Lewis Hamilton says he felt “incredibly humbled” to be honoured by Michael Schumacher’s family after equalling his record for Formula 1 victories in Sunday’s Eifel Grand Prix.
Hamilton scored the 91st win of his F1 career at the Nurburgring to move level with Schumacher’s victory tally, ending the German’s spell as the sole record holder that dated back to the 2001 Belgian Grand Prix.
To mark the achievement, Hamilton was presented with one of Schumacher’s helmets from his final season in F1 at Mercedes by the seven-time world champion’s son, F2 championship leader Mick.
Hamilton and Schumacher Jr. shared a few words during the presentation, and Hamilton admitted he would take time to get used to holding such a place in F1 history.
Asked about the presentation by Schumacher Jr., Hamilton said that he already had one of Michael’s helmets, but felt touched to have another to add to his collection.
“I actually already have one of Michael’s helmets,” Hamilton said.
“One of the really, really special moments for me, in Abu Dhabi 2012, I went over to the Mercedes hospitality, and met with Michael, and we exchanged helmets.
“That for me was a moment that I’ll never forget, to stand with someone that I grew up watching on TV, and having the honour of exchanging jerseys or helmets, it what us sportsmen do, and it’s the highest sign of respect that you can really show.
“To have the legend of the sport do that with me was really special.
“Having his family honour me today, I’m just incredibly humbled. His son is such a great, bright talent, and just a really genuine human being.
“Michael has obviously raised a great man in him, and I look forward to seeing how his career will look moving forwards.
“Now I have two special helmets from Michael in my small living room.”
Hamilton had largely dismissed questions surrounding the record in the lead-up to the race weekend, but acknowledged after the race the victory stood out from others.
“It’s definitely not just another win,” Hamilton said.
“Over this past hour or so, I’ve really tried to contemplate and realise what it is that we’ve done, and what I’ve been able to achieve.
“I would say for the next couple of days, that’s where my mind is going to be at. It’s hard to find the right words and to be able to compute exactly.
“It’s difficult to find the words. It definitely is a special one.
“I called my dad and [step-mum] Linda, and spoke to them. Definitely a lot of emotions today.”