Michael Schumacher is synonymous with Formula One greatness and taking on the path that the driving icon had blazed in the past is "madness." That is according to Lewis Hamilton, who is touted to soon surpass the racing records set by Schumacher.
Schumacher stopped competing with seven world titles and until Hamilton's sixth championship win in 2019, it was thought that the record will stand unequaled for quite a long time. But Hamilton overtook the German's total race wins by clocking 93 victories and the debate now rages on who is the greatest between the two F1 racers.
Hamilton though is not even thinking about grabbing attention from Schumacher. The Briton admitted he looks up to his predecessor at Mercedes and stressed it was an honor to serve as a replacement of the 51-year-old former driver.
Hamilton said joining up with the Mercedes F1 team in 2013 was like "madness."
"What is really crazy to me is that I was ultimately hired to replace Michael. I found myself in a strange situation because obviously, I had seen this man dominate F1," Hamilton said, and per the report by Essentially Sports.
He added that working with the same crew that had won races with Schumacher was both surreal and a privilege. And the collaboration with Mercedes proved successful for Hamilton - he won five straight world championships and there is no sign that the 35-year-old is slowing down.
As the same report noted, only the Turkish GP stands in the way of Hamilton, and in winning that race, he will become equal with Schumacher. And with more driving years ahead of him, the Briton is in a strong position to become the Formula One GOAT.
As things stand, Hamilton is well on his way to becoming the greatest in the sport. His racing skills appear unchallenged at the moment, and pairing that with Mercedes' powerful team makes for a racing juggernaut.
However, the GOAT conversation that pits Hamilton against Schumacher is not an easy one to conclude, according to F1 racer Charles Leclerc.
It's hard to pick who is the better man when the competitors come from different eras when the cars were different as well as the people. But it is obvious that Hamilton and Schumacher are "incredibly successful," and for that alone deserve the respect of their peers, said Leclerc.
"When I see Lewis on the track, it's not the same image like I have of Michael Schumacher, although just like Michael, he will be a legend when he leaves F1 one day," the 23-year-old explained, and according to Express.
Leclerc added his perception of the champions differs due to experience - his view of Schumacher was largely by images seen on the television while that of Hamilton is first-hand as he competed against the racing champion.