Hamilton has won ‘nearly five years worth of races’

Jon Wilde
Lewis Hamilton, Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen on the podium after the Eifel Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton, Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen on the podium after the Eifel Grand Prix

Daniel Ricciardo has paid tribute to record-equalling Lewis Hamilton for winning “nearly five years’ worth of races”.

Hamilton matched Michael Schumacher’s record of 91 F1 victories in the Eifel Grand Prix at the Nurburgring, a circuit only 55 miles from the German legend’s home town of Kerpen.

To commemorate the achievement, Schumacher’s son Mick, who is on the verge of becoming a Formula 1 competitor himself, presented Hamilton with one of his father’s race helmets.

Ricciardo, who finished third, and runner-up Max Verstappen both hailed the World Champion’s accomplishment at the post-race press conference.

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“Tip of the hat at the very least,” said Ricciardo, who secured his first podium finish for well over two years, while Renault had not ended a race in the top three since 2011.

“I don’t think that’s enough. Ninety one is like…I don’t know… it’s just…you’re talking nearly five years’ worth of races, four and a half. That gives perspective.

“How much success Lewis has now had. Obviously Michael as well. To do it week in, week out as well, and year-on.

“His career now has been well over a decade in the sport and to keep coming back and to show that level of consistency at the front, that’s also not easy.

“I think us up here, we understand that. You can have a package and a car to do it, but it’s doing it every weekend when the lights go out. It’s easier said than done. Certainly big respect.

“I think also the gift he received, one of Michael’s helmets, that’s one of the coolest gifts I’ve ever seen in the sport, so it’s really nice to see that today.”

Verstappen, meanwhile, began his tribute with his ‘catchphrase’ of “simply lovely”, which caught on after he said those words over the team radio during his 2017 Mexico Grand Prix victory.

The Red Bull driver added: “It’s an incredible achievement because I think, like Lewis said, 91 wins, everyone thought that was almost impossible to reach, right?

“To be there now himself, it’s incredible and very impressive. And I’m pretty sure there will be some more victories coming his way – and probably also Championships. So, yep, just very impressive. And hard to beat.”

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