Former Formula 1 world champion Jacques Villeneuve believes that Lewis Hamilton is a better driver and champion than Michael Schumacher ‘by miles’ and has backed the four-time champion to surpass Schumacher’s record of seven F1 drivers’ world championship titles in the coming years.
Hamilton heads into the United States Grand Prix on Sunday knowing that if he exceeds Sebastian Vettel‘s points tally by eight, then he will be a five-time champion.
That would put him two adrift of the all-time record holder, Schumacher, but Villeneuve already thinks Hamilton is the better performer.
“I would rate Lewis above Michael, by miles,” the Canadian told Reuters.
“There’s been too many negative stories. Too many question marks on how some races or championships were won. And being a great champion is more than just winning races,” he claimed, with regards to Schumacher.
Villeneuve believes that Hamilton’s greatness comes from the level of respect with which he treats his colleagues.
“There’s very little negativity,” he continued.
“You can like or not like the way he is in life but there’s nothing nasty or negative with it. There’s nothing nasty towards his opponents. There’s respect towards his opponents.”
“There’s no question mark on ‘is he cheating or not? Has he been dirty?’. That makes a big difference.
“And that’s how every champion should be. He shouldn’t just be neutral.”
Speaking of Lewis Hamilton, the world champion elect will be starting on pole with Kimi Raikkonen alongside him. Mercedes team principal, Toto Wolff was quite worried that a lightning quick start from Kimi could hand Vettel the advantage. Also, if Kimi is capable of a good start, then Vettel is also surely capable of one as well.
Wolff also mentioned that if it came to it, he would impose team orders on Valtteri Bottas.