F1: Damon Hill hailed Lewis Hamilton as the”GOAT” as he and Jackie Stewart headed tributes on Monday after their compatriot’s record-breaking 92nd win in Sunday’s Portuguese Grand Prix. “I guess I can not say I have defeated the best driver in F1 anymore. I had a fantastic run though.
Thanks, @schumacher, and welcome @LewisHamilton. GOAT,” 1996 world champion Hill stated on Twitter.
Stewart was less effusive, referring to Hamilton’s”remarkable success” and”hugely impressive career”, but without declaring him one of the game’s best drivers.” He’s undeniably one of the best athletes ever and an inspiration to so many young individuals,” he added, only weeks later snatched him by his leading all-time greatest F1 drivers.
The comments provoked argument, not least because Hamilton’s statistical landmark of 92 wins is 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 include either Hamilton or Schumacher alongside his idols — Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio and fellow Scot Jim Clark — sparked widespread disagreement.
Few paddock observers agreed, but hints to Hamilton’s success because being beaten by team-mate Nico Rosberg, were late Sunday from the team’s track performance supervisor Andrew Shovlin and rival Max Verstappen of Red Bull. Stewart, an admirer of Alain Prost’professorial’ style, has often said he appreciates researched and well-prepared consistency and”smooth” driving above raw speed and aggression in his tests.
This is why he overlooked three-time world champion, Ayrton Senna, Schumacher, and Hamilton.
Hamilton’rarely’ makes mistakes
yet, since 2016, Hamilton has transformed his style and approach to become the sport’s most consistent finisher with a record 45 consecutive points finishes and 161 career podiums — a metronomic return that left Verstappen full of admiration.”Everybody knows he is very fast,” said the Dutchman.”But I think what has been a really powerful point is that he is consistent and he very rarely makes a mistake — and that’s why I think he obtained through these amounts so fast.
“Shovlin, that has supervised all Hamilton’s races in Mercedes, said Sunday’s masterclass was”one of these days when you watched Lewis at his best” and demonstrated”the more recent variant of Lewis”.Shovlin clarified that Hamilton revealed patience and accuracy, the qualities admired by Stewart, after a tricky start.”He was pretty calm, dropping places off the start,” he explained.
“He didn’t take risks — he admits that he was a bit cautious in those states, but he understood it would come back to him.”He definitely had speed in hand a bit behind Valtteri. Since Valtteri started to struggle with the tyres… you noticed that Lewis was abruptly just him up. Together with Valtteri struggling, Lewis managed to make that pass.
“He then simply managed the race. His pace was incredible at times, how much he actually had in hand. Thus, I think it was one of his races in which it was fitting to go top of their all time winners’ chart”Shovlin also commended Hamilton’s work ethic, his attention to detail and hunger for improvement and perfection, all explanations for praise from Mercedes team leader Toto Wolff who suggested:
“In 10 or 20 years we’re going to return and really acknowledge what a distinctive driver he was. Hill acknowledged this: “His gift is supreme. There is not just one racing driver who hasn’t looked enviously at Lewis Hamilton’s abilities and believed'”hat must it be like to be that amazing’?”Increasingly, as Hamilton accumulates more names and records together with the traits that made the studious Stewart a fantastic driver, there may be little room left for debate.