Analysis: Superior to Schumacher? Hamilton is one title and eight wins away from catching him

2019 F1 season

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Lewis Hamilton’s sixth world championship is a tremendous achievement in its own right. But it is also one which brings him within touching distance of an even greater feat.

Next year, Hamilton can equal the record for the most world championships any driver has won. This, of course, is Michael Schumacher’s tally of seven titles.

For decades, the record of most world championship titles was held by Juan Manuel Fangio, who won the title five times in the fifties. For a long time it seemed that record might never fall.

The sport saw a succession of three-times champions: Greats like Jack Brabham, Jackie Stewart and Niki Lauda. The eighties ushered in another crop of triple-champions: Ayrton Senna, Nelson Piquet and Alain Prost. In 1993 the latter became the first driver since Fangio to make it to four titles, then called time on his career. Fangio died in 1995, his record unbeaten.

But by that time the driver who would finally break Fangio’s record had won his first title. Schumacher’s first of seven world championships came with Benetton in 1994, and he doubled up the following year. His subsequent move to Ferrari took time to bear fruit, but once it did, the floodgates opened. Schumacher claimed the next five titles in a row – a record of its own.

Fangio’s record fell on October 12th, 2003, having stood for over 45 years. The following year Schumacher claimed his seventh and final title. He came close to adding an eighth two years later, but was denied by Fernando Alonso.

That wasn’t Schumacher’s only title near-miss, of course. Jacques Villeneuve stopped him from taking the 1997 title in that controversial race at Jerez and Mika Hakkinen prevailed the year after.

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Will Hamilton be the driver to equal and surpass Schumacher? He too can list three titles he could, perhaps should, have won. He almost became champion as a rookie in 2007, but Kimi Raikkonen edged him (and Alonso) by a point. Hamilton went into 2010’s four-way title decider with a shot at the crown and, as is often overlooked, ended the year just 16 points off the title. And then there was his 2016 defeat to Nico Rosberg, despite winning more races than his team mate.

Whether Hamilton can catch or beat Schumacher depends on how much longer he will carry on racing. He will return in the 2020 F1 season,in a car which is likely to be a championship contender.

What happens beyond that depends on whether Hamilton, and Mercedes, remain committed to F1. Neither yet have deals to remain in the sport after next year. Hamilton has, however, talking keenly of racing the new cars for the 2021 F1 season, and staying loyal to the team whose engines have powered him to every one of his championships.

And, for that matter, all of his race victories – another significant measure by which Hamilton is closing on Schumacher.

But the championships record is one of two major milestones which lie ahead. The other is the record for most race wins. Having taken 10 victories this year, Hamilton could overtake Schumacher next season.

Hamilton has already surpassed some of Schumacher’s records. In 2017, he became the driver who has set the most pole positions in F1 history. If the wins and championships records fall to him too he will be indisputably, in absolute terms, the greatest F1 driver of all time.

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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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199 comments on “Analysis: Superior to Schumacher? Hamilton is one title and eight wins away from catching him”

  1. Numbers mean nothing, Schumacher was a class act, rarely made a mistake, on form every single lap of every single race and on another level entirely than a Hamilton or Vettel.

    To judge him by mere numbers does a huge disservice to his talent. Same can be said of Senna…

    1. Schumacher was a cheat!

      1. +1 Remember the “I’ll just park my car here so nobody can beat my pole lap time.” incident.

        1. Remember the “I’ll fake a late braking issue, skip corner2 completely and land directly in corner3 so VER and/or ROS can’t overtake me” incident from 2016 Mexico. After doing that, HAM suddenly had 3sec advantage, yet the stewards did not find that an unfair gaining.

          1. That’s because Hamilton immediately hit the brakes, slowed down, and then the safety car came out. It’s called good driving, and knowing the rules.

            Got any more bogus examples we can shred for you?

    2. Class? crashing into you title rivals is classy? The competition moves on, Schumacher raised the bar, but half the drivers on the field today would beat him in the same machinery.

    3. A class act that deliberately ran other drivers off the track and caused collisions. Schumacher displayed the worst sportsmanship ever seen in an F1 driver – something the sport has taken years to overcome since.

      1. I grew up a Schumacher fan. My first F1 hero was Nigel Mansell but when he left I moved to MSC, and he was a hell of a driver but he did some dirty stuff back in his days, he’s the product of a diferente era. “Heroes” who came before MSC did worse (e.g. Senna, Prost) but their low points cannot erase their skill and moments of glory though.

      2. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
        7th November 2019, 9:57

        Senna simply rammed prost out of championship contention when it suited him. I get both were pretty bitter, but it was filthy. Prost seemed to indulge in political meddling (Jap 89, 1993 Williams contracts).
        Schumacher too was insanely dirty at times. Rammed a Championship contender, ran a probably illegal car, parked his car to spoil someone’s qualifying lap, etc.
        Alonso deliberately blocked Hamilton in the pitlane in Hun 2007.
        Vettel just ignores team orders and rammed Hamilton behind the safety car when the pressure got to him.
        There have been lots of filthy champions, stop giving singling out Hamilton

        1. @justarandomdutchguy

          Alonso deliberately blocked Hamilton in the pitlane in Hun 2007.

          His team controlled that not Alonso. Lewis was the one who ignored team orders.
          Look at the video, the mechanics are just watching the clock tick. Not a single one asks Alonso move.

    4. What about all the times Irvine, Barichello, Massa let him win. He would only have about 70 wins, maybe less

      1. Say that to new F1 fans, but I’m following F1 since 1997 and you’re not saying the truth. The only case was 2002 Austria… and Barrichello made sure things explode. So, 1st, these guys weren’t like BOT by any means, to make these kind of favours to Schumacher so many times without letting everybody know. Also, he gave Barrichello the win back when the title was secured, in US GP. Mercedes, since BOT joined the team, took the favouritism towards HAM to an unprecendented level.

        1. @mg1982

          Schumacher at his peak would have established himself more over Bottas than Hamilton has. Even if it did mean cheating or by unfair means. That’s just the way he was. Prost and Senna didn’t want to play fair.

    5. Schumacher made a lot of mistakes under pressure unlike Hamilton, he was also a cheat, not ‘pushing the limits’ or ‘doing whatever needed to win’.

      1. Schumacher also never had a competitive team mate & Benetton had illegal traction control for at least one of his titles.

    6. You think he didn’t realize he was running traction control? Schumacher was the Lance Armstrong of F1. That’s actually kind of offensive to Lance.

      1. Dude omg, how dare you :-)

    7. Totally agree on that, Hamilton can have 20 titles he will never be on Schumacher lvl.

      1. @sylversurferr Utterly true. Hamilton is well above that level. Without cheating!

        1. @f1osaurus
          HAM is below that level because he plays fair would be the honest answer. Schumacher would have made Bottas look like Martin Brundle. Remember how he had exclusive rights to his data. Then remember how it was said that HAM hit the ground running because he was able to start with Alonso’s data.

          1. @bigjoe Yes Schumacher cheated and held back his team mates. Yet he still wasn’t really that much better than his team mates.

            Look at the difference between Schumacher and Massa and then later Alonso and Massa. Alonso was much further ahead. Plus Rosberg annihilated Schumacher.

            I know that Alonso said that Hamilton wasn’t good enough to driver for McLaren. Then the rookie whooped him.

          2. @f1osaurus

            Then the rookie whooped him.

            That’s a Favourite line with trolls.

            Massa ‘whooped’ Lewis at times throughout 07 and 08. Lewis had to sit behind both of them at times to guarantee 2nd. Where as Alonso went for wins and failed,. It was Alonso’s worst season.

          3. @bigjoe, Massa never whooped Hamilton. He was driving a faster car and he was helped by the FIA.

            Massa was a total mess. he spoun out of the first two races and again at Silverstone. The only reason he stayed even in with a minimum of contention was because his car was so much faster and that the FIA appointed a Ferrari consultant as the sole steward. Who oddly enough found it in him to penalize Hamilton for whatever he did. ie things like breathing.

            It was Alonso’s worst seasopn since that was the first time he ad any opposition. Hamiltonw as simply better. Before that Alonso never had any semblance of a team mate. Well apart from Trulli (who actually whooped Alonso until Briatore intervened and made sure his protege was the #1 driver and Trulli was left with no support)

          4. @bigjoe It’s starting to make sense why you post so much weird things. You just have no proper recollection of what actually happened. You only go on some glorified idea of what you think is “history” through pink glasses that only show the positives of whoever is your favorite.

            You really should try to look into history and see how bizarrely good Hamilton really is. Alonso didn’t just get whooped by some rookie. He was up against probably the greatest driver ever (apart from Ayrton Senna).

          5. @bigjoe It’s starting to make sense why you post so much weird things. You just have no proper recollection of what actually happened. You only go on some glorified idea of what you think is “history” through pink glasses that only show the positives of whoever is your favorite.

            You really should try to look into history and see how bizarrely good Hamilton really is. Alonso didn’t just get whooped by some rookie. He was up against probably the greatest driver ever (apart from Ayrton Senna).

    8. Hamilton makes less mistakes, doesn’t ram rivals to secure a WDC and doesn’t park his car on track because he’s scared of losing provisional pole.

      I think you need to look up the definition of classy.

    9. Schumacher’s behaviour makes HAM look like he went to a Swiss finishing school

    10. Schumacher was a class act ? You must be joking !!!

    11. Dave (@davewillisporter)
      4th November 2019, 16:52

      Numbers are literally how we quantify success, so yes, they mean something. Also, Irvine said that because Shumy was a great driver, he wasn’t very good at car set up or car development. Irvine also said that he spanked Shumy in slow speed corners. His return to the sport didn’t go too well either so there’s that! My opinion is they are both great drivers, but the greatest in history will be the one with the biggest numbers and that’s just objective fact.

