LEWIS HAMILTON is one victory away from equalling Michael Schuamcher’s record of 91 Formula One wins.
The British star, 35, is also likely to match the German’s record seven world titles this season too.
Hamilton has already beaten Schumacher’s record for the most podiums and pole positions.
And he starts the Russia Grand Prix in Sochi on pole as he prepares to equal the once-seemingly-untouchable record…
But which of the two F1 legends is the greatest?
Sadly, the two only competed against each other for three seasons in F1 when Schumacher came out of retirement to drive for Mercedes, who were then uncompetitive.
breaks down the drivers’ skills into five categories to establish who is F1‘s No1.
The Mercedes man gets a fair chunk of stick for his jet-setting ways and there is a feeling he doesn’t do his homework in the same way as other drivers do.
Wrong. He does and has his notebook that he carries with him that he uses to provide feedback to his engineers.
When Schumacher joined Ferrari he was already well-known for his attention to detail, but after signing for the Italian team he cranked it up to a new level.
Yes, Ferrari did surround him with the best people and a defacto No2 driver, but Schumacher’s work-rate was next level.
OVER A SINGLE LAP
In F1, there is a term that is frequently used that is along the lines of “being able to extract the most from the package”.
To everyone else, that means going as quick as you can… and the best measurement of that is in qualifying.
Hamilton is untouchable over one flying lap, his performances, especially for Mercedes, on a Saturday are mesmerising.
While Schumacher achieved an impressive 68 poles during his F1 career, Hamilton currently sits on 95, and having reached that number on 47 fewer races.
Make no mistake, Schumacher was quick, but Hamilton easily edges this one.
The argument of who had the better car also goes out of the window.
DRIVING IN THE WET
Whenever it rains, Hamilton is the favourite.
Since his impressive performance in the wet at Silverstone in 2008 to his bravery in qualifying for this year’s Styrian GP, he always seems to keep it on the black stuff, whatever the weather.
This year’s pole in Austria was particularly impressive, with his Merc boss Toto Wolff hailing the performance as “not from this world”.
Like Hamilton, the German has a reputation for being an excellent wet weather driver.
One race that stands out is the 1995 Belgian GP where he stayed on slicks while most of the other cars pitted for wets.
Despite being slower, Schumacher held off Damon Hill to win the race.
CALM UNDER PRESSURE
With team radio now regularly played out on TV, fans get an insight into life in the drivers’ cockpits.
For the best part, Hamilton’s comments on tyres are interesting for those studying the lap times.
But while he sometimes sounds flustered, it’s worth remembering he’s travelling at 200mph and pulling G-forces of 5G.
Whatever he says to his team, Hamilton keeps things clean on track and does not resort to dirty tricks.
Without the radio exchanges from Schuamcher’s era, it is difficult to make a direct comparison between their attitudes in the heat of battle.
But there is a clear winner when it comes to gentlemanly conduct when handling the pressure.
Time and again, Schumacher was at the centre of a foul play storm, be it blocking, dangerous moves or even inexplicably stopping on track to halt a qualifying session.
Ah, the old argument about having the best car.
The best car of the season is always defined by who won the title that year.
The best drivers get to drive the best cars.
Currently, the Mercedes is the best car and Hamilton’s consistency there has been staggering.
He’s won 68 of the last 129 GPs.
Schuamcher’s 13 wins out of 18 in his title winning 2004 season is the standout, yet that level of dominance is similar to Hamilton’s six wins in eight for this season.
But when you look at Schumacher’s stats, the results are punctuated by retirements – something Hamilton rarely does.
In fact, Hamilton’s last retirement from a race was over two years ago.