Who was the greatest F1 driver of all time?

Dieter's Inbox

Posted on

| Written by

There are three questions are I get asked more often than any others.

One is “which is your favourite grand prix era?”, which we tackled last year.

Another is one of the trickiest questions to answer about Formula 1 racing: “Who was the greatest grand prix driver of all time?”

The complex nature of Formula 1 makes this an incredibly difficult topic to tackle. The championship now spans seven decades, nearly 900 drivers and over 1,000 races. Among the most successful drivers over 100 have won races and 33 lifted world titles, although even that is not necessarily a sign of greatness – as the championship-less Stirling Moss proves.

During F1’s lethal years the careers of many potentially great drivers too often ended prematurely. On the other hand, drivers such as Jim Clark and Ayrton Senna achieved greatness even before paying the highest price.

Whereas the basic ingredients of cricket, tennis, football and other balls sports remained largely static over the ages – balls, boots and bats have not essentially changed; rulebooks and pitches remain similar – F1 has changed almost beyond recognition since 1950, as a simple comparison of its ever-evolving technologies shows.

Juan Manuel Fangio, Buenos Aires Grand Prix, Mercedes, 1955
Fangio’s record of five titles stood for almost 50 years
Would a Juan Manuel Fangio have delivered such sublime performances in gizmo-dominated mid-engined light-weights; could sprint specialists like Michael Schumacher have handled the three-and-a-half hours (500-kilometres) demanded by the original Nürburgring Nordschleife; how would a Lewis Hamilton fare without real-time input from his race engineer?

I believe the only true arbiter of driver skills is his – and, hopefully soon, her – ability to master the prevailing technologies and challenges of the day. These have all changed demonstrably over time, making direct comparisons absolutely impossible, and largely meaningless.

Comparisons of overlapping team-mates – Driver A was quicker than Driver B at Team X But B was quicker than C at Team Y… – tend to overlook experience curves and crucial internal factors. After all Ronnie Peterson out-scored Niki Lauda at March in 1972, and Jody Scheckter won the 1979 title for Ferrari, with Gilles Villeneuve second.

The only measures of greatness is provided by comparisons within eras. This enables a shortlist of greats to be compiled. F1’s seven decades provide solid reference points, being primarily: front-engined era (fifties); mid-engined, small capacity (sixties); aero/slicks (seventies); turbo (eighties); electronics (nineties); manufacturer (noughties), and hybrids (present day).

[smr2020test]Of course there are overlaps, but each decade was defined by its bracketed technology, and this gives us a broad framework to work in. So who was the definitive driver within each decade?

There is no doubt Fangio bestrode F1’s first decade like a colossus, winning five titles and a then-record 24 grands prix during extremely dangerous times. He is the only driver on my list whom I never saw race, but his record speaks for itself.

Jim Clark was king of the sixties, whether in his lightweight Lotus 25s and 33s or, all too briefly, the sublime 49. He, too, had a win record-setting career despite it ending far too soon. There is no doubt he would have added to his two titles but for tyre failure in a Formula 2 race.

Ultra-professional Sir Jackie Stewart followed his compatriot, setting records on his way to three titles and is still the only British world champion knight. Undoubtedly my choice for the seventies.

Selecting the next driver is more challenging, for three are in contention: Lauda (who also qualifies for seventies nomination); Senna (who could achieved much more); and stealthy Alain Prost. In my opinion it comes down to Niki, whose title-winning return during the eighties after all the Austrian had endured in 1976 clinches it.

Start, Niki Lauda, Jacques Laffite, Zandvoort, 1977
Lauda’s recovery from injury was truly heroic
Senna and Prost figured large in the nineties as well. The popular choice is Senna and so it is on my list, by a whisker: But for that fateful day in May, he could have raced to rarer heights and the course of F1 would have been so different. Senna simply stood out, and Prost loses out, albeit by a slender margin.

The 2000s belong to Schumacher, no question – having led Ferrari’s resurgence, in turn raising the bar ever higher. And the current era has been utterly dominated by Hamilton, who mastered the complex hybrids like no other. Thus, to recap my short list: Fangio, Clark, Stewart, Lauda, Senna, Schumacher, Hamilton.

How could any driver on that list even be considered above another given the enormous changes to F1 over seven decades? Thus selecting my ‘GOAT’ is an impossible task, and even attempting to do so does the remaining sextet a gross disservice.

