Is Hamilton the greatest? | Sunday Observer

Is Hamilton the greatest?

9 January, 2022

Lewis Hamilton may have missed out on a historic eighth world title, but his record still marks him out arguably the greatest of all time.

Who would have thought anyone would have come close to Michael Schumacher’s record of seven Formula 1 World Championships when Hamilton equalled it last year?

Lewis Hamilton’s win at the Turkish Grand Prix in 2020 secured his seventh title after previous successes in 2008, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2019.

But in 2021 it was a different story, as Max Verstappen claimed his first championship with Red Bull in controversial circumstances.

However, Verstappen has a long way to go to match Hamilton overall, who holds the record number for most pole positions and race wins.

In terms of championships, Hamilton is the joint most successful driver of all time, level with Schumacher on seven titles.

Hamilton is two clear of Argentine legend Juan Manuel Fangio on the all-time leaderboard. Fangio won five titles in the 1950s.

Hamilton won four titles in a row from 2017. The record of consecutive F1 championships belongs to Schumacher, who swept all before him in securing five title wins on the bounce between 2000 and 2004.

Hamilton has won 103 races. He overtook Schumacher’s previous record of 91 with victory at the Portuguese Grand Prix in October 2020. They are head and shoulders above the rest. Vettel is in third place with 53 wins.

Hamilton has won more than one in every three races (36%) he has participated in his career (103 wins from 288 GPs started). Of all drivers who have taken part in at least 50 Grands Prix, only Fangio (with almost one in two - 47%) has a better win rate than Hamilton.

However, Hamilton has been involved in at least three times as many races as Fangio, sustaining his win rate over a much longer period of time.

Hamilton has a better win percentage than Schumacher, whose 91 victories came in 306 races (30% win percentage).

Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna both won about one in four of the GPs they took part in. Frenchman Prost recorded 51 wins from 199 races, while Brazilian legend Senna secured 41 wins from 161 Grands Prix before tragedy struck in Imola in 1994, when he was killed in an accident. (BBC Sport)