Damon Hill hailed Lewis Hamilton because the “GOAT” as he and Jackie Stewart led tributes on Monday following their compatriot’s record-breaking 92nd win in Sunday’s Portuguese Grand Prix. “Well I guess I can’t say I’ve beaten the best driver in F1 anymore. I had a good run though. Thanks @schumacher and welcome @LewisHamilton. GOAT,” 1996 world champion Hill stated on Twitter. Stewart was much less effusive, referring to Hamilton’s “remarkable success” and “hugely impressive career”, however with out declaring him one of many sport’s biggest drivers.
“He is undeniably one of the best athletes in history and an inspiration to so many young people,” he added, simply weeks after excluding him from his main all-time biggest F1 drivers.
The feedback provoked argument, not least as a result of Hamilton’s statistical landmark of 92 wins is more likely to be enlarged by him after passing seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher’s 14-year-old record of 91 wins.
Stewart’s reluctance to incorporate both Hamilton or Schumacher alongside his idols — Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio and fellow Scot Jim Clark — sparked widespread debate.
Few paddock observers agreed, however clues to Hamilton’s success since being overwhelmed by team-mate Nico Rosberg, have been articulated late Sunday by the group’s monitor efficiency boss Andrew Shovlin and rival Max Verstappen of Red Bull.
Stewart, an admirer of Alain Prost’s ‘professorial’ model, has typically stated he values studied and well-prepared consistency and “smooth” driving above uncooked pace and aggression in his evaluations.
It is why he neglected three-time world champion Ayrton Senna, Schumacher and Hamilton.
Hamilton ‘not often’ makes errors
Yet, since 2016, Hamilton has reworked his method and elegance to turn out to be the game’s most constant finisher with a file 45 consecutive factors finishes and 161 profession podiums — a metronomic return that left Verstappen full og admiration.
“Everybody knows he’s very quick,” stated the Dutchman.
“But I think what has also been a very strong point is that he’s consistent and he very rarely makes a mistake — and that’s why I think he got through these numbers so quickly.”
Shovlin, who has supervised all of Hamilton’s races at Mercedes, stated Sunday’s masterclass was “one of those days when you saw Lewis at his best” and demonstrated “the more recent version of Lewis”.
Shovlin defined that Hamilton confirmed endurance and precision, the qualities so admired by Stewart, after a difficult begin.
“He was pretty calm, losing places off the start,” he stated. “He didn’t take risks –- he acknowledges that he was a bit cautious in those conditions, but he knew that it would all come back to him.
“He clearly had tempo in hand a bit behind Valtteri. As Valtteri began to battle with the tyres… you noticed that Lewis was all of a sudden simply up behind him. With Valtteri struggling, Lewis was in a position to make that cross.
“Then he just managed the race. His pace was incredible at times, just how much he actually had in hand. So, I think it was definitely one of his races where it was fitting to go top of the all-time winners’ chart.”
Shovlin additionally praised Hamilton’s work ethic, his consideration to element and starvation for enchancment and perfection, all causes for reward from Mercedes group chief Toto Wolff who prompt: “In 10 or 20 years we’re going to look back and really acknowledge what a special driver he was.”
Hill acknowledged this: “His talent is supreme. There’s not a single racing driver who has not looked enviously at Lewis Hamilton’s abilities and thought ‘”hat should or not it’s wish to be that good’?”
Increasingly, as Hamilton accumulates extra titles and data with the traits that made the studious Stewart an excellent driver, there could also be little room left for argument.
Topics talked about on this article