Still, I nominate three standouts: Stewart, Lauda and Senna – in chronological sequence, mind – but, who knows, Hamilton could oust one of that legendary trio, and all three could be replaced in decades to come.

And the third question? We’ll have to save that for another time…

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Will Lewis Hamilton break Michael Schumacher’s wins record?

Hamilton could break Schumacher’s all-time victories record this year. Here’s a look at the history of the record and all the drivers who held it, from Juan Manuel Fangio to Jackie Stewart, Alain Prost and more.


Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Dieter’s Inbox

Browse all Dieter’s Inbox articles

Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

Posted on Categories Dieter's InboxTags , ,

Promoted content from around the web | Become a RaceFans Supporter to hide this ad and others

  • 165 comments on “Who was the greatest F1 driver of all time?”

    1. I think i just found out the third question posed to Dieter :-)

      how would a Lewis Hamilton fare without real-time input from his race engineer?

      I know this is more of a though experiment but perhaps this question should be modified and read
      ‘Which drivers in the current grid would fare well (a ranking) without real time input ? ‘
      There is no certain way of knowing the answer to this, but @dieterrencken is the closest we(I) can get to an F1 driver’s mind and how well and truly he is intelligent.
      Otherwise, as Lauda once said, a monkey will do.

      1. michael foster
        16th July 2020, 3:36

        Put any driver today in a Lotus 25 with Jim Clark as the competition at Spa or Monaco or the Ring and I’ll put everything I own on Clark….every time…no abs, no traction control, no computers, no paddle shifters no team of 15 Phd engineers from MIT and no super computers designing suspensions and tires….back when the driver was the biggest factor….

        JIM CLARK was supreme…-

    2. Lauda was undoubtedly a very fast driver, but I’ve never been able to overlook his links to Nazism the way F1 generally seems happy to.

      Niki von Lauda was a scion of one of Austria’s leading families, which was instrumental in bringing about the Anschluss and made a fortune from slave labour under the Nazis. He got into F1 using Nazi blood money.

      Similarly, von Lauda’s recovery from injury to win the world title would be laudable if he hadn’t used the words ‘blut und ehre’ when talking about it.


      I still find it staggering that F1 was willing to turn a blind eye.

      1. get your facts straight. Laudas family didn’t invest 1 cent in his racing career. He took a loan from the Raiffeisen Bank and paid it back when Ferrari signed him. I don’t know about his ancestors, but Niki was by no means a Nazi, not a anti-semite and not a racist. He may have been a little bit conservative, but that’s it. Stop spreading BS.

        1. Lauds didn’t get a loan from a bank run by friends of his family off his own bat. He was able to get the loan because he was backed by blood money.

          Of course Niki wasn’t a big fan of the Nazis, but he certainly displayed plenty of prejudices stemming from his childhood spent among them.

          1. at best an opinion.. you bring it as if it were facts.

          2. Magnus Rubensson (@)
            10th March 2020, 9:36

            Lauda is no longer here to speak for himself.
            He was a triple F1 champion and that is how he should be remembered.

      2. José Lopes da Silva
        9th March 2020, 12:48

        F1 was always filled with fascists, starting with Mosley and Ecclestone (racing in apartheid South Africa). But why are we judging politics?

        We made a decision in the late 40ies: to assimilate the defeated foes into the international community. This implied to turn that blind eye to many things, otherwise you would have to persecute large swaths of the population of those countries.

        If you want to fight fascism, don’t persecute fascists when they’re doing other stuff. Persecute them when they’re being fascists. Otherwise you don’t get healthy democracies.

        1. Neither Moseley nor (especially) Ecclestone have ever expressed any view that is even slightly fascist. It’s utterly absurd to suggest Bernie, who is at least Jewish enough for Nazis to want to gas him, is a fan of any such thing.

          (Re South Africa, there seems to be a modern idea that at the time people were only opposed to the sporting boycott because they didn’t care about apartheid. It’s complete nonsense, though. People opposed the boycott because they thought it would be counterproductive, and now we have the benefit of hindsight we can see that they may well have been right: it clearly didn’t work, and we didn’t get to see the great WIndies cricket team annihilating the racists.)

          “We made a decision in the late 40ies: to assimilate the defeated foes into the international community. This implied to turn that blind eye to many things”



          “If you want to fight fascism, don’t persecute fascists when they’re doing other stuff. Persecute them when they’re being fascists. Otherwise you don’t get healthy democracies.”

          Of course. But what did I say that implies any sort of persecution? All I said is that we should note Lauda’s background when evaluating his career, particularly the comeback from injury.

