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Humbled Hamilton hails Schumacher after equalling pole record

After matching Michael Schumacher's record haul of 68 poles, Lewis Hamilton said: "I'm just honoured to be up there with him."

Lewis Hamilton - cropped
Three-time world champion Lewis Hamilton

A delighted Lewis Hamilton paid tribute to Michael Schumacher after equalling the Formula One icon's record of 68 pole positions on Saturday.

Hamilton topped the timesheets in qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix to match the German as F1's most prolific pole-sitter.

Seven-time world champion Schumacher has not been seen in public since suffering severe head injuries in a skiing accident in 2013.

After Saturday's qualifying session at Spa-Francorchamps, Hamilton received a message of congratulations from the Schumacher family via Ross Brawn - F1's managing director of motorsports.

"I'm here to deliver a very special message from Corinna Schumacher and the Schumacher family, who want to congratulate you on equalling Michael's record," said Brawn, who worked with Schumacher during the latter's illustrious career.

"As they said, Michael always said that records are there to be broken, so they want to send their very special thanks."

An emotional Hamilton, who was almost a quarter of a second faster than championship leader Sebastian Vettel, said: "To hear the message that Ross just gave, I have to say a big thank you. I pray for Michael and his family all the time.

"I've had the privilege of racing with him, from karting days in Kerpen to on the [F1] track and I've always admired him and still do.

"So I'm just honoured to be up there with him now in the poles, but he will still be one of the greatest of all time."

Hamilton also hailed Schumacher in a subsequent tweet, in which he wrote: "I'm honoured to have raced with you. Equalling your pole position record is a dream come true."

 

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