Hamilton or Schumacher? There is no answer!
It is the question of all questions about Lewis Hamilton’s seventh World Championship title in Formula 1. A column by Ralf Bach
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It is therefore extremely difficult to compare drivers in Formula 1 as well. One thing is certain: Senna, Schumacher and Hamilton are the most frequently mentioned when it comes to the question of the best of all time.
So I welcomed one of those idols of this racing era who, wearing dust caps and goggles, swept death-defying at an average speed of almost 140 km / h through the “green hell” of the Nürburgring-Nordschleife. “Boy, did you serve?” He asked me. When I answered “Yes!” answered and the for him extremely important little formality was clarified in his sense, he was ready to report on the time in which death was a constant co-driver.
Von Brauchitsch also followed the current Formula 1 at that time, which was characterized by the duel between Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost. The Brazilian Senna was already considered the best driver of all time. But von Brauchitsch didn’t want to know anything about it. “Youngsters, forget them all. The fastest living being on four wheels was and always will be Bernd Rosemeyer.”
Auto Union driver Rosemeyer was the hero of the 30s, with the image of a James Dean. Von Brauchitsch raved about his competitor: “The Rosemeyer had a vehicle control that was magical. He had a way of driving over all problems and he did everything with the carefree smile of someone chosen by God. He knew that and therefore he always risked more than all of us together. Unfortunately, once too much. ”
The witness of an era of fearlessness knew: “He should not have gone out on the world record runs back in January 1938. Despite the strong wind he wanted to regain the record that Carratsch (Rudolf Carraciola, editor) had chased away from him shortly before. Everyone, even the Auto Union people, advised against it. But Rosemeyer just smiled and drove off. Then came the gust of wind. It overturned at well over 400 kilometers per hour. We were all frozen because it suddenly showed us that in the end he was only human. Before we weren’t so sure. “
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In Brazil there is still similar talk about Ayrton Senna. How many titles would he have added to his three, one might well ask, had not God called him to himself in Imola in 1994? Team colleague and friend Gerhard Berger is just as committed as von Brauchitsch did. “Ayrton was the best driver Formula 1 has ever seen.”
Alone: Since humans are a number fetishist, the comparison between Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher is at the moment. Despite all the Sennas, Rosemeyers and Fangios. Both are the most successful in terms of numbers. Both have seven titles, Hamilton has more wins and more poles. But who is the better one? That is hard to answer. One can only approach the answer by comparing the circumstances of the titles and victories.
For Schumacher speaks: He had to fight much harder for it. Only in 2001, 2002 and 2004 did he have the best car. In 1994 and 1995 the Williams was actually superior to its Benetton. Still, he defeated Damon Hill. In 2000 the McLaren-Mercedes was at least equal, in 2003 it also had a strong BMW-Williams.
To be fair: the strength of each passenger speaks for Hamilton. Schumacher had to deal with Jos Verstappen, JJ Lehto and Johnny Herbert at Benetton. Verstappen was considered a super talent, but was still too inexperienced. Lehto and Herbert just weren’t good enough. Eddie Irvine and Rubens Barrichello had to bow to Schumacher’s class right from the start and act more as slaves than teammates.