Sebastian Vettel, a Formula One racer, believes Michael Schumacher will be remembered as the greatest driver in Formula One history, even if Lewis Hamilton breaks his record by winning five more world championships.
Hamilton and Schumacher currently hold a record seven titles each, but if Hamilton defeats Max Verstappen at this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, he will be able to move ahead.
Given the fight the two have had, Hamilton insists a potential eighth title would be the best of his career.
Vettel, on the other hand, believes Schumacher – who won seven titles between 1994 and 2004 – will remain unrivalled as the greatest driver in history, even if Hamilton adds to his haul.
“Michael is my hero,” four-time world champion Vettel said of his fellow German.
“For that reason I probably don’t want Lewis to win but the truth is, they have both had a strong season, they are going into the last race with the opportunity to win the championship because they both deserve it.
“In a way, I’d be happy if Michael’s record still stands but even if Lewis wins, to me Michael is still the greatest.
“Lewis can win one more, two more, three more, five more championships but it doesn’t change anything for me and I get along with Lewis.
“So the gut says I want Max to win just to keep the record alive but my head is clear in terms of ‘let the best man win’.”
“Max is driving – in my opinion – one step ahead of all of us,” the Alpine driver said.
“Max, maybe overall in the year, was driving one step ahead of everyone”
“We saw the (qualifying) lap in Jeddah, until he touched the wall at the last corner. That lap was coming from Max, not the Red Bull.
“In a way, that’s my opinion: Mercedes deserve the constructors’ championship because the car is superior.
“And Max, maybe overall in the year, was driving one step ahead of everyone.”
Schumacher suffered a severe brain injury in a skiing accident in December 2013. He was put into a medically induced coma until June of 2014. He was transferred from the hospital in Grenoble to the Lausanne University Hospital for further rehabilitation before being returned to his home in September 2014 to receive medical treatment and rehabilitation privately. Since 2014, he has been bedridden.