This weekend Lewis Hamilton can topple a record once heralded as insurmountable.
Winning Sunday’s Russian Grand Prix will put the six-time world champion ahead of Michael Schumacher as the most winningest driver in Formula 1.
Hamilton is at the peak of his success, having won five of the last six world titles. He already holds the record for the most amount of pole positions with 95, and this year could level with Schumacher with seven world championships.
Remarkably, should Hamilton reach the chequered flag first at Sochi, both drivers will be level on 91 wins from exactly 260 races – a 35 per cent strike rate.
However, the F1 fraternity are still hesitant to compare Hamilton to Schumacher; Michael’s brother Ralf suggesting it is unfair to compare the two as they competed in separate eras.
“Now that he’s breaking many of my brother’s records. My opinion: He is definitely the greatest of ‘his’ time. Just like Michael was,” said Schumacher.
“A comparison with my brother is difficult because many factors play a role. Of course, Lewis has a mega package in addition to his brilliant talent. It’s not like Michael back then.
“But what he does with it is still great. What I particularly like about him is that he gets a lot of compromises. That he doesn’t make mistakes. So it has to be said that he is by far the best driver in the field.”
Hamilton is yet to have a winless campaign in Formula 1 since his debut back in 2007. His less competitive year came when he replaced Schumacher at Mercedes in 2013, winning just one race in Hungary.
The last time the winning record was broken was in 2001 at the Belgian Grand Prix when Schumacher surpassed Alain Prost’s tally of 51.
Since then, only Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel have achieved more success than the Frenchman.
But when asked what breaking Schumacher’s all-time record this weekend will mean to him, Hamilton refused to get ahead of himself.
“I don’t know what it would mean to me, to be honest,” Hamilton said.
“Firstly, I’ve got my work cut out. This is a track where Valtteri [Bottas] won his first grand prix, Valtteri is very quick at this circuit. And the Red Bulls will be quick here as they were last year.
“I can’t tell you how I’m going to feel or what’s it’s going to mean. Or if it’s going to mean anything.
“There are other, bigger issues and things happening in the world. But of course it’s an honour, but that doesn’t really mean anything either.”