Hamilton should retire to avoid “pain” of decline – Stewart

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In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton has missed his best opportunity to retire while on top of Formula 1 and should step down, says three-times world champion Jackie Stewart.

In brief

Retiring would be “wiser” move for Hamilton – Stewart

Stewart, who left F1 at the end of the season in which he won his third title, told The Convex Conversation why he believes the time has come for Hamilton to retire.

“He’s done extremely well,” said Stewart. “He came from modest beginnings. His father had four or five jobs to afford his karting before a man called Ron Dennis picked him up, because he was so good at karting, and took him into McLaren and got him to win grands prix. He’s very talented.”

“When it came time to leave, it was his decision, not Ron Dennis,” Stewart continued. “It was Lewis Hamilton’s decision to go to Mercedes-Benz because he saw the potential of what they had to offer.”

After winning seven world championships, Stewart believes Hamilton is “now struggling a little bit because he’s had a new team mate who’s been quicker than him in qualifying so far this year, which is going to be difficult for him to handle. But I think it’s time for him to resign.”

Hamilton has shown he has interests beyond F1 he is eager to pursue. “He’s got music, he’s got culture. He loves clothing and the rag trade would be absolutely suitable for him,” said Stewart. “I’m sure he’ll be very successful because he’s been earning a huge amount of money – rightfully so, because he’s been the best of his time.”

Stewart believes Hamilton should step down instead of risk spending years not being able to compete. “I would like to see him resigning now,” he said. “It’s a pity he wasn’t resigning at the top. But I don’t think that’s going to happen now. But nevertheless, it’s wiser to stop than go through all the pain of not being able to do what you did before.”

Albon hoping Silverstone upgrade will materialise

Alex Albon, Williams, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2022
Williams’ rivals have made gains, says Albon
Alex Albon says Williams are aiming to bring some improvements to their car for the team’s home grand prix next week.

“We’re going to Silverstone, hopefully we can see how our updates are doing and if we can get them in time,” he said.

Albon took points finishes for the team in Australia and Miami but has not scored since. “Everyone’s been upgrading, we haven’t had a major upgrade in a while now, so there’s that side to it,” he said. “Balance-wise, we have weaknesses in the car which aren’t so clear [for us] to be able to fix with what we’ve got right now.”

Mercedes “starting to make strides forward” with W13

Third and fourth places for Hamilton and George Russell in Canada was the best result Mercedes could have scored, said Elliott, who is encouraged by the progress the team has made.

“From my point of view what’s really nice is to see a bit more pace from the car on Sunday,” he said in a video issued by the team. “Also to find some direction, I think we are starting to understand our issues, we are starting to make strides forward.

“But we are very realistic, we’ve got our feet properly on the ground and we know we’ve got to work really hard from here. We’ve got to turn that understanding into parts that we can bring to make the car go quicker and we are trying to do that as quickly as we can.”

The team has an upgrade package planned for introduction at the next race at Silverstone, Elliott confirmed.

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Comment of the day

As Mick Schumacher‘s streak of non-points finishes continues, he joins a list that means only Toranosuke Takagi, Brett Lunger, Max Chilton, Charles Pic and Luca Badoer have competed in more grand prix without scoring. SjaakFoo says it’s increasingly hard to see where the 2020 Formula 2 champion stands in a driver ranking:

Just a big ‘oof’ at this list right here. Not a list of drivers you want to be compared to, for sure.

I don’t think Schumacher is as poor as the drivers he’s being listed with here though, ultimately last years Haas wasn’t his fault, but this season shouldn’t have been pointless until now. It’s hard to gauge exactly where Schumacher ranks in the current field, let alone all time, I want to believe he’s up there with the Stroll’s and other such lower midfielders of the world, but he needs to start showing something more.
@sjaakfoo

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Logan00Si and Irishf1!

On this day in motorsport

  • 20 years ago today Rubens Barrichello won the European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring. Unlike in Austria two months earlier, he was not told to let team mate Michael Schumacher by

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  • 86 comments on “Hamilton should retire to avoid “pain” of decline – Stewart”

    1. Jackie Stewart, a wee Scot with a huge jealous streak down his wrinkled back.

      1. He gave too many compliments, typical sign of jealousy, especially from a guy that considered Fangio and Clark better than himself.

