Hamilton’s dominance in the last decade has often drawn comparisons with Schumacher’s supremacy in the 90s and early 2000s when the German legend was winning one race after the other. The question, therefore, is quite natural: Who is better among the two?
India’s first F1 racer Narain Karthikeyan feels it will be “unfair to compare two eras”.
“They (Schumacher and Hamilton) were driving in different eras. The cars are different, levels of danger are different, and ultimately the challenges are different. Both are good drivers – each one having his own strengths,” Karthikeyan, who along with former F2 driver Arjun Maini and Naveen Rao will represent Racing Team India at the Asian Le Mans Series in Dubai this weekend, told TOI.
But, the records in his name do give Hamilton the edge.
“If you see the records, Lewis will be ahead of anyone else. And he is just 36. Lewis if fit, he is hungry and he will go on for a few more years. He will definitely surge way ahead in terms of records,” he added.
Karthikeyan also doesn’t consider Hamilton to be any less “charismatic” than Schumacher. “He (Hamilton) is charismatic in his own rights. He is the stuff of legends. He fights for what he believes in. He is a great of the sport.”
Lewis Hamilton. (AP Photo)
Karthikeyan was the last Indian driver to race in Formula One, and that happened at the Brazilian Grand Prix in 2012. Since then no one from India has graduated to the F1 level. Jehan Daruvala, who is currently a Formula 2 driver, happens to be the country’s best bet. In his maiden season in F2 last year, Daruvala – representing Carlin Racing – made history by becoming the first Indian to win a F2 race at the Bahrain GP.
Karthikeyan feels the corporate sector’s support from India will be necessary for drivers at F2 and F3 levels in order to graduate.
“There is no set process to graduate to F1. A lot of drivers are trying. There are some good young drivers in F2 and F3 levels. It’s going to take a little bit of corporate support from India. If they all have a good 2021, then their chances become brighter. If not, it’s going to be status quo.”