Lewis Hamilton, with his fifth world championship in his career, is just below the record of legendary Michael Schumacher (7). Will the end of his career, he can become the greatest driver in history or not?
Once again, Lewis Hamilton claimed he was still monopolizing F1. And a fifth world championship will put the British driver in the league of legends with Schumacher, Fangio, and Senna.
It is not a simple question, because even the great concept is controversial, whether it is based on mere numbers or depends on the feeling.
With five championships, Hamilton surpassed his predecessor Alain Prost, and rival Sebastian Vettel, to match the late legend Juan Manuel Fangio. And the interesting thing is that he is still at his peak. In the history of this speed sport, only 16 riders have won more than once. And before Hamilton won the 2018 championship, only two drivers had ever reached the 5 championship title: Fangio and Michael Schumacher.
Juan Manuel Fangio was the first to be mentioned after the fifth world championship in 1957. It took 45 years for a driver to balance that milestone. It was Michael Schumacher with the World Championship in 2002. The German driver then won the championship in the following two seasons to set his own record. Schumacher also holds the record for the number of championship championships with 91 times, 18 times more than Hamilton. But the most impressive statistic belongs to Fangio, who has a stage win rate of 46.15%. By comparison, Hamilton won 31.88% of the total number of races he took, while Michael Schumacher’s rate was 29.5%.
But the numbers can only tell you that. Unlike most other sports, successful F1 drivers rely heavily on technical and technological factors. Of course, the top drivers will often wear the top racing team, but there are also cases where it is not possible to develop all their talents, because of going wrong moves. Fernando Alonso, who just retired from his career after 18 years with two world championships in 2005 and 2006, is a testament.