Lewis Hamilton says that before joining Mercedes, he did not know how strong Michael Schumacher’s influence was on developing teams.
Hamilton joined the Silver Arrows back in 2013, a surprise move at the time, but to say it worked would be an understatement of how the Briton won the drivers’ championship in six of the seven seasons since the 2014 turbohybrid era.
And with that success, Hamilton has now tied Schumacher to his seven World Championships in his own name, but it wasn’t until Hamilton joined Mercedes that he realized how important Schumacher’s influence was in moving the team forward.
“As for car development assistance, that’s what I think drivers – and as I get closer to where Michael was – I never fully understood,” he told Autosport.
“For someone starting with Formula 1, it’s hard, it’s hard for young drivers to understand what Michael did, what I do on this team.
“They’ll just see that we have a good car, they’ll just see that Michael had a good car, but now that I’m here, I understand what Michael did with the team, or maybe what he could have done with that team. I’m sure it’s like what I had to do.
“You know, you have to be the helm. You have this powerful group of smart, passionate people, and of course you have a team leader who is at the helm.
“But when it comes to developing how to get the car to drive on and work with the driver’s characteristics, that’s my job, and I’d say I’m definitely very, very proud of that. Unfortunately, people don’t see it all in the background. “
– Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@ MercedesAMGF1) November 15, 2020
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Schumacher lifted the first of seven titles with Benetton back in 1994, winning the World Cup again next season.
In 1996, he joined the struggling Ferrari team, and by 2000 he had once again tasted the success of the World Cup, the first of five driver and designer titles twice in a row for Schumacher and Ferrari.
Schumacher will retire in 2006, but returned to the start of the 2010 season with the recently rebranded Mercedes team.
The German driver would spend three seasons with Mercedes, demanding one finish on the podium before retiring to Hamilton at the end of the 2012 campaign.
In addition to the corresponding Schumacher record of seven world titles this year, Hamilton has overshadowed his record of most wins in Formula 1. The Briton now has 94 wins and a count.
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