Mercedes boss Wolff laughs off ‘best car’ Hamilton critics

Bottas ultimately retired from the race with engine trouble, while Hamilton went on to claim a record-equalling 91st career victory to stretch his advantage at the top of the championship to 69 points with six races to go.

"Nevertheless, I have to say that Michael will always be my hero". And I think there was something about Michael that I haven't seen in any other driver before. "I still feel like I'm driving at a really good level".

Before the race at Nurburring Stuart, who was Britain's most successful driver until he beat Hamilton with three titles, he said the 35-year-old had a hard time justifying all-time because he enjoyed an "unfair" advantage with his Mercedes auto.

And Vettel said it was Schumacher's "natural ability" that sets him apart from other drivers who have seen him in action during go-karting sessions.

"From my experience, I can say that he had a natural gift that I have not seen in anyone else". And I think Michael had something about him that I haven't seen in another driver so far'.

'I think if you saw him go karting, obviously I didn't see him at a young age but I did at an older age, and I was happy to join him in the Race of Champions a couple of times. So you see a bit more of the skills and the auto control. At his age I could only try to guess what it was like mentally, what it was like to fight at work, I could just try to understand how hard it was. I haven't seen a match yet.

Vettel emphasized that he looked up to Schumacher and would have even more admiration for his rival Hamilton in the coming decades. "I've been hit by a lot of people, especially older drivers". But like I said, you can't appreciate him enough for what he's achieved.

"Winning races and winning championships is always in this sport a team exercise but you need to put yourself in a position that you end up in the best vehicle", said Wolff. The greatest I believe there has been is Juan Manuel Fangio, followed by Jim Clark. He claimed Hamilton's Mercedes engines were "so superior that it's nearly unfair on the rest of the field". "Well the drivers who say that, they should try and analyse why they haven't found their way into a Mercedes". I don't know why but maybe one day they'll get over it.

"And also if Toto goes it could potentially be a spiralling effect, so that numerous team leaders in the leading positions say, "OK it's the end of the an era, Toto's going, I loved to work with him, let's also move on to something new".



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