Hamilton goes beyond his wildest dreams with 91st F1 win
By Alan Baldwin
(Reuters) - Lewis Hamilton said it was beyond his wildest dreams to equate Michael Schumacher's Formula 1 win record with a 91st win on Sunday.
The Briton, who was on his way to his seventh title and was set to become the most successful driver of all time after winning the Eifel Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, said his performance would take some time.
Schumacher's records once seemed to last forever, and some doubted they would ever be beaten, but only a brave player would bet against Mercedes driver Hamilton and get 100 wins and more.
"I don't know about other drivers when they have these wins, but it will take you some time to analyze and assert yourself to see what it actually means," said the 35-year-old.
"Like all of us, I grew up watching Michael win all these Grand Prix and I couldn't have imagined reaching him.
"I think reaching Formula One was the first step in the dream and obviously emulating Ayrton (Senna) (three-time Brazilian champion). But Michael was just so far ahead.
"It's beyond my wildest dreams to believe that I'm here today after reaching him and I feel really humble from the moment and the opportunity Mercedes gave me when I was 13."
The win wasn't the only milestone Hamilton reached on Sunday. The Briton also set his records for consecutive points (44) and most podiums (160).
Hamilton said winning hadn't gotten easier even if luck was on his side on Sunday and teammate and closest rival Valtteri Bottas retired because of an engine problem, and it hadn't been easy for Schumacher either.
"What he did in both teams, especially at Ferrari, was just remarkable," said Hamilton of the great Ferrari, who retired in 2012 after a last run at Mercedes.
"It's hard for people, maybe to fully understand how hard it was for him to get those 91 wins, to deliver weekend after weekend year after year and to stay so physically in shape and so precise. I understand that better now than ever." .
"All I can tell you is that it doesn't get any easier. From your first win to your 91st. I'm telling you it was a long, tough run."
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Ed Osmond)
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