Gary Lineker has hailed Lewis Hamilton as one of England’s “greatest ever sportspeople” following his latest Formula One Championship victory.
The Brit secured his seventh Drivers Championship on Sunday morning with victory in the Turkish Grand Prix, which he won with a time of 1:42:19.313.
Victory at the Istanbul Park track saw Hamilton equal the legendary Michael Schumacher’s record for Drivers Championships.
Hamilton’s monumental achievement didn’t go unnoticed, with scores of sportsmen and sportswomen paying tribute to the 35-year-old.
Lineker was among the first to congratulate the man of the moment, tweeting: “Congratulations to Lew Hamilton on equalling Michael Schumacher’s 7 world titles.
“What an achievement. Has to be right up there alongside our greatest ever sportspeople. Stunning.”
Former Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand echoed Lineker’s sentiment, saying: “Just watched Lewis Hamilton drive to his 7th World title.
“The greatest sportsman this country has ever produced – no doubts.”
Hamilton – who came from sixth place to clinch victory in Istanbul – was, understandably, elated with his momentous achievement, which he admits he’s dreamed about for many a year.
“My whole life I’ve secretly dreamt as high as this,” an emotional Hamilton said. “I remember watching Michael winning those championships.
“We always hear just to get 1 or 2 or even 3 is so hard to get – 7 is just so unimaginable.
“I’m a bit lost for words. I think naturally I have to start with saying thank you to the team. The journey we’ve been on is monumental.
“I want to say also a big thank you to team LH for sticking with me all these years. And to my family who dreamed of this when we were young and watching the grand prix. This is way beyond our dreams.
“It’s so important for kids out there to see this and know that don’t listen to anybody who tells you you can’t achieve something. Dream the impossible and speak it into existence. You’ve got to work for it, chase it and never give up.”
Hamilton couldn’t contain his delight with his historical achievement, taking to Twitter to further reflect on the magnitude of his record-equalling victory.
“7x Formula 1 World Champion,” he wrote. “Wow. To everyone that has supported me along the way, this is for you.
“To my incredible family, where do I even start? I am eternally grateful for your unconditional love, sacrifices and support.”