Michael Schumacher, Lewis Hamilton, Sepang, 2012

Hamilton ‘one of the two best F1 drivers ever’ – Norris

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In the round-up: Lando Norris names Lewis Hamilton as one of the two best Formula 1 drivers of all time.

What they say

Norris said Michael Schumacher was the other driver he ranks alongside Hamilton, after the Mercedes driver clinched his sixth world championship title:

I’m super-happy for him. He’s the second driver ever to get to six world championships. I’m sure he’s going to go on and win even more.

It shows he is – I don’t know ‘the’ – but one of the two best drivers ever in Formula 1. So to be able to watch him, see him race, get to know him a bit more around the paddock. I’m happy I get to do that.

Congrats to him and Mercedes, of course, they’ve done a decent job over the last six, seven years so fair play to them.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Will Alexander Albon manage to hold onto his Red Bull seat for the long-term?

I don’t think his seat is under much threat since Red Bull currently have no better candidates to replace him with.

Toro Rosso contains two drivers they have already rejected from Red Bull. Unless someone else pops up suddenly or a top driver from another team becomes available (I doubt there are many they would consider) then the only way I see Albon losing his seat next year is if he seriously under-performs.
Keith Campbell (@Keithedin)

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  • 86 comments on “Hamilton ‘one of the two best F1 drivers ever’ – Norris”

    1. Maybe a top ten, but of two? In a world of Senna and Schumacher its impossible…

      1. I think that Lewis races hard and pushes to the edge. But he’s never deliberately, blatantly, taken anyone off; that disqualifies one in my book.

        1. Mine too. Plus, Lewis has never enjoyed defacto number one status while Michael was hardly ever allowed competition from across the garage, if ever. Other huge advantages for Schumi as well, like unlimited testing @ Fiorano & made to order tires. & I know it was late in his career, but as shown @ Monaco ’12 Schumacher still very much “had it”… & Rosberg found him a much easier adversary to handle over a season than Hamilton.

        2. Haha, which one?

          On this day:
          25 years ago today Michael Schumacher controversially won his first world championship after tangling with Damon Hill in the Australian Grand Prix

          1. @eurobrun

            Hill hunted him down put on the pressure until the German went off into a wall. Worse than we’ve seen from Vettel. From that moment Schumacher was a road block on wheels.
            The year Senna died against a pallbearer at Senna’s funeral, left a sour taste to say the least.
            Yet the pundits of the time made excuses for the German.

        3. And the large number of times Hamilton deliberately and blatantly cast out Rosberg.
          In this last GP USA I did it with Bottas.
          The times he crashed and pulled Massa out.
          Just to name a few of his long history.

          1. Never! Lewis pushes the limits of the law but very very rarely goes over those limits. Pushing someone off when you have the inside line is a hard legitimate manoeuvre. If you hang it around the outside you are putting yourself at risk of being pushed off track.
            Rosberg in Austria is a good example of how not to pull that move.

      2. Hamilton surely now joins the ‘pantheon’ of drivers who dominated their eras. In my mind the truest legends of the sport are (in rough chronological order): nuvolari, fangio, ascari, moss, Clark, Stewart, lauda, prost, senna, Schumacher and Hamilton. You can make a case for adding a few names to that list (rindt, fittipaldi, villeneuve, piquet, mansell, hakkinen, alonso, vettel) but it’s difficult to say any of the list in bold should not be considered legends of the sport. Through either statistical success or consensus agreement of their greatness, they all deserve this accolade.

      3. @Jake wait until he dies

      4. The Schumacher who cheated alot right?

      5. Agree.

        Schumacher is not something drivers should aspire to. His speed? Yes. But the manner in which he achieved some of his titles was embarrassing for any driver and the sport.

        I understand that there will always be an element of obtaining a questionable advantage but schumacher crossed that line quite a bit.

        1. I saw Schumacher about 10 or 11 years ago at a kart event arranged by Massa at the end of the season. There were several F1 drivers, a couple of rally drivers, a field of about 20 top drivers from different fields and you could see just how good Schumacher was. He won the event (which consisted of several 20 or 30 lap races over the weekend with qualifying, reverse grids and so on). You could see the whole circuit from where we were and just watching him in one race he was inches behind the leader, never made a mistake, kept up the pressure, was so smooth and fast and eventually the leader, I can’t remember who it was, went too deep in one of the braking zones and Schumacher pounced. It was such an honour to see. Despite his somewhat shady tactics at times, as a driver he was supreme, fast, meticulous and so focused and disciplined he inevitably wore out his competitors. I think Hamilton is in the same league, watching him follow Vettel around within a second or so for a few laps in Canada this year, eventually pressuring Vettel into a mistake… sublime, the both of them.

