When Lewis Hamilton took his 65th career pole position at the 2017 Canadian Grand Prix, he equaled the great Ayrton Senna’s record of career poles.
As one of the few people who has worked with both of these incredible drivers in F1, Williams technical head Paddy Lowe drew an interesting comparison between the two.
Lowe said that Hamilton has the raw pace and talent that Senna possessed but ‘ruthlessness’ was what set Ayrton Senna apart.
Photo : Sutton Images
“They both stick within the handful of greats that there are within the history of the sport”, explained Lowe. “Those great drivers are able to pull out an extraordinary lap and I think you kind of saw that Lewis [with his pole in Canada], that probably on Mercedes estimations and simulations, that time wasn’t in the car.
“They didn’t have it on the charts. They probably thought Ferrari had them after P3, and then you see Lewis will go out there and really dig deep.
“These drivers cannot do it every Saturday but every now and again, they go out there when something really extraordinary is required and produce a lap where you go ‘where on earth did that come from!?’ Lewis is certainly one to do that and Ayrton was certainly one to do that.”
Paddy Lowe also acknowledged that whilst raw talent was important and they both had it in bucket loads, personality and the approach towards various aspects of Formula 1 as a sport and as a business was a very important factor as well.
“I think character wise they are quite different”, noted Lowe. “People criticise Lewis for a number of things but actually he is within it all a real gentleman and a very fair racer. Hard but fair.
“With Ayrton, we have a tendency to get a bit rose tinted. Mostly I was playing against Ayrton, that is why I struggle a bit with perspective, but mostly I was at Williams in those days and Ayrton was the guy we were struggling to beat.
“We eventually did in ’92 but it seemed impossible in the years building up to it, and he was ruthless. He had some various tactics to intimidate his opposition, but that was more the name of the game back then.”
“It is a very different world and Ayrton played it how he had to back then”, Lowe concluded.
Feature image : BBC
– Aditya Bhat.