        1. Clark was a beast so not surprised there… plus all the prima ballerinas of today have nothing on Stewart or anyone from that era really.

          1. Lewis wouldn’t dare to drive Stewards car in a race against him not that he will beat him but he was afraid to die in those deathtraps and that were Lewis own words…..

            Jackie is a Scott a tad direct (like the Dutch) i wouldn’t look too much behind his words.

            1. @macleod, Jackie Stewart was also not too fond of the death traps and has done a lot to improve safety standards for drivers in his years in the sport.

    2. I think HAM has a few good years left. Still see him moving to Ferrari if Mercedes doesn’t produce a winning car in the final 3rd of the season.

      1. That’d be great. I wouldn’t mind seeing sainz jr out.
        PeterG I don’t think Ham is declining, I think he is driving as well as ever. People just overrate drivers, cars are the biggest factor. Ham is fast though I would not call ultimate speed his greatest attribute, he is an expert on tyres, to me this has always been the thing that stands out, his steering inputs are smooth, linear and minimal. He is great at managing his race, managing pressure and making calculated decisions and taking good risks. He is also generally very outspoken and gets preferential treatment from his team. I’m sure when Mercedes gets closer towards the front we will see merc prefering Ham over Rus. Hamilton is a proven driver he’ll be able to convert pace into results. Just this race Mercedes opted to compromise Russell strategy in order to avoid pointless racing between both drivers. Merc are happy to keep Lewis there.

      2. @jimfromus I agree, I think Ham still has a season or two left in him. While it does look like he’s been caught off guard with a problematic car, I think it might be good for his system to shake out any cobwebs that was accumulated while having a very dominate car making life easier; it’s now up to driver (Ham) to make up the difference and we’ll see if he can.

        I don’t seeing him moving to another winning potential team but Stewart does has some merit in what he’s saying, as an example; take a look at Jimmie Johnson. There is a time for all of us when the light starts dimming; question is how bright do you want it when you walk away?

      3. Bruno Verrari
        25th June 2022, 2:10

        No, thank you,
        We don’t need that bold person at Gestione Sportiva!

    3. I get what Jackie Stewart is saying but right now I’m not sure Lewis is at that point of starting a big decline.

      Over the years i have however seen many drivers stay around too long and slip further and further away from there peak.

      I was for example a big fan of AJ Foyt as a kid and it hurt to see him growing increasingly uncompetitive. A flash of the old AJ would raise your hopes only for reality to bring you back down.

      Was the same with Mario Andretti to a lesser degree.

      And in F1 you could point to Graham Hill, Jacques Villeneuve & even Michael Schumacher as drivers who ended there careers miles away from the performances that took them to great success.

      For example Graham Hill’s last F1 drive saw him failing to qualify for the Monaco GP which was a race he was once a master of.

      1. greasemonkey
        23rd June 2022, 15:30

        Me too!! AJ leading in 1982 after recovering from the Cogan thing was one of those moments.

    4. Jim Clark would speak with composure, politeness and wisdom.

      Jackie Stewart, hmmm…

    5. From my first days watching F1 back in the early nineties I always had the greatest respect for Jackie. He was always opinionated but very measured, articulate and balanced in expressing them.

      But he does seem to have a chip on his shoulder regarding Lewis and those comments aren’t the words of the Jackie I remember. Seems to be basic headline grabbing to me.

    6. A game of ‘Who said it?’ where your only options are either Jacques Villeneuve or Jackie Stewart would be incredibly tough.

      1. You can add Eddie Irvine to that list :-)

        1. Perhaps Keith could make this a feature? See how well we all score, Eddie, Jacques or Jackie? Throw a few Bernie quotes for good measure.

          The free thinkers of our age.

