Lewis Hamilton exuded same ‘intense conversations’ as Michael Schumacher: ‘Like nobody’

Lewis Hamilton's 'natural ability is fantastic' says Button

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Hamilton is back on the grid today as he aims to extend his World Chamipionship lead over F1 rival Max Verstappen. The pair have tussled throughout the season so far, with tensions coming to a head in one of the most dramatic races ever witnessed at the British Grand Prix in Silverstone. After a half-lap of racing, the two racers collided at Copse corner, with Verstappen being forced to retire and going to hospital, while Hamilton claimed victory.

His win came despite being given a 10-second penalty for his role in the incident.

In today’s Dutch Grand Prix, Hamilton and Verstappen will both be leading the pack, aiming to collect more points on their quest to become world champion.

Another world crown would see Hamilton usurp Schumacher as the most decorated F1 driver in history, with the British driver currently tied with his German counterpart on seven titles.

Comparisons between the two have regularly been made, particularly over who is the sport’s greatest ever racer.

Offering his own unique perspective into the two racers’ mentality was ex-F1 driver Nick Heidfeld.

He knew both drivers and worked alongside them during his career in motorsport.

Speaking to Auto Bild earlier this year, Heidfeld examined how Hamilton and Schumacher both exuded an “intensity” unmatched with other rivals.

He said: “In direct conversation, I experienced a certain intensity with the two of them like nobody else in general or in racing.

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“I worked with Michael when I was a test and reserve driver at Mercedes. I spoke to Lewis when it came to the possibility of me becoming his team-mate at McLaren in 2010.

“Those were incredibly intense conversations that I’ve only had with those two drivers.”

The two drivers were linked long before Hamilton went on to claim his vast collection of world titles and podium finishes, as he replaced Schumacher at Mercedes in 2013.

Some argue that Schumacher’s presence at Mercedes laid the foundations for Hamilton’s unprecedented period of dominance, although the German racer only collected one podium finish for the team between 2010 and 2012.

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And for Heidfeld, Schumacher was responsible for playing a part in Hamilton’s success.

He added: “That Michael has a part in today’s success can be dismissed as PR talk, but I too am convinced he was instrumental in pushing the team in the right direction.

“How sustainable that was over the years is difficult to assess, but he definitely had his influence.

“During my time as a Mercedes test driver, it was totally exciting to watch him work live with the team – how calm, persistent and focused he was after all these years with his experience, extreme knowledge and enormous standing.

“Everyone listened to him. It was great to be able to get a taste of that.”

Ahead of the Dutch Grand Prix, Hamilton and Verstappen reignited their feud by revisiting the chaotic scenes that occurred earlier this year.

Both were quizzed on overtaking, which led ultimately to the incident that saw Verstappen hospitalised.

The Dutch driver said: “I guess time will tell. As drivers you always try to do the best start you can and then see what happens.”

Hamilton then admitted that there was “not much more to add” on whether overtaking will be important in the race.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff added: “The two protagonists will start side by side more often this season and I don’t think we should assume it will always end up in an incident.

“They are both among the best ones and they know that every win counts. They will do it fair and square but hard.”

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