Like many in the world of F1, François Dumontier did not expect a driver to ever beat the 91-winning mark held by Michael Schumacher since 2006.
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But records are made to be broken as Lewis Hamilton diamnche proved at the Portuguese Grand Prix when he lifted the winner’s trophy for the 92e times of his career.
“In 2007, the promoter of the Grand Prix du Canada recalled in an interview at the Journal of Montreal, all eyes were on him. He had won the championship in GP2 [alors l’antichambre de la F1] the year before and he was known to be the new racing prodigy. “
For the record, Hamilton was recruited by Ron Dennis, then McLaren boss, at the age of nine.
In 2001, Dumontier recalls, he took part in a stage of the World Karting Championship at the SRA Karting complex in Saint-Roch-de-l’Achigan.
Podium at his first start
In his first race in F1, Hamilton had reached the third step of the podium at the Australian Grand Prix aboard his McLaren.
“Montreal was the sixth stop of the championship in 2007,” recounted Dumontier, “and we thought that the Gilles-Villeneuve circuit could well be the scene of its first victory. And that is indeed what happened. The day before, he had signed the first leading position of his career. “
Beat his idol
This Canadian Grand Prix in 2007 will not only be marked by the Briton’s first victory, but also, remember, by the terrifying accident of Pole Robert Kubica who, miraculously, will get away with some scratches and bruises.
“Lewis beat my idol,” added Dumontier. I know that Schumacher has not always been appreciated by Quebecers because of his collision with Jacques Villeneuve [au GP d’Europe en 1997], but I’ve always enjoyed him as a pilot.
“And to think that Hamilton replaced Schumacher in 2013 at Mercedes when the German retired from F1 permanently,” Dumontier correctly pointed out.
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Research: Louis Butcher Source: formula1.com