Wolff: Hamilton and Schumacher are the best ever

Saturday, 09 february 2019, 05:31 , by Martin Macdonald

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff believes that Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher are the two best drivers we have seen compete in Formula 1, but thinks that the former's talent and achievements will only be fully recognised after he retires from the sport.

In 2018, Hamilton won his fifth driver's championship which put him alongside Juan Manuel Fangio's tally, with the duo still two behind the record of seven set by Schumacher.

The Brit is still only 33-years-old, making it possible for him to match or surpass Schumacher, and Wolff reckons those two are the benchmark for F1 drivers, even if Hamilton doesn't quite get the praise he deserves while currently competes.

"Lewis, in my opinion, along with Michael, are the best we have ever seen," Wolff told The National.

"We're only going to realise when he retires one day. We tend to never acknowledge somebody's great performance while it happens.

"We are always full of the types of people who retire or die. But they are never saying 'This guy is really unbelievable, we're alive to witness an exceptional performer'.

"I think we should recognise that while we are still racing."

Wolff and Hamilton have put together a supreme partnership, with Mercedes having won the last five constructor's championships. This season will be their seventh, and Wolff has revealed his admiration for how Hamilton has evolved over the years.

"The way he has developed as a human is exceptional," the Silver Arrows boss continued.

"He's become a strong pillar of winning with the team, which is rather unusual for a driver; your driver is more complaining about the team than praising, and he praises.

"We have an environment of brutal honesty with each other. So, if things go wrong, we go into the meeting and we say: 'That was wrong, that was wrong, and that was wrong'.

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Comments (52)

  • Bryan Falcon
    I wonder what on earth Toto is smoking. Haven’t seen Hamilton win in a sub-par machine. If he wins a race in a Sauber / Williams then only start calling him a great. Vettel did it in a Toro Rosso that while was competitive, it wasn’t exactly a front running car. This same Vettel today still forget his place on the track, so while he has the skill, I’d say he’s still got a pretty short fuse and is somewhat error prone compared to Hamilton. But yeah, before you start talking Toto, put Hamilton in a back-of-the-grid vehicle and make sure he wins to prove it’s not all the machine. 2010. How many drivers were in with a shout of the title that year? Clearly Toto forgot his history
  • Adrian Pink
    Senna Fangio Clark Schumacher / Hamilton Lauda Prost Stirling Moss I could go on... and as a driver and a lot of studying I could go on the full list many different reasons etc... I think as time gos on Lewis will beet the records of Schumacher.. and my personal list hear will change... but in my opinion ayrton senna will always be the greatest by a long way.... and you can bet had he sadly not been taken to soon the same with Clark schumachers titles and wins would not be what they are now...
  • Adrian Fielder
    All incredible talent have there flaws Hamilton Schumacher Senna Alonso etc.Hamilton is a true legendary driver but I don’t always agree with some of his off track personal activities but I don’t really care what he does out the car as long as he preforms in it. I hate Cristiano Ronaldos personality but i have to admit hes unbelievably talented Mick Tyson Tiger woods etc all flawed IMHO.
  • Ken Peach
    the best drivers are drivers like sterling moss and Jackie Stewart and any of that era who survived the the races and especially those who won championships because most of todays drivers would not be around to win multiple championships as they would have died in all their crashes if not for the safety features in modern cars..
  • Debby Ingoldsby-Baillargeon
    these are two "good" drivers who happened to drive the best car at the time of their careers. The true mark of a good driver, is to put him in a horrible car and see how he does (think Alonso). I seriously doubt Hamilton or Schumacher could have driven the McLaren as well as Alonso did.
  • Steven Miller
    He's spot on, we can all marvel at the natural abilities of Clark or Senna, but the simple fact is that Schumacher and Hamilton are not only the most successful drivers ever, they won titles without the best car and helped to build dynasties at Ferrari and Mercedes respectively.
  • John Cooksey
    Even without needing to watch the Jim Clark piece (Which was fantastic) I already knew that Jim was and always will be the best driver the world has ever seen. Hamilton, Schumacher and all of the current F1 drivers are not fit to lace his boots.
  • Stephen Lakeman
    Michael Schumacher would make hundreds of small adjustments to his steering and break balance each and every lap to maximise performance. You don't see many if any driver make so much effort to get the most of each individual lap than him.
  • Murli Rudiyatno
    Verstappen is better cause these two were still dreaming to be F1 drivers when they were 18, and Max was the F1 race winner when he was 18. Just imagine what could you do when you were 18.
  • Jim Long
    Lewis is a better driver than a Schumi, with much more integrity. Obviously Schumi fans will laugh at that, but history will show Lewis as a better driver.
  • Beth Evans
    Hamilton? really?! hahaha nah he’s just in a faster car, would like to see how he does in one of the teams near the back of the grid!
  • Rod Swailes
    Never Schumacher.....flawed personality,too many inexcusable acts....not sure GOAT title is applicable for drivers of all eras
  • Josh Hawkins
    Hamilton Senna Alonso are the best Schumacher wasnt even good at cheating
  • Vincenzo Mascia
    Hamilton best ever lol wow he won 3 titles where his best contender was wingman lol
  • ???? ?? ?????
    Michael Schumacher Juan Manuel Fangio Ayrton Senna Alain Prost Lewis Hamilton
  • Matthew Lambrick
    Senna, Fangio Daylight Michael Schumacher Daylight throw a blanket over 20+ drivers
  • Teymur Regenmaister
    So why in 2013 Hamilton replaced Schumi, and not Rosberg?
  • Lester Patalinghug Bernardino
    Schumacher yes. Hamilton? That is subject to debate
  • Martyn West
    After watching the Grand Tour's piece on Jim Clark, I beg to differ.
  • Farjad Ahmed BaBar
    Schumacher and Alonso. Hamilton doesn't come close

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