Vettel: Schumacher still best-ever F1 driver despite Hamilton's records

Sebastian Vettel says his 'hero' Michael Schumacher remains the best racing driver he has ever seen, despite Lewis Hamilton equalling his all-time Formula 1 win record

Vettel: Schumacher still best-ever F1 driver despite Hamilton's records

Hamilton's triumph at the Eifel Grand Prix matched Schumacher's tally of 91 victories, with it highly likely the record will be broken soon.

But while Vettel says he has nothing but admiration for what Hamilton's has achieved in his career, he says that Schumacher remains a step above anyone else he has ever seen competing.

"I think I can't respect his efforts enough," said Vettel about Hamilton's record equally equalling achievement.

"It's been the number in my head that I thought would never be beaten or equalled. I think we can be quite certain he will exceed this number.

"Nevertheless, I have to say that Michael will always be my hero.

"And I think Michael had something about him that I haven't seen in another driver so far."

Vettel says that his appreciation for Schumacher's skills have been amplified by seeing him drive away from F1 events - either in karting events or as teammates at the Race of Champions.

"I think he was better than anybody else I've ever seen so far," he said. "I think he had a natural talent that is very difficult to explain.

"I think if you saw him go karting, obviously I didn't see him at a young age but I did at an older age, and I was happy to join him in the Race of Champions a couple of times.

"So you see a little bit more of the skills and the car control.

"And both the karting experience and the Race of Champions experience, I think [showed] he had a natural ability that, as I said, I haven't seen with anyone else so far.

"On top of that, he had an incredible work ethic, but I think it's the combination of the two that for me stands out. I haven't seen a match yet.

Vettel does make clear, however, that his view of where the two drivers stack up is perhaps impacted by the different time periods he has seen them operate in.

"I looked up to Michael when I was a child and Lewis, I didn't look up to him when I was a child because I was racing him," he said. "So it's a different situation going in.

"But probably in another 10, 15 or 20 years' time, there will be more admiration for that.

"Obviously, when you're still active, you're looking at yourself and not so much others. But as I said you cannot cherish him enough for what he has achieved."

shares
comments
Wolff: DAS not a "game changer" for Mercedes in cold Eifel GP

Previous article

Wolff: DAS not a "game changer" for Mercedes in cold Eifel GP

Next article

How F1's wins record has been pushed up and up

How F1's wins record has been pushed up and up
Load comments
Why momentum is again behind Australia’s aces Plus

Why momentum is again behind Australia’s aces

At the Italian Grand Prix Daniel Ricciardo turned around a troubled F1 season and, in F2, Oscar Piastri demonstrated once again that he is a potential star of the future. BEN EDWARDS weighs up the prospects of F1 having two Australian stars

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers Plus

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers

Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia… 

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2021
The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery Plus

The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2021
The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1 Plus

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Plus

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. DAMIEN SMITH brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Plus

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus Plus

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021