      6. Only if you rate both of them as better than Hamilton …

      7. Schumacher & Senna would never be my first or second choice largely due to their negative on track antics e.g. cheating, deliberately crashing into other drivers etc.

    2. roberto giacometti
      13th November 2019, 4:17

      Puh lease ….. One of the best 2 ??
      When he can win in something other than the current Mercedes , then we will get a truer picture of how good Hamilton is.
      He just lucked into the best car. Good luck to him – his timing was perfect. In a car that already been developed by others.
      If fate had dictated that Nico Hulkenberg got the Mercedes drive instead of Hamilton way back in 2013, Hulkenberg would be a 5 champion!!
      The best means the best drivers – those who win in all cars ( good and not so good), and drive fairly with respect for their fellow drivers and not whinge and complain when they lose and not be scared of having a teammate that could possibly outdo them in the same car and not play political games and not just jump into the best car going each season. Thus that rules out Hamilton, Fangio , Schumacher, Senna, Prost. It leaves drivers like Jim Clark and Gilles Villeneuve as the BEST !!

      1. kenneth chapman
        13th November 2019, 4:33

        Hamilton is not, repeat not, one of the two best ever F1 drivers. Yes he is good but so are lots of others. Without the superb Mercedes that he gets to drive he would be just one of the ‘others’. The car is at least 80% and the quality of driver in the other [ identical ? ] car is likely a 5% contribution. There is a reason why Wolff didn’t take up Ricciardo when it was possible. Quote ‘ we, [ I and Hamilton ] didn’t want to upset the team equilibrium!!!! ‘. Says it all really.

        1. Ahhhhhh….Kenneth returns!! How DID i know that was you Kenny. Pure bile…as always. How did you enjoy No6 kenny? Just you wait for 7 and 8 xxx

      2. If only Mercedes had you on the payroll, @ roberto giacometti, they could have saved tens of millions of dollars and just had Hulkenberg win all of those titles!

        It’s great to come here and read the thoughts of internet experts who know more than current F1 drivers, retired F1 drivers and all of the team managers.

        1. @paulguitar

          who know more than current F1 drivers, retired F1 drivers and all of the team managers.

          Such as Jenson Button who said Alonso was the best team mate he faced.
          Or Martin Whitmarsh witnessing Alonso’s antics at Ferrari, describing him as ‘the best’
          Martin Brundle witnessing Alonso outscore Hamilton in the last part of 2008, describing him as ‘the most complete package’ he’s seen .

          It’s almost like a previous ‘one race wonder’ didn’t really beat Lewis the other week.

        2. You are spot on! I think I will go with the opinion of almost every driver and team bosses, crews, ex drivers, ex teammates etc over our resident “race fans.net” experts who think that they can determine who is “better”. How the hell do we know how good the Mercedes is? Last year I saw Bottas getting swallowed up by Ferrari’s and RedBulls quite often. How do we know that “all mighty Max” wouldn’t get in the merc and be on Bottas pace? How do we know if Lewis wouldn’t get in the Ferrari and win 10 races and a WDC? Or a RBR? We don’t know so I prefer the opinion of the guys who have actually driven these cars . Most of which absolutely agree that LH is the best driver on the grid . It’s so bizarre how Max Verstappen wins a race or two and suddenly he’s the greatest of all time. Despite having what many consider to be the best chassis on the grid and a PU that , looking at trap speeds and cornering performance is very very close to the Merc.

          1. @motogpfan

            Except Riccairdo and Albon were nowhere near him on pace. If you think Max is happy with the car , you’re not following the sport properly.

      3. why do you think the best teams hire the best drivers? I remember saying, i think it was Niki L, that you don’t have to win every race or evn most races or be brilliant everytime to win a WDC.. you need consistency ALL the time.

        and he showed it this year as well, by talking to hot-head max V before US GP, backing off Lec in one of the GPs not being stupid or dramatic on track when not needed.

