Lewis Hamilton defended after Max Verstappen jibe – ‘We only see tip of the iceberg’

Lewis Hamilton compared to Schumacher by David Coulthard

Lewis Hamilton’s success isn’t guaranteed, Mick Schumacher has claimed with the German responding to criticism from Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. Verstappen recently insisted ’90 per cent’ of drivers could achieve success because of the power of the Mercedes vehicle. Hamilton won the F1 Drivers’ Championship for a third time in 2020 and also scooped the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award on Sunday.

Versatappen recently took aim at Hamilton and Mercedes, while also insisting he wasn’t frustrated by their dominance of F1.

“No, I’m not frustrated about that,” he said during an interview with the official F1 website.

“I have a lot of respect for what they’ve achieved. I’m not frustrated about Lewis in a Mercedes car.

“To be honest, 90 percent of the field could win in that car. Nothing against Lewis, he’s a great driver, but the car is so dominant.

“OK, maybe others wouldn’t be as dominant as Lewis is, but you accept the situation you are in and you just try to make the best of it.

“I’m not frustrated, I’m more focused on what can we do to try and beat them.”

But Schumacher has now defended Hamilton, telling Corriere della Sera that the 35-year-old’s success wasn’t guaranteed and that hours of hard work are behind his glory.

“When we look at champions who are very dominant during certain periods, there is often the risk that we will overlook things,” he said.

“For example, we often forget how much work someone has to put into it, how much energy it takes and how much talent you need to have to be able to dominate like that.

“This discussion applies to Lewis Hamilton as well as to my father.

”There is nothing obvious about having a lot of success. We only ever see the tip of the iceberg that sticks out above the water and not what is underneath it.”

Schumacher also insisted he didn’t feel burdened by the pressure of his name.

The Formula 2 champion said: “I have never have a problem looking back at my father’s career when people try to compare us.

“It actually gives me the incentive to do as much as he did. It’s important to always want to do better.”

“When we look at champions who are very dominant during certain periods, there is often the risk that we will overlook things,” he said.

“For example, we often forget how much work someone has to put into it, how much energy it takes and how much talent you need to have to be able to dominate like that.

“This discussion applies to Lewis Hamilton as well as to my father.

”There is nothing obvious about having a lot of success. We only ever see the tip of the iceberg that sticks out above the water and not what is underneath it.”

Schumacher also insisted he didn’t feel burdened by the pressure of his name.

The Formula 2 champion said: “I have never have a problem looking back at my father’s career when people try to compare us.

“It actually gives me the incentive to do as much as he did. It’s important to always want to do better.”

Meanwhile, after scooping the BBC award on Sunday, Hamilton expressed his delight at winning the prize for a second time in his career.

He said: “I want to say congratulations to all the incredible nominees I’m so proud of what they have achieved.

“I want to say thank you to everyone that has voted for me. I wasn’t expecting this knowing there’s so many great contenders.

“I want to say Merry Christmas to everyone – it’s been such an unusual year and I want to mention all the front line workers and all the children round the world, I want you to try and stay positive through this difficult time, I’m sending you all positivity.

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Earlier in the ceremony, Hamilton thanked his Mercedes team for making his title triumph possible.

“Good evening and congrats to the other nominees, I’m so grateful to be among them,” he said.

“I’ve been racing 27 years it’s been a long time, there were so many sacrifices for my family.

“Those last few laps building up to the world title and the dream becoming a reality I thought about all my family gave and it bought out a lot of emotion.

“I couldn’t have done it without a great group of people behind me, it’s a collaboration we have to raise the bar every year and working with a group of people who are raising the bar collectively.

“I love what I do. I’ve been passionate about it since I was five years old.

“I’m already back in training and focusing on what I can do next year.

“It’s never been a diverse sport, this year you’ve seen so many inspirational individuals, our sport shouldn’t matter where you come from.

“We have to fight for gender equality and it shouldn’t matter where you come from. We have to break the barriers down and it comes down to education.”

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