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French GP: Vettel Praises Schumacher, Who Again Has Points In Mind & Tireless Record Hunter Hamilton

Haas driver Mick Schumacher wants to take something countable with him in his third Formula 1 race in a row in France.

"Hopefully we can get a few more points," said the 23-year-old on Thursday before the French Grand Prix in Le Castellet. Most recently in Austria, Schumacher had achieved the best result of his young career in sixth place in his Haas racing car. Previously, it had been eighth for a top ten result in Great Britain. They were the first points of his Formula 1 career.

He now has the results he deserved

"I'm very happy for Mick," said his German colleague Sebastian Vettel about Schumacher's improvement before the next race this Sunday (3 p.m., LIVE! at kicker) on the Mediterranean: "He had an unfortunate start." The criticism of the son of record world champion Michael Schumacher was "overall unjustified" after he had made some unnecessary mistakes. "He now has the results he deserved," said Vettel.

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Schumacher himself was absent on Wednesday when his father was awarded the State Prize of North Rhine-Westphalia, the state's highest award, in Cologne. He did not feel well due to stomach problems and decided against the trip to Germany, while mother Corinna and sister Gina received the award. "It was nice to see that. I'm very proud of my father," said Mick Schumacher.

Tireless record hunter Hamilton for the 300th time in Formula 1

103 wins in 299 races are outstanding. Lewis Hamilton defined an era in Formula 1. The next milestone follows in France. There is no end in sight for the Mercedes superstar.

Lewis Hamilton fought the sweltering heat in his own way. "Minus 110 degrees has never felt so good," wrote the Formula 1 record world champion for a video on Instagram. Shirtless but wearing protective gloves and a headband, he was having fun even as his lashes icy. Before the French Grand Prix on Sunday, the Mercedes star sought distraction and cool down in a cold chamber. At the race in Le Castellet, the 37-year-old is now joining an elite club: Hamilton is only the sixth driver to contest his 300th Grand Prix.

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But that's not a reason for a party for the seven-time champion. Such numbers would remind him too much of his age, said the record hunter. It is much more important for the Vice World Champion to make it back to the top. But slaves and sweats - or just freezes - Hamilton even in the old racing driver age. The dry spell of twelve races without a win, which is unusual for him, should finally come to an end. Three third places in the past three WRC rounds show an upward trend that should continue at the twelfth Grand Prix of the year near the Mediterranean Sea.

Competition fears strengthening of Mercedes

"I'm delighted with this momentum that we're picking up, which reflects the tremendous efforts of the team," said Hamilton boss Toto Wolff. The head of motorsport at the Silver Arrows is convinced that after a disappointing start to the year, it is now possible to understand the car better "with every lap". "It is encouraging to see that this is reflected in our further development and our results," said the Austrian. Mercedes continues to cleverly push the role of favorites to Red Bull and Ferrari, but only half of the season is over. With eleven upcoming races, a lot of points will be awarded - and the competition fears that the factory team, which has often been so dominant in previous years, will regain strength.

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The numbers still speak clearly against Mercedes and Hamilton. The vegan superstar with the big heart in the fight against racism and social injustice is only sixth in the overall standings, with 109 points he is a whopping 99 points behind Max Verstappen (208). Teammate George Russell (128) is also in front of the old master, who has a clear goal: title number eight. He is still level with Michael Schumacher after winning world championships, with another trophy he would leave the icon behind. "Now we have to keep improving to get back to the top," Hamilton recently demanded in Austria. Wolff agreed: "The aim is to further reduce the gap to the leaders."

In terms of reliability, Mercedes seems to have an advantage

Red Bull and Ferrari are setting the pace this season. Mercedes had a lot of catching up to do, but now seems to be on the mend. Especially when it comes to reliability, the German carmaker seems to have an advantage. That could also be important in Le Castellet, with temperatures above 30 degrees the vehicles and tires are put under enormous strain. Hamilton was able to win on the Côte d'Azur in 2018 and 2019 and finished second last year behind Verstappen, who is again the favorite in the race.

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Hamilton voluntarily does without the first training session on Friday. Nyck de Vries takes over the veteran's cockpit. In the course of a season, young drivers without much experience have to be used in two training sessions. Hamilton himself chose to vacate his place in France now. Teammate Russell (24) will sit out for a session later in the season.

Record holder Raikkonen

Given his experience, the break will not be a disadvantage for Hamilton. The 103-time race winner is not thinking about the end of his career anyway, he has a contract until the end of 2023. However, for another record he would have to drive even longer: Nobody sat in the Formula 1 cockpit as often as Kimi Raikkonen. The Finn has made 349 race starts in the motorsport premier class.

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