          1. That’s a great idea; make it a feature.

        2. Ah, Eddie “I was the best driver in the world ever if you disregard the fact I only won 3 races 2 of which were handed to me on a plate by my teammate” Irvine. That guy loves to say something controversial…

        3. And Nelson Piquet

    7. I wish Jackie Stewart would retire, so we wouldn’t have to listen to his name-dropping nonsense anymore.

    8. Jackie should be careful about what he wishes for. If Lewis retires he will be the most colorful British, ex world champion that reporters will go to for a hot-take sound byte rather than Jackie, “which is going to be very difficult for him to handle”

    9. I guess Stewart is just answering a question. I find it a weird answer because it’s saying when things get tough walk away. What have we done? 8 races this year? And weren’t they saying that they’ve been trying extreme set ups and stuff? Certainly they ran a trial floor on Hamiltons car which is normal as he is the experienced driver concerning feed back within that team. All is not what it appears regarding the difference in the drivers preformance, if Hamilton was “bad” they would not be apologising to him over the radio.

      1. @broke1984 – if the car was performing as expected and Russell was easily outperforming him (like a considerable gap) then it’s a different conversation. But the present results aren’t really representative, despite certain peoples hopes… he’ll go when he’s ready.

    10. Generally I am against drivers outstaying their welcome, filling seats that could be occupied by younger and more interesting talents.

      But it is hard to say that this is the end of the road for Hamilton. He is already older than Michael Schumacher was at the time of his first retirement, and has seen none of the drop-off in speed that was evident at the end of the German’s career.

      He clearly does find the cars physically demanding to drive sometimes – we often hear him breathing heavily over team radio, and sometimes he gets out of the car looking like death (whether that’s age-related, Covid-related, or something else, I don’t know) – but it doesn’t seem to affect his performance in the car, and from what we can see his recovery seems to be good.

      I think the key question for Hamilton is whether he wants to continue in a car that doesn’t at the moment look like a winner, rather than whether he still has what it takes to win when the car is there. From what we have seen so far it appears he is quite content with the challenge of helping the team get back up to the top again. And once the car is under him I don’t doubt that he will be capable of putting it on the top step – if George doesn’t get there first, I suppose. But I suspect that would only spur him on even more.

      1. I am with you there @red-andy – I think that as soon as they get the car somewhere it can really compete for the first 2 rows on saturday and for at least regular podiums and the odd win, Hamilton would find a lot of motivation to deliver, just like he has done for years.

        So far, apart from being in a car that is unpleasant to drive and not competitive enough (yet?) to have a real chance at the front, I do not see much to indicate he has lost his speed. When there was a decent chance in Canada, he was immediately there to take the chances open to him after-all.

      2. How ironic that all these campaign for retirement didn’t come up last year for Kimi who was 41 or for Alonso who is also in his 40s….

        But for Lewis who is 37 years

        1. I think there were plenty of people who felt Kimi in particular should have retired a few years earlier than he actually did. And the view that Renault/Alpine should have gone with a junior driver rather than Alonso for 2021 was a relatively popular one as well. Alonso’s comeback hasn’t been the disaster that Schumacher’s was, but there’s time…

          1. You seem really against schumacher, even f1 metrics, who does mathematical analysis said schumacher was still driving pretty much at the level he was in his first career stint minus what you lose for age related decline and lack of recent experience.

      3. I didn’t see any drop off with schumacher in 2006, he was still extremely fast, just made a few points-costing mistakes compared to alonso that season, but alonso was also 11 years younger.

    11. When was the best opportunity to quit? After winning his 7th title? Easy to say in hindsight, but he wouldn’t have known it was (probably) his final championship win at the time.

      Maybe after being defeated last year? I doubt there are many elite sportspeople who would quit as soon as they have their first defeat in several years.

      More than anything, every driver is cut differently and not all of them lose all passion as soon as they get beaten. Kimi continued well past his peak and did so for the love of racing. Hamilton is obviously fuelled by the belief that Merc can give him a shot at an 8th title. As long as he still wants to race, the right time to retire still hasn’t arrived yet.

    12. Tiaki Porangi
      23rd June 2022, 7:53

      Why does Stewart dislike Hamilton so much?
      Oh wait, he’s in good company.
      Paul di Resta, Martin Brundle, Damon Hill, Jenson Button, Nico Rosberg, about 1,000 “fans” on this forum all share the same feelings towards Hamilton. Some are more diplomatic than others in the statements they make, but they struggle to hide their loathing for the man. And that’s before you get to Christian Horner, Helmut Marko, Verstappen, Alonso, etc.
      I wonder what Hamilton ever did to attract such ire – dare to compete in F1, maybe?

