Lewis Hamilton could put himself in the same company as Ferrari legend Michael Schumacher at Interlagos.
Lewis Hamilton can home in on another milestone to match Michael Schumacher at the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday as the Mercedes star continues his search for a first race win of the season. The Briton will return to the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace, where he won his first Drivers’ Championship 14 years ago, at Interlagos with his sights firmly set on ending his wait for a race victory.
The 37-year-old has endured a dismal campaign with Mercedes after issues with their car design and porpoising left the eight-time Constructors’ winners way off the pace of Red Bull and Ferrari.
Hamilton is yet to win a race in 2022 since the regulations changed, although the seven-time world champion has finished in second place in each of the last two races in Austin and Mexico City and has led laps on both occasions.
He was poised to take the chequered flag at the United States Grand Prix before Max Verstappen caught his W13 with six laps to go after a poor strategy call from Mercedes. But it seems likely that Hamilton can challenge again for a place on a front row.
But if Lewis Hamilton can win in Brazil, a feat he managed in 2021 after starting 10th on the grid, he will become only the fourth driver to have won four times in Sao Paulo after six-time winner Alain Prost, Carlos Reutemann and Schumacher.
Schumacher won for the first time in 1994 with Benetton before making it back-to-back wins in 1995, having won his first two championships in F1 for the team. He later went on to clinch his third win in 2000 on his way to the title and repeated his achievement in 2002.
In 2012, his 306th and final race in F1 came at the circuit in 2012 when he drove with Mercedes. A decade later, Hamilton prepares to move level with the legendary German with the same team and it would prove to be a fitting moment for one of the greatest drivers in the sport’s history.
He can equal Schumacher’s haul of race wins around the iconic Interlagos circuit if he takes the chequered flag in Sunday’s race, having won in 2016 and 2018 before his epic comeback drive last year to beat Verstappen and keep his championship hopes alive.
Finishing ahead of the Red Bull star could prove to be much more complex task this time around, however, with the Dutchman wrapping up his second title with four races to spare and having already won 14 of the 20 races so far this season.
But Hamilton, who holds the all-time record for the most race wins (103) and most poles (100) in F1 history, will surely back himself to end his miserable run at a track that holds so many positive memories for him in the past.