Lewis Hamilton fired a thinly veiled shot at Sir Jackie Stewart for denying him the credit he was due.
Hamilton became the biggest race winner in Formula 1 history at the Eifel Grand Prix on Sunday as he leveled off with Michael Schumacher with 91 wins.
Last week, Stewart said he did not put Hamilton in the very top group of drivers, led, he argued, by Juan Manuel Fangio and Jim Clark. He pointed out that there were fewer F1 rounds in previous eras, so it was impossible to rack up 90 wins.
Lewis Hamilton fired a barely veiled shot at Formula 1 legend Sir Jackie Stewart
He added of Hamilton’s Mercedes: “The car and engine are now so superior it’s almost unfair to the rest of the field. “
But the six-time reigning world champion took a step back. “I get hit by a lot of people, especially older drivers,” he said. “They have a bee in their cap. I do not know why. I have so much respect for legends from the past, even though they continue to speak negatively about me.
“In 20 years, I can promise you that I won’t be talking about a young driver who passes.
Stewart said last week he failed to rank Hamilton among the top drivers
“As an older rider it is the responsibility to shine the light and encourage them, whether it be Max Verstappen, or whoever it is, chasing the record that I ultimately set. “
Hamilton, 35, and three-time world champion Stewart, 81, endured a difficult relationship for a few years and clashed during Hamilton’s Crusade for Diversity lockdown. Stewart insisted that racism in F1 was “not as big a problem as it sounds”. Hamilton called the remarks “just disappointing.”
On the question of greatness, Hamilton, who is looking for a seventh world title to face Schumacher again, said: “It is talked about a lot in all sports, but it is impossible to compare people. If you put all the best drivers in the sport in the same season and the same car, that would be something, but that’s not important to me.
Stewart said the superiority of the Mercedes car was “almost unfair in the rest of the field”
“You are remembered for having won the most victories and that is something special. But it’s the obstacles I’ve faced that matter most. Everyone has a different background and you shouldn’t be knocked out for it.
Hamilton has revealed he called his father and former manager Anthony after Sunday’s win, a sign of their growing closeness after a few shaky years. “There were really a lot of emotions,” Hamilton revealed of the last conversation, his voice breaking. “My father and I have never been so close. It’s remarkable and makes me so much happier that we talk a lot, which I never thought we would.
“We were together last weekend and now we have adult conversations about all kinds of things: politics, food, training, relationships. He texted me the day before the race and said, “You know what to do… I know you are going to do it”. That’s how he’s been since day one. Family is the most important. ‘