Lewis Hamilton close in on Schumacher’s record
MARK Webber, a former Australian former professional racing driver says he’d pick Lewis Hamilton over Michael Schumacher, with the Brit “a more complete driver”.
Since Hamilton has added more titles to his name, a debate has broken out regarding who the best driver of all time really is.
Many consider it to be Michael Schumacher, who has a record seven World Championships. Others, however, think that Hamilton is better. Webber is one of them.
“I would take Lewis over Michael because of his completeness,” Webber told the Press Association.
“I am not saying Michael wasn’t anything because we are comparing two juggernauts. Michael put our sport into a whole new stratosphere in terms of fitness and approach. He was an extraordinary pioneer.
“But some of Michael’s numbers are challenged in terms of how he went about certain things. So, Lewis, in terms of how clinical he is, how he has done some pretty special stuff in weaker cars, I would have him by a whisker.
“When he can smell victories and the real stuff, which is winning championships, he is absolutely frightening.”
Hamilton has won at least one race in each of the 14 seasons that he’s been on the F1 grid. Given that he’s not always been in the best cars, this is one of his most impressive records.
Remaining at such a high level for so long is another reason the Aussie rates him so highly.
“Lewis has had a long career, and the sign again of a great champion is longevity,” Webber, who raced against both of them during his career, added.
“When Lewis is eight out of 10, he is special, but when he is 10 out of 10, going for it and is hungry, he is pretty much unbeatable.”
After making an excellent start to the season, Hamilton is well on his way to surpassing Schumacher’s record number of wins, 91, and joining him on seven titles too.
Given that he’s recently stated that he intends to stay in F1 for another three years or so, he may well break more records and set some more of his own yet. Given how dominant Mercedes is, it’s looking more and more likely.
Hamilton held on to win the British Grand Prix on Sunday despite a puncture on the last lap to clinch an 87th career win and move within four of Michael Schumacher’s Formula One record.
The championship leader’s record-extending seventh Silverstone win saw him finish six seconds ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who unexpectedly moved up a place after Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas sustained a puncture with three laps left.
With Hamilton so far ahead, Verstappen went in for a tire change in a bid to gain an extra point for the fastest lap but that pit stop ultimately cost him victory because Hamilton’s front left shredded with half a lap to go. Verstappen swallowed up most of the 25-second gap but ran out of time. Charles Leclerc finished third for Ferrari.
When his tire melted, Bottas had to come back for a tire change and dropped out of the points altogether into 11th spot and 30 points behind Hamilton in the title race.
Sebastian Vettel, a four-time F1 champion, placed 10th and has now failed to get into the top five for his worst start to a season since 2008.
McLaren’s Carlos Sainz Jr. also sustained a puncture on the last lap and fell to 13th. –www.planetf1.com