Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher have dominated F1 in their respective eras, but comparisons between the pair should wait
British F1 star Lewis Hamilton will start the 2020 campaign with a Michael Schumacher record in his sights.
Schumacher, who drove for Ferrari between the 90s and 2000s is the only F1 star with seven driver’s championships under his belt.
Hamilton won his sixth in the previous season and is the favourite to win a seventh this year.
The Brit has been the dominant star in this era of F1 with five of his titles coming in the last six years. Hamilton also has broken several records during his incredible run with Mercedes, and he could end up as the greatest racer ever if he stays at the top level for a few more years.
However, Schumacher has a different place in F1 history and it is difficult to compare the pair at the moment.
A tough battle for Schumacher in the past
Although Hamilton has had some close battles in the past, such as his first two seasons with McLaren, after his move to Mercedes, there hasn’t been anyone who can touch him.
Mercedes have produced the best car on the grid and no other car has come close, not even Shumi’s Ferrari.
It was a similar position for Shumi when he was in Ferrari and won five consecutive titles with them. However, prior to that, Shumi was put through the wringer with McLaren’s Mika Hakkinen beaten him to two world titles.
Hakkinen and Shumi were always at each other’s throats on the race track, but there was mutual respect between them.
Hamilton, for his part, has never had that kind of rivalry in his time. It isn’t his fault that his car is the best on the grid and no driver can battle him, but Schumacher had a tougher rival.
The Brit did face Nico Rosberg, who is the only one to have taken a title away from him, but the German retired right after winning his one and only crown and couldn’t continue the battle.
The numbers game
Schumacher dominated some seasons when racing for Ferrari. Of course, he had the best car on the grid too but won 72.22% of the races in 2004, which is the best ever.
He is also third on this list by winning 11 out of 17 races in 2002, a winning percentage of 64.71%.
Hamilton, for all the talk of having the best car on the grid, has only achieved 11 wins at the most in season, and that comes out to be 57.89% of race wins which he achieved in 2014.
Even last year, he got only 11 wins from the 21 races available.
The German has also won the most number of titles in a row with five to his name. Had Rosberg not come in between, Hamilton would have broken that record but he sits on three consecutive titles at the moment.
Hamilton, however, has the most number of pole positions in the history of the sport with 88 and he is already 20 ahead of Schumacher.
However, the British star has started in more races and the F1 calender features more races than during the time of Schumacher.
The German also holds several other records but it is only a matter of time before Hamilton is the leader at the top of most of them.
He already has the most number of points and Schumacher has 91 wins compared to 84 for Hamilton.
Although the German had 308 races under his belt and Hamilton only has 250 so far, the last three years of Schumacher shouldn’t count much since he was in a Mercedes which wasn’t the best car on the track.
This is where it gets a little dicey. Hamilton, for all his success, hasn’t really been a thorn in anyone’s side. The British star has barely tried to be a poor sportsman and affected his rivals.
Schumacher, on the other side, was a masterful tactician and often took his driving to another level when trying to keep his position.
He even almost ran his former teammate Rubens Barrichello into a wall late in his career. Shumi was also disqualified from races due to certain moves he pulled off, but his tactics worked, to an extent.
Hamilton has let most of his racing do the talking, even though people question his lifestyle.
Hamilton is still far away from Shumi at the moment. What the German did during the early 2000s was incredible and it is difficult seeing anyone but the Brit match that.
More Formula One news
The Brit might get the records and numbers to beat Shumi, and until he wins that seventh title, we should avoid comparing the pair.
Follow our dedicated Formula One page for instant Formula One news and updates