FORMULA 1 legend Sir Jackie Stewart called it “difficult to justify” saying Lewis Hamilton is the greatest ever driver.
The Brit failed to beat Michael Schumacher’s record of seven world titles after losing out to Max Verstappen for the World Championship.
Sir Jackie Stewart called it difficult to compare Lewis Hamilton’s achievements to those of the pastCredit: Kenny Ramsay – The Sun Glasgow
Lewis Hamilton missed out on winning his EIGHTH F1 world championshipCredit: Splash News
He has already overtaken the German’s record of 91 race wins.
But Stewart, who won the driver’s championship three times, described it as near-impossible to compare Hamilton’s achievements to speedsters of yesteryear.
The 82-year-old said last year that the modern-day racing calendar being busier, as well as Hamilton having a “so superior” car and engine to other competitors, makes comparison tricky.
Speaking on the In The Fast Lane podcast in October 2020, Stewart said: “I don’t think that you can account [for] that sort of level of success.
“Just because today there are 20, 22 races, whereas in the old days when for example Juan Manuel Fangio, raced maybe sometimes six, eight or nine races a year in Formula 1.
‘To say that Lewis is the greatest driver of all time, would be difficult for me to justify, in the sheer power of what the other drivers were doing.
“Lewis drives extremely well, make no mistake, I’m not in any way diminishing his skills, but it isn’t the same.
“Lewis made a very good decision when he left McLaren at that time and went to Mercedes-Benz. And I take my hat off to him for making that decision.
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“But frankly, the car and the engine are now so superior that it’s almost unfair on the rest of the field.”
Due to difficulties comparing the modern-day car and calendar with that of the past, Stewart doesn’t even have Hamilton in his top three racing drivers of all time.
He added: “Juan Manuel Fangio in my mind is the greatest driver that’s ever lived.
“With Jim Clark as the second-greatest, even ahead of [Ayrton] Senna.”
Fangio won five world titles in the 1950s. Scottish racer Clark won two world titles in 1963 and 1965.
At the time of his death, at the age of 32, Clark had won more F1 races and achieved more podiums than any other driver.
Senna won three world titles in 1988, 1990 and 1991 before tragically losing his life when crashing at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.
Senna bags second spot with Schumacher, winner of seven world titles, in third.
Clark is fourth with Fangio in fifth.