F1 managing director Ross Brawn says Lewis Hamilton leaves him “speechless,” just like Michael Schumacher. Hamilton has won six Formula One World Drivers’ Championships, meaning if he wins one again this year he will draw level with Schumacher who won seven throughout his career. He’s also seven Grand Prix wins away from matching Schumacher’s record of 91.
The British racer has won five out of the last six World Drivers’ Championships, missing out only in 2016 to Nico Rosberg.
And this year, he’s raring to go again as he looks to create F1 history.
“Some of the qualifying laps Lewis has done have left the team speechless. Michael was the same, there are sometimes just those drivers who can do that,” Brawn said.
“They are both massively talented in what they do in the car and those moments where they pull something out of nowhere.”
Brawn joined F1 management as sporting director in 2017, and since then Hamilton has taken the title every year, and he considers Hamilton’s achievements every bit as impressive as Schumacher’s.
“Lewis has deserved it. He has deserved every championship he has won,” Brawn added. “He has got himself at the right team at the right time and he is at peak performance. He doesn’t make mistakes and is a fantastic driver, his performance is exceptional.”
Hamilton, like Schumacher, won World Championships driving with two different manufacturers.
Hamilton won his first F1 World Championship in 2008 driving with McLaren, while Schumacher won his first two driving with Benetton in 1994 and 1995.
But both drivers went on to come back stronger in the next decade. Schumacher won five consecutive titles driving with Ferrari between 2000 and 2004, while Hamilton has enjoyed the bulk of his success with Mercedes- winning his last five titles representing the silver arrows.
He said: “He has got himself at the right team at the right time and he is at peak performance. He doesn’t make mistakes and is a fantastic driver, his performance is exceptional.”
Schumacher and Hamilton of course drove in different eras, and Brawn acknowledges the difference in F1 technology and how it has advanced in the past 20 years to the stage where data analysis gives a helping hand to Hamilton to a level that it didn’t for Schumacher.
Nevertheless, Brawn still doesn’t underestimate the greatness of Hamilton and the uniqueness of his achievements in F1.
The F1 chief explained: “Michael came up in an era where there wasn’t the technology there is now. Data analysis was pretty crude.
“Now a driver gets out of the car and the engineer has an analysis of the car’s behaviour through every corner. When I first worked with Michael we had a sheet with the corner numbers on and he had to explain where he had understeer or oversteer and we would then analyse that.
“It is not like Lewis is winning out of luck. He is winning because he is doing a fantastic job and you have to give him credit.
“Lewis is incredibly professional, dedicated and committed but Michael had an intensity of detail toward the car that Lewis doesn’t need.”