IS LEWIS HAMILTON THE GOAT?
It has been no secret that Lewis Hamilton has ruled the roost in Formula 1’s turbo-hybrid era. The spearhead of a period of unprecedented dominance with Mercedes since he came on board in 2013, the staggering rate at which Hamilton began to rack up the wins entered him into the debate for the moniker of the greatest of all time a couple of years ago. On Sunday in Portimao, he took another step towards cementing that status, notching his 92nd win and overtaking Michael Schumacher in the process.
With no signs of slowing down just yet, Hamilton will soon equal the German’s 7 drivers’ championships as well. The MTAG writers delve into what exactly makes the relentless Brit the GOAT.
Simply put, you may love him or hate him but Lewis is the greatest of all-time. Personally, I am not a fan of Hamilton’s, but I do believe he is better than anyone before him. He has raced and beaten some of the greatest drivers the world has ever seen. Massa, Räikkönen, Schumacher (albeit in his Merc days), Alonso, Vettel, Rosberg, and Verstappen. As a Red Bull fan, Lewis has always been the pantomime villain in my eyes. It was frustrating seeing him dominate after Red Bull had for four years, while they struggled to even be in a title fight.
Obviously, he had a very good car under him and the car must take some credit as well but he has beaten his teammates in every season in his F1 career bar two. And, as can be seen in the last four seasons with Bottas, Lewis has just been a step above Valtteri. Lewis is also someone who isn’t just fast but can also handle pressure very well. He showed this in his multiple World Championship fights, especially the 2008 finale in Brazil. His record-breaking win at Portimao wasn’t even surprising anymore as everybody is so used to him breaking new records every race.
Lewis Hamilton will retire from Formula 1 with eye-watering success. In his 14th season in the sport at the age of 35, he is enjoying arguably his most dominant season yet. In a year when the world order has turned upside down and everything in F1 and beyond has been reshaped beyond recognition, Hamilton’s ability to dominate once again consistently must not be taken for granted. However, beyond the records and statistics, which he continues to smash, he will be remembered for the lasting impact he’s had off the track and across the sport as a whole, making him the best of all time for me.
It beggars belief that in 2020, in a globally staged and followed sport such as F1, Hamilton remains its only black driver. Now, as its greatest, he continues to fight for inclusivity, justice and equality, no matter how hard the push back against it has been in the current climate. This, as I am sure he will himself reiterate, will be the centerpiece of his legacy in the sport. In a sense, Hamilton has always been out on his own in F1. Now he has the accolades to go with that.
Atul Kumar Maurya
When Lewis Hamilton burst onto the scene in 2007, Michael Schumacher had just left the sport with 91 wins and the undoubted tag as the best ever. Even Hamilton wouldn’t have thought in his wildest dreams that one day, he would be the one to break that monstrous record and set a milestone of his own. The Briton has seen it all in the sport. From losing the world title to Kimi Räikkönen by a single point in his debut season with McLaren to winning it the next season, by the same margin against Felipe Massa. 13 years and 6 world titles later, he surely stands alone at the top of the Formula 1 peak for me.
I have witnessed numerous debates on why Hamilton shouldn’t be put above Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna, so let me tell you why he should. Since day one, Hamilton has had a fair share of ups and downs in the sport, but what has defined him throughout these years has been the consistency he has shown on the track.
Some might say that he has had the luxury of driving the best cars in the sport, but as Gary Lineker once said, “As in football, the best players end up in the best team.” Lewis Hamilton has been the best for quite a while now and deserves utmost respect one can get in the business.
From tyre management to winning races with humongous margins, Hamilton is surely the best we’ve seen in recent years, as well as the greatest we’ve seen in the history of the sport. It is not outlandish to suggest that he ends up with 120 wins before he hangs his boots, something that would have never seemed possible before his time.
If it was about the numbers all this while, it came into his favor just yesterday at Portimao. With this feather in his cap, he has officially gone past the Red Baron – Michael Schumacher – in terms of wins, the epitome of consistency and dominance. Being a McLaren and Ayrton Senna fan among others, I know Senna would have been proud that his number 1 fan, Lewis, has reached the top of the F1 Everest.
As a fan, I am eternally grateful to what Lewis did for McLaren before he joined Mercedes. This was the equivalent of if say, Wayne Rooney joined West Ham from Manchester United for context. What he has since gone on to achieve with the Silver Arrows, is nothing short of magical.
There have been consistent opinions that Lewis has taken advantage of a better car and the FIA regulations. While there may be a hint of truth to that, Mercedes needed a driver like Hamilton who would push them to develop as a team. It is as Doc Rivers says in ‘The Playbook’ – Ubuntu.
Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton are the best ever in the business because they have needed each other to push them to be the best. In my personal opinion, it shouldn’t be a debate for any while longer. What the Englishman has achieved is absolutely unprecedented and he could keep on going. He has that Mamba Mentality to do it again and again consistently. All hail the one true king – King Lewis Hamilton of Stevenage.