“Lewis’ achievements will be measured against the intensity of his competition”- Damon Hill on the legacy of Lewis Hamilton in Formula 1.
Lewis Hamilton is undoubtedly the greatest driver of this generation. Still, a large section of fans and experts hesitate to call him the greatest Formula 1 driver of all time, even though he is on the verge of breaking all the records set earlier.
Damon Hill, the former Formula 1 championship winner has spoken in detail about this topic and remarked that the low intensity of competition from his rivals is tarnishing Hamilton’s legacy.
‘There is a risk that Lewis’ achievements will be measured against the intensity of his competition,’ 1996 world champion Hill said to Daily Mail. ‘He had to fight hard against (former team-mate) Nico Rosberg but he pretty much had the upper hand on him most of the time.
‘Valtteri is doing a solid job but he cannot keep up with Lewis during the races. Mercedes have totally dominated this era and Lewis is not being challenged.’
‘He demolishes everyone but we are missing the chance to see the best of him because if he had to fight hard, that is when you see the great drivers shine. You cannot keep saying look at the king’s lovely new coat over and over again.’ he further said.
Need an overhaul in the paddock
Hill has further suggested an overhaul in the paddock with snatching the powers away from the teams and allowing best drivers with the best machinery.
‘People wanted to see Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost in the same team, Nigel Mansell and Nelson Piquet in the same team and now they want to see Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen in the same team. That is F1’s version of a boxing prize fight.
‘If we cannot get the teams to be equal then you must have these drivers in the same team and generate a show. But we have gone through a period where teams have been frightened of putting two stallions in the same stable.
‘Mercedes want to keep Lewis sweet. He is the key to everything. He is so talented, he brings everything to the team, and the team are not going to want to upset him.
‘So how do you create a system whereby it makes no difference to Mercedes if they have another driver who is a rival to Lewis? Let’s say Max finishes second in the championship, perhaps he should then have the opportunity to transfer himself into the Mercedes team?
‘Or maybe the fans should be involved, saying we will pick the showdown we want to see. It needs imagination, it needs vision and not simply for the teams to have a hold on the drivers.’ he concluded.