“Only won when they had the best car.” is the simplest way of putting it when former F1 driver and Champion Jaques Villeneuve gives his appraisal on the question, who is better? Lewis Hamilton or Michael Schumacher.
On paper, “Schumi” continues to be the most successful Formula 1 driver of all time with seven World Championship titles, but Hamilton is getting closer and closer.
In 2019 the Briton will most likely clinch his sixth title. For ex-champion Jacques Villeneuve, however, the comparison question doesn’t arise at all.
“These two drivers only won when they had the best car,” he told Motorsport-Total.com. “They always had the best car in their entire career. If you put Lewis in a Williams now, he won’t win,” and explains: “He’s super good and always makes the right decision about which team to join.”
“There he builds up a team around himself. That’s all. He might not have won in a Ferrari,” he muses.
In any case, Villeneuve finds the comparison between drivers from different Formula 1 eras generally nonsensical. Gerhard Berger, for example, declared this year that Hamilton was the first driver to be on a par with Ayrton Senna.
“That’s the stupidest comment,” Villeneuve declares. “You could also say he’s the first on Fangios level. How do you compare that? It was a completely different time. Who knows?” he shrugs his shoulders and adds: “And Senna is also a winner in the best car. [Alain] Prost, too. That’s just the way it goes.”
Villeneuve himself won his only his Formula 1 title in 1997, when he drove for Williams – and thus in what was probably the best car in the field.
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