Since Lewis Hamilton equalled Michael Schumacher’s record of 91 wins in Germany, some fans on social media have branded him a fortunate benefactor who would not be within reach of the phenomenal record if Mercedes weren’t so dominant.
Well sorry, but the numbers just don’t support this argument.
The record of 91 wins at the time was quite simply a mind-blowing achievement, with that win back in 2006 at Shanghai taking Schumacher just one win away from equalling the wins of both Alain Prost and the great Ayrton Senna combined.
Put into context, 91 wins is the equivalent to winning every Grand Prix for four and a half straight seasons in F1, which is truly remarkable.
But, for those who doubt him and what he’s done in the sport, it’s worth noting that Hamilton has equalled this record in 47 fewer race entries, giving him a win percentage of 34.87%, compared to the 29.55% of Schumacher.
If that wasn’t enough, it’s likely that Hamilton could still race for another five years or beyond, meaning that it’s quite possible that he will notch-up a century of wins before he calls it a day.
Combine that with the changes in regulations expected in 2021, and it’s highly unlikely that any driver will get close to achieving these numbers anytime soon.
What’s certainly not up for debate is that these two drivers are in a league of their own and although Hamilton will eventually surpass the Germans’ win record, either this weekend or beyond, his legacy will remain in an elite category.
Must win for Bottas
Aside from the obvious attention on Lewis Hamilton, the Portuguese Grand Prix is sure to throw up a number of other fascinating talking points for us to get our teeth into this weekend.
Valtteri Bottas comes here in a must-win position, given his untimely retirement at the Nürburgring and with Hamilton not only looking to push ahead of Schumacher’s win record but also extend his 69 point lead in the World Championship standings.
Meanwhile, Max Verstappen has also been getting closer to Mercedes, with back-to-back second-place finishes and will be looking to capitalise on any mistakes from Hamilton or Bottas – especially seeing as he managed to swipe the fastest lap at the death of the Eifel Grand Prix in spectacular fashion.
Daniel Ricciardo could rightly be seen as a dark horse for a podium this weekend, after picking up his first top-3 finish for Renault at the Nürburgring last weekend – however, this does somewhat rely on there being a mistake or a DNF from the top 3 runners.
Racing Point has had a turbulent season so far, to say the least. They had quickly become top runners for ‘best of the rest’ and do currently sit in 3rd place in the constructors, but with Mclaren and Renault getting closer and closer, it’s hard to see Racing Point keep that standing.
The Portuguese GP has been known to throw-up an exhilarating race down the years, with tyre wear and brake temperatures likely to trouble many of the drivers throughout the grid.
Add in the fact that it’s predicted to rain on Sunday, something all Formula 1 fans dream of, and a mixed pack on the podium is a very real possibility.
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