Formula 1
Formula 1
R
Emilia Romagna GP
18 Apr
Race in
44 days
09 May
Next event in
62 days
23 May
Race in
79 days
R
Azerbaijan GP
06 Jun
Race in
93 days
13 Jun
Race in
101 days
27 Jun
Race in
114 days
04 Jul
Next event in
118 days
18 Jul
Race in
135 days
R
Hungarian GP
01 Aug
Race in
149 days
29 Aug
Race in
177 days
05 Sep
Race in
184 days
12 Sep
Race in
191 days
26 Sep
Race in
205 days
R
Singapore GP
03 Oct
Next event in
209 days
10 Oct
Race in
219 days
R
United States GP
24 Oct
Race in
234 days
31 Oct
Race in
241 days
R
Australian GP
21 Nov
Race in
261 days
R
Saudi Arabia GP
05 Dec
Race in
276 days
R
Abu Dhabi GP
12 Dec
Race in
282 days

Hamilton no match for Fangio, Clark – Stewart

Wins and titles alone don't put Lewis Hamilton on the same level as the likes of Juan Manuel Fangio or Jim Clark, according to Sir Jackie Stewart.

Hamilton no match for Fangio, Clark – Stewart

Hamilton is poised to break or equal records for both wins and titles this year, the Mercedes star currently on 90 race victories, one shy of Michael Schumacher's benchmark.

He's also on course to equal Schumacher's haul of seven titles, leaving the door wide open for Hamilton to become the standalone record holder in both categories by the end of the current regulations.

But despite those wins and titles, many the result of a dominance across the turbo hybrid era, Stewart isn't ready to put Hamilton among the sport's greats.

The three-time champion says Fangio and Clark are still the best Formula 1 has seen, while Hamilton's numbers have been helped by longer seasons and the modern dedication to competing in a single category.

"I don't think that you can account that sort of level of success, just because today there are 20, 22 races," Stewart told the In the Fast Lane podcast.

"Juan Manuel Fangio is in my mind the greatest driver that ever lived, with Jim Clark the second greatest, even ahead of [Ayrton] Senna. But those people only raced sometimes six to eight or nine races a year in Formula 1. They were driving sportscars, GT cars, etcetera.

"But the world championship now, Lewis Hamilton, or any of the other top contenders, are doing 22 races – only in Formula 1. Not in touring cars, not in GT cars, not in IndyCars, not in Can-Am cars...

"The pressure today is much more relaxed. Of course they go to the factory and do the simulator, but that's not quite the same. It's a different world."

Read Also:

Stewart added that the "almost unfair" advantage enjoyed by the Mercedes squad in recent seasons also works against Hamilton in the 'all-time great' stakes.

"Lewis drives extremely well, make no mistake. I'm not in any way diminishing his skills. But it's not the same," he said.

"[Fangio] drove in such a way, it was quite extraordinary – he would choose Ferrari, and then he would think 'well Maserati next year might be good', so he never did more than a one-year contract.

"And then he drove for Mercedes-Benz and won two world championships with them, because they were the best cars in the world at that time.

"Lewis made a very good decision when he left McLaren at that time and went to Mercedes-Benz. I take my hat off to him for making that decision. But frankly, the car and the engine are now so superior that it's almost unfair on the rest of the field.

"Now you can't say that, you must take your hat off to Mercedes-Benz, to Toto Wolff and to Niki Lauda for making one hell of a team, for choosing the best engineers, getting the best money that most other teams couldn't get, apart from Red Bull.

"It's not quite the same respect, if you like, of being able to do it in less than the best car. And that's where sometimes there was a difference between the very, very great drivers and the ones that were very successful.

"It's difficult to say that about Lewis, not being as good as Fangio was, in my mind. And a lot of people would find fault in that. But I've been watching motor racing [since] I was a wee boy. My brother was a racing driver, I was going with him to races and seeing Ascari and Nuvolari and Caracciola and people like that. Some of the best racing drivers in the world, I saw.

