Haas driver Mick Schumacher has defended Sir Lewis Hamilton, dismissing the notion that any driver can win a race if they have a Mercedes at their disposal.
Sir Lewis Hamilton has taken 82 race wins with Mercedes since he joined the team in 2013, claiming six of his seven world championships with the Silver Arrows.
Furthermore, Mercedes themselves have won every Constructors’ Championship since the turn of the hybrid era in 2014.
Three drivers have claimed victory with the Brackley-based team since their return to the sport in 2010.
Incidentally, the only driver not to achieve a win in that time was Michael Schumacher – the man with whom Hamilton is tied on a record seven championships.
Only twice in the last eight seasons has Mercedes won the title by less than 100 points – in 2018 and last year when they beat Red Bull in the final round of the season in Abu Dhabi.
Last season was the only time in the hybrid era that the Constructors’ Championship has been decided in the Abu Dhabi season finale, leading several F1 fans to attribute most of Hamilton’s success to his car.
The 37-year-old, however, has beaten his team-mate by an average of 91 points in his six title victories with Mercedes.
Schumacher, who debuted in Formula 1 with Haas last year, does not believe that simply any driver can win with the quickest car on the grid.
“Everyone deserves their place in Formula 1 and anyone can drive here,” he said in an interview with Italy’s Corriere dello Sport newspaper.
“But you can only say you can win a race with Mercedes if you sit in it,” he affirmed.
“Conversely, it’s an arrogant consideration.”
Haas ended the 2021 season tenth and last in the Constructors’ Championship, with Schumacher managing a best finish of P13 at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
He partnered fellow rookie Nikita Mazepin, and team principal Guenther Steiner described running two rookies as like “having children.”
Last year was the first time since 2015 that a team has failed to score points over the course of an entire season.
Schumacher said he is hoping for more midfield battles in 2022.
“We weren’t as far off as Williams was in 2019, so actually we had some battles on the track. But of course I’d like to have some,” he added.
“I really hope to be able to grow next year. My focus is on that.
“Everything that comes next, at the moment is too far away. The main goal is to do well in 2022 then, in case I actually succeed, yes [we] will see.”
Haas have retained Schumacher and Mazepin at the team for 2022.