Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believes it is unfair to claim that Lewis Hamilton has only been able to equal Michael Schumacher’s Formula 1 record of 91 grand prix victories because he is driving the best car.

Hamilton recovered from being beaten to pole position in qualifying to pass Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas and go on to score the 91st career win at the Eifel Grand Prix to draw level with Schumacher’s all-time benchmark.

The Briton, who took his seventh victory from the opening 11 races of the season to further extend his championship lead, has now won 70 races with Mercedes since he made the switch from McLaren at the end of 2012.

Hamilton’s dominance has led critics to suggest that he has only been able to achieve his success thanks to finding himself in the most competitive car, but Wolff was quick to dismiss such a notion.

“In my opinion that’s not quite fair,” said Wolff. “Winning races and winning championships is always in this sport a team exercise.

“But you need to put yourself in a position that you end up in the best car. There you can see lots of talents and skilled drivers took the wrong decisions, not well-advised decisions.

“And in that respect it was him who joined us in 2013, and it is him that sits in the car and is able to execute on track with a tool that we provide to him. But it’s always the two that are that are part of this.

“We couldn’t achieve the records that we have and he probably couldn’t achieve the records with[out] the right car, full stop. I don’t want to allow these voices that say ‘he drives a Mercedes, it’s obvious that he wins so many races’.

“The drivers who say that should analyse why they haven’t found their way into a Mercedes.”

Wolff said that the Hamilton of today is "nothing" like his 2013 version that arrived at Mercedes from McLaren. 

"What impresses me the most is that as a human being he develops from year to year,” Wolff explained. “The Lewis Hamilton that we see today has nothing to do with the Lewis Hamilton that I met in 2013.

“And that is most impressive that somebody who is performing on that level is still capable of getting better every year, getting better as a person and getting better outside of the car and getting better inside of the car.

“That is something that is truly inspiring.”

 

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