Lewis Hamilton’s sixth Formula One World Championship win has renewed discussions of whether he is the greatest driver of all time and Eddie Jordan has no doubt he now holds that title.
The Brit’s second-place finish in Austin on Sunday secured him a hat-trick of titles, and made the Mercedes driver world champion for five of the past six seasons.
Adding his inaugural title – won with McLaren in 2008 – Hamilton has now been world champion on six occasions – more times than legendary racers Alain Prost and Juan Manuel Fangio.
Only one driver, Michael Schumacher, now has more World Championships than Hamilton, though few are betting against the Brit drawing level with a seventh title next season, due to Mercedes’ current domination of the sport.
Whether he can break the German’s record after the 2021 regulation changes remains to be seen, and many of Hamilton’s critics say he cannot be judged as the greatest of all time until the changes come into effect and alter his superb Mercedes.
But Jordan believes Hamilton should already be regarded as far, far better than Schumacher, who made his F1 debut driving for Jordan’s team, Jordan Grand Prix, in 1991.
“Everyone has their own view on this, but I am of the view he’s already surpassed Michael,” Jordan told talkSPORT. “Michael started with me so there is a love affair there, but there is a situation some people may not fully grasp.
“At the time I handled people like [Rubens] Barrichello, [Eddie] Irvine, [Giancarlo] Fisichella and [Jean] Alesi, and every time we went to sign a contract with Michael Schumacher or Ferrari it always had conditions in it, where what we saw in Austin wouldn’t have been allowed to happen.
“Lewis, if he had in his contract the same things, he would have had to been able to pass [Valtteri] Bottas [to win the race].
“You can’t have that in a competitive sport, where one part of the team dictates to the other.
“For me, that is a flaw factor for Michael. Seven World Championships… how many would he have won if he hadn’t had the influence and support of the other people in the team?
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“And I’m not just talking about team members – I’m talking about the drivers.
“Lewis is already in a different league, in my opinion. He’s done it on his own.
“What he has done has brought great pride to his family and his people, and he can be justifiably proud.”
Hamilton is undeniably one of Britain’s most successful sportsmen, but he remains a divisive figure on these shores.
His supporters have long called for the 34-year-old to be knighted, and these calls have been renewed in the wake of his sixth World Championship win.
But does Jordan believe such an honour will be bestowed upon the Stevenage-born superstar?
He continued: “There is a panel who judge and pick these people, and they must know what is happening. There are also other very strong criteria in that selection process, like charitable work, what he’s done in the community, and what he’s done to bring on people less fortunate than him, and I am quite sure Lewis does do that.
“But it is going to be difficult for Lewis to do it while he is still competing. It is probably easier for a person who has retired.
“I’d like to see Lewis win another couple of World Championships, and then when he’s retired I’d like to see him do a lot of charitable work – which he will do, and already does do – which people don’t ever see.
“I can promise you I once brought a young kid to him and I never thought he would give him any time – he spent the whole weekend with him in Monaco! He looked after the kid who has since died, and Lewis knew that he had little time and he went out of his way.
“There is a lot Lewis does charitably behind the scenes, and I think the knighthood will come.
“But we must not push that. Let him win the Championships before you put too much extra pressure on him.”
Watch Eddie Jordan’s full interview with talkSPORT, above…
Source: TalkSport.com Motorsport