Hamilton’s fourth Belgian pole was the 68th of the Mercedes star’s career, and after delivering it his (and Schumacher’s) former team boss Ross Brawn was on hand to share in the historic moment.
“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.
“As they said, Michael always said that records are there to be broken, so they want to send their very special thanks.”
Hamilton reached the qualifying landmark on the circuit where Schumacher made his F1 debut in 1991, where he sealed his record seventh world title, and where he scored his maiden win 25 years ago – an anniversary which will be marked on Sunday by his son Mick demonstrating one of Michael’s title-winning cars.
“To hear the message that Ross just gave, I have to say a big thank you,” said an emotional Hamilton. “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 today – 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 will start his 200th Grand Prix on Sunday, chasing his 58th career victory. Only Schumacher is above him on the all-time list, but the Briton will need over 30 more if he is to match the great German’s record of 91.
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