Ecclestone: "If you didn't know Lewis was a race driver, you wouldn't say he was"

08-10-2020 09:28
F1 News
Ecclestone: If you didn't know Lewis was a race driver, you wouldn't say he was

It's surely enevitable that Lewis Hamilton will break Michael Schumacher's F1 career win recrods. He only needs two more wins to record more victories than the German, but is Hamilton really the better driver?

It is a question that will always be asked. Are Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna better than Juan Manuel Fangio, is Michael Schumacher better than Ayrton Senna and is Lewis Hamilton better than Schumacher. Comparing different generations of drivers is almost impossible, but Bernie Ecclestone sees clear differences.

Schumacher vs. Hamilton

"Schuey was driving on his own more or less when he was racing in his car. Hamilton has got God knows who helping him, telling him what his tyre pressure is, speeds through corners. In the old days Alain Prost, who I have great admiration for, when the flag went to start the race he was on his own and it ain't like that any more," the former Formula 1 CEO told AFP in France.

"You cannot say anything bad about Lewis, you cannot say he is not good, that is not the point. How good he is compared to somebody else, well he is super, super talented and would be amongst the top five drivers for the last 30 years. However, it is impossible to say if he is better than Michael. Was he better than Michael? Would Michael have been better in that car (Mercedes)? You can't say."

Senna's example

Ecclestone, however, understands where that difference comes from. "The way he dresses, if you did not know Lewis was a race driver you would never say he was a racer whereas with Nelson (Piquet) and Schuey, if you saw them you would say they were race drivers, they dressed for the role," the Brit said.

"Senna would most resemble Lewis from the older generation due to his religious beliefs, I suppose, as he was firm about them. The other guys I don't think there was anything they would lay down and die for," Ecclestone concludes of the six-time world champion.

Mercedes' era of dominance in under three minutes

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