Lewis Hamilton can overtake Michael Schumacher’s F1 world championship record and will be one of the best-ever drivers in the sport, according to Emerson Fittipaldi. Hamilton moved clear in second for most world titles last season when he clocked up his sixth.
And now he is eyeing Schumacher’s record of seven in the 2020 season and Fittipaldi reckons he has ‘all the ingredients’ to go down in history as the best drver of all time.
Hamilton is the biggest name in the sport at has the chance to rewrite the record books if he continues his form over the last few years.
The 35-year-old will be challenged by the likes of Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc this season as well as Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas and Ferrari ace Sebastian Vettel.
But Hamilton kicks off the new season – which starts next weekend – as the big favourite again.
“If you look at any sport, it is not just the numbers and results but also the personalities,” Fittipaldi told the Sunday Mirror.
“Lewis is a fantastic ambassador for our sport, because he has won the public over like few others have.
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“He has won the hearts of racing fans like myself, but he has also achieved another public – and that is great for motor sport.
“Hamilton has all the ingredients to be one of the best-ever in the history of GP racing, for sure.
“I certainly believe he has the potential physically, mentally and spiritually to pass Michael Schumacher’s record, because he is fully committed and extremely talented.
“And if Lewis stays strongly motivated and has the desire to compete and win, then his love for the sport means he will keep winning world titles.
“I wish I could put Lewis in a time machine and take him back to my time in the 1970s.
“Even with Jackie Stewart, Niki Lauda and James Hunt, he would be a tough nut and extremely competitive. He would give us all a really hard time.”
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Fittipaldi, 73, finished racing aged 35 and wants Hamilton to keep going as long as he can.
Fittipaldi said: “It is tough to continue competitively for so many years – but Lewis can do it, for sure.
“In my last two years of Indy racing I was 48 or 49 and I was racing guys who were 20 or 21. I remember beating Jacques Villeneuve.
“So Lewis has many years ahead of him and I think that when he is 40 years old he can still be extremely competitive, physically and mentally, if he takes care of himself.
“In motor racing you can continue much longer, as long as you love it and you have that commitment to success.
“In those terms, Lewis is still so young.”
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