      1. The numbers aren’t an objective fact as they are made in different situations. I.e. the number of wins are flattered if you have a dominant car and the seasons have more races. Also if you die you can’t up your numbers anymore.

        If you have the biggest number of anything, that’s what it is: you have the record.

        There is no real way to compare drivers. You can’t even say the one that wins the WDC is the best of the season. F1 isn’t a level playfield

        1. With shorter seasons(fewer races per season) it was easier to secure a championship from less wins, so it goes both ways.

        2. @anunaki

          “The numbers aren’t an objective fact as they are made in different situations. I.e. the number of wins are flattered if you have a dominant car and the seasons have more races. Also if you die you can’t up your numbers anymore.”

          Yes they are as objective as can be. It can show a dominant car, but also can show a good driver in a dominant car can be unbeatable too. was Rosberg a good driver, yes he was, but 2016 was a fluke too, but he beat hamilton in the end, and made it quits… it became too much a pressure on him and we know the end result…

          hamilton in equal cars and not superior cars, aka spec series, beat vettel hands down multiple times… and some other f1 drivers too!!!
          and in his first season in f1, he made 2 times wdc driver fill his pants and made him quit too… but caused ham to loose his f1 opening season wdc by 1 single point!

          he outsmarted schumi too when he raced against schumi (can argue all day that shcumi past his prime),

          schumi won wdcs with a great car too, not with a baby stroller! pablo montoya gave him a run for his money on an inferior machine… but some polictics without proper explanation, gave him the boots from f1… go figure…

          also barricello on his own words, when he didnt give up his position to schumi, he was threatened with his family… schumi never liked competition… he played many dirty tricks… many of which are very well documented!
          when he came to f1, he didnt really change much, he was still dirty, and was warned for his driving tactics a few times before he retired completely!

          i dont remember hamilton asking to be treated differently, i remember him wining a lot to get a competitive edge but dont remember ever asking him favors like his rivals… wen he was given position to try to attack an opponent, couldnt make it stick, he gave the position back… i dont remember any of his rivals doing this without very strict orders!

          I dont remember hamilton crashing any of his tital rivals to win wdc, schumi has done it a few times… and very deliberately and very obviously… so go figure and asses your criterias again!!!!

        3. The numbers aren’t an objective fact

          You have trouble with concepts.

          1. Meh I’m responding to the “greatest number is the greatest” remark. I don’t agree this applies in F1 for the reasons I gave.

            Even my mathematics professor agreed that math without context is just math.

    12. on form every single lap of every single race

      It feels like Hamilton has been that way recently.

    13. Short memory.

      “on form every single lap of every single race”

      Barring Suzuka, Schumacher barely turned up for the remainder of one of his most dominant seasons (2004) after the title was sewn up.

      Schumacher and Hamilton absolutely belong in the same bracket. I say all of this as a Schumacher fan.

      1. Driver records most wins in a season

        1st Schumacher 72% (13 wins/ 18 races)
        2nd Vettel 68.4% (13 wins/ 19 races)

        equal 5th Hamilton and Vettel 57.89% (11 wins/ 19 races)

        1. They didn’t have to race their team-mates aswell.

          Tough weekend for you Joe. Get over it.

        2. Gav

          Luckily Lewis had hand selected team mates, that still gave him too much trouble given they were 1 race wonders before Merc.
          As for the ‘weekend’, well Lewis was 2nd rate all weekend to Bottas.

    14. petebaldwin (@)
      4th November 2019, 20:27

      They’re on the same level. Hamilton can never claim to be better than Schumacher as they are driving in completely different eras – he’s the best of his generation as Schumacher was of his.

      1. @petebaldwin

        Alonso won more titles than Lewis did in the 00s, never had a dominant car and only had one bad season, 2007.
        Whenever he had a reasonably competitive Ferrari, FA beat Lewis regularly. Some say Alonso’s efforts in that period make him a worthy ‘best of his era’. That’s why Martin Whitmarsh and Honda headhunted him. The idiot fell for their charm.

      2. @petebaldwin

        Alonso won more titles than Lewis did in the 00s, never had a dominant car and only had one bad season, 2007.
        Whenever he had a reasonably competitive Ferrari, FA beat Lewis regularly. Some say Alonso’s efforts in that period make him a worthy ‘best of his era’. That’s why Martin Whitmarsh and Honda headhunted him. The fo ol fell for their charm.

    15. David (@billyboltaction)
      4th November 2019, 20:31

      During the Ferrari years, didn’t Schumacher enjoy a rather large tyre advantage? Those Bridgestones were specifically engineered for Ferrari. He used to do lap after lap at the test track dialling in the car. Modern drivers don’t have this. All tyres are equal and testing limited. It’s hard to compare I guess, but I remember at the time this was an issue and considered unfair. I have always felt that Schumacher enjoyed an unfair advantage with the tyres and undisputed number 1 status. He was quick and redefined what being an F1 driver meant, but I don’t think he would has as many wins in a completely level playing field.

      It could be argued that in 2014, 2015 and even 2016 Lewis enjoyed a similar advantage with his Merc with only Rosberg to beat which he did 2 out of 3 times. But his 2008, 2017, 2018 and now 2019 titles were fought against strong competition and he has dominated. On balance I think Lewis has been more impressive. As far as you can compare these things.

    16. These new fans.

  2. He’ll beat every record like everyone suspected back in 07, that said no one expected that interlude.
    Unfortunately f1 is breaking most records lately, you could say that since Mclaren in the late 80’s, f1 has been all about record breaking periods if car dominance. Hard to think when was the last time a non dominant car won the championship. Maybe 94, maybe not.

    1. Jose Lopes da Silva
      4th November 2019, 9:16


      1. Schumacher made mistakes under pressure, unlike Hamilton. To realize this just watch some season reviews from the era Schumacher raced. Moreover Schumacher rivals were inferior to Hamilton rivals. Alonso, Vettel, Verstapen, Raikonen, Rosberg are more hard to beat than Hill, Hakinen, Coulthard, Villeneuve etc.

    2. @peartree There is a difference between “non-dominant” and “not the best”. You could certainly argue that the McLaren in 2008 wasn’t dominant, neither was the Renault in 2006 (over the season).

      1. @mashiat 08 there were 2 dominant cars. 05 maybe but renault was far more reliable that has to count for something, compromise perhaps. For 06 ferrari was on bridgestone, arguably better car but tyre difference. 94 benetton was on ford engines! Senna was starting to show the form of 93 williams

    3. 2017. Vettel in the Ferrari was the fastest package. Think there’s an article on here about it

      1. @paulipedia Perhaps you mean 2018. Mercedes was easily superior in 2017. The Ferrari only generally did well on high-downforce tracks, but at most tracks, the Mercedes was considerably better, especially in the 2nd half of the season.

        1. @mashiat 2018 Ferrari was even more clearly ahead yes, but still in 2017 as well.

          Singapore alone was already enough for Vettel to throw away the championship. Taking out the top 3 in front of Hamilton on a track where Mercedes would be lucky to finish 4th or 5th.

          Then there were Baku, Canada, Silverstone and Mexico where he lost a lot of points.

          Hamilton in that 2017 Ferrari would have taken the title.

          1. The only fans who argue Ferrari was better in 2017 are the ones who secretly doubt Hamilton’s talent. Whats wrong with Hamilton having the fastest car? Why are you afraid to admit it was much better. In Ferrari, only Vettel won races in 2017 while both Merc drivers were winners. Look at Abu Dhabi both Mercs ran away with it and left the Ferraris trailling a long way behind even Bottas ran away into the distance.

          2. @f1osaurus I disagree. Vettel lost points in Singapore, Baku and Mexico, but it’s not like Hamilton was perfect either. Let’s not forget how he couldn’t get out of Q2 in Monaco or was beaten by almost 30s by Bottas in Russia. The fact that Valterri Bottas was 100 points clear of Raikkonen, and only 12 behind Vettel shows that the Mercedes was the better car without doubt. And this was a guy who in the 2nd half of the season faded badly.

          3. @mashiat That’s not relaly disagreeing though. That’s just missing the point.

            There is a massive difference between having a slightly off weekend and blundering 3 cars off the road. Gifting your opponent at least 38 points while losing the WDC with only 8 points more difference.

            In Russia Hamilton had technical issues with the car.

            Raikkonen was constantly being sacrificed for Vettel. Indeed his results suffered tremendously because of that. And then Vettel would throw away the results.

          4. Grub

            What’s wrong with Lewis having Ricciardo as team mate? Maybe the fact that RIC has beaten him in slower cars?
            Non Hamilton fans want to see another team mate battle that Ron Dennis always wanted to provide.

          5. @bigjoe Hamilton wouldn’t have a problem with Ricciardo.

            RIC has beaten him in slower cars?

            No he didn’t. Ricciardo won races, but only in cases where he clearly had the fastest car (or at least the car that was still driving at the end of the race).

            The thing is though. It makes much more sense for Ricciardo to be at Ferrari. Then we could finally include Ferrari into the WDC challenge and we might have a three way fight between Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes.

            Or if one of those teams drops back next season, we could still at least have a two way fight.

          6. @f1osaurus

            You can’t go on forever claiming whenever Lewis didn’t win it was the car’s fault. You’re In for a big shock in 2021.

            Two significant races come straight to mind.
            Brazil 2008 Massa totally ‘whooped’ (your wording) him in even conditions. So did Alonso in a 5th rate Renault.
            Then there was Abu Dhabi 2010 again another championship decider he and Button had the faster cars and Vettel ran away with it, Seb also managing his tires as well as anyone.

