed their success to the significant upgrades made to their cars, acknowledging that such advancements contribute to the overall triumph of the team, even if they may not be counted as individual victories.
By drawing attention to the broader scope of achievement beyond pure wins, Hamilton underscored the multifaceted nature of success in the dynamic world of Formula One racing.
“We’ve come through a tough patch and are on our way back up. Some of the races it feels like we’ve had wins… it’s just about perspective.
“Of course, we’ve not been in first but there have been many wins in the steps we have taken. We have that North Star, we know where we need to go.”