Toto Wolff believes that the record-breaking career of Lewis Hamilton has not received sufficient recognition. He explained his bemusement that the Briton’s achievements have attracted what he deems to be “negativity and envy” as much as they have drawn praise and accolades.
Hamilton secured a fifth world drivers’ title in 2018, winning 11 of the 21 races to take his tally of grand prix triumphs to 73.
Only Michael Schumacher (7 titles, 91 race wins) stands ahead of Hamilton in both measures, while the 33-year-old has already surpassed Schumacher’s tally of pole positions, reaching 83 single-lap successes by the end of this year.
Wolff believes parallels can be drawn between the two, with Schumacher’s dominant run of success with Ferrari often dismissed as dull – complaints which have also surfaced towards Hamilton in recent years.
“Not everybody recognises a great career, a great sportsman or greatness overall while it’s happening. There is a lot of negativity and envy whilst it happens,” Wolff told Reuters.
“It’s only being recognised once a career has ended as having been really great and I don’t know why that is. We are extremely privileged in following a career of maybe the greatest racing driver of all time.
“Obviously Michael has set the records and was unbelievable but Lewis is on a similar trajectory.
“Also with Michael, it was only recognised after he retired and even more when tragedy struck. And I think it’s a pity.
“We are live spectators, live witnesses of a great racing driver at the peak of his abilities.
“In the U.S. you are very much inspired by success. In Europe it triggers much more envy and negativity.
“I am certainly biased because I have an emotional attachment to Lewis, for me the greatest sports person that is in his career in Britain.”