Lewis Hamilton doesn’t want Michael Schumacher’s “tainted” legacy

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Hamilton says he 'would like to be remembered in the best way'
Hamilton says he 'would like to be remembered in the best way'

Michael Schumacher’s grilling at the hands of the media over the 2006 Rascasse controversy provoked many comments on F1 Fanatic yesterday.

Several of them drew comparisons between Schumacher’s track record and those of other drivers like Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton. Today Hamilton said he wouldn’t want to be remembered in the same way Schumacher is:

To be potentially tainted by something like that would be really devastating for me. That is definitely something I don’t want to be remembered for.
Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton has, of course, had plenty of brushes with controversy of his own – most infamously in the Australian Grand Prix last year, where he apologised after lying to the stewards over an incident with Jarno Trulli during the race.

Hamilton told Reuters he wanted to be remembered for his race craft:

I am not really bothered if I am remembered or not. But clearly I am going to be remembered. I am part of the sport, I’m part of its history, I am a world champion.

I think as I am going to be anyway, I would like to be remembered in the best way and the best light. I want to be remembered as a fair driver as a clean driver and one that always drove with my heart and battled through thick and thin to score the points and the championships I will hopefully earn by then.
Lewis Hamilton

You can read the quotes in full on Reuters. Hamilton added that racing against Schumacher “doesn’t do anything for me whatsoever” whereas having the chance to race against his hero Ayrton Senna would have been “special”.

It’s fascinating to hear Hamilton speak this frankly about his own reputation and have a bit of a dig at another driver – especially someone with Schumacher’s record of success.

Do you agree with Hamilton’s assessment of Schumacher’s reputation – and his own? Have your say in the comments.

Michael Schumacher still refuses to explain 2006 Rascasse controversy

Image (C) www.mclaren.com

203 comments on “Lewis Hamilton doesn’t want Michael Schumacher’s “tainted” legacy”

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  1. I think everyone I seeing past the fact that Schumacher and Ferrari were in with the FIA, Schumacher regularly pulled off dangerous moves and nothing was done about this…remember him nurfing Damon off the track? Cheating much?

    Lewis drives fairly. Also everyone seems to blame him for the Alonso tiffs because everyone loves Alonso so much (despite being a complete prat :D) They were both at fault but it was Alonso who cheated, not Lewis.

    Yes, Lewis makes some mistakes, but quite frankly he can’t do anything right without someone randomy deciding they hate him.

    1. I hate Alonso, complete prat,

      I think you need to remember, that the standards have changed, back when Schumacher did stuff in 94 and so on, moves like that were relatively normal! Look at Prost vs Senna and you see a great example of this.

      What I’m saying is that times have changed, Schumacher got in such trouble in 2006 because of this. Hamilton has to race nicely, because everyone has to, side by side Hamilton has done nothing like Schumacher did, but in reality, they are somewhat the same in their attitudes towards the rules.

  2. MS never said he was an angel he never admitted to being a devil. LH thinks he himself is an angel.

  3. Fascinating thread – I only meant to skim read but got engrossed and made it through to the end!

    I have to laugh however, for a knowledgeable bunch, regardless of your preference for one driver or another – how you can begin to compare Michael’s incidents with what’s happened in Lewis’s career is totally beyond me.

    Ok the Australia 09 incident was a blot on the copy book for sure – I don’t think there’s any excusing the way either Lewis or the team acted and they paid for it.

    I ask you though, what other incidents have there been where Lewis has displayed “dirty” tactics!? I think you’re getting mightily confused with instinctive, aggressive racecraft.

    It seems to be the incident singled out so does anyone seriously think his defense of Webber’s dive down the outside of T1 @ Monza was dirty!? Where was Webber going to go exactly!? I wouldn’t criticise Mark for giving it a go and piling on the pressure, but it was late as hell, it was in the wet, he had room to his left that he didn’t use and we’re talking about a margin of perhaps an inch here! LH didn’t clatter into the side of him to take him out, he squeezed the bloke on the outside which is exactly what any driver worth their salt should at that level. In fact you’d expect this at any level, unless we’re talking historic festivals!

    I’m not going to argue Lewis isn’t controversial in terms of the letter of the law, but there’s a big difference between things like remaining alongside Vettel for example, than deliberately taking people out, parking your car up to stop qually and so on.

    Am I delusional or something – it’s absolute night and day to me!?

    1. The easy argument to Lewis “instinctive, aggressive racecraft” is that you has just described Schumacher as well…..

      The argument can be put both ways.

      And I think the Schumacher has big friends in the FIA, although possibly true, is irrelevant. We are discussing their driving habits, not how they got penalised. Correct me if I’m wrong.

