Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Yas Marina, 2018

Hamilton says he wants to be F1’s “all-time great”

2018 F1 season

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Lewis Hamilton says he is “looking to be the all-time great” in Formula 1 it believes he can still improve as a driver.

The Mercedes driver won his fifth world championship this year, bringing him within two of reaching Michael Schumacher’s all-time record. He ended the season with his 73rd victory, which leaves him 18 shy of Schumacher’s win record.

“I feel like I’m still not at my best,” said Hamilton at an event for team sponsor Hewlett-Packard. “I’m just on the way there, I’ve still got lots of work to do.

“We’ve just signed for another two years so ’19 and ’20 are going to be interesting. My goal is to make such Ferrari don’t win a championship within those two years – or Red Bull.”

Hamilton said he is wary of the threat from F1’s new generation of talent including Max Verstappen at Red Bull and Charles Leclerc at Ferrari.

“We’ve got the Red Bulls who are really trying to come at us strongly, we’ve got young Max Verstappen who wants to steal a world championship. We’ve got now Charles Leclerc in Ferrari who’s going to want to impress next year.

“And these guys are all much younger. I’m the third-oldest driver now in Formula 1, which is ridiculous because I’m only 33. But these guys, they’re all in their young teens now. So how do I remain relevant, how do I remain fitter than all these guys, how do I remain mentally more focussed and more diligent than all these other guys? That’s my super focus, to stay ahead of them.”

The off-season will be a chance to reflect on areas he can improve, said Hamilton. “This next month I’m going to sit down and figure out where I can be better.

“I asked my team to send me an email from several different departments, asked them to be blunt. They don’t even need to tell me who the email’s from, just tell me the things [they] think I can improve on: If there’s been a certain experience this year you felt that could be better or something I’ve said that’s swayed the energy within the team.

“Because I’m looking to be the all-time great and that means winning in all areas.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 87 comments on “Hamilton says he wants to be F1’s “all-time great””

    1. R Kelly /Mc Hammy colaboration confirmed? Now we finally know what Star he was singing about

      1. 44 mile staring the real slim hammy

        1. *Nothing to see here, just two white boys publishing jokes about black culture, what could possibly go wrong

          1. Wasn’t Eminem white?

            @kgn11 sure you can open your mind to a bit of humour no?

      2. Keith you need to put an end to comments like these! What is being said here as absolutely nothing to with the article

        1. At least if you are so bothered about it, tag the guy, here @keithcollantine

          1. Racial stereotyping is as just humour

            1. Everything is racist if you look hard enough right?

              It’s just a joke, give it a rest

    2. Impressive, at first I was surprised at that comment. Having deflected greatest of all time questions towards the end of the season. But I line the humble attitude towards criticism. He’s a decent role model these days.
      I wish him well and look forward to seeing the next couple years play out.

    3. First time I’ve heard Hamilton – pretty much – officially confirm that he’s chasing Schumacher’s records now.

      If the regs had remained stable it would have been a tall order given how closely matched the top three teams were at the end of the season, but with the aero reset next year favouring Mercedes (on paper) over the likes of Red Bull and Ferrari who are theoretically losing more with the banning of blown front-axles then it could well happen.

      However the next two seasons pan out, hats off to him if he does it.

    4. The only component any team has no control of and is present on the car-driver package is the tires. Anything else can be tweaked to the edge of legality, be projected, anticipated, or worked around . In his own words , Ross Brawn mentioned in his book Total Competition that Ferrari was caught out by surprise when in 2005-2006 FIA changed the tyres , andlost their competitiveness, it was the only component they had out of reach. Recently , Mercedes ( whether legally or not ) managed to take a few wins with barely legal device on the wheels to manage temperature.

      1. Every F1 car is barely legal. But over the years, out of Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull, which team has had the fewest instances of being told something about their car is illegal?

      2. managed to take a few wins with a legal device on the wheels to manage temperature


    5. Its crazy to think that had Lewis won the championship in his debut year in 2007 and later in 2016, he would have already equaled Michael. But i think the quality and level of competition faced by Lewis both from outside and from his team mates have been much higher than what Michael faced during his years. Twice Hamilton was paired with reigning World Champions (Alo and But).

