Hamilton not a ‘great’ F1 driver


With 85 years on the odometer, Sir Stirling Moss is Bernie Ecclestone’s senior – even if by just one year. The man who is considered the greatest F1 driver never to have won the championship comments on modern F1 racing infrequently, but when he speaks – the distinguished old gentleman, often causes a furore.

Speaking on the matter of women in F1, Sir Stirling gave his opinion to BBC radio in 2013. “We’ve got some very strong and robust ladies, but, when your life is at risk, I think the strain of that in a competitive situation will tell when you’re trying to win.

“The mental stress I think would be pretty difficult for a lady to deal with in a practical fashion. I just don’t think they have aptitude to win a Formula One race,” adding, “I don’t know if they’ve got the mental aptitude to race hard, wheel-to-wheel,”

2013 was the year of the faux pas for the non-politically correct British racing driver. In another interview when asked who he would like to portray him in a Hollywood style movie, Moss replied: ‘I hope the actor would be masculine, not a poofter or anything like that.  Perhaps the guy from Skyfall?’

In slightly less controversial form, Sir Stirling is back talking F1 at the launch of his book – ‘My Racing Life’.”

Moss is unimpressed by the champagne spraying on the podium. “With good looking girls, I think it would be rather nice to give them an embrace rather than cover them in champagne, frankly.”

Recently, Lewis Hamilton and Sir Stirling spent time together in Monza where Lewis was turning his hand to driving the beasts from Moss’s ear. Moss observes with remarkable frankness, “The thing Lewis is really interested in is music, not driving.”

“I don’t think Lewis is great yet,” the guardian reports Moss saying. “We know Vettel is in there, and Alonso. And Lewis is slightly less valued than someone like Jim Clark but he’s certainly on the way.

“I would think if he clinches the title this year then he would be considered the same but you have to be very careful. Because him doing that is one thing but what Clark did to get to the same stage is different. It’s very difficult to appraise it.”

Clearly, Sir Stirling is NOT thejudge13; and does not face the wrath of the Hamfosi on a daily basis – or he would be more circumspect with his opinions

..But then again, guys of Bernie and Sir Stirling’s seniority probably wouldn’t give a….

68 responses to “Hamilton not a ‘great’ F1 driver

  1. Heard it all before by the other outspoken champion, Stewart, you need 3 titles to be considered a great etc.

    I think the fact Lewis has a different style, completely alien to F1 drivers, and the whole bling thing makes him not as likable by the elder generation. Irrespective of what each ex-F1 driver thinks, everyone knows that Hamilton, Vettel and Alonso will go down as greats.

    • You don’t need any titles to be considered great – Moss himself, Gilles to name but two.
      I was always intrigued in his comments about women drivers – odd considering the talents and success of his sister, Pat Moss- Carlson

      • “…People who are in love with motorsport do not remember drivers because of the championships they won…”.

  2. Ah but didn’t he also say “I don’t think Nico will ever beat him, actually.” 🙂

  3. Such a big difference between the two eras undoubtedly more brut force applied in Moss era but can’t understand the old boys criticism after giving the so much praise. Why not leave it at that.

  4. I know this piece was written to bring out the Hamfosi, but I’ll comment anyways….

    So what criteria/criterion does a driver has to fulfil so as to be considered being amongst the sports greats?

    • …ask Sir Stirling?

      But you’ll have to write an actual physical letter – with ink an that paper stuff – he doesn’t do email 😉

      • Sir Moss is definitely losing bits of his memory. It was only last year he heaped praises on Lewis, even went as far as saying he’s up there with the Senna’s, Clark, Fangio etc….

    • They have to meet any criteria you like… No one has the copyright on the parameters that bestow the label of ‘great’.

      You can consider Lewis a ‘great’, right now if you want, or even two years ago.

      Opinions are like arseholes; everybody has one. It’s just some arseholes might be more learned than others…

  5. The clue to how much he knows about the modern world and modern drivers is the bit about spraying champagne.

    – so women are there to be groped and touched, not sprayed in champagne by uncouth fellas like Lewis?

