Former Mercedes motorsport VP Norbert Haug says Michael Schumacher never enjoyed a car as dominant as Lewis Hamilton has at Mercedes.
Hamilton surpassed another of Michael Schumacher’s record with his 156th podium in Formula 1 after winning the Spanish Grand Prix, whilst Schumacher’s 91 victories is another record Hamilton will soon break as he sits on 88.
Mercedes and Hamilton also have moved beyond the dominance seen by Ferrari in the early 2000s after winning the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship six times in a row since 2014.
But, Haug says the F1 cars produced by Ferrari during their trophy-filled era with Schumacher weren’t as mighty as the ones Mercedes have produced for Hamilton in the turbo-hybrid era.
“For ages, it was unimaginable that Michael’s record of 91 victories could ever be matched or even beaten,” he told F1-insider.
“But if you paid a bit of attention, it became clear two years ago at the latest that Lewis is well on the way to beating all existing Formula 1 records.
“But Michael never had such a superior environment and such an unrivalled race car as Lewis finds at Mercedes.
“That is not to diminish the magnificent performance of this man and exceptional driver, whom I have accompanied from karting to Formula Renault, Formula 3, GP2 and all the way into Formula 1, where he took his first pole position, his first victory at the 2007 Canadian GP and his first World Championship win in 2008.
“What Lewis has been demonstrating in terms of consistency and skill for 14 years now in Formula 1 is simply unique and unprecedented.
“And in my estimation, it will most likely never be repeated.”
The most podium’s in @f1 🤯 I can’t even begin to describe how this feels. Thank you all for your love and positivity. I want to thank everyone back at the factory, I’m so proud to be a part of this team and I hope you’re all doing well and staying safe. #StillWeRise pic.twitter.com/iY7Wc2RP21
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) August 16, 2020
Hamilton is again leading the Drivers’ Championship in 2020, but the man who sits behind him in P2, that being Max Verstappen, is seen as the next superstar of Formula 1 once either Hamilton retires or Red Bull move up to Mercedes’ level.
Haug believes both drivers have very similar “potential and ability”, but said Formula 1 would be more exciting if only the “very good” drivers were on the grid.
“He [Verstappen] certainly has similar potential and ability. In Formula 1 there are only very good and very, very good drivers,” he explained.
“Lewis and Max belong in the second category. And, ironically enough, if there were only very good drivers on the grid in the current Formula 1 World Championship, the races might be more exciting.”