Matching Michael Schumacher record was beyond my wildest dreams – Lewis Hamilton

An emotional Lewis Hamilton said drawing level with Michael Schumacher's Formula One victory record is beyond his wildest dreams.

Hamilton took the 91st win of his career at Sunday's Eifel Grand Prix, 14 years and 10 days after Schumacher drove to his final victory in China.

For most it seemed inconceivable that Schumacher's extraordinary tally would be beaten, but Hamilton can become the most decorated driver the sport has seen with a record-equalling seventh world championship almost certain to follow this year.

His landmark win at the Nurburgring moved him 69 points clear of team-mate Valtteri Bottas in the standings with just 131 points available over the concluding six rounds.

Hamilton equalled the record at a venue 52 miles south of the Kerpen kart track where Schumacher honed his skill.

Little is known of the 51-year-old's condition following his skiing accident almost seven years ago.

His son Mick, who was alongside him in the French Alps that fateful day, presented Hamilton with his father's crash helmet in the moments after Sunday's race as a present from the family.

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NUERBURG, GERMANY - OCTOBER 11: Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP celebrates on the podium during the F1 Eifel Grand Prix at Nuerburgring on October 11, 2020 in Nuerburg, Germany. (Photo by Clive Mason - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain, center, drinks champagne at the podium after winning the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. Hamilton, is flanked by Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands, left who finished second and Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo of Australia right, who finished third. (Ronald Wittek, Pool via AP)
Winner Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton celebrates on the podium after the German Formula One Eifel Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring circuit in Nuerburg, western Germany, on October 11, 2020. (Photo by WOLFGANG RATTAY / POOL / AFP) (Photo by WOLFGANG RATTAY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain launches the trophy in the aircelebrates on the podium after winning the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. (Wolfgang Rattay, Pool via AP)
NUERBURG, GERMANY - OCTOBER 11: Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP celebrates on the podium during the F1 Eifel Grand Prix at Nuerburgring on October 11, 2020 in Nuerburg, Germany. (Photo by Mario Renzi - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands, left, who finished second at the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, sprays champagne to Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo of Australia, right, who finished third, at the podium, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain won the race. (Ronald Wittek, Pool via AP)
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain launches the trophy in the air on the podium after winning the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. (Wolfgang Rattay, Pool via AP)
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain celebrates on the podium after he won the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader, Pool)
Winner Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning with the trophy on the podium after the German Formula One Eifel Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring circuit in Nuerburg, western Germany, on October 11, 2020. (Photo by WOLFGANG RATTAY / POOL / AFP) (Photo by WOLFGANG RATTAY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
NUERBURG, GERMANY - OCTOBER 11: Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP celebrates with his trainer Angela Cullen after being presented with a helmet of Michael Schumacher for matching his record of 91 race wins during the F1 Eifel Grand Prix at Nuerburgring on October 11, 2020 in Nuerburg, Germany. (Photo by Dan Istitene - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
Winner Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton (L), congratulates second placed Red Bull's Dutch driver Max Verstappen after the German Formula One Eifel Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring circuit in Nuerburg, western Germany, on October 11, 2020. (Photo by Ina Fassbender / POOL / AFP) (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain celebrates after winning during the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. (Bryn Lennon, Pool via AP)
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain celebrates with his team after winning the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. (Bryn Lennon, Pool via AP)
Drivers steer their cars on the first corner, during the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. (Ina Fassbender, Pool via AP)
Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany steers his car during the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. (Ina Fassbender, Pool via AP)
Drivers steer their cars on the first corner, during the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. (Ina Fassbender, Pool via AP)
Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc of Monaco steers his car during the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. (Ronald Wittek, Pool via AP)
Cars line up during the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader, Pool)
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain, bottom left, leads the pack on the first corner, during the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. (Ronald Wittek, Pool via AP)
Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas of Finland, left, celebrates with his teammate Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain, second fastest time, after setting the pole position during the qualifying session for the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. The Germany F1 Grand Prix will be held on Sunday. (Wolfgang Rattay, Pool via AP)
Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas of Finland, left, celebrates with his teammate Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain, second fastest time, after setting the pole position during the qualifying session for the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. The Germany F1 Grand Prix will be held on Sunday. (Wolfgang Rattay, Pool via AP)
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, front, of Britain and Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas, behinds, of Finland steer their cars during the the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. (Bryn Lennon, Pool via AP)
NUERBURG, GERMANY - OCTOBER 11: Nico Hulkenberg of Germany driving the (27) Racing Point RP20 Mercedes makes a pitstop during the F1 Eifel Grand Prix at Nuerburgring on October 11, 2020 in Nuerburg, Germany. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images)
NUERBURG, GERMANY - OCTOBER 11: The FIA Safety Car leads the field during the F1 Eifel Grand Prix at Nuerburgring on October 11, 2020 in Nuerburg, Germany. (Photo by Clive Mason - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
NUERBURG, GERMANY - OCTOBER 11: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB16 passes his pit board indicating two laps remaining during the F1 Eifel Grand Prix at Nuerburgring on October 11, 2020 in Nuerburg, Germany. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
NUERBURG, GERMANY - OCTOBER 11: Sebastian Vettel of Germany driving the (5) Scuderia Ferrari SF1000 leads Kimi Raikkonen of Finland driving the (7) Alfa Romeo Racing C39 Ferrari during the F1 Eifel Grand Prix at Nuerburgring on October 11, 2020 in Nuerburg, Germany. (Photo by Clive Mason - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
NUERBURG, GERMANY - OCTOBER 11: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB16 during the F1 Eifel Grand Prix at Nuerburgring on October 11, 2020 in Nuerburg, Germany. (Photo by Clive Mason - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
NUERBURG, GERMANY - OCTOBER 11: The Mercedes logo is pictured on top of a grandstand during the F1 Eifel Grand Prix at Nuerburgring on October 11, 2020 in Nuerburg, Germany. (Photo by Clive Mason - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
NUERBURG, GERMANY - OCTOBER 11: Antonio Giovinazzi of Italy driving the (99) Alfa Romeo Racing C39 Ferrari leads Sebastian Vettel of Germany driving the (5) Scuderia Ferrari SF1000 during the F1 Eifel Grand Prix at Nuerburgring on October 11, 2020 in Nuerburg, Germany. (Photo by Dan Istitene - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas of Finland gets a pit service during the qualifying session for the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. The Germany F1 Grand Prix will be held on Sunday. (Wolfgang Rattay, Pool via AP)
NUERBURG, GERMANY - OCTOBER 11: Lando Norris of Great Britain driving the (4) McLaren F1 Team MCL35 Renault makes a pitstop during the F1 Eifel Grand Prix at Nuerburgring on October 11, 2020 in Nuerburg, Germany. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
NUERBURG, GERMANY - OCTOBER 11: The Red Bull Racing team celebrate as second placed Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing crosses the line during the F1 Eifel Grand Prix at Nuerburgring on October 11, 2020 in Nuerburg, Germany. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Racing Point's Mexican driver Sergio Perez competes during the German Formula One Eifel Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring circuit in Nuerburg, western Germany, on October 11, 2020. (Photo by Ina Fassbender / POOL / AFP) (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
NUERBURG, GERMANY - OCTOBER 11: Charles Leclerc of Monaco driving the (16) Scuderia Ferrari SF1000 leads Pierre Gasly of France driving the (10) Scuderia AlphaTauri AT01 Honda during the F1 Eifel Grand Prix at Nuerburgring on October 11, 2020 in Nuerburg, Germany. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
NUERBURG, GERMANY - OCTOBER 11: Mercedes GP team members celebrate on the pitwall as Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W11 crosses the line to win during the F1 Eifel Grand Prix at Nuerburgring on October 11, 2020 in Nuerburg, Germany. (Photo by Joe Portlock/Getty Images)
Racing Point driver Lance Stroll of Canada steers his car during the qualifying session for the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. The Germany F1 Grand Prix will be held on Sunday. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader, Pool)
NUERBURG, GERMANY - OCTOBER 11: Nicholas Latifi of Canada driving the (6) Williams Racing FW43 Mercedes and Romain Grosjean of France driving the (8) Haas F1 Team VF-20 Ferrari battle for position during the F1 Eifel Grand Prix at Nuerburgring on October 11, 2020 in Nuerburg, Germany. (Photo by Dan Istitene - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
Clouds are reflected in a puddle prior to the start of the third practice session for the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. The Germany F1 Grand Prix will be held on Sunday. (Ina Fassbender, Pool via AP)
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain steers his car during the third practice session for the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. The Germany F1 Grand Prix will be held on Sunday. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader, Pool)
Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc of Monaco steers his car during the qualifying session for the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. The Germany F1 Grand Prix will be held on Sunday. (Ina Fassbender, Pool via AP)
Williams driver Nicholas Latifi of Canada steers his car during the qualifying session for the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. The Germany F1 Grand Prix will be held on Sunday. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader, Pool)
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands steers his car during qualification for the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. The Germany F1 Grand Prix will be held on Sunday. (Bryn Lennon, Pool via AP)
Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany steers his car followed by Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain during qualification for the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. The Germany F1 Grand Prix will be held on Sunday. (Bryn Lennon, Pool via AP)
Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas of Finland steers his car during the qualifying session for the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. The Germany F1 Grand Prix will be held on Sunday. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader, Pool)
Spectators are on stands ahead of qualification for the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. The Germany F1 Grand Prix will be held on Sunday. (Ronald Wittek, Pool via AP)
Spectators are on stands ahead of qualification for the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. The Germany F1 Grand Prix will be held on Sunday. (Ronald Wittek, Pool via AP)
Racing Point driver Sergio Perez of Mexico steers his car during the qualifying session for the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. The Germany F1 Grand Prix will be held on Sunday. (Wolfgang Rattay, Pool via AP)
Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas of Finland steers his car during the third practice session for the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. The Germany F1 Grand Prix will be held on Sunday. (Ronald Wittek, Pool via AP)
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff holds the umbrella ahead of the second practice session for the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Friday, Oct. 9, 2020. The Germany F1 Grand Prix will be held on Sunday. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader, Pool)
Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc of Monaco walks at the paddock during the second practice session for the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Friday, Oct. 9, 2020. The Germany F1 Grand Prix will be held on Sunday. (Ronald Wittek, Pool via AP)
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain during a press conference prior the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020. (xpbimages.com/Pool via AP)
Mclaren driver Carlos Sainz of Spain during a press conference prior the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020. (xpbimages.com/Pool via AP)
NUERBURG, GERMANY - OCTOBER 10: Kimi Raikkonen of Finland and Alfa Romeo Racing walks in the Pitlane during qualifying ahead of the F1 Eifel Grand Prix at Nuerburgring on October 10, 2020 in Nuerburg, Germany. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Mercedes' Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas arrives in the pits after winning the pole position after the qualifying session at the Nuerburgring circuit in Nuerburg, western Germany, on October 10, 2020, ahead of the German Formula One Eifel Grand Prix. (Photo by WOLFGANG RATTAY / POOL / AFP) (Photo by WOLFGANG RATTAY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
NUERBURG, GERMANY - OCTOBER 10: Valtteri Bottas of Finland driving the (77) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W11 stops in the Pitlane during qualifying ahead of the F1 Eifel Grand Prix at Nuerburgring on October 10, 2020 in Nuerburg, Germany. (Photo by Wolfgang Rattay - Pool/Getty Images)
NUERBURG, GERMANY - OCTOBER 10: Second placed qualifier Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP walks in parc ferme during qualifying ahead of the F1 Eifel Grand Prix at Nuerburgring on October 10, 2020 in Nuerburg, Germany. (Photo by Dan Istitene - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
NUERBURG, GERMANY - OCTOBER 10: Second placed qualifier Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP looks on in parc ferme during qualifying ahead of the F1 Eifel Grand Prix at Nuerburgring on October 10, 2020 in Nuerburg, Germany. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
NUERBURG, GERMANY - OCTOBER 10: Second placed qualifier Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP stops in parc ferme during qualifying ahead of the F1 Eifel Grand Prix at Nuerburgring on October 10, 2020 in Nuerburg, Germany. (Photo by Dan Istitene - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
NUERBURG, GERMANY - OCTOBER 10: A general view of Sebastian Vettel of Germany driving the (5) Scuderia Ferrari SF1000 in the Pitlane during qualifying ahead of the F1 Eifel Grand Prix at Nuerburgring on October 10, 2020 in Nuerburg, Germany. (Photo by Dan Istitene - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
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Hamilton held the red lid aloft to a gracious applause from the 13,500 socially-distanced fans and then took the helmet on to the podium as he celebrated his historic victory.