      Hamilton is already a great with 2018 being his best year. 8 out of 9 Team Principals voted him the best driver of 2018 with many including former Ferrari Supremo Luca admitting that Hamilton could have won the championship in 2018 Ferrari as well. In my opinion the way Lewis defeated Vettel this year (and last year) and his team mate in the same car, makes him ‘THE Best’ driver of his era and one of the Greatest of all time.

      1. Funny to think that he would have been paired with a third reigning world champion if Rosberg had raced for one more year :)

        1. @nathanbuilder
          Unfortunately he headed for the hills. Would’ve been great if he stuck around though.

      2. Same with Schumacher… 1997, 1998, 2006 – all were pretty close as well…

    6. Sadly, I don’t think the option to be “the best of all time” is there anymore – these cars are too easy to drive compared to 20-30 years ago.

      You can win more races (as you compete in more a year) but you are no longer doing something that seems super-human to me.

      1. That’s mostly because you are old and cranky now.
        Thats why it doesnt seem super human stuff to you.

        Basically, he can be the best we can understand, but he will never be the best ever because he was born too late.
        Thats your logic right here.

        1. Nah it’s not though… I don’t remember Senna or Prost complaining that the sport was too easy. I don’t remember drivers taking about F1 as being a bit boring… I know what you are saying but watch some onboards from “back in the day” and it’s just completely different. It doesn’t mean that Hamilton isn’t better than anyone else to have ever driven in F1, it’s just that I don’t personally think he’ll ever get a chance to actually prove it.

          It’s like trying to say who the best singer is and ignoring that these days, they are all auto-tuned, can record digitally (so don’t have to do the whole song in 1 take) are recording through much more advanced equipment and everything can be edited in post-production. It doesn’t mean the best singer to ever have existed doesn’t live on the planet right now but there are plenty of average ones who end up sounding as good as some exceptional singers from years past. The only way to compare them is to have them sing without a microphone but you can’t replicate that in F1 other than sitting everyone in the same car.

          1. If you’re going to move the goal post because Lewis now has aspirations to be the best, then move it for everyone and just say, no one is the greatest ever and they were all equal.

          2. Only you say it’s too easy. Ask Vettel or Bottas how difficult it really is.

          3. The older cars dont look harder to drive to me. They look much more crude, and that’s it. They didnt race on the “limit” back in the day either.

            F1 was a sport of going as fast as you can only from 1994 until 2009, with the refueling on the pit stops. Apart from this time, it was always a matter of managing the situation, the car and the tyres.

            Take a look at footage from races of the 1993 season. It doesn’t look harder than today by any means. In fact, it looks easier cuz it is slower.

          4. Modern F1 cars are the fastest the sport has ever seen, setting lap records around the world. They’re also racing in some really intense climatic conditions – Singapore is brutal for them.

            Recording artists using analogue desks and tape had brilliant engineers to cut and stick different takes and parts together, use overdubs etc. Check out how Butch Vig and his team worked over time, most recently Foo Fighters’ Wasting Light.

            1. Indeed, you need look only as far as the etymology of the words used for digital editing to see that it came from analogue “cut”, “paste” “burn” etc.

      2. @petebaldwin My sentiments exactly. When even the drivers have been clamouring for more challenge in F1, I do not have a sense that they are performing great feats. Numbers to me do not equal greatest. In recent years some polls had still held Alonso as the best driver on the grid in spite of LH’s dominance. It’s subjective. My greats will still be the ones who had much more of the driving in their own hands and not those of a bank of engineers in a satellite location. Closer racing in post-2021 times will help us discern better who are the men from the boys but they will still have much assistance and advice on managing tires etc etc from the pits. They will still be very coddled and safe compared to what had to have played on drivers’ minds a great deal in past eras when the true greats, the pioneers, were there. Some consider Gilles Villeneuve one of the greats and he didn’t get to win one WDC.