      1. There’s probably a couple of easy to pick reasons for the hate from some people but it’s not going to get you anywhere as there can be no rational discussion with people like that. You’ll just get straw man arguments, a lot of whataboutism and then finally denial. I’d say Hamilton is also slightly to blame for not having obvious and grievous faults that people can point to so they have to make up justifications for their irrational hatred.

        It’s pretty telling that often Hamilton says something perfectly reasonable and the first thing people do is try to twist his words or “read between the lines”. Or they’ll claim he’s preaching when all he’s doing is answering the questions that are put to him by journalists. Or they’ll say him being frustrated or upset is because of character flaws rather than just a normal reaction to situations sometimes. These people have to justify their hate because they’re secretly embarrassed about their own reasons for hating him so they manufacture alternative justifications for their attacks that just don’t cut it.

      2. Some are more diplomatic than others in the statements they make, but they struggle to hide their loathing for the man.

        That may well be true for some people – but isn’t it their right to do so?
        Isn’t it okay to respect something or someone, but still see imperfections or differences too?
        Isn’t it okay for us all to have our own unique opinions?

        Really – these comments sections can be just incredible at times.

        I’m still trying to figure out how Stewart’s comments in support of Hamilton’s achievements, image and F1 legacy can be so badly misinterpreted as to think he’s attacking him…

        1. I think it is because Steward has a bit of a history of seeing fault with Hamilton for more than a decade already now S.

          1. I think it is because Steward has a bit of a history of seeing fault with Hamilton for more than a decade already now S.

            The comments published above are not, in any way, against Hamilton, though.
            Nor are most of the others that I’ve read from Stewart over the the last decade or so.

            I guess when people are a huge fan of somebody, they will naturally feel offended easily and misinterpret the speaker’s intentions. Even ignore reality and objectivity altogether if necessary.

            And even if that isn’t the case – it’s no more acceptable to berate Jackie Stewart than it is to do so for Lewis Hamilton.
            Throwing stones in glass houses, and all that….

            1. @S Nobody in the particular thread you picked though was bashing Stewart.

              That being said lets take some of Jackie’s previous quotes:

              “But frankly, the car and the engine are now so superior that it’s almost unfair on the rest of the field.”

              On Abu Dhabi last year he said:
              “I think it was handled in the right way. It was done correctly, there was no film business in this,” Stewart told Motorsport.com.

              Or last year when he was writing him off already in the run up to the championship:
              “But on the other hand, it’s always been surprising for me that his team mate, in many occasions, has been even faster. And I think at the end of the day he probably is looking towards the end of his career because he’s been at it a long time.”

              This was just a snapshot I found in a few minutes but there is many other examples of his insightful comments and feedback that are negative. Nearly every time he brings up Hamilton there is always a “but” in his comments. Sure he’s moderated some of his most obvious critique over the years but he still can’t help it sometimes. Even then I’m not sure if some of his change in attitude is that he’s realized his criticism doesn’t stand up when put against Hamilton’s records anymore.

              Personally I don’t care at all about Stewart or his opinions and he can say all he wants, he’s a dinosaur. My earlier comment was more in general to other haters of Hamilton.

              If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck…

            2. S Well said.

            3. “I guess when people are a huge fan of somebody, they will naturally feel offended easily and misinterpret the speaker’s intentions. Even ignore reality and objectivity altogether if necessary.”

              The internet in a nutshell!

            4. Your examples aren’t negative towards Hamilton, @slowmo
              – The Mercedes cars were vastly superior for a long time. Fact.
              – He’s allowed to have his own opinion on Abu Dhabi. I don’t think it was as bad as many people do either, all things considered.
              – It’s surprising that Hamilton’s team mate has been faster, because Hamilton is so good… Also not negative. And Hamilton has been in F1 a long time, and many times has talked about what he’d like to do when he’s no longer driving.

              I think your duck is actually not a duck at all. Given how far off your examples are, it’s probably a flamingo.

            5. MingTheMercyless
              23rd June 2022, 19:30

              Can’t see anything wrong with Steward’s words here, he’s rather kind to Lewis, if anything. Furthermore he was probably just answering a question.

