Massa: Schumacher worked harder but Hamilton more talented in F1

Felipe Massa says Michael Schumacher was the harder worker, but Lewis Hamilton has the edge on talent, when the two Formula 1 greats are compared

Massa: Schumacher worked harder but Hamilton more talented in F1

At last Sunday's Portuguese Grand Prix Hamilton's victory saw him become the standalone record holder in terms of most grand prix wins, with the six-time F1 world champion banking his 92nd career victory at Portimao.

He's also closing in on equalling Schumacher's record of seven titles, further fuelling comparisons between the two superstars.

Massa, an 11-time grand prix winner, has seen both up close having worked alongside Schumacher as part of the Ferrari system, including a season as team-mates in 2006.

Hamilton, meanwhile, was a close rival of Massa's for a number of years, including their spectacular showdown for the world championship in 2008.

While conceding the best basis for comparison would be if he'd been team-mates with both drivers, Massa feels he still has insight into how they stack up.

Speaking to the In the Fast Lane podcast, Massa said Schumacher's worth ethic, in terms of fitness and car set-up, was second to none - but that Hamilton is probably the more naturally talented of the two.

"It's very difficult to compare," he said. "I didn't race with Lewis in the same team. You really need to race with both of them in the same car, understanding the data, to compare one with the other.

"But both are completely amazing and talented and different, and complete drivers in so many areas.

"I would say on the technical side, Michael was in front. I don't really see Lewis working massively with the engineers, understanding everything on the technical side. I don't really think he knows [the car] 100%.

"But the talent and pace alone...

"Michael was training massively physically, Michael was very good on the technical side. I'm not sure [Hamilton] is exactly like that on the training side, on the physical side, but he's also not really like that on technical side.

"But he's making everything in the perfect way. Maybe even on the talent side, he's even over [Schumacher]. Because even if he doesn't work as hard, he can do everything in the perfect way."

Massa added Hamilton's raw ability was evident from when he first arrived in Formula 1 in 2007, and fought for the title despite being matched up against a two-time world champion in Fernando Alonso at McLaren.

"It was clear that Lewis was a very talented driver since he started," said Massa.

"He didn't win [the title] in 2007 because he had some mistakes, maybe some experience was missing in some races. I remember in China he crashed going into the pitstop, he just stopped in the run-off area. In the end he didn't win the championship because of some mistakes, and also the fight he had with Alonso in the same team.

"But it showed he had talent. He showed that he was different, he could beat any of the drivers. He showed straight away, in his first year, that even Fernando Alonso, also an amazing talent... he beat Fernando in his first year in Formula 1.

"In the end his numbers are showing his capacity, what he's able to do. The numbers keep showing, because he will beat all the records in Formula 1, victories and maybe this year he will already be the same number of titles as Michael Schumacher - which is something that is unbelievable."

shares
comments
Vettel trusts Ferrari giving him same F1 car as Leclerc

Previous article

Vettel trusts Ferrari giving him same F1 car as Leclerc

Next article

Why do Verstappen's offensive comments get a free pass?

Why do Verstappen's offensive comments get a free pass?
Load comments
How Ferrari got its F1 recovery plan working Plus

How Ferrari got its F1 recovery plan working

After its worst campaign in 40 years, the famous Italian team had to bounce back in 2021 – and it appears to be delivering. Although it concedes the pole positions in Monaco and Baku paint a somewhat misleading picture of its competitiveness, the team is heading into the 2022 rules revamp on much stronger footing to go for wins again

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness Plus

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness

Long-awaited wins for ex-Formula 1 drivers Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen in IndyCar and IMSA last weekend gave F1 a reminder of what it is missing. But with the new rules aimed at levelling the playing field, there’s renewed optimism that more drivers can have a rewarding result when their day of days comes

Formula 1
Jun 17, 2021
The figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again in F1 2021 Plus

The figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again in F1 2021

OPINION: An interloper squad got amongst the title contenders during Formula 1’s street-circuit mini-break, where Red Bull left with the points lead in both championships. But, as the campaign heads back to purpose-built venues once again, how the drivers of the two top teams compare in one crucial area will be a major factor in deciding which squad stays in or retakes the top spot

Formula 1
Jun 16, 2021
Why Alfa's boss is ready for the task of securing a stronger F1 future Plus

Why Alfa's boss is ready for the task of securing a stronger F1 future

Two tenth places in recent races have lifted Alfa Romeo to the head of Formula 1's 'Class C' battle in 2021, but longer-term the Swiss-based squad has far loftier ambitions. With the new 2022 rules set to level out the playing field, team boss Frederic Vasseur has good reason to be optimistic, as he explained to Autosport in an exclusive interview

Formula 1
Jun 15, 2021
How Barnard’s revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction Plus

How Barnard’s revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction

The MP4/1 was pioneering by choice, but a McLaren by chance. STUART CODLING relates the tangled (carbonfibre) weaves which led to the creation of one of motor racing’s defining cars

Formula 1
Jun 15, 2021
Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool Plus

Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool

Windtunnel work forms the bedrock of aerodynamic development in Formula 1. But as PAT SYMONDS explains, advances in virtual research are signalling the end of these expensive and complicated relics

Formula 1
Jun 13, 2021
Why polarising Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour Plus

Why polarising Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour

The newspapers, naturally, lingered over Max Mosley’s tainted family history and niche sexual practices. But this is to trivialise the legacy of a big beast of motor racing politics. STUART CODLING weighs the life of a man whose work for safety on both road and track has saved hundreds of thousands of lives, but whose penchant for cruelty remains problematic and polarising

Formula 1
Jun 12, 2021
Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture Plus

Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture

Sergio Perez has spent most of his career labouring in Formula 1’s midfield, wondering whether he’d ever get another shot at the big time. Red Bull has handed him that chance and, although life at the top is tough, the Baku winner is doing all the right things to get on terms with Max Verstappen, says BEN ANDERSON

Formula 1
Jun 11, 2021