          1. José Lopes da Silva
            9th March 2020, 16:39


            Not nope. It was considered that Germany could be 100% desindustrialized and turned into a forced rural country. It was considered to make a neutral and policed country, with a unique status apart from every other country. In the end, the West decided to integrate Germany into the regular norms, and USSR did the same. So, not nope.

            Actually, denazification was stopped at a point when it was found that Germany could be seriously diminished of of technical staff. Some people were lucky to escape, and anyway the big leaders already taken care of.

            “we should note Lauda’s background when evaluating his career”
            And what should we do with that note?

          2. Dave, Ecclestone has in fact expressed comments in the past which were criticised for seeming to apologise for senior members of the Nazi party, as well as being criticised for comments that had an anti-Semitic tone to them.

            On the former point, during an interview for The Times, Ecclestone stated it was: “terrible to say this I suppose, but apart from the fact that Hitler got taken away and persuaded to do things that I have no idea whether he wanted to do or not, he was – in the way that he could command a lot of people – able to get things done.” It was an interview where he was heavily criticised for appearing to downplay Hitler’s involvement in the Holocaust, seemingly suggesting that it was the fault of people around him.

            Later that same year, when he faced complaints from the World Jewish Congress, who suggested he should resign over those remarks, Ecclestone then went to repeat anti-Semitic tropes about the world banking system being run by Jews, complaining that they had too much influence in politics and the banking system and blamed them for causing the 2007-2010 financial crisis.

            As for Mosely, as a young man he was part of his father’s post-war party (the Union Movement), a continuation of the pre-war British Union of Fascists, acting as an election agent for his father and for other UM candidates. He did later reject the actions of that movement, but you cannot say that he never had an association with fascism and the extreme right during his lifetime.

          3. we should note Daves background when evaluating his career.

            Please enlighten us..

      3. Drawing such libelous conclusions from such a small amount of (out of context) data makes you a bad historian.

      4. From what I can gather (on the internet, so take this with a kilo of salt) Lauda’s grandfather was ousted by the nazis from the leadership of his company when they annexed Austria and promptly reinstated when the war was over so not sure about those nazi ties. Seems Lauda is actually Laudable (hah)

        1. That’s interesting, I’ve never seen anything about that. It would rather change the picture of they weren’t in charge or taking profits while their factories were using slave labour. Do you have a link?

          1. I’ve never seen anything about that.

            try looking at facts instead of fiction.
            Of course you are entitled to have an opinion, but its only that!

          2. Here is an example from a link that you can find from Niki Lauda’s Wikipedia page that tracks back to Hans Lauda, his grandfather, which states that Hans was “relieved of his position under the National Socialist regime”. https://austria-forum.org/af/AEIOU/Lauda%2C_Hans

            For what it is worth, the German version of Wikipedia also lists Hans Lauda as being forced out of his position in 1938 when the Anschluss came about. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Lauda

            Your assertion, therefore, that his grandfather made “a fortune from slave labour under the Nazis” would seem to be completely wrong. If anything, a fairly straightforward search for sources appears to suggest it was the opposite situation – his family actually seems to have been harassed by the Nazi regime because his grandfather did not support the Nazis and was therefore deemed to be “politically suspect”.

    3. pastaman (@)
      9th March 2020, 12:33

      Stewart top 3 GOAT? I can see him in the top 10 and even in the top 7 provided, but top 3 is a stretch IMO

      1. Stewart is not tobe underestimated. I don’t like the guy, but the more i learn about him as driver and what he has done for safety I really rate him near the top. I have him as a top 3 definitley if not top two.

      2. I have him top ten. I would put Clark top five. Schumacher and Hamilton have been the most successful but not necessarily the best. Senna and Clark were otherworldly. The only two in that category in my humble opinion.

    4. I would honestly rate Surtees as perhaps the greatest, all things considered. Winning bikes and F1 is simply monumental. His feel must have been out of this world. Same is overcoming a massive crash and injury and still keep top level. If not for politics and unlucky choices he would likely have had many more championships.

      1. I mean, if you’re talking overall the greatest in motorsports then maybe, but for purely the greatest F1 driver, accomplishments in MotoGP are completely irrelevant.

        1. exactly, if we’re opening it up to all motorsports then Mario Andretti is firmly near the top in my opinion

          1. If we’re open to all motorsport, then surely the winner is Seb Loeb? If he’d been allowed to race his teammate in his rookie season, he’d have won the drivers’ title in every full season he raced, including years his team didn’t win the constructors’ .