              Still some commenters are apparently on a quest, to uncover all kinds of hatefull retoric in there.


              When Dr. Samuel Johnson published his great Lexicography, the first English dictionary, he was visited by all sorts of groups, to congratulate him on his accomplishments.

              One of these were a delegation of the London Respectable Housewives: ‘We congratulate you on your effort in excluding all indecent words’ they remarked.

              Dr Johnsson replied: ‘Thank you ladies, I congratulate you on your persistence, in looking them up.’

              If people are determined to be offended, if they climb up on the ladder, precariously balanced, to be shocked by what they see through their neighbours bathroom window, there’s nothing you can do about that.

              — Christopher Hitschens.

            6. I could easily quote far more but why waste my time when you’re too ignorant to go look yourselves.

            7. I could easily quote far more but why waste my time when you’re too ignorant to go look yourselves.

              As so eloquently put in the comment above – if you are looking for negativity, you’re bound to find it in everything you see, @slowmo.

      3. Tiaki Porangi Loathing? Really? You using that term and thinking that is the reality reflects far more poorly on you than those you accuse.

      4. To be fair, once the initial rivalry/animosity of the (very) poorly managed McLaren saga dissipated, Alonso’s only criticism of Lewis was the same one he fired at Vettel multiple times during his period of dominance driving a car that was clearly superior to the rest of the grid… and ironically, there was quite a period of odd bromance between the 2 while Vettel was romping away with all the records. I lost track of how many times they would compliment each other and their ranking within the sport while ignoring or dismissing Seb.

    13. Last year was looking like the perfect end of career for Lewis, record breaking 8 WDC’s after a fiercely competitive season. All the pieces and fate seemed to be aligned until the horrific interference by incompetent officials blew that away.
      However he has always taken strength from adversity and that (2021) was huge. I hope he continues and gets past the dog of a car the Merc is this year. He and George are struggling with it but it’s clear that Lewis is carrying the burden of experimentation in development so I disregard claims that George is suddenly better than the GOAT.
      And finally, Lewis is a real character albeit a humble one and the sport would be lesser for his absence.

    14. I feel that’s only partly true. Given a winning dominant car like he had before he can still snatch a title. He is no longer the best driver out there but we all know, and especially Lewis, that a dominant car can make all the difference. Still George will be a much harder nut to crack vs Bottas

    15. Former multiple F1 champion and industry legend Jackie Stewart suggests that Hamilton should bow out at the top of his game, rather than ending up leaving wounded and defeated, and Hamilton fans flip out against him.
      How bizarre. Little sensitive, eh….

      Nobody thought that it would happen to Schumacher, Vettel, Raikkonen or any of the (many) others before, either – but it does. Everyone is human.
      If a sportsperson’s image and legacy are highly important to them (as Hamilton’s are to him) then Stewart’s advice is pretty spot-on.
      It may come across as a little harsh – but the best advice usually is.

      1. It would be the same as suggesting Schumacher retire in 2005. As we know, Ferrari were back on it in 2006 and Schumacher very nearly took that elusive 8th title. No reason we won’t see the same with Lewis. Suggesting retirement due to a poor quarter-season is a bit premature. I have no doubt Lewis will be at his best if and when Mercedes turn around their form.

        1. And if Schumacher had retired at the end of 2005, he’d still be looked upon without all the (relative) negatives that came after it – whether he’d won an extra WDC in 2006 or not.
          There’s nothing wrong with suggesting retirement – it’s entirely up to the individual involved what they actually do with that suggestion.

          As stated – if image and legacy is so important, you quit while you are ahead (at risk of being labelled a quitter, as Rosberg often is by many Hamilton fans).
          If it isn’t and the driving/competitive challenge/desire is greater, then there’s nothing wrong with continuing while you still can.

