Walker: Fairness makes Hamilton better F1 driver than Senna and Schumacher

Legendary Formula 1 commentator Murray Walker says Lewis Hamilton is better than both Ayrton Senna or Michael Schumacher thanks to his fairness, driving "clean as a whistle"

Walker: Fairness makes Hamilton better F1 driver than Senna and Schumacher

Mercedes driver Hamilton is on-track to break Schumacher's record of 91 grand prix victories in the near future, scoring the 87th win of his career at Silverstone last weekend.

Hamilton is one title behind Schumacher's record of seven drivers' championships, and has a 30-point lead in the standings after the opening four races of the 2020 campaign.

The debate over who is the greatest F1 driver of all-time has intensified as Hamilton has neared Schumacher's records, prompting comparisons across many eras.

Speaking on the Australian Grand Prix's In the Fast Lane podcast, ex-BBC F1 commentator Walker said that it was impossible to define one greatest driver due to the varying conditions in each generation of grand prix racing.

But the 96-year-old said Hamilton's fairness made him stand out above the likes of Senna, Schumacher, and Juan Manuel Fangio.

"Fangio took a lot of beating, [as did] Jim Clark, Sir Jackie Stewart - I could go on - but which is the best I really don't know," Walker said.

"I used to say Fangio. I think I'm going to have to say very shortly Lewis Hamilton.

"If you look at it in terms of statistics, he's already got more poles than Michael Schumacher. He's got at least three years in him if he doesn't hurt himself or leave Mercedes for some reason or they decide to stop.

"In which case, he's got at least another three championships ahead of him, so statistically he will become the greatest.

"But he's also in my opinion - and this is very contentious indeed - better than either Schumacher or Senna because both of them, Schumacher and Senna, adopted at various times in their career, highly debatable driving tactics.

"Like Schumacher stopping deliberately at Monaco to prevent [Fernando Alonso] getting pole position, like Schumacher colliding with Villeneuve at Jerez in 1997, like Senna with [Alain] Prost in 1990 in Japan.

"Lewis Hamilton has never been anything like that. He's always driven as clean as a whistle.

"He's an extremely nice, gigantically talented driver, and I don't think we've ever seen anybody like him before."

Walker is not the first senior F1 figure to highlight Hamilton's fairness as setting him out against other greats of the sport.

Mercedes technical director James Allison hailed Hamilton for his "utterly unblemished" fairness on-track, while former team-mate Nico Rosberg said the Briton was an expert at racing hard without going to the extreme.

Hamilton's victory at the British Grand Prix was one of the most dramatic of his F1 career as he crossed the line on three wheels following a last-lap tyre failure, with a similar issue hitting Valtteri Bottas and Carlos Sainz Jr.

Asked how he would have called the closing stages of the race, Walker said: "Gosh, I would have gone absolutely bananas, through the roof of the commentary box, I should think!

"Because it has to be one of the most exciting finishes of all time when you think about it, Lewis coasting home to victory, and then all of a sudden it looks as though he's coasting home to nowhere."

shares
comments
Mercedes-Benz Motorsport launches dedicated channel on Motorsport.tv

Previous article

Mercedes-Benz Motorsport launches dedicated channel on Motorsport.tv

Next article

Silverstone installs new kerb at Chapel after F1 tyre damage fears

Silverstone installs new kerb at Chapel after F1 tyre damage fears
Load comments
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Plus

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Plus

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1’s elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he’s recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton Plus

How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton

OPINION: The Italian GP clash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen followed a running theme in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight. Their close-quarters battles have often resulted in contact - and although Hamilton has shown a willingness to back off, Verstappen must learn to temper his aggression

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Two drivers produced maximum-score performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left several others ruing what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021