"I grew up watching Michael winning all those grands prix and I could not fathom equalling him," said the 35-year-old.

"Getting to Formula One was the first step of the dream and then emulating Ayrton Senna. But Michael's record was just so far ahead.

"It is beyond my wildest dreams that I am here today having equalled that record and I just feel humbled by the moment. It has not sunk in.

"Michael is, and always will be, a legend of the sport and I feel very honoured to have one of his helmets."

Aged 22, Hamilton claimed his first triumph in just his sixth appearance at the 2007 Canadian Grand Prix after bursting on to the global sporting stage in a breakthrough campaign for McLaren. He has won at least one race in each of the 14 seasons in which he has competed.

Hamilton paid tribute to his father, Anthony, who worked four jobs to make it all possible.

"My first win will always be a standout moment for me because we can all understand what it is like when you are a kid dreaming to be in the sport," added Hamilton.

"My dad and step-mum sacrificed so much to get me to Formula One so to be on top of the podium, I felt like I had finally reached the top of the mountain despite the adversity we faced. I will never forget that moment, looking down at my dad and making him proud."

Hamilton was denied the landmark victory at his first attempt in Russia after he was penalised by the stewards.

And when pole-sitter Bottas held his nerve to keep the six-time world champion at bay through the opening two bends at the Nurburgring, it looked as though Hamilton's drive into the history books would be put on hold.

But, with just 13 of the 60 laps on the board, Bottas locked his front-right tyre under braking for the first corner, allowing Hamilton to sweep around the outside of the Finn at the following left-hander.

Five laps later, Bottas was forced to park his Mercedes with an engine failure. Despite Max Verstappen, who again outperformed his Red Bull machinery to keep Hamilton on his toes, and a late safety car – deployed after Lando Norris broke down in his McLaren – it proved to be a straightforward triumph for the Stevenage-born racer.

He finished 4.4 seconds clear of Verstappen, with Daniel Ricciardo claiming his first podium for Renault.

Hamilton could now move one win clear of Schumacher in Portugal later this month. How much further can he go?

"Of course I can set goals and I will continue to charge on and see what is possible," said Hamilton, whose current Mercedes deal is due to expire at the end of the year.

"I love the sport, the smell of it, the whole aura and atmosphere it creates, and it is going to be difficult to let it go.

"While I am older than these guys, I feel as young as them in spirit. That will change when I start seeing grey hairs, but for now, I am good."

It was another sobering day for Hamilton's one-time rival, Sebastian Vettel. The four-time world champion spun en route to finishing outside the points in 11th.

George Russell was taken out of the race by Kimi Raikkonen after the veteran Finn, in his record-breaking 323rd appearance, sent the Williams driver on to one wheel following a clumsy collision at the first corner.

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