“He’s a quality driver, very strong and only 16” – Michael Schumacher had predicted Lewis Hamilton would get into Formula 1 and achieve potential greatness back in the year 2001, two decades ago.
Michael Schumacher might not be in a condition to talk now but spoke about Lewis Hamilton in 2001. Schumacher was a champion in F1; Hamilton the same in karting. They met at the World Karting Championship event at Kerpen.
Lewis Hamilton ← [7th World Champion] → Michael Schumacher pic.twitter.com/5dG3dELnwb
— TeamLH44_JP (@TeamLH44_JAPAN) January 20, 2021
Little did they know that 19 years later, both legends would be tied on seven world titles. This was covered by Autosport, and we have unearthed the gem for all of you to read. Here it goes:
Autosport report on Michael Schumacher talking up teenager Lewis Hamilton
Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher has tipped British Karting sensation Lewis Hamilton for future F1 success, after the two participated this weekend in the World Karting Championship event at Kerpen.
Schumacher, who is making a guest appearance in the series, said the 16-year-old has got what it takes to make it to the top, complimenting the driver’s talent and commitment.
“He’s a quality driver, very strong and only 16. If he keeps this up I’m sure he will reach F1,” Schumacher told reporters at Kerpen. “It’s something special to see a kid of his age out on the circuit. He’s clearly got the right racing mentality.”
Hamilton made history when he became the first Briton to win the European Karting Championship, at the age of 15. He began racing when he was eight and by now is considered one of the most successful kart racers in the World.
Hamilton has been signed by McLaren-Mercedes for a long-term contract, with the Woking-based team now funding his karting career. McLaren chief Ron Dennis is also Hamilton’s personal manager.
Should Hamilton make it into Formula One, he also stands a chance to become the first black driver to participate in the World Championship since its inception.