Over the weekend, Lewis Hamilton did the unthinkable. He tied the great Michael Schumacher for having seven driver titles under his belt while racing in Turkey. Seven is the most that any driver throughout the history of the sport has ever achieved. Schumacher, who seemed to slow down late into his career, is the exact opposite of Hamilton who in the past four years has improved. In the last 10 years, Hamilton has won the drivers championship six times. Out of Hamilton’s 264 race starts, he has been on the podium 163 times. Now, I am no math magician, but with Hamilton’s 163 podiums and 94 total race wins, I would say that racing against him and trying to win is a bad idea. Sunday’s race was also interesting with Hamilton starting 6th on the grid. Do you know what happened last time he started 6th on the grid? He won his first championship
In my mind, the greatest F1 driver is Ayrton Senna. Senna, had no double-clutch gearbox, no anti-lock breaks and very little traction control. Senna was also driving a rocket compared to F1 cars of today. Imagine driving a car with close to 1,000 horsepower and having to shift with a standard clutch.
Not taking anything away from Hamilton, but Sunday shouldn’t have been a win for him and he acknowledged this after the race. Starting in 6th and dropping down and in the wet, he only needed eight points to secure the championship. But getting a podium finish to secure the championship? Why not… 2020 has already been a crazy year for F1.
So let’s get back to the record held by the great Schumacher. Seven driver titles is something that may not seem like a lot. But compare it to any other sport and doing it alone is something that is crazy to think about. Yes, Hamilton is on one of the greatest F1 teams since the beginning of the sport, but a driver’s title is all on the driver. No one is in the car with him telling him to go faster or do this and do that. Hamilton has to make decisions while cruising at a slow speed of 200 MPH. Even though I am not a Hamilton fan in any sort of way, I recognize when greatness and history happens. If Hamilton decides to stay another year in F1 and most likely win another title, I firmly believe that this record will never be broken in my lifetime.
So, here’s to you Lewis. I’m sure your idol Senna would be proud of you just like the rest of the F1 community. Not only have you achieved something that only one other person has, but you have given people like me hope that the future of F1 will remain bright and beautiful.