Lewis Hamilton has revealed he already had a Michael Schumacher race lid amongst his extensive helmet collection.
After victory at the Eifel Grand Prix, Hamilton tied the long-standing record held by Schumacher of 91 Formula 1 race wins – a record that many thought would never be equalled or broken.
The six-time World Champion, also poised to match Schumacher’s record of seven titles after opening up a 69-point lead at the top, was greeted by Mick Schumacher after the race and presented with one of Michael’s race helmets from his time at Mercedes.
It was an incredibly poignant moment and the red race lid will be heading home with Hamilton, who will put it alongside another Schumacher helmet he has as part of his collection.
“I actually already have one of Michael’s helmets,” Hamilton told reporters following his Eifel Grand Prix win.
“One of the really, really special moments for me was in Abu Dhabi 2012.
“I went over to the Mercedes hospitality and met with Michael and we exchanged helmets and that for me was a moment that I will never forget, to stand with someone who I grow up watching on TV and having the honour of exchanging jerseys or helmets, it’s what us sportsmen do and it’s the highest sign of respect that I can think you can really show.
“So to have the legend of the sport do that with me was really special. But to have his family honour me, I’m just incredibly humbled.
“You know his son is such a great bright talent and just a really genuine human being so Michael’s obviously raised a great man in him and I look forward to seeing how his career will look moving forwards.
“Yeah, but now I have two special helmets from Michael in my living room.”
— Planet F1 (@Planet_F1) October 11, 2020
Hamilton added: “It takes some time for you to analyse it and for it to sink in, to realise what it actually means.
“But like all of us, I grew up watching Michael win all of those grands prix and I couldn’t have fathomed equalling him. I think getting to Formula 1 was the first step of the dream and obviously emulating Ayrton.
“But Michael was just so far ahead. It’s beyond my wildest dreams to think that I’m here today having equalled him and I just feel really humbled by the moment and the opportunity I was given when I was 13 by Mercedes to join this team and I feel really proud to continue to represent them and to have brought this record to Mercedes.
“Hopefully we have got more records to break and to make. Hopefully they know it was a good investment!”
I remember watching Michael as a kid, winning all those races and I was just dreaming of being there myself. It shows dreams really can come true. A big, big thank you to @SchumacherMick, this was truly a surreal moment. One that i’ll remember forever. 🙏🏾 #91 pic.twitter.com/LUzfSz79HB
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) October 11, 2020