LONDON, England – Former F1 driver Gerhard Berger, a wheelman for Benetton, Ferrari and McLaren through 1986 to the end of the 1997 season, believes Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton can now be rated with Ayrton Senna.
He and Senna were McLaren race partners through 1990 to the end of the 1992 F1 season.
He told Reuters the Englishman now ranked alongside the Brazilian F1 ace – something he never thought would happen.
ASKED, BUT NOW ANSWERED
Berger will be at Imola on May 1 2019 – the 25th anniversary of Senna’s fatal crash at that track. He believes, in sporting terms, that the similarities shared by the two drivers ”are clear”.
Berger now runs the German Touring Car series.
He told Reuters at the Baku track ahead of this weekend’s Azerbaijan F1 GP: “Everybody asks me ‘How do you see this driver against Ayrton?’. I always said ‘I don’t see anybody near Ayrton’.
“Lewis is the first.”
Hamilton, 34, has five championships, one with McLaren in 2008, four with Mercedes, and leads the 2019 season. He has the most pole starts (84) and 75 wins, the latter second only to seven-times champion Schumacher’s 91.
Berger said Hamilton was “outstandingly fast”, made fewer mistakes than rivals, and had patience. ”He’s unbeatable at the moment… by far the best man at the moment.
”I’d like to protect Michael’s success because of the skiing accident in 2013 which ended his career but, put that aside and Lewis Hamilton is a very special driver.”