Berger: Hamilton on Senna's level

  • Published on 23 Apr 2019 15:44
  • comments 7
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Gerhard Berger says that Lewis Hamilton is the first driver he considers that is on the same level as Ayrton Senna.

Berger partnered Senna at McLaren for three seasons in the early 90s, and says that he has never until now considered any other racing driver to be on the same level as Hamilton.

"Everybody always asks me, 'How do you see this driver against Ayrton?," said Berger. "And I always in all the years say, 'I don't see anybody near to Ayrton.' But Lewis is the first driver I put on the same level as Ayrton.

"The guy is outstandingly fast. He makes a bit less mistakes than the others, and what impressed me so much with him when you have won as much as he's won is you [might] think, 'Today now I'm second, either I'm going to run over his head and I win, or I'm out.'

"He doesn't do it, he just stays there and waits, 'OK I finish second, take the points.' It looks like he is just running the game in such a good way now that he's unbeatable at the moment.

"I see really a lot of the championships that was won by Mercedes in the last few years, it was Lewis and engine.

"The engine was outstanding, yes. But Lewis, in the wet, on a quick circuit, on a street circuit, qualifying, he's always there.

"He won the championship five times, he won one race after the next one. Yes, he's in the best car with the best engine, but he's also the best – by far the best man at the moment."

Berger added that he sees Hamilton challenging Michael Schumacher's records, especially the untouched seven world championships that the German picked up throughout his career.

"I think Lewis, if nothing happens to him and he keeps going like this, for the next two or three years, I think he's always going to be onto the championship. Definitely he has the chance.

"Also what happened with Michael, on one side I would like to protect Michael's success, because it's such a tragedy, and so sad.

"But when you put this all out for a moment, and say let's see, then Lewis Hamilton is a very special driver from all the time I watched F1."

Replies (7)

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  • I'm a bit shocked to see Berger say this, but he's one that would not seem highly motivated to praise Lewis for any obvious reason. That's high praise to Lewis. Of course I don't agree, but I respect it, because Berger knew Ayrton pretty well and I doubt he'd make that comparison to drivers lightly. That being said, some people's heads will blow up with this comment

    • + 0
    • Apr 23 2019 - 16:12
    • To say Gerhard knew Ayrton pretty well is a bit of an understatement. He was his longest-serving teammate, so this comment has a lot of weight. I think its good to see the drivers of today getting some recognition against the legends. Usually, it only happens when they retire.

      • + 0
      • Apr 23 2019 - 20:12
    • I definitely feel we underestimate the current drivers. Although I'm not sure Hammy is on par with Senna, I'm very certain we've got a few drivers on the grid on par with their predecessors.

      • + 0
      • Apr 24 2019 - 06:25
  • No brainer for me AJP - he just doesn't makes mistakes, you can bank on him - you cant say that about many drivers. I wouldn't swap him for any other driver on the grid today - you couldn't say that in years gone by imo.

    • + 0
    • Apr 23 2019 - 19:38
    • That's a factual statement. Not that Lewis needs to prove himself in an inferior car because he's already done that. But it would be nice to see him have to fight again as he did with Mclaren.

      • + 0
      • Apr 24 2019 - 04:53
  • JuJuHound

    Posts: 352

    I really don't like such a comparisment but I can agree Lewis can be ranked among all time greats with Senna, Fangio, Prost, Schumi.
    It's funny how much was Vettel compared to Schumi after his 4th title with Red Bull and currently it seems he was (just) a good driver in a decent team built around him.

    • + 0
    • Apr 24 2019 - 09:42
    • He had a great team mate in Rosberg , a winner, a do it at all costs guy and we saw what happened there in equal machinery, Don't forget he also more than held his own against a certain Snr Alonso - to be fait him, he has raced against the best of his generation, no doubt.

      • + 0
      • Apr 24 2019 - 22:12

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