      3. Its not about how difficult the car is to drive.

        It is suppose to be the top 20 drivers in the world, and you keep beating it.
        For that matter Formula 1 could be driven in Fiat 500ś if that was the pinnacle of motorsports, then thats what you have to drive.

        With your logic, all indycar drivers are better then the current F1 drivers.

        1. It is the top 20 drivers in the world – the problem comes between comparing one of the current 20 with one of the previous 20 from yesteryear. How can Hamilton prove, for example, that he is better than Senna?

          They are both exceptional drivers but to claim to be “the” all-time great means you have to prove you are better than everyone else that has ever driven in F1 and I don’t see how that can be done.

          He is already “an” all-time great but I don’t think it gets better from there.

          1. I agree, there is no way of knowing.

            Taking the Mercedes dominans into the equation also blurs the achievement.
            On paper its pretty straight forward. Win the most amount in the shortest time span.

            History will forget the rest =)

          2. I find it funny that now Lewis has placed himself in the conversation of who is the greatest, we no longer can compare drivers, but it was never an issue when the conversation only included the likes of Fangio, Senna, Prost, Schumacher etc

            1. For the simple fact that athletes/sportsmen cannot be judged when they are still actively competing… A lot can change till they actually call it a day.

            2. @invictus

              Schumacher was lauded as the greatest whilst he was still competing and I’m not referring to his return to the sport.

              Michale Jordan was crowned the greatest whilst till playing, even before his 2nd 3-peat.

              Roger Federer still plays tennis, he’s called the greatest.

              I’m not sure that argument works.

            3. @KGN11 – Exactly!

              It is amazing how people are constantly shifting the goalposts when it comes to Lewis. The arguments they come up with are simply unbelievable. Now we cannot even discuss whether he is the G.O.A.T or not because he is still alive and driving.

              If Lewis won 20 WDC’s, some here will still find a way to diminish it. Why not just come out and say it is BECAUSE he is Lewis Hamilton, rather than keep coming out with increasingly risible arguments? That’ll be much easier.

            4. @kbdavies

              Like I mentioned in a previous comment, if you’re now going to move the goal post because Lewis has now entered the conversation, them move it for everyone and just say they’re all equal and no one is better.

              I’ve said it elslewhere, Lewis in his prime would wipe the floor with Schumacher!

              Schumacher has never had a teammate anywhere near as good as Alonso and a rookie made him look silly.

            5. @KGN11

              The champions you have listed had all achieved the ultimate goal of most Championships/Grandslams then any other i.e when Schumacher passed Fangio and Federer passed Sampras.
              On the run up to that, it was all whispers and murmurs just like it is now.

              Nadal fans still feel he is better then Fed. Just like Senna fans believe that he is better then Schumacher. But when push comes to shove, they can’t really argue against it.

              I’m just amused by all this… Hamilton haters belittling his achievements and Hamilton fans over eager and jumping the gun. Relax, enjoy this amazing time we are witnessing. Let the chips fall where they may.

          3. There sure are more ways than one to look at who is/was better than anyone else. But when it comes to statistical averages, no one will ever Fangio.

            1. Yup,
              I consider him to be the Donald Bradman of F1. He might not have the most wins/championships but his percentages and to do it at that time, it really makes you wonder/marvel.

          4. How can Hamilton prove, for example, that he is better than Senna?

            Quite easy (at least in certain areas). We know he never intentionally barged another driver of the track to win a championship. We certainly know he does not have a “win at all costs” attitude that involves cheating.

            And yes, he is definitely better than Senna in the rain – even though Senna was one of the best in his generation in the rain.

            1. If my memory serves me correctly, there are two Americans with 33.3% win ratios. From less than a dozen races between them. My memory isn’t good enough to recall their names.

              Whilst I rate Fangio VERY highly, statistics are never good enough for this conversation. Even percentage statistics.

