Fans congratulate Lewis Hamilton as he equals Michael Schumacher's pole record

The Mercedes driver beat Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel by a quarter of a second, to claim his 68th pole.

Fans are heaping on the praise as three-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton gained his 68th pole position, equalling Michael Schumacher’s all-time record.

The Mercedes champion celebrated the feat at the Belgian Grand Prix, hailing it a “special day” ahead of his 200th race on Sunday.

Speaking after Saturday’s race at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, the 32-year-old said of his F1 milestone: “It is definitely a special day.

“I knew the record was on the horizon, and at some stage I would get the 68th pole. I did not apply pressure, but now being there it is an unusual place to be.

“Now, to think I have equalled him on poles is very surreal and very much a humbling experience, particularly knowing that Michael is such a legend. It is a very special feat that he achieved and I feel very proud to be up there with him.”

F1 director Ross Brawn delivered a congratulatory message from Michael Schumacher’s family, on behalf of the seven-time champion who suffered severe head injuries in a skiing accident in 2013. Not much is known about the record-holder’s current condition, and he has not been seen in public since.

Brawn said: “His wife Corinna said that Michael always believed records were there to be broken, and they want to offer their congratulations.”

Jubilant supporters shared in Hamilton’s joy, congratulating him on Twitter as he expressed the moment as a “dream come true”.

Hamilton spoke of the “surreal” achievement of joining his idol at the top, and said: “I think and pray for Michael all the time. I’ve had the privilege of racing with him and always admired him and still do.”

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