            I’m his one outing in an F1 car, he set competitive times. It’s a real shame he was refused a superlicence, or he might well have had an F1 title too.

        2. @hugh11 No I mean F1. But for politics and circumstance Surtees could easily have won multiple championships. The talent was immense. I believe the best F1 driver of all time. I mention the conversion from bikes simply to show the latent skill and bravery. I really think in Lotus he would have outdone Clark.

          1. @balue From the comments Forghieri made in his autobiography, Surtees might have been talented, but he sounds like he could be a rather difficult driver. Tony Rudd made a few comments in his autobiography that hinted at that too, as well as indicating that Surtees’s politicking might have put back ground effect cars in F1 by a decade due to his interference in the running of BRM.

            Forghieri has stated that he thinks that there were times when Ferrari, and thus Surtees, had a better car than Lotus did, but that Clark was a better driver than Surtees – in other words, that the slight performance disadvantage that Clark might have had was outweighed by his abilities as a driver.

            I believe that Moss might have also once given his opinions on Clark, Hill and Surtees when discussing the abilities of all three drivers. Again, he also indicated that he thought Clark was superior to Surtees – not that he didn’t think that Surtees wasn’t talented, but that he thought that Clark had a broader skill set than Surtees did, who seemed to rely more heavily on his reactions and raw ability.

    5. Jim Clarck and you all know it

      1. @johnmilk I’m with you. Shocked to see he didn’t make the short short list.

        But of course this is highly subjective. I like the approach taken here.

      2. Most don’t, they’re too young, like I’m too young to fully appreciate Fangio et al. Clark’s achievements include.

        25 wins with just the one second place and a handful of minor placings
        Was in championship winning position in both the last races of ’62 and ’64 when his car broke
        After starting his wins with Lotus, he never finished behind a team mate in a healthy car
        He caught up a lap on the entire field at Monza in ’67
        He won the BTCC whilst racing F1 in his other career
        He contested the ’66 RAC rally running high up in the order before retiring
        Indianapolis win in ’65
        He was supposed to be driving for Ford in the BOAC500 at Brands Hatch, but went to Hockenheim instead and died…

        1. If clark had Hamilton’s reliability, who know how many championships he’d have had. 62 and 64 would have been in the bag. 1967, he had twice as many wins as Hulme but still no championship effectively due to car failures. He was undoubtedly quicker than Hill so 68 should have been a walk in the park. Rindt wouldn’t have been needed to replace him and so 70 would have been his. Basically any Lotus championship would have been Clark’s…(assuming he would have continued as long as 78). Ah if only…

          1. Yes, I was a very gutted 14 year old when he died, as you say, what might have been.

            1. @frasier I’m 31 years old. I read and watch videos about him

              I can tell you, I’m very jealous of you for having the memory of seeing him race

      3. michael foster
        16th July 2020, 3:43

        I saw him race

        I met him at Rockingham in 1967

        Watching Clark drive an inferior car and win was why I became an F-1 fan in 1963

        Nobody could drive a car like he did

        If he had the money, engineering and support that someone like Schumacher had with Ferrari he would have son 5 titles in 63,64,65,66,67

        He is the only man to win the F-1 title and Indy in the same year

        Sunday, 7April1968 was one of the worst days of my life…….

        I stopped watching racing for years after

    6. For me Hamilton. Schumacher never had a WDC or a strong teammate and would never had 7WDC’s had a WDC or strong teammate. And Senna is vastly overhyped after his death. Don’t get me wrong, Senna was good but he had plenty of races where he messed up for little to no reason and got beaten hard by his teammate. Senna should not even have three WDC because Prost had more points in one year than him, i forgot which one.

      1. José Lopes da Silva
        9th March 2020, 12:54

        “plenty of races where he messed up for little to no reason and got beaten hard by his teammate.”

        Well, so did Hamilton.

        1. José Lopes da Silva – Still Senna should not have three WDC’s considered the fact that Prost had more points than him and driver input is what makes a car great and todays driver need to manage way more than back in the day with all the stuff allowed unlike todays car. Alonso did nothing at McLaren and Verstappen the same at RBR. To me you are anti Hamilton for just mentioning those nonsense you just mentioned.

