Michael Schumacher is BETTER than Lewis Hamilton, insists F1 rival Sebastian Vettel despite British star equalling Ferrari legend’s record total of 91 Grand Prix wins
- Sebastian Vettel believes Michael Schumacher is ‘better than anyone I’ve seen’
- He praised Lewis Hamilton after matching the Ferrari legend’s race wins in F1
- The German star said he ‘hasn’t seen a match’ for Schumacher in the sport
- Last week Sir Jackie Stewart said Hamilton wasn’t in his list of top three drivers
Sebastian Vettel believes Ferrari legend Michael Schumacher was better than Lewis Hamilton, despite the British star matching his record number of race wins.
The Mercedes star wrote his name into the history books on Sunday as he won the Eifel Grand Prix in Germany to register his 91st victory and rack up a comfortable lead at the top of the Championships.
Vettel, who will leave Ferrari for Aston Martin next season, said he never thought anyone would break the record and had a lot of respect for Hamilton after his latest achievement, but insisted he ‘hasn’t seen a match’ for Schumacher, who was his ‘hero’ as a child.
Sebastian Vettel (L) believes Michael Schumacher (R) was better than his rival Lewis Hamilton
The Mercedes star drew level with his 91 race victories on Sunday after winning the Eifel GP
‘I think I can’t respect his efforts enough,’ he told Motorsport.com
‘It’s been the number in my head that I thought would never be beaten or equalled. I think we can be quite certain he will exceed this number.
‘Nevertheless, I have to say that Michael will always be my hero. And I think Michael had something about him that I haven’t seen in another driver so far.’
‘I think he was better than anybody else I’ve ever seen so far. I think he had a natural talent that is very difficult to explain.’
Vettel said respected Hamilton but insists he has not seen a better driver than Schumacher
It is not the first time the ability of Hamilton has been downplayed, with Sir Jackie Stewart last week saying it was ‘hard to justify’ calling him the greatest of all time – claiming the 35-year-old was not even in his top three.
And Vettel said it was Schumacher’s ‘natural ability’ that sets him apart from other drivers having seen him in action during go-karting sessions.
‘I think if you saw him go karting, obviously I didn’t see him at a young age but I did at an older age, and I was happy to join him in the Race of Champions a couple of times. So you see a little bit more of the skills and the car control.
‘On top of that, he had an incredible work ethic, but I think it’s the combination of the two that for me stands out. I haven’t seen a match yet.
He praised the Ferrari legend’s ‘natural ability’ in making him stand out from other drivers
Schumacher suffered a horrific skiing accident in 2013 and was put into a medically induced coma. His condition has been shrouded in mystery ever since, with very few updates on his recovery.
Recent reports have claimed he has been moved to a £27million mansion in Majorca.
Vettel stressed that he looked up to Schumacher growing up and would have even more admiration for his rival Hamilton in the decades to come.
‘I looked up to Michael when I was a child and Lewis, I didn’t look up to him when I was a child because I was racing him,’ he added.
Three-time world champion Stewart, 81, says it is ‘hard to justify’ including Hamilton among the greats as his Mercedes car is ‘so superior’ to the rest of the field
Hamilton hit back at Stewart and claimed that many ‘older drivers’ had a ‘bee in their bonnet’
‘But probably in another 10, 15 or 20 years’ time, there will be more admiration for that. But obviously, when you’re still active, you’re looking at yourself and not so much others. But as I said you cannot cherish him enough for what he has achieved.’
Schumacher wasn’t present in Sir Jackie’s list of greats as he named Juan Manuel Fangio, Jim Clark and Ayrton Senna. He claimed Hamilton’s Mercedes engines are ‘so superior that it’s almost unfair on the rest of the field’. That led to a backlash from Hamilton, who said ‘older drivers’ had a ‘bee in their bonnet’.
‘I get knocked by many people, particularly by older drivers,’ he said. ‘They have a bee in their bonnet. I don’t know why. I have so much respect for the past legends, even though they continue to speak negatively about me.’
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