        Hamilton’s got the same mental toughness that MS had , and that’s why NicoR couldn’t take it anymore after his personal stated goal of one WDC. that shows how tough of a competitor LH is.

        and if Niki L thought of him as worthy of the best car, then for sure us keyboard warriors don’t even stand a chance to even be worth of commenting that LH does not deserve what he’s got! :)

        1. ajay

          why do you think the best teams hire the best drivers?

          But they don’t do they

          Mercedes wont hire Verstappen until Lewis is gone. Mercedes wouldn’t hire Ricciardo either. That was the best driver line up of that period at Red Bull.

      4. @roberto giacometti Or Checo. He could’ve also got the Mercedes-drive alongside Nico Rosberg for 2013 had LH stayed at Mclaren.

      5. Given the coverage we get both in quantity and quality of the best drivers in the world; even sitting in the car with them watching their every movement, I do feel sorry for fans such as yourself that can’t tell what sets the Hamiltons, Verstappens, Sennas, etc apart from the rest when you have a plethora of tools available to dissect their every move.
        How sad it must be to be a a F1 fan watching greatness and not even know.
        And Clark maybe the best, but your reasoning is laughable if you even knew the slightest thing about him.

      6. “When he can win in something other than the current Mercedes , then we will get a truer picture of how good Hamilton is.”


        Did you only start watching F1 in 2014?

        1. He also must have stopped watching F1 in 2017. Or at the very least didn’t see 2018

          1. @f1osaurus

            You’re correct. Most people erase his 6 years at McLaren with only 1 very close title against the great Felipe Massa. 2007 is the goto year though literally every day on here.

            1. Hehehe awww Joe…You really make my day x comments from you really make me smile. Meanwhile…Lewis has just won his 6th…yes 6th…WDC. what a Muppet eh. Average driver at best 😂

            2. I have to agree with Dean. You are a hoot and a half.

      7. Had Hülkenberg gone to Mercedes, methinks Rosberg AND Vettel would be 5x world champions now. Verstappen would have joined Mercedes in 2016 maybe too. But seriously, Hamilton would have joined Merced any year after 2013 because they would still have wanted him.

        1. I reckon Hulk would’ve won 1 or 2, probs Vettel would’ve won 2018, idk if Rosberg would’ve retired, Hamilton actually may have ended up going to Ferrari, no way he stays with McLaren after 2015, so maybe he’d have won 2017/18 still, idk. We might’ve had Vettel and Hamilton as teammates, that would’ve been cool. Oh and Hulk would’ve, even if not a championship, got podiums and won races. Gah. That would be an amazing timeline.

      8. What happened to Jim Clark and GV? Both made fatal errors, so rules them out for me. But each to their own.

    3. 1. Fangio
      2. Senna
      3. Clark
      4. Schumacher
      5. Prost
      6. Stewart
      7. Lauda
      8. Moss
      9. Gilles Villeneuve
      10. Alonso
      11. Ascari
      12. Piquet
      13. Hamilton

      1. That’s funny! I especially like Alonso, who Hamilton beat as a rookie.

        1. @losd
          Alonso’s worst season and 11 years ago is that the best you can come up with in 11 years? How about the Vettel era and Alonso’s Ferrari era? where was Lewis? Oh wait being beaten by Button.

          Button says Alonso was his toughest team mate by the way.

          1. Yeah, let’s ignore the only season where we can compare them directly. Convenient.

            1. @losd
              You mean when they came out equal? Thanks to Lewis sitting behind.
              Alonso clearly wasn’t happy about HAM disrupting the team. That was a huge decision he made. Not without 2 sides to the story as Ron Dennis later told us.

        2. Beat ALO? Only a Hammy fan believes that.
          He didn’t beat him chief. Tied in points and wins. That’s a tie..

          1. There are no ties in F1. That’s what count-back if for. Hamilton was ranked higher.

          2. Bloody hell…Are you saying the FIA have been deceiving is all these years? I couldve swore HAM waa 2nd and ALO 3rd?? Damn FIA! Can’t even trust their championship placings!!

      2. mfreire, whilst I don’t mean to pick on you, most of the time these lists of “greatest ever drivers” end up just being biased towards the era that the person writing the list is most familiar with, and it’s really more a case of emotional biases and subjective gut feelings that drive such lists than any sort of logic.

        1. anon – exactly.

          How many have heard of let alone seen in action: Tazio Nuvolari; Bernd Rosemeyer; Tim Birkin; Count Jules-Albert de Dion…

        2. But that’s the fun of putting lists like that together. It shouldn’t be taken seriously- it’s just an opinion.

      3. @mfreire I am not a Hamilton fan but this list is rubbish! Alonso better than Hamilton? Stewart? Lauda? and worst of all Piquet?