            I also recall Dan outdriving Lewis at Monaco before the Red Bull was ever better. Monaco another circuit that can even things out.

            Singapore 2008. After the 2nd safety car (the 1st fake one helped Alonso recover from his qualifying problems) Lewis was bunched up behind the 5th rate Renault. ALO should have been a sitting duck. But he ‘whooped'(your word not mine) Lewis. Another track than can even things out. There’s plenty examples of Alonso having a slower Ferrari and beating Lewis too.
            Funny thing is these eras are wiped out of Lewis’s history. Big shock coming in 2021.

          7. @f1osaurus

            I’ve forgotten how long all their contracts are but it seems RIC has missed his chance unless Seb retires soon. Ferrari seem to want to help him out of his rut.

          8. @bigjoe You were the one claiming that Ricciardo was in the slower car . He clearly wasn’t in those specific races.

            Yes Hamilton had a few poor races in 2008. So what? How does that show anything? Every driver has one or two a season. They can’t be 100% for all races. The point is that with Hamilton it’s usually limited to only about 2 races. Look at how many poor races Vettel has per season. More like 8 or 9. Leclerc around 5 and Verstappen something like that too.

            And Singapore is your example? Come on man. Alonso got ahead only through cheating and in Singapore there is no overtaking possible.

            If you want to point out poor races then it would be Canada 2008. That was a Vettel level blunder.

      2. @paulipedia for the first 4 races, definitely.

    4. I’m sure he’ll beat every record.

      It’s not comparable, though.
      He has te condition to drive for more seasons than the old champions (he started younger and drivers retire later nowadays), races far more races per season than them, and had the good fortune of having a race winning car every single season of his racing career.

      1. “The old champions took longer to be ready, and faltered earlier because they didn’t take care of themselves, so they are clearly superior”

      2. exactly. Hamilton is currently the best driver, but to compare with Schumacher you need to account it in a points per race ratio with the point systems adjusted for the current era.

    5. 2018, 2012, 2010 (dominant in quali only)-2005 etc.

  3. I remember witnessing Michael’s seven… and I didn’t get their significance and I didn’t appreciate the hard work he and Ferrari did to get them. I was never a fan of either, but anyway I was young and not entirely wise.

    I am really proud and happy that I can witness Lewis and Mercedes as a true fan, not only because of their victories, but also because watching Lewis really taught me to appreciate the achievement of Michael, Ferrari and actually many others, who make F1 possible.

    2020, beware, its time for other records to fall!

  4. He’s alright at this driving stuff…… I guess.

    1. When you think about it, all it is is just slightly turning your ankles and wrists.
      Like you say, I guess it’s impressive that he’s the best ankle and wrist turner in the world, right now.

      1. I guess he must be the best ankle and wrist turner in the world, but could he do it on a cold rainy night in Stoke?

        1. @bernasaurus
          ham grew up racing in UK weather, so i think he can do that given the chance, but i doubt any of his rivals would accept the challenge!
          he won the most if not almost all rainy weather races… he won day/night rainy races so… there is a high chance/ correlation he can do it!

  5. Even though I’m no fan of Hamilton, I personally do rate him slightly higher than Schumacher. One stark contrast between the two is Schumacher’s willingness to push the boundaries and even crossing them to win at whatever cost. Hamilton, for whatever criticism you can throw at him, has rarely, if ever, cheated to come out ahead. Both had dominant cars for long periods of time, but with the exception of Mika Hakkinen, I don’t believe Schumacher really faced much opposition. Damon Hill, Jacques Villeneuve, David Coulthard, Ruben Barichello, and a very quick-but-inexperienced combination of Montoya and Raikkonen were the real main competitors he had to face until about 2005, when Raikkonen and Alonso stepped it up to another level. In that regard, Hamilton has had to face prime Alonso, Vettel, Rosberg, Button, who were all world champions. The fact that Schumacher’s best teammate in F1 is likely Barrichello or Rosberg, makes it hard to judge where he stands relative to the very elite. Moreover, back in those days Schumacher basically had his own personal racetrack (Fiorano) and custom-made Bridgestones that were made to his liking. Hamilton hasn’t enjoyed that level of advantage. Albeit, the caveat must be added that for his world championship-winning years, Hamilton’s main competition was Massa, Rosberg, Bottas and an accident-prone Vettel who was not at his 2011-2013 level. It’s not much between the two, but I’d pick Hamilton over Schumacher.

    1. I’d have to agree, even with his 6 titles I’d rate Ham over Schumi. Aside from some grey racing incidents and team controversy, he is a firm, unforgiving racing driver and far from dirty. Unlike Schumi and his win at all costs mindset. This clearly separates them for me. Full disclosure I’ve only been watching F1 full time since 2007.

      1. I watched every race back then, and I’d say you’re exaggerating somehow regarding the lack of opposition. Excepting 2002 and 2004, Ferrari was somehow volatile in performance from Quali to Race (just like they were in the recent years), then Quali wasn’t really their strongest part. It was the race where Schumacher made the difference. Before HAM, Schumacher was the driver unleashing the hammer time. Also, there was no tyre gamble, DRS etc like we’ve had in the last 10 years, a “game” where Ferrari kinda lost more than they gained.

        1. @mg1982 Is that much different to Hamilton though? Nowadays, you always see him pop up with unbelievable times on old tyres, which is a harder job than in the days of refuelling. Only difference is that Hamilton is usually ahead, instead of having to go through the pack.

    2. This is how I feel as well. I haven’t been around for every season of F1 so I can’t definitively say who’s the greatest driver, but I’ve seen many, many years of both Schumacher and Hamilton and I think Hamilton is at least as good. And it’s not (just) because of the numbers; someone was bound to break the pole positions record eventually, for example, because there are so many more races on the calendar these days. Strength of competition has a lot to do with it.

  6. Jose Lopes da Silva
    4th November 2019, 9:19

    “rarely made a mistake”

    @keithcollantine should ellaborate a list of Schumacher’s mistakes, as people have short memory.

    1. and Lewis’ as well, while you’re at it ;)

      1. and Lewis’ as well, while you’re at it ;)

        We can hardly forget Lewis’ mistakes, certain people bring them up far too often for us to ;)

        1. Jose Lopes da Silva
          4th November 2019, 16:52

          It could be useful, though

  7. If he could only iron out his numerous faults that a multitude of posters have highlighted over the years, he could end up quite good at this F1 lark.

    1. @riptide

      To be fair I agree with the posters here who’ve said he is ‘great’ enough to grind out these results.
      I’ve always said he’s a decent person but compared to Schumacher Lewis is the ultimate British Gentleman.

    2. Lewis is definitely a better driver than Kovalainen and Bottas.

  8. I really wanted Schumacher’s records to stay for a long time, but now I have just accepted the fact, that Hamilton will most likely trash them soon. 100+ race wins is a realistic achievement to come soon.

    I was a big Schumacher fan, but agree he crossed the line a couple of times – starting the title decider in Adelaide in 94.

    Hard to say whether the one or the other is better, the times were different, but I think there is 1 thing both their dominations have in common: neither of their competitors (other teams) were able to challenge them enough.

    Have to agree Hamilton is very strong and beating all his teammates, but to be fair, a couple of times, even this season, you could say that despite Mercedes stating there is an open title fight, it wasn’t really like that – my opinion, you may have a different one, of course.

    I am just hoping, that Ferrari or Red Bull will be stronger next season to put more pressure on Mercedes, not to make it so easy for them again as this year – emotional stuff apart.

    One big difference between Schumacher and Hamilton I see though – Schumacher came to a team that was disorganized and a lot had to be done to get Ferrari where they ended up after his 5-year championship streak. Here I think Hamilton had it much much easier, especially with Mercedes. Again, my opinion.

    1. @milansson Was it really that bad though? Ferrari were not in a terrible state in 1995, the year before Schumacher joined. They finished 3rd in the constructor’s standings, and that was despite 14 retirements across both cars. Mercedes, by comparison, were 5th in 2012. Moreover, Schumacher was given a power by Ferrari that no driver since has enjoyed, in that he was basically free to recruit whoever he wanted to take the team forward. And once Ross Brawn and Rory Bryne joined, it was only a matter of time before they dominated F1. I’m sure if you gave Vettel full license to take whoever he wanted with him from Red Bull to Ferrari, we’d probably be talking about Vettel as being a certain Schumacher-beater.

      1. @mashiat

        Berger 6 podiums Alesi 5.
        Not as bad as Schumacher fans made out. When MSC put the 96 car on the podium it was like the 2nd coming of christ.

  9. Lots more races these days and more reliable cars. I’d say the stats need to be adjusted.

    In saying that the poles record, so even though I’m a huge schu fan I’d say their equal second behind senna

  10. A measured response from a MS fan, although his cheating started in F3 Macau pushing Mika H off the track.

    I would also argue that Ferrari contractually hobbled his teammates in a way Mercedes haven’t.

    1. Yeah, right….. That’s why Barrichello made a fuss about it?! BOT has no contract, yet he agrees to move aside every time HAM is behind, give to HAM even his own deserved win?! Come on, man, you have an ”original” view of reality.

      1. (sighs) Given this race like several already this season Bottas has been in front and allowed to stay there you are making a fool of yourself with line of argument.

        1. I think you’re the fool… if we’re talking trash. BOT was allowed to stay in front ONLY when HAM was at least 2 places behind, and in order to keep the best result for Mercedes. Otherwise, HAM was favoured.

          1. MG1982 You sound like a casual F1 fan, not well informed

          2. @mg1982 Was this the case in Australia? Or Baku? Or Silverstone? Or Japan? Or Austin? In all these races, Bottas was given license to race with Hamilton. In Japan, Mercedes even pitted Hamilton to give Bottas victory.

