15 November 2020

How does Lewis Hamilton compare with Michael Schumacher?

Lewis Hamilton has drawn level with Michael Schumacher on seven Formula One world championships.

In terms of titles, the two drivers are the most decorated in the sport’s history. Here, the PA news agency runs the rule over each of their seven triumphs.

Michael Schumacher


Schumacher’s first title was dogged in controversy. Question marks hung over the legality of his Benetton, while he was banned from two races after being disqualified from the British Grand Prix for ignoring a black flag. He then took sole rival Damon Hill out of the decider in Adelaide to clinch the championship.


Suffering after missing out on the 1994 title, Hill made a number of errors the following year, crashing into Schumacher at Silverstone and Monza. Schumacher won nine of the 17 races to cruise to his second championship.


Schumacher left Benetton to join Ferrari in 1996. Ross Brawn and Rory Byrne followed the German from Benetton to join Jean Todt at Ferrari and form F1’s so-called dream team. Schumacher ended Ferrari’s 21-year wait for a championship by taking the first title staged this century.


Schumacher won the following campaign with ease, finishing 58 points clear of McLaren’s  David Coulthard to claim his second title with Ferrari and fourth in all to match Alain Prost’s haul and move to within one of Juan Manuel Fangio’s record.


Schumacher emulated Fangio as the German and his Ferrari team continued their crushing dominance of the sport. Schumacher finished first or second at all but one of the 17 races, winning a then-record 11 grands prix en route to his record-equalling fifth title.


Although Schumacher won the championship to move clear of Fangio as the sport’s most successful driver, it was a much closer campaign than in previous seasons. Eight different drivers won a race before Schumacher wrapped up the spoils, finishing 67 points clear of his Ferrari team-mate Rubens Barrichello.


Schumacher won his seventh title in emphatic fashion, breaking his win record of 2002 by romping to 13 victories. Schumacher won 12 of the opening 13 races in arguably the most one-sided season the sport has ever seen.

Lewis Hamilton


Hamilton won his maiden title in dramatic circumstances. The Englishman, in just his second campaign, passed the Toyota of Timo Glock at the final corner on the last lap of the concluding race in Brazil to beat Felipe Massa to the championship by just one point.


Hamilton was made to wait six years for his next triumph. In his second campaign with Mercedes, he saw off the challenge from team-mate Nico Rosberg to clinch the title by winning the season-deciding Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.


After Rosberg took him to the wire in 2014, Hamilton galloped to the title the next year, winning the US Grand Prix and wrapping up his third championship with three races to spare.


Rosberg finally got the better of Hamilton in 2016 before promptly retiring. Hamilton’s next rival would come in the form of Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel. Vettel won five times but Hamilton triumphed on nine occasions to sew up title number four with two rounds in his pocket.


Arguably Hamilton’s finest season. The Brit delivered the lap of his life to take pole and then victory at Singapore, while going behind enemy lines to beat Ferrari at Monza with one of his best drives. As with 2017, Hamilton took the title in Mexico.


Hamilton moved to within striking range of Schumacher’s record winning a championship which rarely looked in doubt after he took victory at six of the opening eight races.


Hamilton has been in a class of one this year, and after moving clear of Schumacher as the sport’s most victorious driver with his 92nd career win in Portugal, Hamilton shares the same number of titles as the German after wrapping up his seventh title with three rounds left.

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