‘Exceptional’ Hamilton deserves title – Leinders

Oct.30 (GMM) “Exceptional” driver Lewis Hamilton fully deserves the 2018 title.

That is the view of former F1 test driver turned pundit Bas Leinders, after Hamilton beat Sebastian Vettel to the championship with two races to spare last weekend in Mexico.

“You can love him or not, but you have to admit that he is an exceptional driver,” the Belgian told the Sporza broadcaster. “What he has achieved this year is well deserved.

“At the beginning of the year, Mercedes certainly did not have the fastest car. Ferrari had the upper hand, but Vettel dropped a few balls and above all Mercedes and Hamilton showed a lot of resilience and that was the deciding factor,” Leinders added.

It means Hamilton is now a five time world champion, an achievement matched only by Juan Manual Fangio. Only seven time world champion Michael Schumacher achieved more.

“He absolutely belongs in the top five best drivers in F1 history,” said Leinders, a Minardi test driver in 2004.

He admitted that Hamilton’s personality rubs some people up the wrong way, but Leinders said that is only natural.

“If you want to become a multiple world champion, you cannot be a sweetheart,” said Leinders.

“A sympathetic guy like (Jenson) Button can become champion once, but to fight for the title year after year, you have to be a bit aggressive and unsympathetic.”

Related News

  • 11/01/2018 Quadruple champions target Fangio’s five Jan.11 (GMM) The sport's two quadruple world champions admit equalling F1 legend Juan Manuel Fangio's five titles would be a special achievement. Last year, Lewis Hamilton joined […]
  • 28/06/2017 Todt ‘half positive’ about 2017 season Jun.28 (GMM) Jean Todt says he is "half positive" about how the first half of F1's 2017 season has gone. After eight races, most are thrilled with the new cars and the championship […]
  • 13/03/2019 Beating Michael’s records not easy for Hamilton – Ralf Mar.13 (GMM) It will not be easy for Lewis Hamilton to break Michael Schumacher's record tally of seven world championships. That is the view of Michael's brother Ralf, who also raced in […]
  • 08/03/2017 Ferrari must be ‘unbeatable’ again – Marchionne Mar.8 (GMM) Sergio Marchionne says Ferrari "has to" return to the famous team's Schumacher-like glory years. Until now, the Italian team has kept an awkward silence ahead of the 2017 […]
  • 01/11/2018 Ferrari mustn’t ‘panic’ after title loss – Brawn Nov.1 (GMM) Ferrari must resist the urge to "panic" after Sebastian Vettel failed to win the 2018 world championship. Having not won a drivers' title since 2007, Ferrari finally had a […]
  • 31/03/2015 Ferrari’s driver hierarchy already set – Fiorio Mar.31 (GMM) Kimi Raikkonen is back. 2015 is a crucial year for the Finn, having declared his interest in racing on beyond the season but acknowledging his expiring Ferrari contract. […]
  • 29/10/2018 Hamilton ‘impossible to beat’ in 2018 – Prost Oct.29 (GMM) Lewis Hamilton could justifiably be called the "best of his generation". That was the view of quadruple world champion and F1 legend Alain Prost, after the Mercedes driver […]
  • 21/09/2017 Vettel can still win 2017 title – Brawn Sep.21 (GMM) F1 boss Ross Brawn has backed Sebastian Vettel to bounce back and continue to fight for the 2017 title. After Singapore, where the Ferrari driver was blamed for the […]
  • 26/01/2016 Jock Clear starts work for Ferrari Jan.26 (GMM) Jock Clear has finally started work at Ferrari, after serving a full year of so-called 'gardening leave'. In late 2014, Mercedes announced that Lewis Hamilton's highly […]
  • 03/11/2017 Vettel to skip 2018 Race of Champions Nov.3 (GMM) Sebastian Vettel has counted himself out of next year's running of the well-known Race of Champions event. Fans of the fun annual event were surprised recently when it was […]