Lewis Hamilton ‘not superhuman’ as Andretti makes alarming Michael Schumacher comparison

Oliver Harden
Lewis Hamilton looks tense with Michael Schumacher in a small circle alongside him

Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher stand as F1's only seven-time World Champions

F1 legend Mario Andretti says Lewis Hamilton no longer appears “superhuman” following his F1 struggles with Mercedes, comparing his situation to Michael Schumacher’s disappointing spell with the team. 

Hamilton shocked the world last month by announcing that he will join Ferrari at the end of 2024, bringing to an end the most successful team-driver partnership in F1 history.

Andretti likens Lewis Hamilton situation to Michael Schumacher’s decline

The British driver dominated F1 with Mercedes from the start of the V6 hybrid era in 2014, equalling Schumacher’s long-standing tally of seven World Championships in 2020 before becoming the first driver to surpass 100 pole positions and grand prix victories the following year.

However, Hamilton remains without a race victory since the penultimate round of the 2021 season in Saudi Arabia, with his drought unlikely to end in 2024 after a muted start to the new campaign.

The 39-year-old has failed to finish higher than seventh in 2024 so far and was outqualified by team-mate George Russell at each of the opening three races in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Australia.

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Schumacher returned to F1 at the age of 40 in 2010 with the aim of winning an eighth title, but retired three years later having added just a single podium finish to his tally after lagging behind team-mate Nico Rosberg, who would go on to beat Hamilton to the World Championship in 2016.

Speaking to Italian publication La Gazzetta dello Sport, 1978 World Champion Andretti feels Hamilton has been similarly exposed by Russell since the former Williams driver replaced Valtteri Bottas as his team-mate in 2022.

He said: “Lewis in his career has often had a means of trying to win, he didn’t need to bring out 100 per cent and so he rarely makes mistakes.

“Russell was fighting every minute with an uncompetitive Williams, when he switched to Mercedes he thought he had arrived in paradise and instead found himself fighting again: he is used to it and so he stays ahead of his team-mate.

“Hamilton seemed superhuman.

“Instead he too is human, as happened to Schumacher when after his successes in Ferrari he returned to F1 with Mercedes and the impossible no longer succeeded.

“But it will still be very interesting to see Lewis at the Prancing Horse, with his great desire to finish his career at Maranello.”

With Carlos Sainz, the driver Hamilton will replace at Ferrari in 2025, claiming a fine victory at last weekend’s Australian Grand Prix, it has been suggested that the Scuderia may live to regret signing the seven-time World Champion.

Hans-Joachim Stuck, the former March and Brabham driver, has suggested that Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur will be “angry” with himself for dropping Sainz in favour of Hamilton after the Spaniard’s win in Melbourne.

He told Eurosport: “I always wondered why Ferrari would dismiss a driver like Carlos Sainz.

“After the race you could see that he was still very badly affected by his appendectomy. So you have to rate his win even higher because he did a great job.

“And that was once again confirmation of the doubts about his dismissal.

“Frederic Vasseur will be angry that he made the decision. I never understood the switch from Sainz to Hamilton.”

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