    That tells us all we need to know about the present relevance of his driver views to anyone other than those who salivate anytime Lewis is put down. They will love things like ‘Alonso is already a great but with Lewis you have to be careful even if he gets 3WDCs’ as ‘he is better suited to singing and dancing or maybe stage minstrels show’

    hamfosi 3 – h8rz 0 lol

    • …Lol… Just wanted to wish all you Hamfosi – a great weekend – but I needed to get your attention

      Here’s a thought though, how does Sir Stirling know about Lewis’ musical interests? He must have been banging on about music a fair bit through before driving the banking in Monza…

      • The chances are Lewis was playing the old buffer and winding him up. We do know he is smart enough to play games with his oldest critics

      • Awe judge, that’s so sweet, you missed us…😀😀

        Well it’s not a hidden secret that he has a passion for music, so nothing new there.

      • Well, it’s a bit like us going to some work function and banging on about F1 and then some old geezer turning round saying “All he’s interested in is F1, he’s not focused at his job!”

    • I think the clue is more in his quotes about female drivers. woman are flying fighter jets govern countries and fight wars these days. I think if they can do that, they will be more than able to handle the stress of wheel to wheel racing. and if we look at last years malnourished drivers, physical strength shouldn’t really be a handicap either.

  6. How unusual – people with a product to sell saying vaguely controversial things to get their name bandied around a little more…

  7. Again, comparing eras is always questionable, but Clark won 25 races in 72 F1 starts, and Ham has 40 (?). Wikipedia shows 36 wins in 152 starts, so Clark has a better percentage. Clark also won at Indy, raced at LeMans, raced sportscars; Ham clearly can’t be allowed to do that. As Moss said, he’s on his way.

    • He also said Alonso is one of the greatest, so what makes Alonso more worthy of that accolade?

      • The same that makes Vettel worthy of this accolade too. I can understand Alonso regarded as one of the greatest (despite his ‘ability’ of turning a competitive team to fireworks), but Vettel too and Hamilton not? Makes no sense to me.

      • I’m sure someone will dig up figures that ‘proves’ the opposite, but the impression is the Alonso does better with a poor car than Lewis. Also, Alonso seems to be more ‘his own man’ rather than needing the support network Lewis has had for much of his career.

        Now he’s got out of McLaren he should be able to throw off that particular image but not being able to convincingly beat Jenson in the same car didn’t help with the former.

        The main thing is that Fred has been around longer, has a wider range of teams and team-mates to compare against and aside from Lewis himself has always dominated them.

        As for comparing Lewis to Senna etc I’d say he is up there in terms of talent but there are still some question marks over how complete a package he is and what his long-term impact on the sport will be. However, he’s nowhere near the end of his career so too early to be making a decision either way on that score.

        • 2 world titles, 36 wins and 30+ poles… Yup Alonso is definitely the better driver… But hey, it’s all subjective.

          Nice guys always finish last….😝😝😝

  8. Recently, Lewis Hamilton and Sir Stirling spent time together in Monza where Lewis was turning his hand to driving the beasts from Moss’s ear. Nits in the ear hair perhaps? Old age certainly has its indignities.
    And then there’s “brut force”…
    As for Hamilton’s “love of music”, say what? |That’s news to me: I always thought he liked rap (the “c” is silent)?
    Personally I’d once hoped that Hamilton would inherit Moss’ crown as “The greatest driver who never won….” But sadly, not so.

    • Not sure you can call Bob Marley’s music rap (the “c” is silent)… 😉😉

    • “Personally I’d once hoped that Hamilton would inherit Moss’ crown as “The greatest driver who never won….” But sadly, not so.”

      Why (both hope and sad)?

    • I didnt even know he liked music, i though he was into poetry

      reminds me of a famous poem by someone famous

      despite the angst
      and the hopes of some
      for veseline
      and despite the butthurt
      and burning pain
      of others

      Still he rises!


