Lewis Hamilton is a name that invariably comes up whenever there is a discussion of the ‘greatest drivers of all time’. A six-time world champion, the British driver is on course for a seventh title this season.
Over the years, many have graced this wonderful sport and dazzled audiences with their driving. And each of these champions has done something unique for the world to remember them.
But then again, there is a fine line between a very successful and great driver. Many aspects come into play, when deciding who ranks better than the other.
Lewis Hamilton is not the ‘greatest driver that ever lived’
That of course, is according to former three-time F1 champion, Sir Jackie Stewart. Speaking to the podcast ‘In The Fast Lane’, he stated, “I don’t think that you can account that sort of level of success, just because today there are 20-22 races.”
“Juan Manuel Fangio, in my mind, is the greatest driver that ever lived. With Jim Clark as the second greatest, even ahead of (Ayrton) Senna. Those people only raced maybe sometimes six to eight or nine races a year in Formula 1.”
“But the world championship now, Lewis Hamilton, or any of the other top contenders today are doing 22 or 21 races, but only in Formula 1. Lewis drives extremely well, make no mistake. I’m not in any way diminishing his skills. But it’s not the same.”
“Lewis made a very good decision when he left McLaren at that time and went to Mercedes-Benz. I take my hat off to him for making that decision. But frankly, the car and the engine are now so superior, that it’s almost unfair on the rest of the field.”
Hamilton could break Michael Schumacher’s record going forward
Regardless of what is said, Lewis Hamilton will set his eyes on further wins and titles. If he extends his contract with Mercedes, Hamilton will start as a favorite for the 2021 season.
That is keeping in mind how the other cars are not likely to make marked improvements in their setups. And how it is all about sustenance of excellence for Mercedes now.
So, if he were to secure a 8th Drivers’ Championship, that would put him above record-holder, Michael Schumacher. Some feat, considering many pundits thought this was impossible to break.
Erstwhile legends and fans of the sport might still debate about whether Hamilton is a great driver. But by sealing another title, he will only stake to claim his enormous reputation of being a serial winner.