              To say the modern generation has it easy seems to gloss over certain benefits the old boys did have. The cars may be very easy to drive, but they have more than just a steering wheel, gear stick and three pedals for inputs now. To say the pitwall micro-manage every detail of their race overlooks the fact that they have somebody chatting constantly in their ear making complex demands of them as computer operators (whether we like this or not, we have no idea how Fangio’s generation would have handled this and who would have come out on top). We talk about pay drivers these days but neglect that yesteryear’s grid was heavily populated by casual drivers, whereas one could argue that the selection process today is the most brutal…

              I’m not getting involved with it specifically myself. I just wanted to voice my disappointment that we’re ignoring many of the modern changes that aren’t all for the better.

              OK. I say Jim Clark.

            2. Even Hamilton does not have 33.3% win ratio, much less any of the American drivers…at least not in Formula 1. I agree Clark was the best F1 driver ever, though.

            3. When rating people by percentages you have to exclude the one-hit wonders and require a minimum of entries (at least 10, typically 15). There is a particular problem with American drivers in the 50’s, the 500 miles of Indianapolis were included in the F1 championship and for a bunch of American pilots it was the only race they disputed, so they have very few F1 races, and the winners have a disproportionate percentage of F1 victories with very few entries (and of course, Indy 500 is pretty far from a typical F1 race).

            4. Oh yes, the Indy 500 of course. That was not F1 but a round of the World Championship nonetheless. In my mind those races require separate set of statistics, really.

      4. Sadly, you are right, Pete (@petebaldwin), but I still think Hamilton is doing very nicely indeed; especially his focus. Man, is he driven. Not relaxing this year after winning both championships was seriously impressive too.

        What a shame Alonso wasn’t still his teammate to give him a real run for his money. I still class Alonso as the overall best driver I have seen since Schumi’s heyday.

        Like you, I also miss the days when the drivers got out of their cars after the races and could hardly stand, they were so exhausted. The amount of tyre nursing these days drives me crazy. (Cue rose-tinted spectacles comment from someone. :O)

      5. “these cars are too easy to drive compared to 20-30 years ago.”

        Cars 20-30 years ago, had traction/launch control, ABS brakes, ground effects, active suspension, qualifying tyres, torque vector steering and whatever else you can think of.

        the reason why you think it’s much easier now, mainly has to do with improvement in driver fitness.

        1. That’s true. Some drivers used have pretty unhealthy lifestyles during that time… Racing after nights of heavy drinking. Smoking in the paddock. Or was that just James Hunt? Haha

          1. But then again, no power steering, no buttons to flick to change gears. Cars are definitely easier to drive and easier to setup now then before. There is no denying. Physically they were more challenging to drive.

            1. And don’t you think those buttons makes it harder for the drivers? Back in the ‘golden days’ all drivers had to do was the basics, brake, change gears and floor it. Now drivers are pretty much manning the Challenger shuttle whilst cornering at 4G’s.

              Watch the vid when Lewis drove Senna’ McLaren and look how at ease he looked in that car.

              It’s sport and it’ll evolve with the change in times. It’s time we appreciate the current drivers for what they’re doing and stopooking back on history like it was the best ever. I’ve seen races from the early to late 90s and they looked slow and boring as hell!

            2. “Watch the vid when Lewis drove Senna’ McLaren and look how at ease he looked in that car”.

              You said it. He was driving Senna’s McLaren from back then, he was NOT racing it. All racing driver’s look at ease in any car they are driving when they are not at 10 tenths.

          2. Keke Rosberg, Jachen Rindt, Jackie Stewart, and Nikki Lauda all smoked. I even remeber seeing Schumi smoke a cigar in the padock… :)

            1. that replay was meant for Taimur (@invictus)

      6. @petebaldwin by that logic the drivers from 20-30 years ago shouldn’t even be mentioned in the same sentence as the drivers from 50-60 years ago as those cars were exponentially even more difficult/dangerous to drive. The drivers from those time periods [without modern training] wouldn’t even be able to set a competitive qualifying time in a modern car, let alone, finish a race. The modern day drivers wouldn’t be able to keep those old cars on track with H-pattern gearboxes, no power steering, cars made from [flexible] conventional materials (no carbon), comparatively no safety compared to what they’ve been used to. It’s all relative. The only thing that can be compared objectively are numbers.