      2. @mg1982 What on earth are you blubbering about? That happened once?

        Ferrari did much more to keep the #2 driver from bothering Schumacher. Johnny Herbert explained that he was not even allowed to see his own telemetry. Let alone that of Schumacher. While Schumacher was allowed to see Herbert’s telemetry.

        Verstappen was once allowed to drive Schumacher’s car and he noticed it drove utterly different to his own car.

        Everything in that team revolved about Schumacher. He got the new parts first, he got the best mechanics, he alsways got the first strategy (regardless of being behind or in front), he always got the tow etc etc etc.

        Mercedes tries to be relentlessly fair with their drivers. Unless there is a very clear reason why they feel drivers need to stay in position or switch around.

  11. My feeling is that, if HAM wins next year’s championship and also breaks the Schumacher’s record (of most number of wins), then he will retire on high. If that happens, I think there is nothing more left for him to achieve, if we strictly talk about the numbers and statistics.

    If he fails to win next year’s championship and/or fails to surpass Schumacher’s record of most number of wins, then he will continue to race at-least till 2022 (maybe with Ferrari? That depends on how Ferrari performs next year.).

    1. @anikale Would he not want to race until at least the end of 2021, to try and the new cars, and try and beat Schumi’s record? I think he’d go for 8 – just a question of whether he still has the pace. Especially his quali pace has taken a hit this year, race pace is still near the peak though.

    2. matching is not as exciting as beating.

  12. From the two at their prime I would say Schumacher was the more formidable one in the races, and being more formidable than Hamilton takes some going. In qualifying Hamilton is in a different league. Obviously Schumacher took the record from Senna but I think Senna and Hamilton were in a qualifying league of their own. From a team management perspective Schumacher would take a massive load by motivating the team on his own, albeit every so often you’d have to weather a lot of flak for professional fouls. It’s genuinely hard to split them but for me I’d stick with Michael.

    As Stephen Hendry said in snooker, there’s no definitive answer to who is the greatest, all you can do is put your name in the hat for the conversation.

    Towards the end of Schumacher’s first stint in F1 I had the impression that the edge was coming off of his raw pace and he was leaning more on his experience, and I feel hints of that with Hamilton already. As for the 2nd stint his senses were not as sharp, he would turn his head more to hear, squint more to see and most of all, as DC would say, you don’t lose the speed, you lose the need. Very occasional flashes in the 2nd stint but nothing like he was before. I respect that he came back and seen it through until the end, but it will always be used against him.

  13. World Championships probably the only stat of real comparison (but even then a driver’s length of career has lengthened over the decades).

    Race win stats been very little now when you’ve got close to double the number of races per year that those in the 50s and 60s had. % of races won in their career seems a fairer stat to take account of, in which case Fangio, Ascari and Clark still stand tall (followed by Hamilton and Schumacher in that order).


  14. Hamilton is on another level to Schumacher. There isn’t really an argument

    1. @paulipedia

      There really is. Schumacher was far more dominant. The % stats show it by a long way. HAM struggled to get on another level to Button and Rosberg. Those team mates have massively dented his stats for anyone not obsessed with totals.

      1. Alonso beat Schumacher in a slower car and Hamilton is better than Alonso. Rosberg was quicker than Schumacher. Button I really rate and although he beat Hamilton on points, was fortunate to do so.

        The stats show this:

        1 Michael Schumacher 1991–2006, 2010–2012 308 races 91 29.55% win rate
        2 Lewis Hamilton 2007–2019 248 races 83 33.47% win rate

        Hamilton will probably win another 2 Championships if not more.
        Schumacher won a lot of races due to team orders, he was amazing yes but Lewis’s race craft is far superior. Most F1 drivers would agree too.

        1. Ok, now take away the 2010-2012 and then have a second look.

          Alonso never beat Schumacher in a slower car.

          Hamilton is not necessarily better than Alonso. You can’t go by the 2007 season.

          1. Ok, now take away the 2010-2012 and then have a second look.


        2. Lets make this clear. Ham vs Button= 2-1 in terms of who finished ahead at the end of the season. If this was world championships no one would say Button beat Hamilton because he had more points over the three season.

          Its the most annoying thing, tha tis constantly parroted by sky.

          1. David (@billyboltaction)
            4th November 2019, 20:48

            I’m pretty sure that Lewis had worse reliability too and that whenever he had an issue he was in front of Jenson and Jenson benefited. However, when Jenson had a reliability issue he was often behind Lewis and so it made no difference to Lewis’ points. That alone counts for the deficit over 3 seasons.

        3. Most f1 drivers would agree too

          That is quite interesting if true – would you be able to provide the link to the survey showing this so I can read further.


          1. @serv here’s one

            Alonso has always said Hamilton and he raced both.

            It’s mainly my opinion of what drivers would say.

            This from Ross Brawn @bigjoe

            “I therefore congratulate Toto Wolff and the whole team, as they’ve not only given him an amazing car year after year but they’ve allowed Lewis to develop and grow to become one of the greatest drivers in the history of Formula 1, certainly the strongest of the last 15 years.”

  15. Hamilton has had a more dominant car for longer with more races per season. No wonder he mops up those records. People usually talk about the Ferrari dominance from 2000-2004, yet only 2002 and 2004 were dominant. The Merc is a rocketship and profited greatly from the hybrid ruleset. Add the token system and testing ban and their advantage was locked in for years.

    Schumacher v1 is for me greater than Lewis. Schumacher was always in it for the win, even when he had a poor car. The 1997 Ferrari had no means of being a championship competitor for instance, yet it did.

    1. Easy to be ‘in it for the in’ when you’re competitors are Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve, not prime Vettel and Alonso. And Hamilton’s peak was from 2017 onwards, when he has demonstrated time and time again that he can win even when his car is not the best.

      1. @mashiat

        HAM has been in the best team for 7 years, a top 2 team before that and his win rate is only 33%.
        His peak was 2014 which gave him the 8th greatest dominance in a season along with Vettel.
        Hopefully 2021 will do as promised and he can dominate without the technology advantage. That would be the season he beats MSC total WDC too.

        1. my mistake, VET also has 4th best over a season as well as 8th with HAM

        2. @bigjoe Ironic how you talk about how Hamilton can win without an “advantage” in 2021. Schumacher had the greatest advantage of all, a team built solely around him, a track for himself with unlimited testing, custom-made tyres made just for him, and the FIA who were also trying to help him whenever they could. Until 2003, realistically which driver in F1 was actually a ‘great’ that Schumacher had to face? Mika Hakkinen was fast for a period of 2-3 years, but even then he was quite error-prone. Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve would probably not even be good enough for the 2019 grid, and same goes for DC. And as for your point about win-rate, Schumacher has never had a single good teammate in his whole career, except perhaps Rosberg (and that was in his 2nd stint). Hamilton has had three world champion teammates alongisde who were free to race him, unlike Schumacher. You put Schumacher in this era of F1, and he would not have half the stats he does now.

          1. Wow. Hill and Villeneuve not good enough for the 2019 grid.


          2. @mashiat a 40 year old Damon Hill would probably not be on the grid to be honest, on merit at least. And as for Villeneuve, he wasn’t even good enough for the 2006 grid.

  16. If we’re comparing greatness purely on titles won, isn’t it a bit early?
    HAM needs to win two more to ‘be better’ than MSC.
    In the meantime, other sports use percentage stats. Schumacher and Fangio are uncatchable in some of those.
    Two of the greatest of all time died at their peaks. Senna would have had 4 more seasons in a title capable car that his number 2 driver came very close in and eventually won.

    1. %stats?

      Wins MS 29.55% LH 33.47%
      Pole Positions MS 22.08% LH 35.88%
      Podiums MS 50.32% LH 60.48%

      Or we comparing Ham stats with whatever driver has the best stat for that particular endeavor?

      But glad you mentioned Senna’s ‘would have’ stats. Throw a couple of extra WDC to Senna and you would have to take a couple off MS. Therefore almost certainly giving Ham ‘the greatest’ purely on titles won.

      1. Race fuel and one lap qualifying and his 2nd career really hurted those stats.

        1. Yea I don’t know how to measure coulda, woulda, shoulda excuses by %ages. But if I did Alonso would have been the second greatest after me.

      2. Just out of interest, what would these stats look like if you discount retirements?

        1. Doesn’t that mean you have to discount every race where he won but one of his competitors retired?

          1. one way of looking at it, but that would make it a thin sample size of just 7 races.

            But in this case Wolfgang von Trips would be the winner with a 100% race win score :P

  17. I would like to attempt a career comparison, although I know that this wouldn’t be enough to come to a final conclusion, only a part of this analysis.