        With all the romantic love for Gilles there’s no logical way to argue he was better than Hamilton. He lost to Schecter for Pete’s sake.

        Same for Ascari. Anything you can say to bring down Hamilton you can say about Ascari even more

        Prost and Moss are very much debatable but there are plenty of reasons (different for each of course) to argue they’re not better than Hamilton.

        The top four pn your list are the hardest to argue against. I personally think Hamilton is better than Schumacher and hence for me he’s at P4 after Senna, Clark and Fangio but I can’t argue either way. anywhere in the top 5-6 is hard to argue against. but putting him p13 is tje easiest thing to argue against. I would like you to try though :)

        1. If you read the list properly then you’ll see I put Alonso lower than Stewart and Lauda. And to all those who didn’t agree with me putting Fangio as #1- he won his 5 championships in 4 different makes of car and won 24 of 52 championship GP’s he ever entered- a percentage no driver has (and possibly will$ ever beat- and he did it all while in his 40’s.

          1. mfreire, of course, that then introduces the complicating factors of team politics and favourable driver treatment, as Fangio was also the nominated lead driver in a number of those teams and given preferential treatment.

            Part of the reason that statistic stands for Fangio is because, in a number of those years, his team mates were ordered to give up their cars in order to hand them over to Fangio when his car failed – I believe that at least one of his titles was only won because of shared points he won from team mates having to hand over their cars to him so he could claim points.

            The particular circumstances that were around in any particular era may result in a particular individual coming to the fore, but then comparing that across eras often becomes a guessing game. Factors from age and experience through to whether that driver was given equal machinery and equal treatment within their team are often discounted or poorly considered, whilst little to no consideration seems to be given to how the required skills of a driver have changed over time and how a driver from the past might have done rather worse in later years.

            For example, with regards to your comment about Fangio’s age, it misses the context in which that occurred – Fangio was not the only driver in his 40s competing in that era. In fact there were a number of contemporaries, and even direct teammates, of Fangio that competed into their 40s in that era as well – even into their 50s in quite a few cases. The modern image of the sport might give us a popular perception of F1 being a game for young drivers, but it means we’re viewing that era with modern biases and not taking into account the fact that it was more common for drivers to compete in their 40s in the 1950s.

            Furthermore, it is often the case that the most prominence is given to those at the front, such that somebody in the midfield, or even the tail end of the field, might well have been a truly exceptional driver, but gets overlooked because they were only scraping into the lower end of the points or perhaps not even scoring points at all.

            I’ve seen it pointed out that a driver like de Angelis, for example, is often rarely mentioned as a talented driver and probably doesn’t even make the top 100 list of drivers for most – and yet, when you look at his performances, he probably was a far better driver than he is given credit for, and probably a better driver than some of his team mates that are given more credit than him.

            We bias towards trophies because that’s the sole metric we seem to think we can use, but even that often paints a rather narrow and somewhat one-dimensional picture of the sport. Just as Senna is supposed to have claimed that the best driver in the world is probably a random person in the middle of nowhere who never got the chance to compete in F1, so too it might well be that the best driver that there ever was in the sport might well have been a driver who was stuck in an uncompetitive car and never got to show what they were truly capable of.

            1. Look anon I don’t really want to get into an extended debate with you about this because you are probably the most knowledgeable user on this website. But I will say this: Yes, that was Fangio’s ’56 title, when at Monza Peter Collins gave his Ferrari to Fangio so that he could finish the race and win the title. Quite honestly the ’56 Ferrari developed Lancia D50 was really not a very good car and was difficult to drive. And aside from his 2 championships with Mercedes Fangio won 3 championships in 3 different makes of car that weren’t really better than any other car on the grid (by ’51, the Alfa 159 was no longer dominant thanks to Ferrari’s new 375 that year). And yes, de Angelis beat Mansell all 4 years they were at Lotus and he finished 3rd in the ’84 championship in a year dominated by McLaren thanks to consistency and was always close to Senna in points in ’85.

      4. I’m not sure how you could say that Fangio is the best. His competition back in the day were 50-year-old farmers. By that logic, I’m one of the greatest eSports F1 drivers of all time since I dominated a season on F1 2019 on “easy” AI.

