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Hamilton has set a new benchmark, says Brawn

NEWS STORY
29/12/2020

Believing that Max Verstappen was "unlucky" this year, Ross Brawn cites world champion, Lewis Hamilton as the sport's new benchmark.

In case you didn't know - check the Guardian website - in winning the 2020 Formula One World Championship, Lewis Hamilton equalled Michael Schumacher's seemingly impossible achievement in winning seven titles.

However, Ross Brawn, who guided the German to all his victories and titles believes Hamilton is the sport's new benchmark.

Ranking the drivers at season end for the sport's official website, Brawn had no hesitation in putting Hamilton top of his list.

"It has to be Lewis," he tells the F1 Nation podcast, "and I say has to be in the sense that he has set a new benchmark in terms of world championships.

"I think it's very easy for people to assume that he had the best car," he continued. "It's an easy exercise and it's far from the case. He definitely won races he shouldn't have won."

Brawn cites Istanbul, where Hamilton, who started from the third row and went on to win, as the Mercedes driver's stand-out performance.

"We think of Turkey, probably the most difficult race of the year, and he sat there quietly getting on with it until the opportunity came and there he was in the pound seat and he won the race.

"He just endorsed what we already knew, that he is a truly exceptional driver. Definitely in the higher echelons of the Schumacher's and the Senna's, he's in that group, there's no doubt about it."

As for Max Verstappen, who Brawn ranks next after Hamilton, the F1 MD, who previously oversaw the technical departments at Benetton, Ferrari, Mercedes and won the 2009 titles with his own eponymous team, believes the Dutchman was unlucky this year.

"I thought Max matured very well this year," he said. "If we think back to the Max of a couple of years ago...

"He was pretty unlucky this year, I have to say," he added. "There were a couple of times the car didn't quite perform and he got caught up in accidents that were not his fault and we were deprived of seeing some great races from him."

"We've got a really great run of drivers," he concludes, "and I think we were all massively excited by George Russell getting in the Mercedes. That was a fairy-tale story that didn't quite happen but I don't think we will forget that.

"We've had some great stories this year and I'm optimistic with the group of drivers that we have, that we are going to have some great races in the future, particularly when we are going to try and improve the cars and the competitiveness of the teams and the ability to follow."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by kenji, 01/01/2021 1:38

"@ Simon in Adelaide.....According to Brawn...'he won races he shouldn't have'. So did Gasly. So did Perez. Hamilton always has it over Bottas so there's no challenge there. Apart from Red Bull Mercedes virtually has no constant realistic challenger in performance. Russell once again proved that point emphatically. That's my perspective and, i might add, that I'm not Robinson Crusoe when forming that opinion."

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2. Posted by Simon in Adelaide, 31/12/2020 6:39

"'a new benchmark' ..... I suppose that depends on your perspective.

Ross is now in marketing and, no one ever believes anything a marketing man says.

From an engineering perspective, the Mercedes cars have been the benchmark.

From a driving perspective, Hamilton? Probably, when a car is 0.5~1.5 seconds per lap quicker than anything else then the only measure by which to gauge a driver is their team mate and in Hamilton's case he has consistently out performed his team-mate over multiple seasons.

An interesting question would be how well would Max go in a Mercedes and would Lewis enjoy the same level of dominance he has over Valtteri; I think George may have already answered that one :).

I think you have to go a long way back when a team had 2 equal drivers to find a World Champion driver who succeeded through their driving skill alone; Prost v Senna, Mansell v Piquet perhaps?
"

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3. Posted by kenji, 30/12/2020 10:37

"@ R1Racing71 I would think that it's already signed and the parties are simply awaiting a propitious date to make the announcement. Most likely expecting that Hamilton will be knighted and then they will simultaneously announce an extended contract for maximum exposure. The British media are desperately searching for an additional truckload of superlatives to unload.....when and if this happens!!! Happy New Year to all."

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4. Posted by kenji, 30/12/2020 10:30

"@Wokingchap....Whilst I neither like or follow either Red Bull or Verstappen in this instance i would give Verstappen the No.1 '20 driver award. He had a decidedly inferior car to that of Hamilton but was able to extract some really excellent drives. Ricciardo also qualifies as a No.1 despite having a tier 1.5 car to drive. The mere fact that Hamilton won so many races does not IMO qualify him as driver of the season. The car was the difference and that has nothing to do with Hamilton."

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5. Posted by @R1Racing71, 30/12/2020 8:32

"Any idea when the big announcement is coming out at Mercedes?"

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6. Posted by Wokingchap, 29/12/2020 16:44

"@kenji...... so who IS your no1 driver of 2020?"

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7. Posted by kenji, 29/12/2020 14:12

"@Lakota...now that I would like to see, Hamilton in a Williams. Then we'd see just what the GOAT can really do!!"

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8. Posted by Lakota, 29/12/2020 13:21

"But could he set the mark in a Williams ??"

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9. Posted by kenji, 29/12/2020 11:54

"I simply cannot accept Hamilton being designated No.1 in 2020 when so many others did great drives albeit in cars that were not up to the all conquering performance standard of Mercedes.Put Hamilton in the Ferrari/McLaren et al and would he of won so many races...absolutely not IMO. Sure, he's a top driver, he's very very good. That's it for me. Russell proved the point and there's no going back from there. "

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