    1992 x 2007 – Schumacher had a great first season in F1, but Lewis arguably had an even greater one. 1-0 to Lewis.
    1993 x 2008 – WDC for Lewis with a winning car (on par with the Ferrari, I would say), 4th for Schumacher with some great races relative to his car. Still, Lewis goes up 2-0 in my count.
    1994 x 2009 – Schumacher was a head and a half above everyone else after Senna’s death, Lewis didn’t have the best car (one could argue that Schumi didn’t, either) and had no real chance of defending his title. This is Schumachers year, 2-1 for Lewis.
    1995 x 2010 – No chance for Damon Hill this time (he only had a shot in 94 because of a mix of Schummel-Schumi and FIA bias), pure dominance, best driver by far. Not the case for Lewis in 2010, although he was good. This makes it 2-2.
    1996 x 2011 – Great Schumi performances in a weak Ferrari car, step forward because of him, for sure. This coincides with Lewis’ worst season ever, so the German takes the lead, 3-2.
    1997 x 2012 – Although the year ended with disgrace, it was his merit that Schumacher was even fighting for the title this early into his Ferrari career. Lewis had a fast, but frustrating 2012, and here I would also argue that Schumacher was a little bit ahead, relatively speaking. Schumi 4-2.
    1998 x 2013 – The McLaren winning era with Mika started here, Schumacher fought but didn’t have a real shot at the title. Lewis started well into his first Mercedes year and drove well, but one might argue that Schumi was just a tad better. Schumi 5-2
    1999 x 2014 – Schumacher missed a chunk of the season, but showed he would have won it before and after his Silverstone shunt. He was just better than Mika Hakkinen that year. Lewis had competition from his own team, but managed to win it convincingly, although the double point rule took the decision to Abu Dhabi. I would still say that, at this stage of their careers, Schumacher was further ahead in terms of prestige and even performance, compared to Lewis. That makes it 6-2 in my view.
    2000 x 2015 – This first Schumacher title with Ferrari, as great as a moment it was, he almost threw away during the season, and needed incredible performances in the last five races to get past Mika. Lewis, on the other hand, found another level and beat Nico so clearly, that I would give him the point for their 9th career year. Schumi still leads 6-3 in this count.
    2001 x 2016 – Lewis was still great, but lost to Nico on points (not necessarily on performance). It was a good year in terms of races, but frustrating in terms of reliability. Schumacher won his 4th WDC (Lewis had 3 at that point), but amid some criticism concerning his number one role in the team. He still was more clearly the best on the grid, so I would give it to him. Schumi 7-3.
    2002 x 2017 – Although this was one of Schumachers best seasons at Ferrari, his most dominant, I would give it to Lewis, who found another step after Nico left F1. This is tough, but I’d make it 7-4 for the German after 11 seasons.
    2003 x 2018 – One might say that Schumacher wasn’t as great in this year, wheraes Lewis had his best season to date. Both won the title (6-5 for Schumacher at this point), but Lewis did it more convincingly. 7-5 for Schumacher.
    2004 x 2019 – Schumachers last title was due to his talent plus a healthier car advantage than the year before. Lewis’ was due to his racing, mostly his dealing with tyres, that put him above the others. Both were very consistent. Here, I would call it a tie for the first time. 7.5 to 5.5 after 13 seasons, and 7-6 titles.

    I find it likley that Hamilton’s 2020 season will be better than Schumachers 2005, which wasn’t bad (he had no real shot at the title and did pretty well dispite the problems with the car / tyres).
    2021 might decide it. Schumacher had another great season 2006, one of his best. Let’s see what Hamilton can bring.

    One could say that Schumacher reached the step above all others faster than Hamilton did, but Hamiltons latters seasons have been stronger than Schumachers, in my very subjective recollection and analysis.

    In other words: He is not quite there yet, in my view, but Hamilton might surpass Schumacher before he ends his career. Not only in numbers.

    1. @magon4

      My god did you really waste time typing all that, or cut and paste it from a comic?

      1995 x 2010 – No chance for Damon Hill this time (he only had a shot in 94 because of a mix of Schummel-Schumi and FIA bias),

      Rubbish. Schumacher broke the rules then decided a penalty and then absurdly, a black flag, should not apply to him. His arrogance nearly cost him and his petulance won him the title after he cracked under pressure from Hill. Worse than we’ve seen from Vettel.
      After MSC’s ban, Hill out-raced him 2-1. Then Newey found a fault with the car after a Mansell de-brief leading to the conclusion Benetton likely had the better car.
      In 1995 Hill admitted he didn’t train. He had less experience on 4 wheels than most. He then went on a training camp and won 96.

      1. I cut and pasted it from a comic, to answer your first question @bigjoe.
        Well, that’s how people can differ. Schumi was to blame for what happened, for sure, although it was very harsh given the circumstances. Fact is, he lost the Spa win due to something that had nothing to do with him; he didn’t race twice, and his Silverstone points were taken away. Williams also improved a lot towards the end, so that the car was, I would say, a step above the Benetton for the last three races. Damon did fantastically at Suzuka, but if you look at the whole year, Schumacher was much better and deserved the title despite what happened in Australia.
        So I am looking at performance, not other things. The “cracking under pressure” is understandable given the context of the season and the fact that it was his first title. But driver to driver, he surely deserved it.

        1. @magon4

          I can’t agree with 94 as I found it distasteful the mind games and even childish behaviour from Schumacher against a driver and team who were literally mourning Senna all season.
          Ultimately Senna died trying to keep up with an illegal car.
          With the recent deaths in F1 and F2 the upmost respect and decent behaviour has been exhibited by all.
          Hill was a Pallbearer at the funeral then finds himself subject to Schumacher’s pathetic games when back in the car.

          Thinking about that again, LH can’t be criticised at all for his character. Twice the man Schumacher was.

          1. I think that might be a little harsh, @bigjoe. I too have come to admire LH as a man, but I don’t think Schumacher was as bad as you make it sound.
            One could make the opposite case in some aspects of their “being men”, mostly in relation to their teams.

    2. 1999 x 2014 – Schumacher missed a chunk of the season, but showed he would have won it before and after his Silverstone shunt. He was just better than Mika Hakkinen that year. Lewis had competition from his own team, but managed to win it convincingly, although the double point rule took the decision to Abu Dhabi. I would still say that, at this stage of their careers, Schumacher was further ahead in terms of prestige and even performance, compared to Lewis. That makes it 6-2 in my view.

      Mika Salo looked like the greatest of all time in Schumacher’s seat, then was reduced to helping Irvine. It was almost embarrassing.

      1. Well that is surely a slight overstatement. But I accept, just as I do with myself, that it is 20+ years ago and we might be selective in our views. I don’t remember Salo looking like a GOAT, though…

        1. @magon4

          Of course I’m exaggerating :) But we often hear ‘anyone could have won in that car’ also today with Mercedes. Mika proved it., butt iirc he pulled over for Irvine.

    3. 1992 x 2007 – Schumacher had a great first season in F1, but Lewis arguably had an even greater one. 1-0 to Lewis.

      HAM was impressive in 2007 as we know, as it’s referred to every day in discussions.
      However HAM contributed to McLaren’s poor team work that cost them the title. Today’s Mercedes would not have stood for his behaviour, he knew it and became more level headed.
      Interesting that Massa also out qualified Alonso 6-2 and won 1 race less than the McLaren pair. He also led both McLarens at Valencia where HAM inherited that precious 2nd place when Alonso got impatient. Massa again drove well against hamilton in 2008 but nobody rates him.

      2007 – HAM 2 wins in last 8 races
      2008 – HAM 1 win in last 8

      And we’ve continued to see him go off the boil since then, albeit earlier in the season.

      1. @bigjoe How much of that was down to Ferrari’s development? In 2007, Ferrari clearly leaped forward after the midpoint of the season, with both Alonso and Hamilton struggling to keep up with them. And as for Massa being underrated, to some extent yes. But I think the closer truth is that he was being flattered by the car. Seeing how Raikkonen performs when not having a car to his liking, we can probably assume that the 2007 and 2008 Ferrari was quicker than it was made to seem by the two drivers. Seeing how both Massa and Raikkonen were defeated by Alonso really does beg the question of whether the Ferrari was actually a dominant car, just in the hands of drivers unable to extract the maximum from it.

        1. How much of that was down to Ferrari’s development?

          @mashiat The same much you should account regarding 2017-2018 campaigns. Ferrari wasn’t never in the same league as Mercedes regarding that, yet we’ve seen some posters stating Ferrari was better for the past 3 seasons.

          As for F2007 and F2008, I don’t think they performed subpar, generally speaking. But, had it been MSC there, surely it would be +2 WDCs at his tally IMO, considering his form back the day.

          Seeing how both Massa and Raikkonen were defeated by Alonso really does beg the question of whether the Ferrari was actually a dominant car, just in the hands of drivers unable to extract the maximum from it.

          This is irrelevant, since ALO beat two completely different drivers from then.

    4. 1999 x 2014 – Schumacher missed a chunk of the season, but showed he would have won it before and after his Silverstone shunt. He was just better than Mika Hakkinen that year

      I have to take issue with your analysis of 1999. Schumacher was 8 points behind Hakkinen before his Silverstone crash (40-32). Even if he hadn’t been forced to let Irvine past in Malaysia, he would still have been outscored 54-48 by Hakkinen in the nine races they both started. As it was he was outscored 54-44 in the races they both started.

      I hardly think Schumacher was that great in 1999 to be honest. Remember, he crashed out of the lead in Canada, something Hamilton never did in 2014. I really don’t agree that Schumacher’s 1999 was better than Hamilton’s 2014.

      1. Good points!

    5. @magon4 really nice sum up! Allow me to diverge in some bits:
      2002×2017: IIRC, 2002 is the best season MSC has ever had. He broke records that still stand (like 100% podiums), and no one could touch him. 2017, VET was arguably the better driver for the time there was game on, the 1st half of the season. HAM drove beautifully, no doubt it, but the 2nd half was more because of Mercs development than anything else. Ferrari fluked the development. I’d give it to MSC.

      2000×2015: HAM beat ROS easily, but I’d take into account the tough family crisis ROS was passing through with his wife. Not Lewis’ fault, though. I’d give another tie for the circumstance anyway.

      1999×2014: I agree MSC’s form being better, but having him missed half a season, I feel it’s fairly to call it a tie again.

      Apart from those, I pretty much agree with the rest. =)

      1. @niefer thanks for the feedback! didn’t know about the ROS family crisis, did he talk about that?
        Agree that VET started very well in 2017.

        1. @magon4 it seems they had a high-risk pregnancy back then, which contributed for his decision to retire in the future.
          I’m sorry I can’t provide a source, since I don’t remember where I’ve seen this. =/
          Don’t remember if it was at his channel or at a non-English press.