  4. Mark in Florida
    14th May 2010, 1:00

    Lewis Hamilton is prattling PRIMA DONA.His sudden sainthood would be humorous if it were not so sickening.What a media suck up jumping on the lets hate Schumi bandwagon.Lewis has no integrity at all he is a cheat just like everyone else.I can`t wait till the media turns on his bratty backside.He can`t help being a screwup it`1l strike again before long.Hamilton is not worthy of holding Michaels used jockstrap.At least Alonso is more circumspect and reasonable when he talks.Thank God for Webber he is always a straight talker even about his own mistakes,much less trying to look like he`s better than someone else.

    1. Webber is a breath of fresh air amongst all the other BS that accompanies almost every other driver.

      1. I think Webber is the only driver I’ve heard saying “I stuffed up”

        1. but according to some, all he does is whinge ……….

  5. ode_nobunaga
    14th May 2010, 1:58

    I think the Schumacher’s problem is that he won too much too easily for way too long… if you went back to his road for championship, 94′ was already screwed after 3 races and schum involved in too many affairs (hidden electronic, justified or unjustified punishment, the final race crash…), 95′ was cleaner, then 97′ final race again, and from 1999 (he might have won this championship without his injurie) to 2004 where he was “help” by any possible actor in F1 : unjustified punishment for his opponents, number 1 driver, way better car that other teams, unpunished crazy starts or defenses… anything was done (on purpose or not) to make him win races and championship very very easily (if i remember well in 2002 he clinched the title during summer…)
    Schum is (or was) a great driver, maybe not the best (compare to hakinen or villeneuve at some point) but he was in the best team, a team totally dedicated to him personnally and with a huge technical/performance advantage (but legal at all points), and even with that he was doing his foolish and dangerous starts, manipulated the race… I didn’t like him from the beginning but i always respected the driver until around 2001/2002… in 2002 there was no races, we already knew the winner at each start and ferrari just made the result they wanted (1-2 in any order)… in my opinion that’s what hurt schum’s reputation that he often (and not always) won very unfairly because of ferrari’s manipulations… the opposite argument is that 2005/2006 made a lot for schum’s reputation whereas he was winning that much, he became a little more popular than he used to be during his winning streak.
    Or maybe is it that we all like loosers…(?)

    1. “maybe not the best (compare to hakinen or villeneuve at some point)”

      How was Villeneuve ever better than Schumacher? The 1996-7 Williams was ridiculously faster than the Ferrari, yet Villeneuve was very nearly beaten to the title by the inferior car. When Schumacher had the fastest car (like 2001, 2002 and 2004) he won easily.

      “but he was in the best team”

      It certainly wasn’t always the best team. Like 1996-1998 for example. He, and the technical staff at Ferrari worked to become the best team. He didn’t just magically walk into the fastest team with the best car, you know.

  6. Sorry to say, but Hamilton is talking out of his backside. How many controversies has he been involved in in his “baby” career? Quite a few, I must say! Schumacher grew up racing Aryton Senna (terrible race craft by the way), and hard nose racers that bang wheels to see who is hardest, of course that race craft will stay with him after all those years. He is of the old breed, and the new breed just can’t grasp it. Hamilton was lucky he didn’t arrive into F1 when Button did and when Schumy dominated, he would have been in Awe of schumy. Don’t worry Hamilton, Schumy is coming FAST (though last hard)!

  7. Brian Baum
    14th May 2010, 5:46

    Let’s see, Hamilton’s legacy against Schumacher… Hamilton had a mechanically perfect car for three years (Australia 2007 – Brazil 2009) and, by the narrowest of possible margins, won just one title. He threw away a 17 point lead with two races to go in 2007. Had Massa had the same reliability as Hamilton’s car, he would have easily taken the championship in 2008. Throw in all the self-inflicted accidents, the way he wears out his tyres, his numerous infractions, and lie-gate and -surprise – he doesn’t stack up too well, does he?

    1. Nathan Bradley
      14th May 2010, 8:57

      I’m sorry, polite disagreement. How can you describe the MP4-24 of 2009 as a ‘mechanically perfect car?’ In the first half of the season it was arguably the worst car McLaren had built since 1979.

      And in the second half of the season LH scored more points than anybody else, including Button, Barrichello, Webber and Vettel, whilst his team mate was still struggling in the midfield.

      I’m not proclaming he’s perfect, nobody is, but IMO he shouldn’t take criticism for the way he drove in 2009.


      1. I didn’t really go into 2009 because LH was never a contender… In fact, I would say Hamilton’s 2009 season was much like Schumacher’s much-maligned 2005 season. I do give both drivers credit for taking their crappy cars to a respectable level in the standings.

