Lewis Hamilton “sacrificing performance” like Michael Schumacher did

Michael Schumacher “played a key role” in Mercedes’ future success by sacrificing his own performance and Lewis Hamilton is now doing similarly, says Ross Brawn.
- Race, Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes AMG F1
- Race, Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes AMG F1

Hamilton arrives at the F1 Singapore Grand Prix in danger of not winning a single race during an F1 season for the first time since his career began in 2007, after his Mercedes W13 car was hampered by porpoising and performance issues all year.

Schumacher came out of retirement in 2010 to drive for Mercedes who were returning to the sport, but in three seasons he couldn’t win a race and didn’t add to his seven championships.

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Brawn, who worked with Schumacher at Benetton, Ferrari and Mercedes, told F1 Insider that Hamilton is currently experiencing a similar situation: “Lewis is in the twilight of his career.

“But that doesn’t mean it’s over yet. This year, for an extremely long time, he has had a car that he cannot win with. So he puts a lot of energy into changing that.

“For him, this time is a character test. It may well be that his team-mate George Russell is hungrier in the races as a result.

“You can compare Lewis’ situation a bit with Michael’s comeback with Mercedes. As a driver, you always have to decide whether you want to be part of the solution or part of the problem.

 - Qualifying, Pole Position Celebration: 1st Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W03, 2nd Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren
- Qualifying, Pole Position Celebration: 1st Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes…

“Michael redefined his role back then, so he was part of the solution and helped build the team that would go on to win eight straight constructors’ titles.

“He sacrificed himself for the future of the team, so to speak, and played a key role in laying the foundation for its success.

“Lewis will come back, I’m convinced. Just like his team. I believe that periods of weakness that you have to overcome make you even stronger. I know that from my own experience.

“You have to remember that we narrowly lost three world titles before we made it at Ferrari with Michael Schumacher in 2000.

“The three years before were a tough test. The team could have fallen apart out of disappointment. But the opposite was the case: we grew even closer together and got better.

- Mercedes Team photograph, Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes AMG F1
- Mercedes Team photograph, Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes AMG F1

“We learned a lot and finally turned our weaknesses into strengths.”

Schumacher and Hamilton, who is now aged 37, are tied for the most all-time F1 championships with seven.

Hamilton was denied the outright record at the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in controversial circumstances and is set to see rival Max Verstappen win the championship again this year, potentially this weekend at the Singapore Grand Prix.

Michael Schumacher now is protected from public view by his family after he was left in a coma in 2013 due to a skiing accident.

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