  9. I think this interesting one, I actually think its to early to tell with Vettel, if for the rest of his career he continues to be beaten or matched by team mates, despite the four titles, we would have to conclude he is good, but not great, and greatly flattered my Mark Webber. If on the other hand that doesn’t happen and last year was just a blip then he will earn his place. I cant but feel Hamilton would be happy to face Vettel in the same car, Vettel not so much.

    My own thoughts are Vettel is a bit like Button in the way his titles were won, Button had an ageing team mate slightly past his best and the best car, but unlike Vettel, he was only in this situation for 4 months instead of four years.

    BTW No title is gifted and i think both Button and Vettel are worthy, i just think they were slightly fortunate not to be paried with either Alonso or Hamliton in those years.

    • Vettel is a great and Hamilton is becoming one. Alonso is a divisive cheat and should have been expelled from the sport years ago. Be happy we can have two greats doing battle in this era. I don’t demean the Englishman so please give the German a break – he’s accomplished at 27 far more than Button, and most drivers in the history of F1, ever will.

  10. Pretty ballsy to claim something like this on this page 🙂 Most here think he was great as soon as he sat in a car. When he was crashing out at McLaren he was still seen as great, even when he cheated, still great. I think it’s a little bit biased, but I agree with Alonso not being in a great car, Hamilton is the fastest we’ve got at the moment. Great? Who sets the standard?

        • And accusing race stewards of racism, and tweeting his team’s proprietary and sensitive information. Any other industry on this planet and he would have been booted out long ago, possibly even jailed.

          • Haters gonna hate hate hate…shake it off, shake it off….

            And in any other industry on the planet, blackmailers would’ve been booted out a longtime ago, and possibly even jailed…

            But hey, haters gonna hate.

  11. RE McLaren

    I know this is not the right post, but Dennis appears more bullish than ever and sings the praises of Alonso. He’s convinced McHonda will dominate with Fred soon enough.
    I mean I’m an unashamed, fully biased McLaren fan, but Ron, c’mon, a bit of humility doesn’t harm. I know sponsors are watching. But c’mon, tone it down a bit, just a bit.



    • McLaren’s problem is that they are great talkers. I want to see them do better, but stuff like that irritates the hell out of me. Do it, THEN talk. So glad Lewis is out of there. I didn’t think they could screw it up for Lewis more than they did in 2007 and 2012, but if he had stayed it would’ve been abysmal.

  12. I’m sure it bothers them that Lewis isn’t single minded and obsessed like Vettel. And then they find ways to say ‘not as great, not as good, etc’. The same happens to Piquet, Raikkonen…

    The judge13 faces the wrath because he writes a lot of nonesense. Simple as that. At least it adds colours to the many f1 opinions out there.

    • I find myself having to tiptoe when i want to state the obvious (opinion)… So i shall endeavour to be as politically correct as possible.

      Lewis is rich… He is coloured… He is talented. But we all need to remember that isolation is a B***h. When you’re in a sport like F1 where 97% of the professionals does not share your love for other things other things than F1, you will obviously try to find that group of people who you can be yourself with. In this case, he probably grew up loving Rap/HipHop etc…. So naturally he can relate to it. So he surrounds himself with people in the music industry… people who he can relate with, who are also wealthy and are probably able to create an environment where he can relax and focus on his game (F1) without all the politics. So he wears gold chains (bling)… so he listen to Rap… so what? I really so not see what the big deal is… I am of the opinion that there are people who underrates Lewis because of his choice of music/friends… because they think that he should do otherwise.

      Stop the hating and see it for what it is… A black man embracing black culture… Driving the nuts off cars (when he can)… Who likes a bit of Tupac (and maybe some Ed Sheeran).

      F1 is the pinnacle of motor sport, so it’s good that Lewis adds some colour and diversity to it… I am sure that he to responsible for an increase of viewers globally.

      He will always be great… in my eyes.