        1. The old cars from the 50’s and 60’s weren’t that difficult to drive either! When you see the Fangio and Jackie Stewart interviews they indicated as such. The difficulty of those cars were the risks involved, but generally those old cars had to be driven “within the limits” to even finish the race. The driver had to “feel” his car and be one with it and that is exactly what separated Fangio and Stewart from the rest. Modern day cars are a bit different; you reach your limits before the car does.

      7. they are pulling more lateral G than ever.

        7+ G.

        Mansell, however ballsy, would have had his moustache ripped off, not to mention his endowment.

    7. The GOAT.

    8. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      6th December 2018, 13:55

      For me the most impressive thing is that he’s still looking to improve. He’s not looking to win more but he’s looking to improve so that he can do even better.

      You’d think a driver with his credentials would just sit back and marvel at his own accomplishments but to see him come up with a plan to improve by soliciting feedback from his own team is very inspiring for anyone but especially for the Mercedes works team who must be fueled by his passion to excel.

      I’m sure even Arrivabene and Vettel reading this must be inspired to rise to the challenge and put Lewis and Mercedes to the test.

    9. Hard to compare with so many variables. For me 92 wins will be super impressive however 8 titles would be better. Shumi raced in the days with less GP’s per season..

    10. Not sure I’d admit that if I were him… in invites all sorts of impossible direct comparisons & pointless debates, IMO, and gives his opponents an extra incentive to help derail his ambitions. But I appreciate where he’s coming from & his approach in trying to achieve his goal: seeking to eliminate weaknesses in himself, & inviting criticism to help identify where those weaknesses might be. It’s funny how one of the biggest criticisms Lewis has gotten through the years has been his “inconsistency”, but by the numbers, none of his peers are remotely as consistent.
      Also, it’s crazy to think that all it would have taken to be equal with Schumacher on titles already would have been a few more brain cells on the McLaren pit wall in ’07 & a reliable engine in Malaysia ’16.

      1. The ‘what ifs’ are always there for everyone. Let’s also not forget that Lewis has had one of the best reliability throughout his career.

        1. Yes they are and yes, he has. Still doesn’t change the fact that without those two incidents he could have already achieved 7 titles. What, I have to talk about all the others for my statement to remain truthful? Everyone else’s what ifs might be relevant to their situations & whatever points anyone else wants to argue, but I wasn’t talking about anyone else.

          1. Specifically since we’re talking about schumacher you should know that he also could not have had a problem in silverstone 1997 and won the title, and could’ve not had the engine problem in suzuka 2006 and there’s another title, considering he’d have had a more defensive approach in brazil and wouldn’t have punctured the tyre.

            That doesn’t mean alonso didn’t deserve 2006 seeing as he had similar reliability as schumacher, but it means that if we can exclude mechanical problems or pit stop blunders for hamilton, so can we for schumacher in a comparison.

            1. Who’s excluding anything? What was incorrect in anything I said? Schumacher was already retired before Lewis even started in F1, therefore the watermark had already been set. Arguing about how many more he could have gotten after he quit (yeah, he came back, then quit again)… I don’t see how that’s relevant to my original point: LEWIS COULD HAVE MATCHED SCHUMACHER’S 7 TITLES BY NOW BUT FOR THE TWO INCIDENTS I MENTIONED!!! Does the fact that Michael could have had more suddenly negate that fact? NO!!! Geez… what’s so hard to understand??? You guys are acting like just because I pointed out that fact that somehow I’m belittling Michael, & you feel the need to rush to his defense… I don’t get why you’re loath to accept it, except because it’s Lewis. I didn’t even mention Alonso! And why did you stop there? Why not argue for Kimi too? But for McLaren’s spotty reliability, he could’ve had an extra championship or two… Senna? Could have had more but for Prost’s shenanigans… ditto for Prost with Senna’s… Mansel’s terrible luck cost him a title in ’91, I believe… Tell me, does any of that negate my original statement? Honestly… sigh… it’s like pulling teeth with some of you.

    11. I don’t think he can be. Lewis is one hell of a driver but I don’t think he has what Senna or Schumi had. In other words, Senna and Michael had an aura that I haven’t seen again in any F1 driver following their last races. I can’t really put it better into words.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        6th December 2018, 15:38

        @panagiotism-papatheodorou Is it perhaps the fact that he seems to be a lot more cool than either of those guys would be under the same circumstances?