          Cristiano Ferreira – You sound salty. Don’t tell me how you overlook how Schumacher NEVER in his whole career had a strong teammate, seriously. And don’t tell me when Schumacher won his WDC in Spa already that there was more competition than clearly you have no idea what you are talking about

          1. Senna won the 88 WDC under the rules of that season. It makes no sense to say it wasn’t deserved because Prost had more points overall. The same rules applied to all drivers

            1. José Lopes da Silva
              9th March 2020, 16:43

              We will likely spend another 30 years trying to show people that “the same rules applied to all drivers” is just common sense.

          2. José Lopes da Silva
            9th March 2020, 16:41


            Yeah, internet feels so good nowadays.

          3. Cristiano Ferreira
            9th March 2020, 18:57


            If i sound salty, you sound like someone who licks Hamilton balls.

      2. Cristiano Ferreira
        9th March 2020, 13:00

        The same can be said about Hamilton. If he can “farm” championships its because Mercedes is a dominant force since 2014. Almost every driver in the grid can win a WCC driving for Mercedes. That fact alone is reason enough for me to never consider him a GOAT.

        In the Shumacher era F1 was at least more competitive than its now

        I’m not saying Hamilton is a bad driver or that he is without his merits, but lets its easy to perform in such a dominant car and team.

        I’m way more impressed with what Alonso did driving for McLaren Honda, and with Verstappen’s performance since he joined Red Bull that still has a weaker car compared to Mercedes.

        1. But Shumacher, as the best driver of his era, when he got to Ferrari had a car and tyres made just for him, which he could practice with 7 days a week. Even between Quali and the race.
          Forget his No.2 or the other teams using the same tyres. It was all about him, I’m not implying it was the wrong decision but could he have done it now. With tyres the same for everybody and a severe lack of testing. IMHO no.

          1. So, do you think that Mercedes build the car keeping on mind the ‘1yr contract driver’?

          2. The team’s also had a spare car (the T car) available so they could swap it out for the race car.

        2. WHen you said Alonso in the Mclaren Honda I had to stop. I like Alonso, but pople need to stop acting as if this guy was some kinda of god that got shafted. The man drew with a Rookie, that says a damn lot however way you look it with regards to this comparison.

          Hes exploits in the Mclaren were insignificant, he did nothing. I dont get it.

          Verstappen is good, but I would rate him just as good as Riccardo who kept him very honest during there time. I dont see ow his exploits all of sudden him make him the best of his generation and up there on that list already. Didnt he get his firs tpole this season or something?

          I would also say last year was a very copetitive season, with Mercedes arguably not having the fastest car for the majoirty of it. In fact Since 2017 it has been a very competitive field, its just that Hamilton has outperformed all the others.

          Sometimes you gotta give respect where its due.

          1. “ with Mercedes arguably not having the fastest car for the majoirty of it.”
            Hmm, last I checked they won the WCC in Japan, with four races to go…..thus having BY FAR the fastest car over the season, just like every year since the hybrid engines were introduced.
            Sometimes you gotta say it as it is…..

          2. Cristiano Ferreira
            9th March 2020, 18:04


            Only great drivers could drag that dog of chassis / power unit that McLaren Honda had to places where it did not belong to. Be it Hamilton or Alonso, both are great drivers. What i said is that TO ME Alonso’s exploits were far more impressive than “farming” WCCs in a Mercedes, especially in the years 2014 until 2017 when they had much more pace than the rest of the grid.

            The same can be said of Verstappen. Now i’m not saying that Red Bull is in the same place as McLaren Honda, but we have to agree that the kid has a lot of pace in him and it is just a matter of time until he gets a car that can challenge Hamilton and Mercedes. I doubt Hamilton would be farming WCCs like he is now if he had some kind of competition, be it from teammates or from rival teams (Ferrari doesn’t count because they are a mess).

            Hamilton is a great driver and there’s no doubt about it, but being a GOAT just because of Mercedes dominance… well, for sure he is not a GOAT for me.

            His 2008 title has my respects, that WCC was hard fought and well deserved, but i can’t say the same about his more recent WCCs.

            If Mercedes had never signed Hamilton, I bet Rosberg would be the one we were going to talk about here. Replace Rosberg with any (decent) driver if you like, and there you go.

            1. Cristiano Ferreira
              9th March 2020, 18:07

              *When i say WCC, i meant WDC.

              How much for an edit button? :P

            2. Cristiano Ferreira,

              If Mercedes had never signed Hamilton, I bet Rosberg would be the one we were going to talk about here. Replace Rosberg with any (decent) driver if you like, and there you go.

              Sure Rosberg was a great driver too. Only a few drivers in the field could beat him. Obviousl Hamilton for instance. Plus Alonso probably and Ricciardo.

