LONDON, England – The greatest Formula 1 driver of all time Lewis Hamilton may become but his Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff believes ”negativity” and ”envy’ are denying him his deserved recognition.
”By comparing five-times World champion Hamilton with (now incapacitated and retired) Ferrari great Michael Schumacher,” Wolff suggested, ”people might not appreciate the 33-year-old Briton’s achievements until he, too, has left the scene.”
Wolff added: “Not everybody recognises a great career, a great sportsman, or greatness overall while it’s happening. There’s a lot of negativity and envy while it happens.
“We are extremely privileged to be following a career of maybe the greatest racing driver of all time. Schumacher set the records but Lewis is on a similar trajectory.”
Schumacher, who will be 50 in January 2018 , has not been seen in public since he suffered brain damage in a skiing incident five years earlier.
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Hamilton has set a string of records on his way to his fifth title, won in 2018, and could go on to match (perhaps even beat) Schumacher’s seven championships and 91 wins.
The Briton, now on 73 victories, has won 51 of the 100 grands prix in the V6 turbo era that started in 2014 and four of the last five championships. He’s also started on pole 83 times and is only the third driver ever to win five titles or more.
He has been voted runner-up in the 2018 BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year awards – a public vote – behind 2018 Tour de France cycle tour winner Geraint Thomas.