Lewis Hamilton hits back at Sir Jackie Stewart over negative comments

Lewis Hamilton has aimed a thinly-veiled slight at Sir Jackie Stewart after accusing Formula One's past legends of always speaking negatively about him.

Hamilton will become the sport's most decorated driver after drawing level with Michael Schumacher's win record following his 91st career triumph at Sunday's Eifel Grand Prix. A seventh world championship will almost certainly follow later this year.

Ahead of the Nurburgring race, Stewart, 81, said he could never regard Hamilton among F1's greatest drivers. He also described Hamilton as having an unfair advantage over his rivals such is the dominance of his all-conquering Mercedes team.

"I get knocked by many people, particularly by older drivers," said Hamilton, 35. "They have a bee in their bonnet and I don't know why.

"I have so much respect for the past legends, even though they do continue to speak negatively about me all the time.

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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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"I still hold them in high regard because I know it was so difficult for them, but in 20 years' time I can promise you that I will not be talking down any young driver that is coming through. There is a responsibility as an older driver to shine the light and encourage.

"There is always talk in sport about who is the greatest, past and present, but it is impossible to compare. It is not important to me.

"I have made lots of mistakes but that is life. Yes, you can be remembered for having the most wins and that is something special to have. But it is the obstacles I have faced. Everyone has a different journey and a different way of doing things and you should not be knocked for that."

Hamilton, who will have the opportunity to move ahead of Schumacher in Portugal a week on Sunday, also paid tribute to his father, Anthony, in the wake of his landmark achievement.

Anthony worked multiple jobs to fund Lewis' formative career but the father-son duo did not speak for a number of years after Lewis sacked him as his manager in 2010.

Formula One Motor Racing - Italian Grand Prix - Monza
Lewis Hamilton with his father Anthony (PA)

"I called my dad and (step-mother) Linda after the race, and spoke to them and there were definitely a lot of emotions," added Hamilton, his voice breaking.

"My dad and I have never been so close. It is remarkable and makes me so much happier that we talk a lot, which I never thought we would do.

"We were together last weekend, and we now have grown-up conversations about all sorts; politics, food, training, relationships. I never thought I would be in that place with him.

"Just calling him now, I said, 'jeez, do you remember when we had bacon sarnies watching the races? Or when we won the karting championship and we sang We Are The Champions driving home?' We just reminisce a lot.

"It has been an emotional rollercoaster. He sent me a text the night before the race and said: 'You know what to do. I know you are going to do it.' That is how he has been from day one. Family is everything."

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