  18. F1 at the early noughties was a different sport. Tires were different you could say they drive the whole race like a qualifying. Nowadays drivers “race” around the track 5-10 seconds slower than qualifying times. Only thing you can compare are the drivers racing in that certain era. Numbers always tell something but it’s just an opinion who is the best. JMF won almost half of those races where he participated. Clark was the one who could drive and win almost everything. Senna was a phenomeon. Vettel won four and Schumaher five in a row. Hamilton has won at least one race in every season. Then there’s if and buts. Could Bellof have won Monaco in 84. Should Lauda have won title in 76. How many titles would Prost or Alonso have if things have gone differently?

  19. Hamilton’s engine fails in Sepang 2016, and he throws his team under the bus and plant’s conspiracy theories to the media.

    Michaels engine fails in Suzuka 2006 costing him the title and he goes back to the pits and shakes the hands of every mechanic in his team, thanking them for their efforts.

    Lewis is a slightly quicker driver I would agree, but he’s a hypocrite, a drama queen. He can win 20 titles and I’ll never see him on the same level as Michael.

    Michael often did stupid things because he didn’t want to let his team down – he loved the team. All Lewis ever does is worry about what the team might do to let him down.

    1. Michaels engine fails in Suzuka 2006 costing him the title

      Stopped reading here.

      You didn’t watch the race. Alonso was catching him by several tenths and would have got him. Also rather suspicious the most reliable engine in F1 blew up after MSC a known cheat had been on the radio to pits.
      Didn’t Alonso’s DNF a few of races earlier count? If not, why?
      He massacred Schumacher in that wet race at Hungary, some say the greatest wet drive of all time. The pits messed up his wheel and Button inherited the win. Alonso’s championship could have been lost right there in the 2nd best team at that stage.

    2. Schumacher’s engine failure in Suzuka 2006 did not cost him the title. He would have finished 1 point behind Alonso even if he had won the race, although he didn’t know that at the time.

      But they were vastly different situations.

      Hamilton was in a title battle with his team mate in supposedly identical equipment. He had suffered two engine failures already that season, both in qualifying, which not only forced him to start down the grid at those races, denying him any chance to challenge Rosberg for the win at those races (in China he could only manage 7th), they also forced him to take yet another grid penalty at Spa, as if having had his qualifying position massively comprimised twice earlier in the season wasn’t enough of a penalty for something that was not even his fault. Again denying him any chance to fight Rosberg for the win. But despite having had three races ruined by car failures, to Rosberg’s none, Hamilton enters Sepang just 8 points behind Rosberg. People are already talking about how reliability has swung the title fight towards Rosberg, and debating the extent to which it will be deserved if he does beat him. But still others point out that they are still close on points and the title battle is still wide open. But then comes Sepang. 8 drivers are using Mercedes engines that year. 3 Mercedes power unit failures, and all of them on Hamilton’s car.

      Schumacher, coming into Suzuka 2006, had not had a mechanical failure since the 2001 German GP, even though his team-mate had had numerous in the time since. He was not in a title battle with a team-mate who had had vastly better reliability even before that race.

      1. Hamilton suffered one Engine Failure. Only other time he retired was Spain when they crashed out.

    3. The team was helping Rosberg at the time which irked Hamilton for sure, but in no way did he claim that he was sabotaged. Stop making nonsense up!

    4. Also this nonsense:

      Michael often did stupid things because he didn’t want to let his team down – he loved the team. All Lewis ever does is worry about what the team might do to let him down.

      In all fairness, Ferrari’s only goal was to help Schumacher. With Mercedes they treat their drivers overly fair, which means they actually do hurt Hamilton’s chances now and then.

      ps Hamilton also loves the team.
      pps Schumacher didn’t cheat because he loved the team. He did it because he always was a cheat

  20. When Prost began racing, Stewart had the most victories (27), Prost almost doubled it to 51, even driving in an era of super-pilots and having to fight with Senna and only in 1985 and 1993 he had the best car and an easy to beat teammate (still, in both cases the teammates are also world champions). Was Prost much better than Stewart? Maybe yes, maybe no. Prost was for sure a top driver, but the record explains itself by volume, he did a lot of seasons in good cars in an era where you have 16 GPs instead of the 10 and 12 of Stewart era

    Then Schumacher came and almost doubled that record to 91. Was Schumacher much better than Prost? Maybe yes, maybe no. Schumacher came in an era where the car failures where reduced to almost none. He did several seasons without mechanical failures. And did it in a team that had the best car and the best engine. So, for Prost a good season had 5/6 victories and a great season had 7/8, for Schumacher it was common seasons with 9/10 or even more victories.

    Then came Hamilton, in a different era again, with >20 GPs per seasons, in an era where a dominating team had it much easier to keep the domination due to Engine frozen and lack of testing. Also, no mechanical failures, that means that Hamilton can get to 10+ victories per season for several seasons.

    Hamilton is great, of course it is, as Schumacher was. But in both cases, you can see that the great part of the victories came in a specific context.
    – Hamilton had 22 victories in his first 129 GPs from 2007-2013, and 61 more in the other 119 (2014-2019)
    – Schumacher had 56 victories in 85 GPs from 2000-2004, and only 35 in the other 223 (1991-1999, 2005-06, 2010-2012)

    It’s easy to say that Hamilton and Schumacher will never be beaten, but Verstappen, Leclerc or other young driver can get there in a few years if they find themselves in a dominating car with a subpar teammate like Schumacher and Hamilton.

    1. Hamilton is great, of course it is, as Schumacher was. But in both cases, you can see that the great part of the victories came in a specific context.
      – Hamilton had 22 victories in his first 129 GPs from 2007-2013, and 61 more in the other 119 (2014-2019)
      – Schumacher had 56 victories in 85 GPs from 2000-2004, and only 35 in the other 223 (1991-1999, 2005-06, 2010-2012)

      It’s easy to say that Hamilton and Schumacher will never be beaten, but Verstappen, Leclerc or other young driver can get there in a few years if they find themselves in a dominating car with a subpar teammate like Schumacher and Hamilton.

      Sums it up perfectly. I like to think that MSC is better then LH, but that’s because the Mercedes domination is so strong this era and things tend to look better in hindsind (“remember the good old days” instead of “remember the bad old days”).

      1. *hindsight

    2. COTD material!

  21. For me personally I rate Schumacher higher than Lewis. It’s pure a feeling for me because it’s inspande to compare them

  22. I think the comparison is there. For me, in modern F1, Hamilton is the closest to Schumacher. How I’d rank the greats would be in 3 eras. Firstly, the og era, before front wings etc, so the likes of Clark, Fangio, Ascari, Moss, Brabham, etc go here. Maybe from 1950-1968 or so? Then, the developing era, where cars began to start looking more like today, with front wings and rear wings, but still fully manual gearboxes, so the likes of Senna, Prost, Lauda, Stewart, Piquet, etc. So I guess from the late 60’s up until the early 90’s? Finally, the modern era, where things started becoming way more electronic with auto gearboxes etc, so Schumacher, Hamilton, Alonso, Vettel, Hakkinen etc. There’s probably a better way to do it, but for me, this is a good way of ranking the drivers while kind of taking into account how different the cars are.

  23. I think theirs half a dozen, maybe a few more, that you can throw into the F1 GOAT pot; and you can pick any one of them and make the case.
    All you can ever say is Driver ????? is arguably the greatest of all time.

    1. Fangio, Clark, Stewart, Senna, Schumacher, Hamilton?

      Those would be my Top 5. One of them is the GOAT, hard to say who.

      1. Yes it’s impossible. credit for trying though, apologies for my comic comment, I wouldn’t be brave enough to analyze the whole Schumacher period versus Hamilton.

        1. @magon4

          Moss is one of my all time great drivers but never had a dominant car in Grand Prix racing. Apparently he was due to get one and without doubt he would appear in all of these comments.
          I can actually picture Sterling with today’s sports science and training camps being unbeatable in a top modern F1 team.
          Can anyone take anything away from him that would make him slower than BOT HAM and VER ?

          1. @bigjoe yes, he had: the W196, 1955. The problem was he also had a dominant team mate, the real GOAT. Nevertheless, he had his chance: 1958’s Vanwall was a championship car, and he did a proper champion’s campaign, but remained defeated. In the end, that’s how it is. One of the greats anyway.

  24. I mean, 7 is still a greater number than 6 isn’t it? He’s still got two more to get to ‘beat Schumacher’ hasn’t he?

    That said comparing the pair’s achievements is rather difficult. The cars were substantially different, spending by the teams very different and Schumacher’s seasons were much shorter. You could also make a strong argument that the Mercedes since 2014 has had a stronger advantage over the rest of the field than Schumacher’s Ferrari ever enjoyed – so matching, or beating, those achievements is false equivalency.

    That said HE still needed to drive that car and he drove it significantly and markedly better than Rosberg or Bottas did in the same machinery, and you don’t just ‘luck into’ a championship. He got the job done and at the least you got to admit he’s a supremely skilled driver.

    One of the best, absolutley. Best ever, for me? No. But ‘best ever’ to my mind is a personal taste thing.

    1. That said HE still needed to drive that car and he drove it significantly and markedly better than Rosberg or Bottas did in the same machinery, and you don’t just ‘luck into’ a championship. He got the job done and at the least you got to admit he’s a supremely skilled driver.

      @rocketpanda Unless you are Sebastian Vettel. Then, luck is all there is.

      One of the best, absolutley. Best ever, for me? No. But ‘best ever’ to my mind is a personal taste thing.

      Really sensible statement! +1

  25. Which of them is the better driver is open for indefinite argument. Both have broken records, both have had to use questionable tactics, and both have had advantages in the form of teams and cars specifically designed for their driving style and preference.

