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Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher have both been snubbed in debate over who is the greatest Formula 1 driver of all time, despite the pair sitting joint top with the most titles in the sport’s history. Hamilton and Schumacher each have seven world championships, more than any other drivers, though there has been a debate about one victory in particular.
The debate has long engulfed the sport, especially after Hamilton matched Schumacher’s seventh title with his last victory in 2020. However, not everyone is able to come to an agreement, while some do not think either driver is worthy of being named the greatest.
Gerhard Berger, who twice finished third with Ferrari and enjoyed an impressive F1 career spanning over a decade, believes that instead Max Verstappen and Ayrton Senna are the two greatest drivers he has witnessed – ahead of Hamilton and Schumacher.
“Verstappen and Senna are unique in the business – they are the two best I have seen in the last 50 years,” he told Kronen Zeitung. “Schumacher and Hamilton are also exceptional drivers. Of course, you should always look at the statistics, they are both fantastic. But Senna died early – and Verstappen is still young.”
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Verstappen is coasting to his third consecutive world championship while Senna won three titles with McLaren in 1988, 1990 and 1991 as a direct competitor of Schumacher, but passed away in 1994 after an accident during the San Marino Grand Prix while driving for Williams.
Senna, Verstappen, Hamilton and Schumacher have all been in contention to be named the greatest F1 driver ever, while the Brit could stand alone with the most titles after recent calls for Schumacher to be stripped of his 1994 victory.
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The F1 legend’s long-time friend and journalist Roger Benoit considers Schumacher just a six-time champion after forcing Damon Hill to retire during the season finale in Australia. The Ferrari star was leading but hit the wall under his own steam, but turned in on the Brit who had attempted to take the lead – knowing that the Williams driver was looking to leapfrog him.
As both drivers failed to secure any points with a double retirement, Schumacher took home the title which remains one of F1’s most controversial moments. But Hamilton remains in line with Schumacher, despite calls from Felipe Massa that the Brit’s first title should also be overturned, while Hamilton has also received backing from his Mercedes team-mate George Russell at the Italian GP.
“He’s obviously the greatest of all time,” Russell told RaceFans. “I learn a lot on and off the track from him. I think he’s still hungry for more. He’s hungry to try to win more races. I’m hungry to achieve that and beat him.”
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