          1. You don’t have to be a hamilton fan to call rosberg a quitter (some problem posting it, it seems).

            1. Fair enough, @esploratore1 – but why would you?

      2. I don’t the idea is wrong per se, retiring while close to your peak still. My issue is with Jackie Stewart’s assessment of a decline in Hamilton’s performance already being visible. That’s not impossible but is questionable. At the end of 2021 Hamilton – I thought – was at his very best in the final races, better or even far better than Max, and overall he and Verstappen were clearly the best drivers over the season.
        This season there are multiple factors – difficult car, Hamilton maybe destimulated from a combination of last season’s controversial finale, a poor and indeed painful car, and George Russell arriving. At the same time he’s supposedly been adopting the more radical setups. It’s fairly unlikely the driver at his peak still in mid December 2021 suddenly declined over a few months. I think it’s more likely trying too hard with the setups, demoralized with the suddenly poorly-handling car after years in the very best with few real issues, and GR arriving and showing he’s somewhere, probably, between Hamilton himself (at his peak) and Rosberg in terms of driving level, as well as being calm in his on-track decisions. I mean, he delivers consistently without making the first lap mistakes we saw every other race from VB. I’d reserve judgment until 2023 or even 2024 to know where Hamilton is at. But with Alonso showing competitiveness and handling skill past 40, even after a F1 sabbatical, would Hamilton be very different from him? (The counter examples are Schumacher and Raikkonen who did show real decline when they returned to F1.)

    16. SIR Stewart couldn’t be speaking further from the truth. While Russel is ahead in points etc. Its skewed due to the Mercedes team varying set ups. Trying to understand the car. Its been repeatedly said that Lewis is doing the bulk of the extreme set up testing. While Russel gets to set his car up morw to his liking.

    17. Typical suggestion by former drivers.

    18. Upvote for using vituperative.

    19. “Hamilton should retire to avoid “pain” of…” not driving an all dominating car.

      “Hamilton should retire to avoid “pain” of…” being a normal F1 driver.

      “Hamilton should retire to avoid “pain” of…” getting disillusioned with how good he is or has ever been.

      “Hamilton should retire to avoid “pain” of…” seeing the reality of F1.

      “Hamilton should retire to avoid “pain” of…” getting outclassed by a better driver as a team-mate.

    20. There is lack of perspective and little relativation when it comes to Lewis abilities and status. He is imho one of the best drivers, but claims toward goat level are imho void of a broader look at this sport over the years. His status is amongst the best but his tally is predominantly influenced by domination of the Mercedes car during an entire regulatory time period. I feel in the current field given the same material Max, Charles, George and Lando are on a similar if not higher level vs Lewis at his peak. While Lewis abilities to me are clear it was imho primarily luck that brought him this many titles.

      1. Tiaki Porangi
        23rd June 2022, 10:21

        That’s an incredible statement, putting the likes of Max and Charles in the same class as Hamilton.
        Hamilton has 7 world titles. As a rookie, his performance against Alonso is widely acknowledged as one of the best, if not the best, by someone joining F1.
        How is it that George (0 titles, 0 wins in F1), Lando (ditto), Max (1 tainted title), Leclerc (0 titles) are so casually said to be in the same class as Hamilton?
        What is the metric used here??

        1. Clearly not the number of titles, because as Mayrton said:

          his tally is predominantly influenced by domination of the Mercedes car during an entire regulatory time period

          I agree with Mayrton that several other drivers would have won an equal amount of WDC (or maybe even one more) if they had been in that Mercedes.

        2. How is it that George (0 titles, 0 wins in F1), Lando (ditto), Max (1 tainted title), Leclerc (0 titles) are so casually said to be in the same class as Hamilton?

          How can you so abruptly dismiss the possibility by using meaningless numbers?
          All statistics do is show the combination of driver, team, car, strategy, competition, luck and circumstance.
          What we do know – not that it really means much – is that the performance of those drivers relative to their team-mates is directly comparable to Hamilton. They could all be amazing, or they could all be mediocre – or anywhere in between.
          If you’ve convinced yourself that you’ve managed to eliminate all of these variables and know for certain that Hamilton is ‘better’ than everyone else – then you are either other-worldly, or merely fantasising.

          The basic fact of the matter is that there is no metric, because what you think you are measuring is actually immeasurable.
          It’s a feeling. A perception. An opinion…. Nothing more.

          1. Just like your opinion is nothing but fantasy and not fact

            1. My opinion is very real, @slowmo – and equally valid as everyone else’s.

              I assume, then, that you, too, believe that you have found a way to see through all those variables…?

            2. I think proven success regardless of how it was achieved is indeed far better weighting than people with no evidence claiming others are better.