    What Schumacher has over Hamilton is his ability to go to a struggling team and make them title contenders. First he did it with Ferrari, and then he threw his hat into the ring once more to help Mercedes get their operation started correctly. Lauda was undoubtedly the most important person at Mercedes, but he had his reasons for wanting Schumi when Mercedes bought Brawn.

    Hamilton needs to perform something similar.

    Might not be realistic in 2020, but with the 2021 rules that are supposed to bunch up the grid and highlight driver’s importance, I think it would afford him the best opportunity to equal Schumacher’s achievement.

    Could we see Hamilton at McLaren yet again?
    Williams, perhaps?
    For sure Renault cannot afford him.

    As a racing fan, I’d like to see Hamilton take a substantial pay cut and help rebuild a title contending team as his greatest achievement in the 2021 era.

    1. As a racing fan, I’d like to see Hamilton take a substantial pay cut and help rebuild a title contending team as his greatest achievement in the 2021 era.

      HAM and Newey at Williams

  26. @anikale

    If Mercedes dont remain the best team, Lewis’s stats could take it a hit. Or he could overtake Clark.
    Anyone good at maths? Let’s say 3 more seasons/ 66 races.

    Fangio 46%
    Ascari 39%
    Clark 34%
    Hamilton 33%
    Schumacher 29%
    Stewart 27%
    Senna 25%
    Prost 25%

    As annoying as it is due to them all having access to the same equipment, Tennis stars are sometimes compared.

    Not least Sir Andrew Murray
    Grand Slam
    81% win rate
    Olympics 91% (3 gold medals)
    Overall career 77.5%

    1. That kind of analysis is interesting, gives some info, but not all the picture. For example, if Hill retired in the end of 1996 instead of going on to Arrows he would have more than 30% victories, would that mean he was better than Schumacher, Senna and Prost? Of course not. Did he became a worst driver for driving for Arrows and Jordan? Of course not, but his average dropped. The same with Schumacher and is return from retirement in 2010-12, he didn’t became a worst driver.
      What that average gets is which driver retired in his prime, 3 of the top-8 died racing, that is, neither of them got to the descending part of his career…

      Do this exercise, what was the most % each driver had of victories during his career? At the end of 2004, Schumacher had 39% victory rating.

    2. Murray isn’t on 3 golds yet!

    3. @bigjoe These stats only go to show that Hamilton actually had opposition.

  27. I’ve never had much love for statistics, and as statistics are the easiest way to compare drivers who didn’t face each other at their peaks, I’d struggle to say a driver from one era was better than one from another.

    Out of the drivers whose careers I’ve witnessed the bulk of, four stand out as having been a level above the rest – Schumacher, Hakkinen, Alonso, Hamilton. Of the four, all but Hakkinen comfortably earn a spot in my own personal GOAT herd… but I couldn’t place one above the others, or above drivers like Fangio, Clark, Stewart, Senna and so on.

    I prefer the idea of a big group of GOATs chilling in a field to the thought of one being elevated into his own special paddock.

  28. Hamilton is definitely in a whole different level. Schumacher was average or a bit slower than average as a driver who simply had the perfect team built around him. In this fairly competitive grid we have today Schumacher would be 15th or 16th fastest.

    1. @huhhii

      Schumacher did a better job against Williams and McLaren in 1992 than Lewis ever did against Red Bull and Ferrari after 2010 despite having a better car than Schumacher did.

  29. Michael often did stupid things because he didn’t want to let his team down – he loved the team. All Lewis ever does is worry about what the team might do to let him down.

    You forgot Instagram likes.

    And getting that just right angle in selfies.

  30. The GOAT Question
    Unlike many F1 fans who think they cannot compare drivers across eras, I say why not? In economics, we can compare prices and wealth across generations or even historical eras. So why not F1? What if Senna had a career as long as Alonso? How many WDCs would Senna have gotten? Or if Hamilton’s achievements were compressed into Fangio’s 53-race career?
    In F1 I am inclined to say the best measures are results per race, rather than the raw quantity of anything. You can choose wins/poles/podiums (or combinations of such measures) per race entered or competed. A cursory look at F1 statistics will show one name that appears at or very near the top of each of these parameters: Juan Manuel Fangio. On that basis my benchmark becomes Juan Fangio. This does not tell us anything about Juan Fangio himself; he’s just a benchmark.
    For this exercise I have included: wins (weighted 35%), poles (weighted 20%), fastest laps (weighted 5%), podiums (weighted 15%) and finishing within the points (weighted 25%). There are pros and cons for each of these and some have not been constant through the ages. The weighting has tried to reflect those results drivers have worked hardest for over the ages, but it’s not perfect.
    So, discounting for era, how many WDCs have drivers got when normalized to Juan Fangio? (Note: This is not an all-time list as not all WDC, GP and pole winners have been included. But it is not likely that any omitted driver will upset the top ten as it stands)
    Driver Total Benchmark Points Normalized WDC # Actual WDC #
    1 Juan Manuel Fangio 1.000 5 5
    2 Alberto Ascari 0.859 4 2
    3 Lewis Hamilton 0.808 4 6
    4 Jim Clark 0.743 4 2
    5 Michael Schumacher 0.673 3 7
    6 Ayrton Senna 0.651 3 3
    7 Sebastian Vettel 0.641 3 4
    8 Alain Prost 0.593 3 4
    9 Jackie Stewart 0.567 3 3
    10 Giuseppe Nino Farina 0.545 3 1
    11 Niki Lauda 0.384 2 3
    12 Fernando Alonso 0.384 2 2
    13 Nelson Piquet 0.361 2 3
    14 Jack Brabham 0.328 2 3

    In the model only Ascari and Hamilton have four or more normalized WDCs (Jim Clark enjoys a rounding up to 4)! Alberto Ascari, Jim Clark and Nino Farina do better than the actual number of WDCs they have. All the others, including Hamilton, with three-plus WDCs (and Alonso who has 2) do worse than they actually have in terms of WDC numbers. But clearly, from the table Hamilton is in a class of his own when compared to any other driver of the past 40 or 50 years.
    An interesting insight is that Hamilton’s results do not resemble his idol Senna. Hamilton is an all-rounder like Fangio. Senna was more like Jim Clark; grab the pole, win the race and pay no particular attention to podiums and points scoring. Maybe wins were more of a premium during their time.
    And how much of Lewis’ success can be attributable to Mercedes? In this I think I’ll leave everyone to their opinion. However, in mid-2012 (before Lewis moved to Mercedes), I commented in PlanetF1: “an incredible 77% of all his (Hamilton’s) GP entries (career to date) had ended in points scoring positions – compared to 71% for Alonso and 70% for Vettel; nearly half (47%) of all his entries had ended on the podium compared to 43% for Vettel and 41% for Alonso”. And this was at a time when both Vettel and Alonso had 2 WDCs each to Hamilton’s 1 WDC!
    Without a doubt, Hamilton is already one of the greats in F1. A living legend we should all be happy to witness.

    1. @FiamD, appreciate what you did just there. What if you consider the first 3 variables (Wins, Poles, Fastest Laps) only; dont you think including the other two (Podiums and Finishing with-in the points), means the “weights” are no longer mutually exclusive?

      1. Joe, thanks for appreciating my effort. Measurement is actually fun though.
        A lot of the parameters are dependent on each other and greatly overlap. But I think the weighting is still important. See the results (in terms of # of WDCs normalized to Juan Fangio) for Wins, Poles & FLAPs without weights:
        Juan Manuel Fangio 5.00
        Alberto Ascari 4.23
        Jim Clark 4.11
        Lewis Hamilton 3.04
        Ayrton Senna 2.69
        Michael Schumacher 2.67
        Sebastian Vettel 2.16
        Alain Prost 2.16
        Jackie Stewart 2.08
        Nino Farina 1.54
        Niki Lauda 1.49
        Nelson Piquet 1.20
        Jack Brabham 1.11
        Charles Leclerc 1.01
        Fernando Alonso 0.86
        Max Verstappen 0.53

        With this scenario, Hamilton is still near the top, but fourth this time instead of third. But you get some interesting results where Charles Leclerc has more WDCs than Fernando Alonso!
        But I can’t imagine a time when a driver will place FLAPs on the same pedestal as podiums or points scoring.

        1. Even normalization methods have their issues. For example, some drivers have long lead-ins and tail-offs, based on how their career ramped into and out of F1. Senna had no tail-off opportunity (sadly), but he did have a substantial lead-in. LH got to skip lead-in altogether, and may never have to have a tail-off. Schumacher does absorb both a lead-in and a tail-off into his numbers.

          So absolutes can have their upside.

          Better than both are maybe the relative ranking solvers (like NCAA Football ranking computers) that really just math-out head to heads. For F1, you might work in heavier weighting to teammate head to heads.

        2. Cool, the weights are important although a bit subjective. I just wanted to see the overlapping measures removed. In any case, in both counts, Ham is ahead of Schumi, answering the question under consideration. Thanks

    2. @fiamd)

      The GOAT Question
      How many WDCs would Senna have gotten?

      + 94, 95, 96 and 97 so 7 . Leaving Schumacher with 5.

  31. Thought experiment to see things from another angle: pretend you get to hire any driver, from their prime, for your F1 team. You have to factor everything, from raw pace, to machine time (Schumi driving like a robot or winning on broken gearbox), to hammer time (LH going over the top), to tactics and racecraft (Prost out managing Senna), to car development feedback, to extracting the most out of a bad car, etc.

    Personally, I’d pick any from these eight, in no order I can discern, and be happy with my pick: Fangio, Clark, Stewart, Lauda, Prost, Senna, Schumacher, Hamilton.