"To say Lewis is the greatest of all time would be difficult for me to justify, in sheer power of what the other drivers were doing."

According to Stewart the top-heavy nature of modern Formula 1, particularly in the engine department, makes it difficult to identify the truly great drivers.

"I do think I was lucky to drive in my window of time," he said. "We had Jim Clark and Graham Hill and Jochen Rindt, my teammate Francois Cevert and a few others that were really top racing drivers. Chris Amon, Jack Brabham. These were top, top racing drivers.

"We don't have that today, that you could identify these people at the very top of their profession.

"The great thing about my window of time was the Ford Cosworth. Everybody had a Ford Cosworth except for Ferrari. There was a level playing field that simply doesn't exist today."

shares
comments

Related video

Albon needs more confidence "hustling" Red Bull car

Previous article

Albon needs more confidence "hustling" Red Bull car

Next article

Nurburgring weather could throw up "crazy" race - Ricciardo

Nurburgring weather could throw up "crazy" race - Ricciardo
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Andrew van Leeuwen
How Ferrari plans to recover from its 2020 F1 nightmare Prime

How Ferrari plans to recover from its 2020 F1 nightmare

The 2020 Formula 1 season was Ferrari's worst for 40 years as it slumped to sixth in the standings. A repeat performance will not be acceptable for the proud Italian team, which has adopted a notably pragmatic approach to forging its path back to the top

Why Aston Martin’s arrival is more than just new green livery Prime

Why Aston Martin’s arrival is more than just new green livery

In the most eagerly anticipated Formula 1 team launch of the season, the rebranded Aston Martin squad’s changes go much further than the striking paint job. But rather than a restart, the team hopes to build on top of solid foundations.

The car Aston Martin begins its new F1 journey with Prime

The car Aston Martin begins its new F1 journey with

The team formerly known as Racing Point gambled successfully on a Mercedes look-alike in 2020 as it mounted a strong challenge for third in the constructors' race and won the Sakhir GP. Now clothed in British racing green, Aston Martin's first Formula 1 challenger since 1960 provides the clearest indicator yet of what to expect from the new-for-2021 regulations

The tricky driver conundrums facing Mercedes in F1 2021 Prime

The tricky driver conundrums facing Mercedes in F1 2021

Ahead of the new Formula 1 season, reigning world champions Mercedes will take on challenges both old and new. This also can be said for its driver conundrum which could become key to sustaining its ongoing success...

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
How Alpine's cure to 2021 F1 rules starts at the front Prime

How Alpine's cure to 2021 F1 rules starts at the front

A new name, new faces and new colours pulls the rebranded Alpine Formula 1 team into a new era while carrying over core elements of its 2020 car. But under the surface there's more than meets the eye with the A521 which hints at how the team will tackle 2021...

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
Can Mercedes' W12 retain the team's crown? Prime

Can Mercedes' W12 retain the team's crown?

Replacing Formula 1's fastest car was never going to be an easy feat for Mercedes. Amid the technical rule tweaks to peg back the W12 and its 2021 rivals, the new Mercedes challenger will remain the target to beat

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
The pointed note that starts Ferrari's Leclerc vs Sainz era Prime

The pointed note that starts Ferrari's Leclerc vs Sainz era

Ferrari is starting its post-Sebastian Vettel age by welcoming Carlos Sainz in alongside Charles Leclerc. But while Sainz has a tough challenge to match his new teammate, Ferrari is also sending a message that previous intra-team spats must end

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
The mantra Ocon must follow to challenge Alonso at Alpine Prime

The mantra Ocon must follow to challenge Alonso at Alpine

OPINION: It's been an uneasy ride for Esteban Ocon since his F1 comeback - and fresh challenges lie in wait as he's joined by double world champion Fernando Alonso in the newly rebranded Alpine team. STUART CODLING sets out a roadmap to success…

Formula 1
Mar 1, 2021