Ricciardo 'tips his hat' - and Schumacher helmet - to Hamilton
Daniel Ricciardo has 'tipped his hat' and paid "big respect" to Lewis Hamilton in the wake of the six-time Formula 1 champion equalling the record achievements of Michael Schumacher.
While Ricciardo revelled in his own moment in the spotlight as he ended a two-and-a-half-year podium drought by finishing third in Sunday's Eifel Grand Prix, the Australian also paid tribute to Hamilton.
In taking the chequered flag at the Nürburgring, Hamilton chalked up his 91st victory in F1 to equal the record set in 2006 by Schumacher.
Offering an alternative viewpoint on the 91 successes, Ricciardo said: "Ninety-one is like, I don’t know, even 91 races, you’re talking nearly five years' worth of races, four and a half.
"That gives perspective [as to] how much success Lewis has now had. Obviously Michael as well. To do it, week-in, week-out and year-on.
"His career now has been well over a decade in the sport, and to keep coming back and to show that level of consistency at the front, that’s also not easy.
"We understand that. You can have a package and a car to do it, but it’s doing it every weekend when the lights go out. It’s easier said than done. Certainly big respect. Tip of the hat at the very least. I don’t think that’s enough."
Immediately after the race, and in recognition of the achievement, Hamilton was presented with a Schumacher helmet by the son of the seven-time champion, Mick.
Ricciardo added: "I think the gift that he received, one of Michael’s helmets, that’s one of the coolest gifts I’ve ever seen in the sport. It’s really nice to see that."
Like Ricciardo, runner-up Max Verstappen also paid his own tribute to Hamilton, describing the feat as "an incredible achievement".
"Ninety-one wins, everyone thought that was almost impossible to reach, right?" said the Red Bull driver.
"To be there now, himself, it’s incredible and very impressive, and I’m pretty sure there will be some more victories coming his way – and probably also championships. So just very impressive. And hard to beat."
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