              You all seek to remove Hamilton’s contribution to his suçcess and attribute everything to the car or team without actually having any understanding how much Hamilton brings to the table for his team and development of the car.

              So yes perhaps when any of the names you mentioned have won multiple championships and driven alongside 3 other WDC as their teammates then at that point you may have some basis to rate them on a equivalent footing to Hamilton. Until then you’re just talking rubbish.

            3. I think proven success regardless of how it was achieved is indeed far better weighting than people with no evidence claiming others are better.

              So even if it was the car, Hamilton should still get all the praise? Hmmm….

              You all seek to remove Hamilton’s contribution to his suçcess and attribute everything to the car or team without actually having any understanding how much Hamilton brings to the table for his team and development of the car.

              How do you know what people understand or know about the situation?
              I don’t recall anyone ‘removing Hamilton’s contribution’ to his results – only putting it into perspective, and considering all the factors that lead to them. The driver can’t do it without them – no matter who, or how talented, they are.

              If someone says that Verstappen, Norris, Leclerc or even Mazepin is on the same level as Hamilton, then what is it that makes your (different) opinion on the subject more important, correct or indisputable than theirs?
              Get over yourself, @slowmo.
              Take your Hammy specs off and respect what other people are doing too.

          2. Indeed, if one wants to classify drivers, purely based on the driver himself, one will have to go to a spec series.
            And even then, the team can make a difference!

            1. Whilst I largely agree with that, there are actually (subjective) elements you can look at, such as consistency of performance, platform (car) handling through corners, tyre management, performance in the wet or under adversity, adaptability to car behavior, out of the box sheer pace and the like. After decades of F1 drivers coming and going I do feel there are boxes you can thick off leading to an overall judgement of their capabilities

          3. Agree with s, like the previous poster said, 7 titles don’t have much meaning without context, hamilton still has been performing well lately, what about vettel? Is he better than alonso cause he has double his titles? That really defies intelligence.

      2. It’s your opinion, but in mine, only Max has a chance of being compared to Hamilton from the current lot. Russell, Leclerc and Norris just haven’t been fully tested across a season competing for a championship. Max has and had it not been for Masi’s ‘weird’ intervention at the end of the Abu Dhabi GP last year, he wouldn’t have been champion (simple fact). I’d still put Max up there as potentially Hamilton’s equal, though, whether now or at the latter’s peak, presuming there’s some difference (debatable), though I don’t think he is quite at Hamilton’s level. Leclerc is nowhere near as skilled as LH and MV in the wet. Not that wet weather is really permitted anymore in F1. He’s also less consistent than either. Russell? Maybe. I think again Hamilton and Verstappen have better, smoother handling overall. But he’s maybe the closest, though unproven in a top team yet. Norris? I don’t see it, neither the speed or handling of the LH and MV.

    21. Imho LH is currently suffering psychologically from having had his fits-like-a-glove WCC car replaced with something he doesn’t even recognize, while GR is in the best car he’s ever had. It’s relative. It’s to me exactly what happened with SV in 2014. Next season may be very different, as in much better for LH, for all we know.

      I disagree with SJS. I think LH should do with his F1 career as he pleases. If he never has the car again to win the WDC well that’s just something far closer to normal than is having a dominant car for such a stretch, so there is no shame if LH doesn’t get an 8th title, which I can understand his trying to achieve. How many drivers will ever get a record tying 7th such that they have the opportunity for an 8th? He should go for that while he can. And he’ll have nothing to hang his head over if it doesn’t happen by the time he decides it’s time to retire.

    22. There is literally no reason for Hamilton to retire yet. If we tell ourselves there is then we may as well claim Gasly, Perez, Bottas, Vestappen, Alonso, Ocon or anyone else on the grid should retire.

      1. Craig, I was thinking much the same myself. A few years ago, Stewart or some other pundit chasing headlines probably made exactly the same statements about Alonso, but he seemed pretty happy to be on the front row last weekend.

    23. Well Stewart can give his opinion, but in the end it is the decision of Lewis.
      I don’t think he really is getting slower (…yet, because of course, everybody ages).
      The car this year is skewing results of course, although I do think Russell might beat him even if the car is OK.
      I don’t believe the opinions that Lewis is the only one testing or even doing the bulk of testing, haven’t seen any proof of that.
      But anyway, he’s still very good.

