What is to be considered the greatest of all time? Is the term used to describe the ultimate incarnation of anything. From an athlete to an automobile, frequently used in popular lists of superlatives. Muhammad Ali is considered the Greatest in boxing. Michael Jordan is the greatest scorer the league has ever seen. He won a record 10 scoring tittles, and has a career average of 30.1, the most in history. In the NFL Tom Brady is considered the greatest of all time. More rings, more wins, more TD more everything than anybody else. All three of them different generations but still to be considered GOATS.
When it comes to Formula 1, the same concept shall apply. Regardless of generation there is one considered the greatest of all time.
There is a handful of drivers that are considered great. Lewis Hamilton, Michael Schumacher, Ayrton Senna, and Juan Manuel Fangio. Anyone’s list could be larger than four drivers, that depends on who are you having this conversation with. Ever since the Formula 1 championship started it’s been an evolving process from cars, drivers, and technical advance from factories to components. Formula 1 cars with time have gotten faster and more complex to drive around the track. Think about the different changes a driver does on a single lap on a modern F1 car. From differential settings to brake balance to entry and mid corner inputs, it’s mind blowing how much work gets put in a single lap not mentioning the G Forces. To put it in perspective, think about how an early 50’s F1 steering wheel looks like to a modern F1 steering wheel looks like today.
We can go on and on with different components of the car, but the main reason for having this conversation is that no matter what generation a driver races in, if you are the greatest, you are the greatest of all time.
In my opinion, Lewis Hamilton is the greatest formula one driver of all time. 103 wins, 103 pole positions 7 world titles just to mention a few records. They way he has dominated the sport is something that we have never seen before. To the point that even with an inferior car in 2021 he had to be stopped with manipulation of rules and regulations in favor of entertainment. Hopefully after you read this, you can call a few friends and have a friendly debate on who is the greatest formula one driver of all time.