        1. 50-year-old farmers…Ascari. Moss, Hawthorn, Collins…

          And breaking the Nürburgring lap record ten times during the race to win from behind, and become the oldest ever F1 champion by some distance ?

          For more perspective, Fangio won his first world title when he was five years older than Schumacher winning his last one.
          He will never be equalled.

          1. Oldest EVER? The sport had been running 5 to 10 year’s and as has previously been said… his contemporaries were much older than we now expect drives to be. His age wasn’t a big issue back then. He was maybe the best of his era but taking your team mates car when both are in contention for the championship takes the shine off his achievements. That a just my opinion though.

        2. @mashiat Why not? Ask the drivers like Stewart like what Senna said, like what Hamilton himself said about Fangio etc etc.

          It’s extremely plausible to say Fangio is the best. Though it’s extremely plausible also to say Senna was, or Clark or Schumacher or, yes, Hamilton or even Prost. They’re all what we call “all time greats”. Though it’s impossible to definitely decide which of them is the greatest, they all have their arguments for and against. What’s not plausible is to put LH at p13 behind the likes of Piquet like the above comment did

          1. For me it comes down to which drivers affected me (awed, inspired, impressed, generally drew me in) and also what feats they achieved. I lean towards the drivers who had much more of the racing in their own hands, on the fly, without so much constant instruction from engineers every lap, without all the coddling. The drivers who not only were in much more peril as the pioneers of the sport, but who also had to make all the decisions themselves while on track. For me the greats stop at Senna, for after that drivers have been too coddled to perform great feats, but of course will be listed for sheer numbers inevitably. I hope and expect the new regs to at least bring back some of the feat, with closer racing not assisted by the biggest integrity harmer ever…drs.

            1. @robbie I disagree that the greats stop at Senna. Schumacher and Hamilton had to perform at as great a level if not more and even being coddled is required now because a driver now has to be so much more than just a driver, he has to be able to drive super fast with just a small part of his brain while doing lots of other stuff. I don’t agree with this personally, i would outlaw all this telemetry in real time and perhaps some of the radio comms as well. but it’s certainly not the driver’s fault that formula 1 is like it is nowadays. Lewis and Michael just did what required of them better than anyone else and I am sure that had they been born earlier they would have adapted just as well to previous era requirements

            2. @montreal95 Hmm…drive super fast? More like lift and coast, and ask or be told by an engineer what speed to drive in order to deal with the ridiculous tires. All while having access to a free pass button. In MS’s case he was not just an unethical boor on the track, he was also built up by Max and Bernie to have advantages hand over fist over everyone else because they wanted to create a new post-Senna chapter of Ferrari ending it’s WDC drought.

              Anyway, we do know this is very subjective, and nothing you have said has changed my mind. I simply was never into nor impressed by MS who needed a subservient teammate under contract to not compete with him, and nor has LH done anything for me in his dominant car (not blaming him for that) in this era that even has the drivers begging for more challenge.

            3. @robbie I was never a fan of either driver. in fact after Jerez 1997 I stopped being a Ferrari fan because it became Schumacherrari in my eyes. However you don’t have to be a fan to recognize greatness. I recognized LH as a great from his first f1race long before he had a dominant car. So what he’s annoying sometimes? Jackie Stewart annoys me every single time he opens his mouth and i can’t remember a single time I agreed with a single thing he said. so what? still a great driver

              but I guess it’s indeed a pointless discussion as everyone has different criteria and different priorities so we’ll agree it’s subjective and leave it at that.

              Just one thing: No one will ever convince me that Piquet was better than Hamilton like the above said! :)

            4. @montreal95 Fair comment and lol.

        3. @mashiat

          There were more farmers back then than there were kids in Karting today. Plus Lewis got the easy formula. If your face fits…….

      5. classic rose coloured glasses list

      6. you forgot Maldonado in your list… and apparently every other driver who’s raced in F1

      7. mfreire

        There’s not a single driver in your list and others outside that list who anyone can say had a style or personality that made them drive slower than Lewis.
        Look at Graham Hill around Monaco. What was he doing wrong? can anyone see it? The are races by other drivers and more importantly in non-dominant cars that are the peak of what can be achieved. Alonso at Ferrari for example always without fail ignored and wiped off the records by HAM fans.

