Gerhard Berger dares to compare Hamilton with Senna: "Hamilton becoming best ever"

13-01-2020 14:06
by Matt Gretton
Gerhard Berger dares to compare Hamilton with Senna: Hamilton becoming best ever

Lewis Hamilton is now just one title behind Michael Schumacher's elusive tally of seven F1 world championsips. Without a doubt, the Brit is one of the biggest names to have ever raced in Formula 1. Even Gerhard Berger is daring to compare Hamilton with Ayrton Senna after avoiding the cross-era debate for so long. 

When Berger is asked if Hamilton is the best Formula 1 driver ever, the Austrian answers with a simple 'right now'. Berger does not like comparing between different generations. The former Formula 1 driver battled against Ayrton Senna himself.

"Hamilton is really on his way to becoming the best driver ever. He now has the option to match Schumacher's record. I often get the question of how the British driver relates to Senna and for a long time I have avoided this comparison. I haven't seen a driver in a long time who has the qualities that distinguish Ayrton. With Hamilton I can now say with a clear conscience: he has it. He is the first driver I would call Senna in the same breath," Berger tells Auto Motor und Sport.

"In the past two years Mercedes has won a few races, maybe even the world championships, because Hamilton was in the car. Valtteri Bottas would have found it difficult to take on the role in this way. Hamilton is at the front of every track, in all conditions. And in recent years he has learned to be third. He now has the talent to recognize that on certain days he has to be satisfied with less. Then he takes the points and says to himself: The next race is mine again. That is what makes a world champion."

How about the next generation?

It's likely that we'll see Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc racing against each other at the top for the duration of the decade. The rivals will fight each other to take over Hamilton's role as the flag bearer for Formula 1. Berger comments on the two drivers, but can't yet determine which one is better.

"The two are fundamentally different. Staking is more aggressive and unpredictable. He is completely apolitical, says what he thinks, and loud enough for everyone to hear. He drives the same way. Leclerc gives the impression that he is the calmer and more considerate driver. I see more calculation, more politics. As I said, a completely different approach, but on the same level in terms of ability," he continues.


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