              Vettel clearly not though. Hamilton in the 2017 and 2018 Ferrari would have won 2 titles wih ease against Vettel in the Mercedes.

        3. Cristiano Ferreira, Ferrari had a slightly better car for 2017 and a clearly better car in 2018. Plus Hamiltoin had the worst car of Mercedes for 2016.

          So in reality Hamilton only had the best car of the field for 3 seasons.

          1. Cristiano Ferreira
            9th March 2020, 19:03

            Well the worst car of Mercedes (2016) gave Nico Rosberg his WDC. I’m sure Mercedes built equal cars for both drivers. So, in the end the WDC and WCC stayed in Mercedes hands.

            1. No the worst car cost Hamilton the title too Rosberg. He was beating Rosberg 3 to 1 with a working car.

          2. In your reality.

            1. @robbie Yes in actual reality. Auto und motor sport actually did the same excercice and agrees. Vettel blundered away easy titles in 2017 and 2018

            2. Easy titles? Nah you just blew your credibility when you said that. And I seem to recall in at least one of the two seasons you cite SV had some late season unreliability that became just too late to recover from. No, things average out over a season and we needn’t look beyond the standings to see that Mercedes has been dominant since 2014, just not quite as dominant every year, but comfortable winners by season’s ends nonetheless. Put another way, you’ll be hard pressed to find anyone you’ll be able to convince that LH won in 2017 and 2018 in an inferior car as much as you seem desperate to have people think that, like numbers don’t stand well enough on their own for some reason…well, the reason being you don’t want people to think he won because of the car. But hey this way you get to shoot down SV and falsely promote LH at the same time, so you get to Trump the conversation that way.

          3. @f1osaurus
            Hamilton had the best car in both 2016 and 2017.

            That he had worse reliability than his teammate in 2016 is irrelevant. Vettel had much worse reliability than Webber in 2010 and still won the WDC. Mercedes was the best car of 2016.

            Hamilton had the best car in 5 seasons.
            Schumacher in 3 seasons (2001, 2002, 2004)

            1. @kingshark Hamilton had a car that broke down a lot more than the one his team mate drove. Which made it impossible evej for him to get that title. He was beating Rosberg 3 to 1 when his car worked.

              2017 Ferrari had the faster car. Vettel dropped well over 50 poitns with his blunders. Costing him an easy title.

              Schumacher did not only have the best car. He had the help of the FIA

            2. @f1osaurus

              Hamilton had a car that broke down a lot more than the one his team mate drove. Which made it impossible evej for him to get that title. He was beating Rosberg 3 to 1 when his car worked.

              Two car finish between Hamilton and Rosberg was 10-9 in 2016.

              If we exclude Russia, China and Belgium because of mechanical problems, you still end up with a score of 10-6.

              Hamilton should look back at Australia, Bahrain, Baku, Monza, Singapore and Suzuka as reasons to why he lost the 2016 WDC.

              2017 Ferrari had the faster car. Vettel dropped well over 50 poitns with his blunders. Costing him an easy title.

              Nah, the gap between Bottas and Raikkonen that season was almost 100 points. That’s too big. Bottas was only slightly better than Massa on race day when they were teammates. If Ferrari was quicker, then Kimi should have been right there with Bottas in the standings.

              Bottas also finished ahead of Raikkonen 12-4 in 2017. You know what his record against Massa at Williams was? 23-23

        4. “Almost every driver in the grid can win a WCC driving for Mercedes”. Well Bottas has not, Rosberg did then retired afterwards, and that one time is the only one that Hamilton didn’t win. Alonso was Hamilton’s team mate and was toe to toe when he was a rookie. The fact that you are trying to downplay Hamilton’s achievements shows your biasness towards him. For Schumacher, I dont think he would have achieved his success without the dominance of that Ferrari in that era, same for all the other drivers.

        5. Schumacher and Hamilton were both perfect for their own eras. Schumacher operated in a world where driver feedback and track testing was very important, Hamilton isn’t really suited not least because he is so adaptable he has an advantage over other drivers who would be more of a problem if they could spend hundreds of hours tailoring their setup to their driving style.

        6. The thing that impresses me about hamilton though is he wins races he simply shouldn’t such as Germany 2018. Even starting way down the field he usually seems to find a way to make things happen for himself which is what I think makes the greats the greats. I remember alonso being much the same. I still reckon Hamilton would have won the championship in the 2018 ferrari.