F1 legend makes better racer claim about Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen had a titanic battle for the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship.

Damon Hill, the 1996 Formula 1 World Champion, has identified Lewis Hamilton as possessing the finest racecraft among the three multiple World Champions on the current grid. 

Following Hamilton’s podium finish alongside Max Verstappen and Fernando Alonso at the Canadian Grand Prix, Hill commended Hamilton’s on-track prowess.

The Canadian Grand Prix podium was a historic moment, featuring three decorated Formula 1 champions, as well as Red Bull’s chief technology officer, Adrian Newey, celebrating his 200th career race victory and 100th with Red Bull.

In a discussion about the three drivers, Hill acknowledged Verstappen’s outright pace and his willingness to venture into the “danger zone” with his speed. 

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He also recognised Alonso’s exceptional awareness of his surroundings. 

However, when it comes to racing approach and its translation into on-track results, Hill believes Hamilton currently surpasses his rivals.

“I think it’s Lewis,” Hill expressed on the F1 Nation podcast when asked about the best racecraft among the three World Champions. 

The podcast host, Tom Clarkson, disagreed, favouring Alonso and referencing a move the Spaniard made in the French Grand Prix to strategically slow down, dirty the air for the following car, and accelerate tire degradation.

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Elaborating on his choice of Hamilton, Hill stated: “Lewis probably works with his engineers very effectively, whereas Fernando can probably do it without his engineers, or he tells the engineers what to do, rather than the other way around – and he manages to fit in a few sort of clever comments in the process as well, while he’s got other things to do.”

Addressing the argument for Alonso’s racecraft, Hill continued: “I take your point about Fernando and racecraft, but I’m just going to go back to Lewis again. 

“I think the thing is with Lewis is that in a race, he’s able to produce stunning laps when he needs to. I don’t know if Fernando still has that ability.”

Considering all the comparison points, Hill ultimately backed the reigning World Champion and current championship leader as the one to bet on at the moment. 

Acknowledging Verstappen’s bright future, Hill noted that Hamilton and Alonso are in different phases of their careers, while Verstappen has yet to reach his full potential.

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“When you try and compare drivers like this, you have to say currently where we’re at, you’d put your money on Max, wouldn’t you?,” Hill explained.

“Because he seems to have all the ingredients and he’s got a bright future ahead of him.

“Whereas the others are, whichever way you cut it, they’re past the middle of their career, they’ve done the bulk of their work, and so they’re slightly different characters or in a different phase of their development. But yeah, Max has got it.”