      There is something to be said of stopping at your peak, that’s true.
      But in the case of Lewis, if the results (or maybe better: car) don’t improve and he retires at the end of the year, there will always be the remarks that he was only as good as his car and as soon he didn’t have a rocket anymore he couldn’t achieve anything anymore and ran.
      So I hope he can have a sort of comeback. Does he need to win an 8th title? No, but making races more interesting would be nice.

    24. I know what Stewart is trying to say but Lewis seems to still enjoy racing and he’s still competitive so why stop? It’s not like Stewart’s era where retiring was a privilege reserved for the lucky few. Using Stewart’s reasoning, we would have lost Raikkonen and Alonso a good decade ago and F1 would have been all the poorer for it. And who knows, Mercedes might well be the team to beat next year and 2022 may well have just been a small blip.

    25. Jackie is talking from his perspective. He won the title in his prime and quit. He may have gone on to challenge for titles from 74-80 in modern day terms in a way Hamilton is now but chose to get out alive to live the rest of his life with the careers that like Hamilton were open to him again like Hamilton has now. At Hamilton’s age he can perform at a top 5 level for 3/4 seasons so in a good car can fight for more titles if he doesn’t retire & unretire coming back a shadow of his championship self like Lauda, Prost, Schumacher. You can look at Alonso to see the talents drivers can have in their 40 nowadays.
      Everything comes down to does he want it? There’s no signs he doesn’t. Does he want to start his 2nd life. Balls in his court. Stewart As the most successful retired racing champion in history has every right to offer his opinion and Hamilton being in a very similar point in his life to Jackie in 1973 should at least listen although i’d lean on Mercedes building a better car for 23 and him getting at worst some wins out of that machine

    26. I remember when Jackie Stewart retired it was a big deal but not a surprise. He didn’t lose his nerve as some said, his last season showed that. He was just tired of seeing the death around him. I think his comment on Hamilton retiring is his opinion and it should be respected. I don’t agree and I’m sure Alonso would be of the same mind.

    27. greasemonkey
      23rd June 2022, 15:37

      I am not saying I think this or not (because I simply don’t know), but one possibility on the table is that Lewis is not falling off, but Russell is just that good.

    28. Peak Hamilton, in my opinion, had the best ultimate pace of anyone on the grid that he raced against and the best race pace. He grew into being the complete driver package. There’s a reason he’s always been in some of the best cars, from the very start of his career.

      I do believe he lost 1-2 tenths of his qualifying pace in the last few years. Coupled with him finding it hard to adjust to a very difficult car, we’ve seen Russell (who is clearly very good, but it’s not clear how good yet) able to match or outpace him on a number of occasions. Hamilton’s still largely had the better race pace though, as evidenced yesterday.

      If Mercedes get the car right, it’ll still be Lewis vs Max at the very top for a season or two more. LeClerc, Russell and Norris will then likely take over that mantle of fighting with Max.

      1. Don’t see why russell wouldn’t outperform hamilton given the same good car, furthermore, being in the best car from the start of his career isn’t necessarily a quality: you’re a good driver, you get lucky like hamilton did by starting in a strong car, prove yourself and then who would fire you? But other really good drivers like schumacher, senna, prost etc. had to work their way up from a bad car till they proved themselves.

        1. Schumacher drove one race in a bad car. Within 2 years he had the best car. Don’t pretend he did some meteoric rise through the ranks. Fair enough he sacrificed time buying up Ferrari but they paid him back with 5 titles.

          I didn’t follow Prost and Senna’s early careers so perhaps you have a point that they paid their dues but the counter argument to that is there were more opportunities for those drivers to get into the sport in the first place.

    29. I think hamilton still has 1-2 years left on him and can still get some wins with a slightly better car than this, and also I find it a coward move to retire as soon as you no longer have the best car, so fully disagree with stewart.

    30. Why would the current FIA Rules F1 World Champion want to retire?

    31. Stewart has early been noted several times with critical predictions about Hamilton.
      And each time these predictions did not come true.
      I hope that it will not come true and now

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