Formula 1

Is Lewis Hamilton really better than Sebastian Vettel?

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In a year that has seen one team take over from another in dominating the sport, a lot of comparisons are being made between Lewis Hamilton's success at Mercedes and Sebastian Vettel's success with Red Bull.

Comparing the two drivers has always been an interesting area of debate as, despite having four world titles to Hamilton's one, Vettel is more often than not lower than the Briton in people's opinions of who is the better driver.

The reason for this is that Hamilton had success in a car that was not deemed to be dominant whereas Vettel, for many of his championships, has.

Now let me get one thing straight before I carry on, I'm not a Hamilton fan, though I do respect his abilities as a racing driver.

The fact is, however, both Hamilton & Vettel have had very similar careers, both won their first titles at roughly the same age after coming through young driver programs and when both are on form, in cars that suit them, they are nearly impossible to beat.

To argue that point I ask where was Hamilton when the McLaren was not performing after 2010? Where has Vettel been for the most part in 2014? Both found/ find themselves being beaten by team-mates, most thought, wouldn't be able to match them.

Then to counteract the whole 'it was the car' theory most have towards Vettel I merely have to point again at 2010.

Vettel barely led the championship throughout that year and the car was far from superior, some may argue luck played a large part in the German's success towards the end of the year, but when he had to win races he did as others retired, crashed or failed to get to the results needed.

Back in 2008, when Hamilton claimed his title, in many ways it shouldn't have been as close as it was, Hamilton lost a win at Spa and really played it far too safe in Brazil at the final round.

Massa had his moments too, like retiring from the lead in Hungary and leaving the pits with the fuel attached in Singapore but either way it was much more Hamilton's championship to lose plus the battle included less potential champions as Vettel's did four years ago.

Moving on to the present day, we see Lewis Hamilton back 'as his old self again' as he is being described, and is currently on a roll of four straight wins heading to this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix.

Only Lewis' retirement in Australia is making the championship battle look a lot closer than it realistically is and this time Hamilton is in a car that is quite simply dominating.

He is doing so beating another teammate whom most initially always thought would play second fiddle to the mighty Brit.

Perhaps it was Hamilton's struggles while adapting to his new team last year that gave the perception of Rosberg being much more of a threat to Lewis than perhaps he really is, though lets not forget Nico is still a great driver.

Yes Rosberg won twice last year but he lucked into the win at the tyre-exploding saga that was the British Grand Prix and really he was unchallenged in Monaco as Hamilton was taken out of the equation by a bad strategy call.

Then of course there have been the two races that, in theory, Rosberg should have won in Bahrain and Spain. Those wins for Hamilton only highlight that Rosberg is not only not quite in the same league in wheel-to-wheel battling but in a race where the pair do the exact same strategy i.e. Malaysia and China, Hamilton too, is easily the quicker driver again.

So in comparison Lewis is against a driver who in many ways is a slightly bigger threat to him than Webber was for Vettel in a car that is equally if not more dominant than the Red Bull was.

There will be those who claim that if and when Hamilton claims his second title later this year, it will prove that he has the right to be put among some of the best champions the sport has seen, yet those same people fail to put Vettel in that class because they deem his success to be somehow less worthy.

The argument, perhaps, is how much the ability of the car weighs in to how good the driver is, and in that case both Hamilton and Vettel face near identical legacies regardless of how many more titles each man wins, and that may be hard for the die-hard Lewis fans to understand.

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Formula 1

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DISCLAIMER

This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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