Michael Schumacher’s Lewis Hamilton message ahead of retirement
Trailer for new Michael Schumacher documentary released
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Schumacher is a legend not just in F1, but in the wider sporting community, having been crowned world champion seven times. He stepped back from F1 in 2012, and was replaced by Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes, who has since pulled level with seven world championship titles of his own. The following year, in December 2013, Schumacher sustained a severe injury while skiing in the French Alps.
While he continues on the road to recovery, only select people are permitted to see him, with visitors decided by his wife Corinna.
A new Netflix documentary, set for release on 15 September, will delve into his career and early life.
The streaming service has released a trailer for Schumacher, which will feature his son Mich, now a F1 driver for Haas, his father, wife and fellow racing legend Sebastian Vettel.
Comparisons are regularly made between Schumacher and Hamilton – two of the greatest drivers the sport has been blessed with.
At the time of his retirement, Schumacher held a series of remarkable records.
He held the records for most wins (91), pole positions (68) and podium finishes (155) – which have all since been broken by Lewis Hamilton – while he maintains the record for the most fastest laps (77) and jointly holds the record for most races won in a single season (13) with Sebastian Vettel.
Hamilton’s victory at the Portuguese Grand Prix in October last year surpassed Schumacher’s record of the most wins.
At the time he set the record, many suspected it would never be beaten.
However, Schumacher’s indecision over his future ahead of the 2013 F1 season prompted Mercedes to push for a world class replacement.
Upon being replaced by Hamilton, Schumacher hung up his racing gloves for the final time, and sent a message to the Briton in his exit statement.
He said: “I have had three nice years with the team which unfortunately did not go as well as we all would have wanted on the sporting side.
“I wish Lewis well and for the team to achieve the success we worked so hard for in the build-up.
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“I would like to thank the team for their trust and all the guys for their unconditional commitment.
“I will now concentrate on the next races.”
Backing Hamilton to shine, he added: “We all know Lewis is one of the best drivers we have around and I am sure he and the team will have a successful future.
“The team had an option in Lewis that helped me decide [to retire].
F1: How Hamilton compares to Schumacher
Five years with McLaren had seen Hamilton become the then-youngest Formula One World Champion in history, and the first British driver to top the podium since Damon Hill in 1996.
Moving to Mercedes certainly raised a few eyebrows at the time, given the Silver Arrows’ poor record in previous years.
A look at the records of the two offers an insight into their abilities.
Hamilton boasts, as of September 3, 101 pole positions compared to Schumacher’s 68, and 59 wins from pole compared to Schumacher’s 40.
But Schumacher has more wins from second spot, and more than twice as many from third.
While these numbers might suggest that Schumacher was a stronger racer, anyone who studies Hamilton’s race tactics might disagree.
The pair raced in very different eras – both competed under very different scenarios and regulations. Both are unique and respected for their own individual reasons, something that numbers alone cannot explain.
Much like the Muhammad Ali vs Mike Tyson debate, it’s an age-based debate.
Schumacher is available exclusively on Netflix from September 15.
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