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

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

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

  1. Jason said on 14th May 2010, 4:59

    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)!

  2. Brian Baum said on 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?

    • Nathan Bradley said on 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.


      • Brian Baum said on 14th May 2010, 14:50

        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.

        • Nathan Bradley said on 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!


    • AndyC said on 14th May 2010, 10:32

      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.

  3. Jean said on 14th May 2010, 6:29

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

  4. schumi said on 14th May 2010, 8:30

    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.

  5. 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

  6. John H said on 14th May 2010, 10:20

    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.

  7. renzo said on 14th May 2010, 10:33

    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?

    • Todfod said on 14th May 2010, 13:01

      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.

    • John H said on 14th May 2010, 14:15

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

      You had me until “I think”

  8. LondonRacer said on 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?

  9. Edinfreak said on 14th May 2010, 12:29

    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!

  10. taurus said on 14th May 2010, 13:21

    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?

  11. Brian Baum said on 14th May 2010, 15:50

    @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.

  12. haha said on 14th May 2010, 22:36

    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.

  13. Bob said on 15th May 2010, 0:58

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

  14. JUGNU said on 15th May 2010, 10:07

    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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