        Can anyone imagine Senna or Schumacher having Nico Rosberg as their teammate and what would have happened? Yeah, Schumacher was Nico’s teammate at Mercedes but Nico didn’t have to slam into him every chance he had since he was already ahead in points. It was quite impressive to see how controlled Lewis remained on track with Nico over the whole season. We also saw that how Lewis also kept his cool when Vettel slammed into his car under the safety car.

        Senna and Schumacher are cut from a different cloth but to say that he can’t match them is not really fair. The nice thing about Lewis is that he just doesn’t win – when he wins, he redefines racing. Like Messi and Ronaldo, they do things that you’ve never seen before.

        1. How has he redefined racing?

          1. Did Senna or Schumacher redefine racing? I’ll assume your answer will be yes, care to tell me how and I’m what way?

            1. Apparently they had auras… like Rick James, maybe… ask Charlie Murphy…

            2. Yes, they both redefined racing, by making it a lot dirtier. Between them they removed every scrap of sportsmanship remaining in F1

          2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            6th December 2018, 19:38

            There are just so many races where Lewis just simply looks like he belongs in a different category or he does something and everyone wonders where that came from – even his own team cannot believe it.

            Lewis was already great in 2007 matching Alonso, a driver that in many people’s eyes is Schumacher’s equal.

            This feat alone would be akin to a player joining Barcelona and scoring the same number of goals as Messi in your 1st year, a feat that neither Suarez, Neymar, or Ibrahimovic managed.

            Yet he still wants to improve and it’s obvious that he has improved over the past few years but hopes he can continue to push his own boundaries.

            I remember in the Senna documentary, I believe it was Gerhard Berger who said that when Senna was on a qualifying lap especially at Monaco, all the drivers would try to stay away to avoid wrecking his lap because they knew that he was about to do something extraordinary and they didn’t want to be the idiot who ruined a perfect lap.

            It’s the same thing with Lewis but in his case it’s not just in qualifying as Berger mentioned in his example. When Lewis is behind the wheel, I and I imagine all his fans are rooting for his own team not to screw up his race – he’s usually just absolutely incredible to watch and we all want to see where this journey will take us just like we want to do the same with Federer, Rossi and all the other greats.

        2. Agreed. Regardless of what’s happening outside the cockpit or how much he’s whining on the radio, Hamilton’s driving generally remains cool and composed. It’s one of the many qualities he shares with Alain Prost, my all time favorite driver.

          What I find ironic is that one is a chronic nail biter while the other has a cringe-worthy, try-hard ‘fashion sense’ (to me and many others, at least) – both of which are the antithesis of ‘cool’ – yet they’re both so supremely cool behind the wheel. Anyways, I care about their racing skills not their personal lives.

          Speaking of which, if you combine the two best skills of Senna and Prost; arguably qualifying and wet weather performances for the former, and coolness under pressure and being a points scoring machine for the latter, who do you get?

          Lewis Hamilton. Which is why, IMO, he’s already in the GOAT conversation even if he retired today and never matched Schumi’s win & wc records. As others have said, there’s so much more to greatness than stats which is why everyone who’s not insane or family rates Alonso higher than Vettel, and Gilles higher than James.

      2. Let me hold those Rose tinted glasses for you, my good sir!

    12. Yeah good luck with that Lewis :). He will have to invent a time machine to start he career again because nothing he’s done up till now suggest he is the all time great. A very good driver yes, but that’s all.

      1. I don’t know, hamilton doesn’t convince me as an all time great if you think about his mclaren years, he had such a good car for so long time, when did schumacher have the best car?

        According to the mathematical model made by philips, it’s only be in 2001, 2002, 2004 and 2006 (he says the ferrari was overall slightly better than renault), and definitely not with a lot of margin in the last of those years, while which years did hamilton have the best car? 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and that’s not even up for debate, and joint best in 2018, possibly slightly better than ferrari, that’s already more years than schumacher, that he needs even more years with the best car says enough.

