LEWIS HAMILTON will not break down in tears when he equals legend Michael Schumacher’s record of 91 F1 wins — because he is only interested in titles.
The Brit can match the tally at this weekend’s Russian GP in Sochi — a race he has won four times out of six.
Lewis Hamilton needs one win to equal Michael Schumacher’s all-time recordCredit: Reuters
It would mark an incredible achievement, as most thought the German’s record was untouchable.
SunSport reminded the six-time world champ how Schumacher sobbed when he equalled Ayrton Senna’s then-record of 41 wins at the 2000 Italian GP.
But Hamilton said: “I saw that video of Schumacher’s reaction recently.
“I don’t remember seeing what happened afterwards.
“I’m sure he did talk about why he did that or what he was feeling.
“For all of us drivers, there’s a lot of emotion involved in what we do. I don’t know why I am the way I am and why numbers are not necessarily something I focus on.
“I come into this weekend as it being no different to any other weekend. I’ve got to work my backside off to beat my team-mate Valtteri Bottas and everyone else out there.
“I know how hard that is, as do the other drivers. I just don’t think of anything else really.
Michael Schumacher cried when he equalled Ayrton Senna’s then-record of 41 winsCredit: Getty – Contributor
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“If it happens, it’s going to happen at some stage, as I’m not quitting any time soon. I can’t tell you how I am going to feel, or what it’s going to mean.”
Hamilton has a whopping 55-point lead in the championship over Bottas and looks set for a seventh world title.
That would equal another Schumacher record, and while the number of wins he has does not seem to bother him, Hamilton certainly IS interested in collecting championships.
He added: “Championship numbers are different. When you win a championship, it’s something that is so far in the distance, it’s almost impossible or seems out of reach.”
Hamilton, 35, raced Schumacher for only three seasons between 2010 and 2012 after he came out of retirement for Mercedes.
Ironically, Schumacher was replaced at Merc by Hamilton but the two never really had much of a friendship.
Hamilton said: “I met him once at the track he has at Kerpen — and that was amazing as a kid.
“Probably my fondest memory was in Abu Dhabi when we exchanged helmets and that was really big for me. That’s the most valuable helmet I have.
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Lewis Hamilton can match the tally at this weekend’s Russian GP in SochiCredit: Reuters
“Otherwise, we never really had any deep conversations or anything like that. It was just pure admiration.”
While Hamilton never had much of a connection to Schumacher, one driver who did is Sebastian Vettel.
The Ferrari man idolised Schumacher when he was growing up and says he will be ‘sad’ to see Hamilton equal his hero’s record.
He said: “91 wins has always been a number that appeared to be impossible to reach. But Lewis’ track record over the years has allowed him to get closer. It is only a matter of time before he reaches it.
“On one hand I will be sad because Michael is still my hero, but on the other hand, I will always be happy for Lewis.
“He deserves all the success he has had in the last years, this year — and the next years, too. It is half and half, I have mixed emotions.”
Bottas set the early pace in Russia after topping both practice sessions in Sochi.
The Finn is trying to stop Hamilton from adding to his six wins this season.
Hamilton, second quickest in the afternoon session, was comfortably ahead of Daniel Ricciardo, who was best of the rest in his Renault.
McLaren duo Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris were also impressive in P4 and P5.
Meanwhile, F1 have confirmed that Stefano Domenicali will replace Chase Carey as F1’s new CEO from January.
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