      8. Here is my list:
        1 Juan Manuel Fangio
        2 Jim Clark
        3 Ayrton Senna
        4 Alain Prost
        5 Lewis Hamilton
        6 Michael Schumacher
        7 Jackie Stewart
        8 Alberto Ascari
        9 Niki Lauda
        10 Stirling Moss
        11 Fernando Alonso
        12 Jack Brabham

        1. @f1frog

          Pretty fair. But we have proof HAM can not beat ALO over a season. In fact nobody ever has! Yet it’s happened to HAM 3 times

    4. I share the same views as the COTD in that the only way Albon could face a demotion at some point during the next season would be if he were to massively under-perform as Gasly did over the first twelve GP-weekends. As for the current STR-drivers: Either one of them is probably going to be gone as soon as there’s a driver in the program with enough super license-points available.

      Re On this day in F1: In addition to today being the 25th anniversary of the 1994 season-ender, Lando Norris reaches the 20s.

    5. Very click-batey this round-up heading.
      If you read the full quote (part of it also reported over a week ago on another website) then it is much more balanced.
      But of course that would not create as many comments (from me) ;)

      1. If by balanced you mean he, like most drivers, qualify their compliment to Lewis by stating that he/they havn’t had the chance to fight for the championship like Hamilton in his first season. As if Norris would have had any sort of chance of coming close to beating a prime Alonso as his teammate and against a superior Ferrari. Hamilton might have been in a top car from the start, but damn did he prove he should have been there right from the start, regardless of experience.

        1. He was a disappointment at McLaren overall. Your forgetting that became the Seb ‘Fangio’ Vettel era where Lewis had the occasional say but found Button tough at times. Button says Alonso was his beast team mate btw

          1. Not that anything i said had anything to do with the post 2008 rules change, but I prefer to think of that time as the ‘Newey exhaust blowing’ era, but, whatever you prefer.

    6. Eras. Rank people in terms of eras. Ranking Hamilton against Fangio is pointless, there’s no way it can be done, they’re completely different sports.
      1950-late 1960’s (when front/rear wings started to be developed) – Clark, Fangio, Ascari, Moss, Brabham.
      late 1960’s-early 1990’s (before automatic gearboxes, had gear sticks) – Senna, Prost, Lauda, Stewart, Piquet.
      early 1990’s-today (maybe 2021 will mark a new era?) – Schumacher, Hamilton, Alonso, Vettel, Hakkinen.

      1. I would argue that you can compare drivers of different eras. Sure, the cars are completely different now as are skills required to drive them. But the objectives have never changed. It always was about positioning yourself into the best possible circumstance, doing the best you can with the equipment at your disposal, and beating the competition. Does it really matter whether in order to do that you must know how to simultaneously operate brake and gas pedal with one foot while nudging the clutch with the other…as opposed to constantly pushing bunch of buttons and levers on the steering wheel?

        1. @gpfacts Thank you so very much for your submission. I couldn’t have said it better.
          The competition is the key word there, not the machine. I would argue that the competition (at least from a driver’s perspective, if not teams) continues to grow with time.

    7. No disrespect to Norris, but his comment just echoes the fact that current generations are not really aware of the sport’s history and only vaguely know that there was F1 before Senna. That being said, Hamilton is an awesome race driver, no doubt about it.

      1. Not sure about current generations in general, but I do think it reflects Norris not having an in-and-out view of previous generations, unlike, say Vettel, who clearly knows and understands a lot of the history @gpfacts; To be fair, I suppose, he could have said ‘in my lifetime’ which would statistically clearly be true – though not so very interesting perhaps as an opinion ;-)

        Having seen, but not experienced contemporarily, races before the 90ties, I find it very hard to judge the exact relative merit of the generations before that.

        So Senna, Prost, to some degree, helps that they drove against Schumacher, albeit a young, less experienced one, as he clearly showed great stuff from the start, I can see him being on their level as a driver. Clark, for example, everything tells me he was great, but I have trouble putting it into context, and we will never know how far he could have gone; Stewart I have some trouble because he so obviously is biased against Hamilton that I tend to dismiss him more than his driving warrants, while Lauda is a legend as a person, with Piquet being a bit of a nasty guy from all I see, but all clearly were stellar F1 drivers, which doesn’t tell me much about their relative ranking – I could go on. Graham Hill and Brabham are also a bit early for me to honestly judge I think, and similar for Moss, who is quite well known as a person by now, and from all I can see he was a great driver, but he isn’t WDC, which leads me to conclude that maybe he ultimately didn’t have it in him to be as successful as the others mentioned here, if we are ranking.