        Hamilton ofc had more competition on the other seat than schumacher did, but schumacher had it from other teams, hamilton didn’t get much of that, I think schumacher, clark, fangio, ascari, stewart should be ahead of hamilton, not because of the statistics, but because of what he showed, he can surely fit a top 10 ranking and is probably up there with alonso, who apart from 2007 where he didn’t perform at his best, has overall been similar or better to hamilton, especially in his ferrari years, when it was a much slower car at times than hamilton had.

        1. Schumacher was a cheat, had teammates who contractually weren’t allowed to challenge him, had special tires that suited him & his car and did have the best car for at least 4 seasons (by your own admission). Rose tinted glasses are funny things…

    13. Constantijn Blondel
      6th December 2018, 17:30

      Max & Leclerc are in their young teens?

      Did something happen while I wasn’t paying attention?

    14. Already there in my view. I like his ambition still though.

    15. So beating Schuey’s records makes somebody a GOAT (implied: Schu is the GOAT so far)?
      Why not trying, for example, to beat JM Fangio’s percentages?

    16. Jeffrey Powell
      6th December 2018, 21:33

      I am a fan but perhaps most successful of all time would have been less controversial. We all have our heroes,mine are from a bygone age, just like me. And it’s Jochen Rindt ,Jim Clark and Jackie Stewart, but you had to be there, luckily I was.

      1. They’re all incredibly strong drivers, who all fit a top 10 ranking, even if rindt tends to get forgotten.

        1. Jochen Rindt was a shooting star, his ’70 season was arguably the best ever by any driver (or would have been, if he had survived to it)

    17. He’s good but will never be considered in the top five greatest no matter how many more races he wins.

      Like most modern things, its easy to simply look at the figures and proclaim that it must be the best ever! People do it with music YouTube views and movie box office takings all the time, but stats only tell half the tale!

      Sure he can win in the best car when its performing and is a pretty good fighter, but he lacks that rock solid focus of a Clark, Senna, Prost, Schumacher, or even Alonso.

      1. And how exactly are you measuring “rock solid focus”? Because, if you’re going to compare drivers based on that, then you’ll need a pretty rock solid method.

      2. “Sure he can win in the best car when its performing and is a pretty good fighter, but he lacks that rock solid focus of a Clark, Senna, Prost, Schumacher, or even Alonso.”

        What? 12 years in and Lewis is the ONLY man in history to have won a race and be on pole in EVERY season he has competed in [50 or more GP’s].

        Can you prove how you come to the conclusion that those drivers had more ‘rock solid focus’ than him?

        The guy is winning races and championships all whilst being a part time fashion designer. I would hate to think what he could achieve if he had those guys focus.

        Nothing you said is based on facts

        1. Opinions, schmpinions. Everybody has one, so what?. I’ve been watching F1 for almost 50 years now, mine is as good or bad as anybody else’s. The value of any opinion, including yours and mine is well nigh null.

          So, facts. Ok, LH won a race and pole every year, its a fact. Well, here is another fact for you, LH never drove a Minardi. And it’s not just my opinion but a well-established fact (and also there is a wide consensus on that) that the success of any driver is at least 85% a matter of machinery (some say 95%).

          So were can we go beyond opinions when the machines and the general conditions are so different. The best we can do is mathematical modeling, leveling the playing field as much as possible. Models are not perfect and include a number of assumptions, but a honest model is dispassionate, 100% bias-free and abysmally better than any opinion.

          There is an excellent model by Phillips (f1metrics.wordpress.com) but sadly it needs updating, anyway last time it came out for the list of all time pilots it was like this:

          01- J Clark
          02- J Stewart
          03- F Alonso
          04- M Schumacher*
          05- JM Fangio
          06- J Hunt
          07- N Rosberg
          08- S Vettel
          09- E Fittipaldi
          10- N Lauda
          11- J Rindt
          12- L Hamilton
          13- S Moss
          14- K Raikkonen
          15- J Watson
          16- A Prost
          17- HH Frentzen
          18- R.Peterson
          19- A Senna
          20- J Button
          21- R kubica
          22- A Jones
          23- E Fittipaldi
          24- C Reutemann
          25- N Heidfeld
          26- C Amon
          27- E de Angelis
          28- J Schekter
          29- F Massa
          30- J Trulli
          *Considering M Schumacher’s whole career, but excluding his comeback years he overtakes Alonso for 3rd position

          So there. LH is nowhere near the top 5, of the currently active pilots (or just retired) only Alonso is there, 3rd or 4th depending on how we consider M Schumacher’s career.