    1. Just to throw another aspect of silliness to this, racing in general draws from a very narrow pool to find its talent compared to almost every other sport. Every sport has the “best talent born probably never even tried the sport and is farming in some remote area or working in a warehouse” problem. But racing has it worse than most, due to the way the ladder works and how expensive racing is, even in karts.

      So in other sports we have a pretty good idea of what GOAT probably looks like. If it isn’t Jordan or Lebron, it probably looks a lot like it, as an example. For racing, we cannot have that level of statistical confidence that we are even close. So as sim racing greatly expands the bottom of the ladder, we might see talent levels never seen before, due to the pool finally expanding.

  32. To me the sign of a great driver is their ability to extract the maximum from a bad car and win races that seemed impossible to win, and in that regard Schumacher wins hands down. He was also a massive team player and never sulked when things didn’t go his way like Hamilton. The team orders thing was completely blown out of proportion as none of his team mates where any where near his pace. The first decent team mate Hamilton faced beat him. Schumacher had so many stand out races just watch him in Spain 96 and show me an equivalent Hamilton win.
    Hamilton has won a lot of races in clearly the best car. Schumacher had great competition in Hakkinen a lot of their battles were epic in qualifying and the races. He beat a super fast Kimi also Alonso,Montoya. The only consitent competition Hamilton had was Rosberg who beat him.

  33. Yes Hamilton faced Alonso, Button, Rosberg, all WDC as teammates and beat them all. No other wdc can say that including MC

    1. Just one example (note Alonso, Button and Rosberg together is 3 WDC).

      On his WDC years Prost faced and beat Senna (3 WDC, probably cut short from more), Damon Hill (1 WDC), Rosberg (1 WDC), and Lauda (3 WDC), all as teammates.

      LH is certainly great, but be careful with “nobody else ever” kinds of assertions.

      1. Crap….I meant the sum of Alonso, Button, and Rosberg is 4, not 3. Sorry.

    2. Hamilton was beaten by Button in 2011 and Rosberg in 2016.

      1. @silfen

        In addition, Lewis’s record of winning in every season, sees his team mate Rosberg beat him 2-1 in 2013.

    3. @carlosmedrano

      Unlike LH, Alonso has never been outscored by a team mate in his career and had FM and KR who beat Lewis fair and square during 2007,08 as rivals in other fairly equal teams. In fact Massa matched Lewis’s poles iirc.

  34. One advantage Lewis had is he was always in a top team.

    Drivers like Schumacher and Vettel spent time at lower teams that had cars that had no pace. I remember seeing Vettel in the Williams and impressing and as good as Verstappen is today Vettel took that Toro Rosso team to a win. These are years that skew the stats when look back at a career.
    The domination of this Mercedes team is really unparalleled, the first couple years of this turbo hybrid v6 era were not even worth watching since the car was so much faster than any other team. That alone can’t be said for too many other championship winners. With most coming down to the last couple races.
    The record Mercede’s 1-2’s show’s the car total dominance over the driver’s skill. Is why i probably see what Vettel did in his career as more impressive than most. With Hamilton’s run impressive yet more questionable, since Nico kept him honest for most of the time he was there. Even Bottas has been competitve with Lewis. Unlike Vettel and Schumacher where they were clearly the faster drivers getting the car to perform much better than there team mates. Just like Leclerc is showing flashes of now with Vettel. As well as Verstappen really wowing with some performances compared to his team mates qualifying.
    Maybe Hamilton has had higher quality team mates.
    He has undeniably put himself up there.
    I find for myself the interesting thing is that Senna would be undeniably the best qualifier of all time. Vettel had a period where he looked like he had that same quality of squeezing more out of the car when needed.
    Then when look at race pace is where Schumacher and Hamilton are up there. Hamilton has had so many races starting from 1-2 and so many races of no real racing is hard to look at those as showing the same kind of racing quality.
    Makes for an interesting discussion.
    I know if I had a team that needed to build to win I would have Schumacher there over anyone else. Hamilton would be ahead of Schumacher in wins if he never took pedal off after he won his championships in seasons past. Schumacher was relentless, for me I like that.

  35. If the wins and championships records fall to him too he will be indisputably, in absolute terms, the greatest F1 driver of all time. Without having Fangio and Schumacher and other great drivers present to test in equal cars there is no way of knowing for sure who would be better than Hamilton on any given day. So no – it is disputable. Obviously. So in absolute terms and due respect (whatever that means) – FAIL.
    Congratulations to you Hamilton. One of the greats. I would say that is indisputable. But then again some could argue and hence dispute this notion even. Hate to nit pick but it is what it is. Opinion. Nothing more. Nothing less. Just because you believe something does not make it so. If you know and it is a proven fact; then well – you know. That’s what I think anyway. :-)

  36. Unfortunately all these comparisons do not take the performance of the car into account, so are imho not a real representation of who is the best driver. For that, you have to take the car into account as well.

    1. @silfen Yes, to win you need a winning car!
      But when you compare all the drivers that have won, the car becomes less important than the drivers competing with them. And the competition gets tougher with time, not less. It becomes more difficult to shine as competitors learn from the past. You can even verify this in your personal life. Unless you are lucky to be pioneering a new industry, competition in established trades increases with time.
      So, I’d say Hamilton and his contemporaries are having it tougher than drivers of 25 – 30 years ago. And in 25 – 30 years time, if the sport is still around, standing out will be even tougher than it is now.

  37. He would’ve won his in his 1st season in 2007 without the FIA giving him ridiculous penalties for pretty much breathing. Most can agree he was treated very unfairly. He would’ve won in 2016 if the team & Rosberg cheating hadn’t made it virtually impossible for him to do so. He’s also got his championships without the dubious way Schumacher did on many occasions. Hamilton is the greatest. Soon it will be official

  38. Schumacher and Hamilton have something in common aside from sitting in the winning car when it crossed the finish : what they have is common is that neither is a sportsman.
    Add to that the fact that both would drive into another car if that 2nd car appeared to be in a position to best them. ( something that in Indycar or nascar would get them a series of punches in the face but , in F1 is accepted as the option to be taken when you can’t fairly beat an opponent )
    Further, both represent what is wrong with F1 and why despite all of the potential attractions F1 will NEVER be the fan draw that it could be and why many people through out the world will never accept F1 as more than an exhibition of what billions of dollars can buy in auto tech and not at all a competition among drivers .Both Schumacher and Hamilton were and are willing to do whatever it takes to get ahead so if they can’t win by passing the competition they have taking to the ” drive into the other car so no one gets any points strategy ” where the F1 driver who is behind causes a crash , usually at a hair-pin , so that neither car gets points .
    Hamilton as a class act and a true champion : I laugh in your general direction .
    Some have spoken of adding another F1 race in the US but, as someone who grew up in a garage and followed auto racing for more than half a century I say that right now there is one (1) too many F1 exhibitions in the US .
    As to a ” driving champion” in F1 : they have not had one in a while and again this year will be lacking such a prize holder .
    Hamilton may have been awarded more drivers points than any other F1 driver this year but, to say that he is a champion is to misuse the word and lower the status of those who actually were champions .
    F1 is flawed in that it is only a measure of how much “race ” wins a multi-national company can buy if it is willing out spend its competition ( as Mercedes has done since 2014 ) . F1 does NOT measure the drivers in either skill or heart and thus F1 is not a true auto sport but, rather an exhibition staffed by some , as Hamilton and Schumacher , who are not sportsman or real athletes but, just exploiters of a show that wealthy constructors put on each time they try to fool the public into thinking that that are watching a sporting event .

    1. Hahaha this is the most pathetic and ludicrous thing i have ever read on this site.

  39. this represents it best, schumy had only 15 16 races per season, hamilton much more

  40. Both Hamilton & Schumacher deserve a lot of respect. I think it is impossible to say who is better. Both drivers know how to get the most out of the best car. However to Hamiltons credit, he is a true sportsman and Schumacher is not…

  41. All of this is opinion of course. The pure statistics mean that Hamilton may emerge to be the greatest ever in these terms but to measure drivers from different eras is virtually impossible.

    Personally I think I rate Schumacher just a little above Hamilton. Basically I think in his era Schumacher, over his whole career, had a tougher time of it than Hamilton has. I think today’s cars are probably a little easier to drive and drivers are more protected both physically and by the rules. I just think things were tougher in Schumi’s day. There was certainly a much greater likelihood of mechanical failure or being involved in a serious accident.

    I have never been a huge fan of Lewis’ despite being British like him. He has grown on me over the years though and I really respect what he has achieved. He has had a very dominant car though in winning 5 of his last 6 titles. In seasons when his car was not dominant he didn’t really look quite so special.

    I was even less of a fan of Schumacher at the time. Basically he was a dirty driver with a win at all costs attitude. A great talent, very fast and very consistent but he definitely had his issues. I would still rate him ever so slightly higher.

    For the record I have been watching F1 since the 80’s and I personally rate Prost and Senna better than both of the subjects under discussion here.

    Like I say though, it’s all opinion.

  42. Driver records most wins in a season

    1st Schumacher 72% (13 wins/ 18 races)
    2nd Vettel 68.4% (13 wins/ 19 races)

    equal 5th Hamilton and Vettel 57.89% (11 wins/ 19 races)

  43. nearly half (47%) of all his entries had ended on the podium compared to 43% for Vettel and 41% for Alonso”. And this was at a time when both Vettel and Alonso had 2 WDCs each to Hamilton’s 1 WDC!

    Did you include the Torro Rosso and Minardi/Benetton results? Lewis hit the ground running straight into a championship capable car and team team and has never driven outside one. Had the best engine in every race. (Even recently ferrari were boasting high straight line speeds but getting caught very easily on race pace with the Merc’s traction)

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