        By the way, by ‘mechanically perfect’ I simply meant no breakdowns. Poor design, hitting moving or inanimate objects and tyre failure do not enter into it. Hamilton went from his first race in Australia 2007 up to the last race in 2009 without a mechanical failure of the car. My point is other drivers, especially Schumacher, would have done much better with that golden opportunity.

        1. Nathan Bradley
          14th May 2010, 19:37

          Okay Brian,

          There was the unexplained (I believe, correct me if I’m wrong) electrical glitch at Brazil 2007, which we didn’t really see because ITV, as usual, had a commercial break, one of the most annoying things in motor racing brodcasting.

          Sorry for misunderstanding otherwise!


    2. Indeed Brian. Have to say the initial 2009 car wasn’t the great, but we all saw how rubbish he was back then, not having the best car of the field for the first time.

  8. It’s just part of the (mind) game , hoping it could affect Schumacher negatively somehow.

  9. If Mercedes get a car which can be equally competitive as front-runners by this year or by 2011,then Schumi will once again be at front.I think schumi would be patient.He will work along his team to develope a good car and if he is successful then I have no doubt in my mind that he would beat them all with his consistency.Nobody is a better car developer than Schumi is.He developed Benetton,Ferrari and now he will develope Mercedes.Lewis always had a good car.Nobody knows what would have happened to Lewis if would have in weak team like Toro Rosso or a Minardi.

  10. I’m not a LH or a MS fan.

    MS will take every point possible by any means possible, we all know that.

    LH has never grown up, he doesn’t take responsibility for his actions and he often fails to think before he opens his mouth

  11. He’s not going to be remembered as clean as fair… but at least he says he wants to be. One thing Schumacher would never say.

  12. I think of Hamilton I remember him for:
    lie gate with Trulli
    causing an incident at Fuji with Vettel
    saying that Webber is a pensioner
    saying that Button won his championship for luck while he deserved
    Having been stopped in Melbourne for speeding while you are a promoter of “make roads safe”.
    to be the first driver to start with a car able to win the championship
    AND HONESTLY I don’t remember any great race from this guy!
    let me think…

    any suggestions?

    1. Hey man Im not a Lewis fan either. I do kind of agree with most of your points, however Hamilton gave Alonso a real run for his money in his rookie season. And Alonso was probably the best driver on the grid that year.. so I do have a lot of respect for his skills in the car.

      Thats more than I can say Schumi.. I never respected him within the car or out of it. Alonso beating his behind out of formula 1 was one of the greatest moments in sport for me.

    2. “HONESTLY I don’t remember any great race from this guy”

      You had me until “I think”

  13. LondonRacer
    14th May 2010, 10:55

    As Salty said here:

    “Success. People are congratulatory, then jealous, then negative. Success breeds contempt”

    If you were chosen by McLaren at the age of 11, would you be able to achieve what Lewis did?

    I remember seeing in the BBC documentary there was a young kid aged around 10 or below with all the Mclaren/Mercedes/Shell or whatnot sponsorship just standing there before a carting race. Lewis was a kid too, up against many others who had real sponsors – but he had his dad (who had two jobs).

    Where is that other guy now?

  14. What a useless post!! Takes the wrong sentences from the interview that can be seen in two ways and only takes the negative side of them … Looks like somebody is getting desperate to get some attention and comments on the board … cheap trick!

  15. Hamilton is not my favourite driver, but the fact is he’s been in F1 for three and a bit seasons and near as dammit blown everyone off the track. Simply the best racer out there. I think some people dislike him just for being a good driver. Also most of the controversies people have flagged up about him are off-track things and personality clashes.

    Schumacher was a cheat on the track (the WHOLE ’94 season, Jerez ’97, Monaco ’06) and never let a team mate race him. In my opinion you could have put anyone in the Ferrari between 2000-04 and they would probably have walked off with all five titles.

    Can you blame Lewis for saying he wouldn’t want all that on his record?

  16. @Taurus wrote “In my opinion you could have put anyone in the Ferrari between 2000-04 and they would probably have walked off with all five titles.”

    Not true. Schumacher was key in developing the Ferrari over many seasons into the winner that it was. No driver worked harder than Schumacher to develop a car. Hamilton walked into F1 with the best car and added little or nothing to its development.

  17. As a regular visitor of the blog during races, I do have to apologise for the ill advised comments of others although I am a HAM fan. The questions directed at him in the interview were speculations, but in the end we all know the only legacy that matters is achievements while the rest is left for the sponsors to decide as Tiger Woods found out.

  18. You have to break rules to get the crown. Macbeth me thinks…

  19. I only started watching F1 the last 8 years and Hamilton is the best i have seen so far. Extremely gifted, fearless, exciting, great overtaker. He is great at everything. Others like Alonso or Vettel lack something in one department.

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