  13. As far as I am concerned, Lewis having achieved all he has, along the way from his humble beginning in the council estates of Stevenage to his home in Monaco, proves he has nothing left to prove to anyone.

    It matters not a jot what Coulthard, Herbert, Moss, Brundle, et al., or even TJ13 say about Hamilton.

  14. Oh boy, here we go again…

    Comparing eras is a futile pursuit – at best. Sure, it makes for great, over drinks talk, but that’s about it… wait, I forgot about click-bait for the media.

    Now, tJ, I do wish you’d state why you chose a flat statement headline, rather than, for your headline, chipping from Moss’ quote using quotation marks (unless you were attempting to editorialize on the sly).

    Yes, with his gushing praise last year, Moss blew smoke up Lewis’ behind. But it looks like Stirling, with decades more shrewdness than the rest of us, may have put this out there to ensure Hamilton continues to chase excellence. After all, I’m sure he has heard enough about Lewis and been around him enough to know Hamilton has great reverence the Brit F1 gladiators who came before him – and knows exactly how to push his Jensons.

      • Yes, grab attention. But. In journalism ethics are involved in decisions about all writing and reporting forms – as well as headlines. The editor in me would have asked me, the headline writer to rewrite the headline to read, Moss on Hamilton: Not Yet a “Great Driver”. It still begs for reading the article but can’t be construed as a personal statement. (not an indictment and written with respect)

        • When you read the article… All is made clear…. Internet land is a busy space… You want an index of articles from disparate sources? Begin with a news aggregator

        • A fourth member of the council of “Greats” has revealed himself; ‘The Great Ethicist’.

          I jest…

          But I do like your theory that Stirling (coolest racing name ever) is pushing Lewis’ buttons here. It’s a little like, “come on Lewis, get the job done, just a little more…”

          Your theory echoes what I said many comments ago; that I think Lewis does have a low self esteem and is hypersensitive to such sentiments. Your theory of what Stirling might be doing fits well with that observation.

          Shrewd indeed.

      • Lewis Headlines tend to generate a lot of attention, no matter what the content of a story is across many different sites (mmm clickbait). You also have to keep in mind that Moss probably knows full well his comments about Lewis might start up a debate amongst fans.

        If we didn’t have these kinds of debates about Lewis, I suspect F1 would be a much duller place. Lewis talent wise ? One of the very best. Will he make the most of his talents ? Who knows, far too early to judge at this point.

  15. Lewis is a great F1 driver but there are many aspects he can improve on so that he would be even better. He has not yet reached the zenith of all F1 drivers. Also, it’s pointless to compare to past or future champions. Nothing Hamilton can do to overtake Senna’s legend in the sport, simply a different time.

  16. Wow, this is a nicely stirred pot. LOL

    I see he (Moss) also added the word “yet”.

    “I don’t think Lewis is great yet. We know Vettel is in there, and Alonso. And Lewis is slightly less valued than someone like Jim Clark, but he’s certainly on the way.
    “I would think if he clinches the title this year then he would be considered the same but you have to be very careful… It’s very difficult to appraise it.”

    I wonder if there is a team out there that would like to pick up Clark? He does have more value then Hamilton. In Moss’s defence he is really, really old. 😉

    • From his driver comparison statement it seems Moss feels Clark NOT to be as “great” as Vettel or Alonso. This adds to my thought that his goal is to urge Hamilton to keep pushing himself to leave no doubt about his place in the pantheon of truly great drivers. It’s as if Moss is saying, don’t worry about drivers past, deal with your solely peers and let others place you with past drivers when your time is done.

    • There is no ‘someone like Jim Clark’ other than Clark himself.

      Certainly not Vettel or Alonso, even if they do belong among the greats.

  17. And now for something completely different. One stupid question from a sexagenarian, geriatric racing fan. Exactly how many beasts does Sir Moss have in his ‘ear’? (there was no way I could contribute anything meaningful to this “conversation”)

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