Lewis Hamilton has not had the best couple of weeks. First, the deadly Coronavirus brought him down in the immediate aftermath of his Bahrain GP win. Later, his temporary replacement, George Russell, created quite a ripple with his performance at Sakhir GP.
Some have deemed it to be a tactical move by Mercedes. The seven-time World Champion is in the midst of contract negotiations with them for 2021 and beyond. As he is the face of the team and F1 in general, his demands are expected to be astronomical.
However, there have been question marks as to how much value the Briton actually adds to the team. Russell came in and dominated the whole weekend, and if not for a few botched pit stops, he would have grabbed his maiden win.
Chiming in the matter, former F1 driver Gerhard Berger said, “I would call it a matter of money. Russell showed that the superior factor is the car, as he was in the lead in the race. Now you have an argument to say: ‘Lewis, come down a little with your demands!'”
Previously, Lewis always backed his English counterpart Russell in the media. Hence, it surprised a few people when there were no messages of support this time around.
“Lewis is eaten away by ambition. He sent messages all weekend when he couldn’t drive. But he didn’t write a single congratulation to Russell. He wants to dominate and play the main role. But Russell has already shown what he can do with the Williams,” Berger added.
Berger drove alongside Ayrton Senna at Mclaren, and they had a strong bond. Seeing his friend’s abilities up close, Berger has no doubt in his mind as to who is the best driver in F1 history.
“Ayrton Senna has always been the best driver for me, even to this day. He could do everything, he started karting when he was three and four years old. The first to come near him may be Lewis Hamilton. Only – he can’t have the charm of Ayrton.” (all quotes are translated to English via Google translate)
To this, one can simply say that it is unfair to compare eras. However, what you can compare is the impact that each driver created in their respective times. In that regard, both drivers stand shoulder-to-shoulder and none above or below the other.