23-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams is rooting for Lewis Hamilton to break Michael Schumacher’s record of being the most successful Formula One driver.
Serena Williams labelled Hamilton as the greatest driver of this generation and this statement might just come true later today as Mercedes’ Hamilton will try to match Schumacher’s record of 91 F1 wins later today at the Russian Grand Prix.
“Lewis Hamilton and I have been super close, we have known each other for years, I love that guy, he has such a champion mindset, I look at what he does in training. He is for me, the greatest driver our generation has seen and I am confident that he will break the record of Michael Schumacher,” said Serena in a video posted on the official handle of F1.
“He lives his life on his sleeve, he says what he says, and this is the one thing I really appreciate about him,” she added.
Hamilton had taken a pole position in a dramatic qualifying race at the Russian Grand Prix on Saturday after narrowly avoiding early elimination when Sebastian Vettel crashed.
Hamilton claimed his 96th pole position by a huge 0.563s from Max Verstappen despite coming within a matter of seconds of being knocked out of Q2 in a qualifying session that saw Sebastian Vettel crash heavily to bring out the red flags. Hamilton had his Q2 time deleted for a track limits infringement leaving him in the drop zone when Vettel crashed at Turn 4 with just over two minutes left of the session, bringing out the red flags.
When the session was restarted, Hamilton crossed the line with less than two seconds to spare to begin his flying run – his last chance to get into Q3. He then posted the fourth quickest time to make it to the pole position shoot out.
A stunning first lap in Q3 from the six-time champion then saw him establish a new track record with a 1m 31.391s effort before the Briton narrowly improved it on his second run to claim what was only his second pole position at the Sochi Autodrom – while Valtteri Bottas, who’d led Q1 and looked fast all weekend, will have been hugely disappointed not to at least make the front row.