Lewis Hamilton makes F1 history with 92nd win, as he replaced Schumacher at Mercedes in 2013 with only one F1 title to his name and 70 wins behind the German great’s mark which was considered in F1 circles as way out of reach.

When Michael Schumacher retired from Formula One eight years ago, little did he know that he was opening the door for Lewis Hamilton to make history.

The British driver did just that on Sunday, winning the Portuguese Grand Prix for a record-setting 92nd victory of his outstanding career to overtake Schumacher’s 91 wins. Runaway leader Hamilton is also set to equal Schumacher’s record seven championships this season.

“I still feel physically strong but you still wonder when is it going to tip over and (you) lose performance,” Hamilton said after his victory in Portugal. “But showing by today it’s not yet.”

His 71 wins with Mercedes have come from just 173 races, a stunning win ratio of 41%, while his 92 wins from 262 starts (about 35%) edges him ahead of Schumacher’s 91 in 306 (30%).

But direct comparisons between the two are difficult since they raced in different eras, save for an overlapping period of three seasons when Schumacher was driving an uncompetitive Mercedes.

Who has the edge in terms of single-lap speed is hard to judge.

Some of Hamilton’s poles have been among the best ever in F1. Particularly the display at the Singapore GP two years ago and the mesmerizing control at a rain-drenched qualifying for the Styrian GP in July.

However, Hamilton’s best season ratio of 11 wins from 19 races falls below Schumacher’s masterful 13 from 18 — a staggering 72% win ratio — during his last title with Ferrari in 2004. Schumacher’s 10 fastest laps in 2004 beats Hamilton’s eight in 2015, as does his overall total of 77-52.

Hamilton made his F1 debut in 2007 with McLaren aged 22.

Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen won the title that year by one point from Hamilton, who began with nine straight podiums and a first victory in Canada after clinching a first pole.

McLaren sent Hamilton a tweet on Sunday featuring a bottle of Champagne and the words “You never forget your first.”

THIS IS MR. HAMILTON:

Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton MBE HonFREng (born 7 January 1985) is a British racing driver currently competing in Formula One for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team. A six-time Formula One World Champion, he is widely regarded as one of the greatest drivers in the history of the sport, and considered by some to be the greatest of all time.[note 2] He won his first World Drivers’ Championship with McLaren in 2008, before moving to Mercedes in 2013, with whom he has won a further five titles. One of the most successful drivers in the history of the sport, Hamilton’s six World Championship titles is the second-most of all time (one behind Michael Schumacher), while he holds the outright records for the most wins (93), pole positions (97), podium finishes (162), points finishes (226), career points (3713) and points in a season (413).

Born and raised in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, Hamilton enjoyed a successful ascent up the racing ladder and was signed to the McLaren young driver programme in 1998. This later resulted in a Formula One drive with McLaren in 2007, making Hamilton the first and only black driver to race in the sport, as of 2020.[note 4] That season, Hamilton set numerous records as he finished runner-up to Kimi Räikkönen by one point. The following season, he won his maiden title in dramatic fashion—making a crucial overtake on the last corner of the last lap in the last race of the season—to become the then-youngest Formula One World Champion in history. After four more years with McLaren without finishing higher than fourth in the drivers’ standings, Hamilton signed with Mercedes in 2013, reuniting with his childhood karting teammate, Nico Rosberg.

Changes to regulations for 2014 mandating the use of turbo-hybrid engines contributed to the start of a highly successful period for Hamilton, during which he has won five further World Championship titles. Hamilton won consecutive titles in 2014 and 2015 during an intense rivalry with teammate Nico Rosberg to match his hero Ayrton Senna‘s three World Championships. Following Rosberg’s retirement, Ferrari‘s Sebastian Vettel became Hamilton’s closest rival in two intense championship battles, and Hamilton twice overturned mid-season points deficits to claim consecutive titles for the second time in his career in 2017 and 2018. A third title followed in 2019 to complete a consecutive hat-trick of titles, bringing his tally to six overall.

Listed in the 2020 issue of Time as one of the 100 most influential people globally, Hamilton has been credited with furthering Formula One’s global following by appealing to a broader audience outside the sport, in part due to his high-profile lifestyle, environmental and social activism and his exploits in music and fashion. Hamilton has been targeted by racist abuse throughout his career and has been outspoken in his criticism of racial politics in Formula One as well as advocating for greater diversity in the sport. His treatment by British newspapers has also been criticised for carrying racial bias, and some have pointed to Hamilton’s race and physical appearance as reasons behind his perceived unpopularity among a portion of motorsport fans.

Formula One World Championship career
Nationality
United Kingdom
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British
2020 team Mercedes[3]
Car number 44[note 1]
Entries 263 (263 starts)
Championships 6 (2008, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019)
Wins 93
Podiums 162
Career points 3713
Pole positions 97
Fastest laps 53
First entry 2007 Australian Grand Prix
First win 2007 Canadian Grand Prix
Last win 2020 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix
Last entry 2020 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix
2019 position 1st (413 pts)
Website lewishamilton.com