          SV makes the top 10 but LH doesn’t. My guess is that updating the model Vettel would lose a few positions and maybe LH would gain a few. So maybe in the updated model their relative positions have changed, maybe SV is no longer in the top 10 and maybe LH now is, but the top 5 is still way beyond him (this is not a wild guess, the model for the currently active drivers has been very recently updated, and LH’s performance has marginally improved compared to previous years while SV’s has gone south, see the graph here

          In my opinion JM Fangio is still the GOAT, and his percentages of poles, wins, whatever are way beyond anybody else’s… but it is just my humble opinion, and it’s true that he always had the best or second best car.

        2. He does have obvious downs though, something that Senna or Schumacher, or even Alsonso never ever had – they were on it every single time they got in the car. Lewis has had entire weekends of being out of it, where hes not looked bothered and put in very average performances – this is not an opinion, its a fact for all to see.

          “12 years in and Lewis is the ONLY man in history to have won a race and be on pole in EVERY season he has competed in”

          Bit of a pointless stat, considering hes the ONLY driver in history to have been in a race winning car in EVERY season he has competed in!

          1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            8th December 2018, 14:52

            This reminds me of the statement that Pele made recently that Maradona is better than Messi who only has one skill. Pele is referring to Messi’s left leg of course – they all know it’s coming from the left and 3-4 players can’t stop it. Pele is of course a legendary player but in the footage I’ve seen of Pele, he’s nowhere near Messi’s level. The game has evolved and I don’t see Pele making it through 3-4 top defenders. If Pele had Messi’s left leg, he would have scored 3,000 goals in the Brazilian leagues that he played. When Messi was overweight, he was scoring 87 goals per season and playing better than Pele and Maradona ever had, probably better than Pele and Maradona together.

            Messi makes Pirlo, Xavi, and Zidane look as ordinary midfielders (which they arte not, all 3 are gods) all while being a forward and scoring more goals than anyone can imagine. His passes are so brilliant that even Cristiano’s passes which are also stupefying look less brilliant in comparison. That being said, I still root for Cristiano and give him the slight edge over Messi but credit should go where credit is due.

            When talking about the GOAT, Hamilton has to be at the very top or even top 1/2 of the discussion. He’s gone against some formidable opponents on track and has always come on top. Even Senna and Prost didn’t have to go against a driver like Alonso, Vettel, and Rosberg who was ruthless and was admittedly faster on the twisty dry tracks.

      3. History books won’t agree with you, especially if he does eclipse Schumacher’s stats. The rest of your points don’t really make any sense to me. Bottom line is this, if a team can create a race winning car, in Hamilton’s hand’s it’s a strong bet he’ll win you a championship. If you can tell me a season where the WDC was won by a driver in not the best car or second best car (over an entire season) happy to consider that the GOAT of F1 is probably in a terrible seat or was in a terrible seat before retiring…

        P.S Not suggesting that Ham is the GOAT but I believe he’s done enough to be joined to the discussion, which will never end by the way…

    18. The point about having more competition from the other seat is certainly relevant; you don’t need to delve into the stats to compare the merits of ‘Irvine, Barrichello, Jos Verstappen, Herbert’ to ‘Alonso, Button, Rosberg’. With a similar level of competition from teamates that current margin of 18 wins would be considerably narrower.

      Comparing era’s is notoriously difficult but whether the cars are easier to drive or not is slightly nullified by an important aspect. When the cars were much harder to drive and you got your lap 90% right you’d be in the top 5, if you get your lap 90% right now you’re probably not getting out of Q1.

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