Friends turned rivals, Nico Rosberg says he takes his hat off to Lewis Hamilton after the Brit bagged his record-setting 92nd grand prix win.
Hamilton raced to the chequered flag, 25 seconds up the road from Valtteri Bottas, to clinch his 92nd grand prix win at last Sunday’s Portuguese Grand Prix.
Just two weeks after equalling Michael Schumacher’s record for the most F1 wins, he made it his own.
And it’s not the only Schumacher record that Hamilton is chasing.
Already holding the record for most pole positions, 97, most podiums, 161, this season Hamilton can equal Schumacher’s tally for the most World Championships, seven.
It was a record that many believed in the mid 2000s would never be matched, Hamilton is doing just that.
Rosberg, the only team-mate to have beaten Hamilton in Formula 1 when he won the 2016 World Champion, says the 35-year-old has his “respect” for what he has achieved in the sport.
“I have huge respect for what he’s managed to achieve,” Rosberg told Reuters.
“One thing is being at the level that he’s at, just a phenomenal driver, but then to stick in there and year-in year-out stay at that high level and be the guy to beat every year and still dominate, that’s just so hard.
“It surely will go down as one of the greatest sporting achievements in general, not only in Formula One, across all sports.
“I can just take my hat off to him.”
💬 "I owe it to the team for their tremendous work. They are continuously innovating and pushing. No one is sitting back on the success. That’s the most incredible thing to be surrounded by; it inspires you. There's nothing quite like it."@LewisHamilton ❤️🙏 pic.twitter.com/iHmWf8pqug
— Mercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) October 27, 2020
But it is not just Hamilton’s on-track antics that has Rosberg doffing his cap to the British driver.
From raising awareness about the environment to support Black Lives Matter, Rosberg says it is “really cool” how Hamilton is making his voice heard.
“At the same time I think it’s really cool how Lewis is using his platform and awareness to do good in the world.
“He’s really looking forward, thinking about the future… I also have huge respect for that.
“Amongst all this craziness of becoming the best of all time in Formula One, he still has capacity to think of the greater picture and that I respect maybe even more.”