Who is the true GOAT of Formula 1?
This is the question that has been posed again frequently since Lewis Hamilton equalled Michael Schumacher’s record of 91 career victories last weekend.
Hamilton is also on course to match Schumacher’s record of seven drivers’ titles at the end of this season, which makes you wonder, maybe the Brit is finally the greatest to ever drive a race car...
However, not everyone bases their decision on statistics and believes that the greatest ever discussion is only between Hamilton and Schumacher.
Former Austrian driver Gerhard Berger gave his view when interviewed by Speedweek.com. Berger is asked who he believes out of the two is the greatest, and he argues that a third name should be deemed the greatest – Ayrton Senna.
"For me it's still Ayrton," says Berger.
"He died young, but until then he had all the records in his hands. I think Ayrton would have become world champion many more times, and then the statistics would look different. I've seen all three of them up close, with some of them I've raced. He's the best driver I've seen."
Despite Hamilton now equaling up with Schumacher, Berger would have liked the record victories to still remain with the German, saying: "I would have liked Michael to remain the most successful driver in history for a long time, simply because of his fate. It is so tragic that you have to cry almost every time you think about it.
"Hamilton is an exceptional driver, he has proven countless times that he deserves this title. This is a battle between two greats that we will be discussing for years to come. They are both at the top, you cannot say who is the best of the two. You can't even know if they both would have performed the same in the same car."
This really does sum up the difficulty and gets to the heart of the debate. You can make a compelling case for Senna, Schumacher, Hamilton and even Juan Manuel Fangio. However, the difficulty of comparing eras, styles and cars always makes it difficult to compare like for like
If Hamilton goes on for years to come and breaks more records, it may become more difficult to argue for other drivers to be deemed the greatest. However, as the old saying goes, records are there to be broken and no doubt in the future we will have another great driver to rival these legends of the sport.
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