        Fangio, well very little but contemporary accounts rather than views of him driving, and the circumstances were so different that it’s hard to see how well he would do in anything resembling modernity, had he been able to at a young age, but one can’t deny the 5 championships in those times show a dedication, talent and mindset that must have been up there if not beyond the best of them.

      2. @gpfacts

        It isn’t just younger generations.
        Everyone gushes over the ‘next best thing’ and it’s always in the now. In the last few years we’ve heard the pundits claim, ‘best pole ever” best race ever’ and so on. According to them the last half a decade has seen the best of everything ever in F1.
        Gushing nonsense in a highly egotistical sport they want to be part of.
        One thing I loved about Murray Walker, is that once he’d calmed down he was quite reasonable and always reminded us there were ‘unbeatable greats of the past who shouldn’t be compared.

    8. @robbie I disagree that the greats stop at Senna. Schumacher and Hamilton had to perform at as great a level if not more and even being coddled is required now because a driver now has to be so much more than just a driver, he has to be able to drive super fast with just a small part of his brain while doing lots of other stuff. I don’t agree with this personally, i would outlaw all this telemetry in real time and perhaps some of the radio comms as well. but it’s certainly not the driver’s fault that formula 1 is like it is nowadays. Lewis and Michael just did what required of them better than anyone else and I am sure that had they been born earlier they would have adapted just as well to previous era requirements

      1. @montreal95

        Lewis and Michael just did what required of them better than anyone else

        Lewis got 1 WC in 6 years, which saw him make mistakes, have poor runs, dangerous driving, lying to stewards and more.
        Vettel and Alonso were ‘doing it better’ than anyone else during that period.
        Short memories wow.
        Also Schumacher got given a tough time by Williams’ number 2 driver. Senna would have wiped the floor with him once the car was sorted to compensate for the illegal Benetton and Newey’s design flaw.

        1. @bigjoe – I’m not here to carry Lewis’ water, or to support Norris’ claims. But you are cherrypicking to prove your point.

          You leave out that Lewis was 1 point from the title in his rookie year against a two-time champ.

          You leave out that Alonso won only two titles in 17 seasons; two that is only one more than Hamilton got in his first six. You leave out that Alonso participated in sabotaging his teammate (HAM) at McLaren, blew up the team when he didn’t get his way, and conveniently ‘didn’t know’ about crashgate back at Renault. Alonso was also demoted to test-driver after his first season.

          For F1 driving mistakes and dangerous driving, see Vettel any of the past 3 seasons.

          Schumacher was not a saint, nor Senna, nor Prost. And none of the drivers have clean records against their competitors.

          1. @hobo

            I also left out that Alonso wasnt beaten by Lewis over as season or anyone before or since.
            I also left out Lewis was beaten or outraced 3 Times by a team mate (one of them also Alonso’s)

            You leave out that Alonso participated in sabotaging his teammate (HAM) at McLaren, blew up the team when he didn’t get his way, and conveniently ‘didn’t know’ about crashgate back at Renault. Alonso was also demoted to test-driver after his first season.

            Thanks for revealing your true colors! You’re an utter waste of everyone’s time with those myths.
            The team sabotaged HAM. You have video evidence so don’t be ignorant. Not a single McLAren engineer or mechanic asked ALO to move. If you don’t know what came before that pit incident then you’ve got research to do. Dennis even told the media a few years ago.

            Demoted to test driver? Ahh there we go. You ‘ve come over from Autosport forums to mess this one up too?
            You know zero about Alonso’s offer and deal after Minardi.

            1. Alonso was beaten by Hamilton. Hamilton was second in 2007, Alonso was third. Same score, not same finishing position in WDC. Alonso was beaten by Button in 2015. And by Marques in 2001.

              Hamilton’s teammates have been: Alonso, Kovalainen, Button, Rosberg, and Bottas.
              Alonso’s teammates have been: Tarso Marques, Alex Yoong, Allan McNish, Jarno Trulli, Frank Montagny, Jacques Villeneuve, Giancarlo Fisichella, Nelsinho Piquet, Romain Grosjean, Felipe Massa, Kimi Raikkonen, jenson Button, Stoffel Vandoorne, and Lando Norris.

              Right, because I’m telling the full story rather than bowing at Alonso’s feet, I’m the one talking rubbish. Alonso has dug every single one of his own graves at every good team he has been at. Was Hamilton probably too full of himself as a rookie? Yes. But had Alonso just gotten down to business, he probably would have won anyway. Instead, this. And this. And I saw and read about it at the time.

