Lewis Hamilton 'so close, but so far' from Michael Schumacher F1 record
"I'm working on a masterpiece and I haven't quite finished it yet," says Hamilton. Will he beat Schumacher's record? Vote below
By Matt Morlidge
Last Updated: 04/11/19 11:59pm
Lewis Hamilton has opened up on the prospect of reaching and eclipsing Michael Schumacher's F1 title record, with the new six-time champion insisting he will "keep pushing" as he looks to complete a "masterpiece".
Hamilton is the first F1 driver to ever move to within one title of Schumacher's tally of seven, which he admitted seemed "so far-fetched" as he came to terms with historic feat following Sunday's United States GP.
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"Reaching Michael's [record] was never a target for me," said Hamilton.
"I definitely had thought that getting anywhere near Michael was just so far-fetched and I remember having my one [title in 2008] for a long period of time, then getting a second one .
"It was so far away and now yet it seems so close - yet it is so far away that I still can't really even comprehend."
Hamilton can match Schumacher's title record next season, while the Englishman - who turns 35 in January - has already signalled that he intends to carry on past the 2021 campaign and become an F1 "pioneer".
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff told Sky F1 that there were "no limits" for his star driver in the sport, while Hamilton believes he still hasn't hit his peak.
Most F1 Drivers' Championships
"I'm working on a masterpiece and I haven't quite finished it yet," an unrelenting Hamilton explained, in an ominous warning to his rivals.
"As an athlete, I feel as fresh as can be. It's an honour to be up there with the greats - and I'll keep pushing."
Hamilton on next challenge, and 'surreal' F1 journey
Hamilton isn't only closing in on Schumacher's number of titles - he is also only eight race victories shy of the great German's all-time win record.
Should he complete that in 2020, that will go a long way towards an incredible seventh crown, although Hamilton isn't thinking of that yet.
"The challenges that we'll face in these next coming months, the next season... you look at these other teams that have really been putting some astonishing performances in in the second half of the season," he said.
"It's going to take another load of incredible performance and work from myself and all the people who are around me and I really don't want to have to think about it right now.
"And also, I don't want to build up the idea of trying to get to Michael's… to get to seven because at the moment, I've got to enjoy right now."
But it has still been a "beyond surreal" journey for Hamilton, whose rise to super-stardom started at Hertfordshire karting tracks before a stellar junior career, then starting in F1 with McLaren in 2007.
"I remember watching this sport when I was younger, waking up, come downstairs, my step-mum, Linda, she would make me a bacon sandwich and me and my dad would sit there together and watch the Grands Prix," he said.
Hamilton vs Schumacher at six titles
|Lewis Hamilton||Michael Schumacher|
|Wins at sixth title||83||70|
|Win %||33.5% (83/248)||36.3% (70/193)|
"It's odd to watch it and see someone in the TV set and now to be the person that's in the TV set, you know, and be doing something like the great that I saw in Ayrton [Senna] and the great that I saw in Michael.
"It's beyond surreal to think that this journey, my life journey has brought me to this point in winning a sixth title."