Former world champion Damon Hill has dismissed suggestions Lewis Hamilton’s Formula One success is simply a product of having the best car.
Hamilton wrapped up his seventh world title – and sixth in his eight seasons with Mercedes – on Sunday with victory in Turkey.
Hill, who won with Williams in 1996, told BBC Breakfast: “It is a lot easier if you have the best car, I will say that having had the best car at one time in my career.
“But they don’t give you the best car forever and in my case, I didn’t stay with my team – they probably thought I wasn’t worth giving the best car to (any more).
“With Lewis, they’re tripping over themselves to keep him in the car. Mercedes have nabbed him at the start of their development as a team because they knew he was the best driver.
“The best drivers get the best equipment, and he’s held on to that position because no-one can touch him.”
Hamilton matched Michael Schumacher for the most world titles and Hill added that Hamilton’s record may be truly unassailable should the sport become more competitive. He said: “Michael beat (Juan Manuel) Fangio’s long-standing five world title record, and everyone thought ‘well, that’s an incredible achievement’.
“He went on to win two more and got to seven and we thought ‘that’s beyond reach’. There’s a fantastic couple of chats with Lewis at the start of his career, saying he didn’t think it’d be possible to beat it.
“I think there’s a desire to see more variety of winners in the sport – it’s great to see somebody dominate if they are that good, but it’s also great to see a variety of winners.
“I think even Lewis would say he would like a bit more competition from time to time because it is more thrilling, and it’s also more possible for him to show what he can do.
“But it also might make his total of seven world titles unassailable in the long run.”