LEWIS Hamilton has shared a touching tribute to Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher on Instagram.
Hamilton, 32, landed his fourth world title this year after holding off German Sebastian Vettel.
He has surpassed Schumacher’s record of 68 career pole positions – now with 72.
Schumacher, now 48, retired in 2012 but a year later suffered a traumatic brain injury during a skiing accident.
The seven-time F1 world champion spent a year in a coma. He has now awoken and is in private rehabilitation at home. Hamilton posted a throwback snap of Schumacher in his Benetton days in the 1990s.
He wrote: “Michael, equalling your pole position record in Belgium this year meant so much to me and was a true honour.
“Praying for you and your family all the time #KeepFightingMichael #Legend @michaelschumacher”
The post has gone viral on Instagram after attracting over 174,000 likes. This comes as Schumacher’s daughter and Vettel both spoke of the star in emotional tributes.
Hamilton finished sixth in this year’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year and posted a photo of him and winner Sir Mo Farah together.
It was captioned: “Congrats to my bro @gomofarah for winning BBC’s SPOTY tonight! Well deserved and a true legend of the sport!”
Despite Hamilton’s fantastic season, he has downplayed the suggestion he will eventually surpass Schumacher’s record of seven championships.
“I don’t have that desire to match it. Matching Fangio could be quite cool.”
Argentinian Juan Manuel Fangio won five world titles in the 1950s.
But Mercedes driver Hamilton hinted he was not preparing to call time on his racing career just yet.
“When I am older and look back, I don’t think the amount of titles I have is going to define what I am as a driver or who I am,” he continued.
“How I work with the team, how I drive the car, every time I drive the car and extract it from the car – that’s what I feel inside defines me.”
“When I was young I thought I would have a family at 28. When I got to 28 it all shifted,” he continued.
“But it is difficult to say never.
“Maybe in a couple of years ‘ time I will be saying: ‘I am going to go another 10 years.’ I really hope that’s not the case because I’ll be with you guys until you are in Zimmer frames.”