Lewis Hamilton admitted that he continues to pray for Michael Schumacher after equalling the great German’s pole position record in qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix.
The Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team racer took his sixty-eighth pole of his career with the quickest ever lap seen around Spa-Francorchamps, and he was greeted by Ross Brawn during the post-session interviews, with the former Scuderia Ferrari and Mercedes man having a special message from the Schumacher family about the Briton’s feat.
“I’m here to deliver a very special message from Corinna Schumacher and the Schumacher family, who want to congratulate you on equalling Michael’s record,” said Brawn.
“As they said, Michael always said that records are there to be broken, so they want to send their very special thanks.”
Hamilton reacted by admitting it was a privilege of racing on track against the German, most notably when Schumacher raced for his now-employers Mercedes between 2010 and 2012 whilst he was with the McLaren F1 Team.
“To hear the message that Ross just gave, I have to say a big thank you,” said Hamilton in response. “I pray for Michael and his family all the time.
“I’ve had the privilege of racing with him, from karting days in Kerpen to on the (F1) track and I’ve always admired him – and still do today – so I’m just honoured to be up there with him now in the poles, but he will still be one of the greatest of all time.”
Hamilton admitted he had not realised that he had matched the seven-time World Champions pole record, and he feels the whole weekend in Belgium has been going really well, although he expects a fight-back from Ferrari and in particular Sebastian Vettel on Sunday.
“I’m really happy and grateful,” said Hamilton. “The past few weeks have been great and I’ve carried the positive energy from my holiday into this weekend. Until I crossed the line and got the pole I hadn’t really realised that I had matched Michael’s record.
“I’m honoured to be up there with him now and starting the second half of the season this strong is an amazing feeling. I have not really had any bad laps this weekend.
“But it’s going to be tight tomorrow. Ferrari’s race pace looked good yesterday, so I think it will be a lot closer tomorrow. The rundown to Turn 1 is short, but pole is still the best position to start from. I will try to make it work tomorrow.”