The way Lewis Hamilton is driving this year, it’s way past time that he should be judged alongside the all-time greats. There is a compelling majesty to his performances that’s supported by an underlying mental strength and confidence.
Of course, his boyhood idol was Ayrton Senna, but having seen many of the great Brazilian’s races I would venture that the Briton is driving every bit as well as he did, and at times better.
His pole lap in Singapore on 22 September was sensational, yet his manner seems less on-the-edge than Senna’s. And certainly, his driving manners far exceed the three-time champion’s, and his successor Michael Schumacher’s. In that respect, Hamilton is far more reminiscent of nonpareil Jim Clark, Juan Manuel Fangio, Stirling Moss, Jackie Stewart or Gilles Villeneuve.
“We started off the year, I felt great,” he said. “And then we tailed off and we had some struggles with the understanding of the car, how to utilise the equipment that we had tyre-wise and balance-wise. We had a couple of so-so races, and then luckily, we found our footing.
“I think there are always areas you can improve upon, which we will continue to work on, but I definitely feel driving-wise, on the track, my knowledge and my approach to the balance that I have in my life in general is very good.
“Don’t for a second ever believe or let it creep into your mind that I don’t want to win this championship more than anything.
“That is my priority”, the 33-year-old said in an interview after the Singapore Grand Prix.