              Alonso’s career information is readily available on the internet. I’m aware. My point was that you specifically skew information to attempt to make Hamilton look worse; one title in six years. Why six? Because that was pre-Merc? You claim to want context for Alonso but don’t provide it for Hamilton.

              I’m not a Hamilton fan. However, I appreciate what he has done, his skill, and his talent. And even though I don’t agree with everything he has chosen to do, he has not burned every bridge behind him to the point that no big team wants him. Alonso can’t say the same.

    9. So Schumacher and Senna at their peaks would have driven the Mercedes slower? No way.
      Clark, Stewart, Moss were not slower than Lewis either. Neither was Alonso who was bang on equal over 07 except from getting knocked off by Massa, as Lewis sat back behind them both and watched. Gaining that óh so great’ 2nd place.

      Lewis is a top 10 driver until we see him win at Ferrari.

    10. Consider this. Whenever there is an article about who the best driver is, there will undoubtedly be the comments about negative antics, best car, weak teammates etc. Maybe, we need to expand what we consider driver ‘skills’. Race craft? Yes. Speed? Yes. Bravery? Yes. What about marketability? What about negotiation skills and building your brand? What about having the right people manage your career? Isn’t it a skill to be desirable to a team? So if you have great traditional driving skills but can’t do well at the other things you are an incomplete driver. And won’t get a top ride. Vice versa, look at the mediocre drivers that get f1 drives even though they don’t have great performance behind the wheel. Unless you are a complete driver, you don’t get a top team. Is that the teams fault? A driver is as much as an investment as a wind tunnel. Why would you invest in something (or some one) if it doesn’t check all the boxes. Sure, some drivers have either an abundance of talent, or abundance or money and will get a seat but they are the exceptions. The true legends of the sport are complete drivers who can do it all. Putting yourself in the ‘right spot at the right time’ can mean nailing a breaking point and kissing an apex just as much as it means sitting in the soon to be best car when the new regs come down.

    11. Schumacher andSenna will forever be downgraded: you can’t intentionally crash into other drivers like they did not have your career assessment be affected negatively.

      F1 is not a solo sport: being among the greatest in motorsport is more than just stats (Schumacher) and speed (Senna). There’s also honor: respect for the lives and well being of the other drivers and the integrity of the sport. The both failed in that aspect.

      Rather than picking a single driver as the greatest, I’d go with a group and Hamilton is obviously among that elite corps:

      Fangio, Clark, Stewart, Prost, Hamilton.

    12. @partofthepuzzle

      Schumacher and Senna will forever be downgraded: you can’t intentionally crash into other drivers like they did not have your career assessment be affected negatively.

      Sadly those drivers were utterly worshipped by the type of fan we still see today literally setting up fanclubs to massage their own egos. In fact I’m pretty certain there has been a crossover of Schumacher fans to Hamilton fans for this very reason. Like the crossover from the most winning football clubs. E.g Chelsea fans suddenly became Man City fans in UK’s league

      One thing I’m certain. Senna and Schumacher at their peaks wouldn’t have been beaten and outraced by Button and Rosberg 3 Times, let alone be beaten and out qualified by Bottas regularly.
      They would both have surely put up better title fight against Button, Vettel or at least Alonso from 2009 – 2013 .
      Hamilton had poor runs, made mistakes and was described as ‘dangerous’ by Niki Lauda and no less.

      1. Wait a minute. Button and Rosberg are both champions: being beaten by them hardly downgrades Hamilton’s career. IMO, we should look at the totality of a driver’s accomplishments, not just when they lost.

        Even with the best of cars, it takes elite dedication, talent and focus to put together the run that Hamilton has been on since 2014. 5 titles in 6 years. *Many* of the best qualifying runs in F1 history. *Many* races when Hamilton came from the back of the field, where even one such performance by another driver would be memorable. Hamilton keeps his cool when other drivers melt down and make critical mistakes (ex. Vettel).

        I’ve been watching F1 since 1961. I’m not any kind of Hamilton “fan boy”. I recognize all-time greatness when I see it and it’s obvious that Hamilton is in that elite group.

    13. Fangio? Prost? None of these guys were available on the driver select screen! Best drivers are: Hamilton, Schumacher, Mario, and Peach. :-)

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