Oct.14 - Sir Jackie Stewart has denied having a 'bee in his bonnet' about Lewis Hamilton.

As Hamilton raced to equal Michael Schumacher's all-time victory record at the Nurburgring, he had earlier hit out at consistent critics like F1 legend and triple world champion Stewart.

"They still have a bee in their bonnet, I don't know why - maybe they'll get over it one day. I have so much respect for the past legends, even though they do continue to talk negatively about me all the time," he said.

Indeed, several F1 personalities and former drivers had used the occasion of the record-equalling feat to argue that it is difficult to assess Hamilton's greatness because of the dominance of his Mercedes car.

Stewart, though, denies "trying to diminish" the achievements of the 35-year-old.

"I hold his performances with incredible respect," he told the PA news agency. "He is the best driver of the present time.

"I am not knocking him down and I am disappointed he thinks that way. What do I have to gain from that? I am 81 years of age.

"I was asked what did I think about Lewis becoming the most winning driver of all time and if that made him the greatest there has been. I said it is very difficult to say that.

"The greatest I believe there has been is Juan Manuel Fangio, followed by Jim Clark. But even then, is it correct to say someone is the best?

"Lewis' achievements are amazing but he is driving the finest racing car in the world and it has been that way for a very long time," Stewart said.

"Lewis made a terrific decision to move to Mercedes from McLaren. But is he better than Fangio who won his five titles with four different teams? Or is he better than Jim Clark or indeed Michael Schumacher? You simply cannot say."


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16 F1 Fan comments on “Stewart denies 'knocking down' Hamilton

      • George Jones

        Alexander Key obviously doesn't realize that the reason Clark is held in such high regard, is that he was unbeatable except by mechanical problems. Even when dealing with problems he remained in a class of his own, such as Spa in pouring rain 1963, having to hold the car in gear with one hand, and still won by approx. 5 mins. He was versatile also, when he won the Indy 500 the winning margin was 2 whole laps. (He also won in BTCC championship, Tasman championship F.2 Championship) J.Y.S can see that Lewis is beatable, so was Schumacher, and even Senna sometimes. Competition was great also, at Clakk's last Grahd Prix the top six places on the grid were past or future World Champions, including Stewart and Rindt. Clark's pole time was a full second clear. I'm not so familiar with Fangio's career, but you can understand Jackie Stewart's opinion.

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  1. James

    Why can't Jackie just say that he is the best without the qualifying editorial??? To say "what it" means that you must apply that what if to each and every driver past and present. Lewis is the best out there now and I'm sure there will be another surpassing him in the future. However it is easy to understand why he think they have a bee in their bonnets.

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  2. ReallyOldRacer

    James, it's not about best NOW, it's about the GOAT discussion. That argument will go on forever precisely because it cannot be objectively measured. Fun pub stuff.

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  3. James

    I agree with most of the comments regarding best now vs greatest of all time. Skills with technical assists are different than skills without, but both most be respected and understood in the proper perspective.

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  4. David Larison

    Hamilton has many fans, lots of $ Millions, and many wins, however that is not enough. Everyone has to love him and say he is the best. As I have commented before Hamilton is a wah wah crybaby when everything doesn't go his way. Zebras don't change their stripes. David

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  5. Winston CLARKE

    Lewis Hamilton is indeed the very best of this era and "if" it was possible to genuinely compare his standards today against the greats of the pass, who knows what the outcome would be. The facts are champions of previous were great then and Lewis Hamilton is great now. Celebrate them all and enjoy. No one really needs to be heralded as the greatest of all time.

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  6. David Larison

    I think it is fair to say Hamilton is a good Driver in Formula 1 who has won a lot of races with Mercedes, hands down the best Ride in Formula 1. The Greatest of all time, No. In equally prepared cars when he was at Mclaren, he won some races and 1 Championship by finishing 5 th place in a race won by Felipe Massa in the 2008 Brazilian Gran Prix. Hamilton is a Driver, not a Racer, David

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