Lewis Hamilton has received the adulation of a nation after clinching his third world title win at the United States Grand Prix in Texas, but how did the world of F1 react to the victory?
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‘The Senna of his generation’ – David Coulthard, The Daily Telegraph
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The Telegraph’s David Coulthard has used his column to claim Hamilton is the best driver of the present era, describing him as “the Ayrton Senna of his generation”. Coulthard says he first met Hamilton when he was a “squeaky-voiced 10-year-old” and says his progression to three world titles shows there can be no doubt that Hamilton is on par with Senna.
"To my mind there are plenty of similarities. They are both spiritual people and both have that inherent speed. You know when it comes to a qualifying lap, or they are behind someone on the track, then something special is about to happen," writes Coulthard.

David Coulthard and Lewis Hamilton together

Image credit: Imago

"They both make some mistakes under extreme competitive pressure, too. At the restart in Silverstone this year, Lewis did not need to go for it, but he cannot help himself. He is a natural born racer. Senna was exactly the same. Taking out Alain Prost in Suzuka, or some of the other aggressive moves he pulled, were not as elegant as some people on the sporting side of this business wanted.
"But that was the DNA that makes both of them respected, drivers no one wants to mess with. The difference is that while Senna feared Prost, just as Prost feared Senna, there is no one out there who Lewis fears. He has all the bases covered. Both Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso are exceptional drivers, but Lewis is comfortable in the knowledge that he can beat them both."
Our view: It’s difficult to compare drivers from two completely different eras, and therefore impossible to say if Hamilton is better than his idol Ayrton Senna, but there’s now a legitimate claim that he is the best of the current crop. But maybe Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso would disagree…

Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) - GP of United States of America 2015

Image credit: AFP

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‘A breeze amid a hurricane’ – The Guardian
The Guardian’s Formula 1 writer Paul Weaver has described Hamilton victory in Austin as "a breeze amid a hurricane" as the Briton eased to the victory that secured him the title in the face of Hurricane Patricia. The whole race weekend had been disrupted by the wind and heavy rain associated with the storm, but Hamilton got the job done. Weaver writes: “In the technically complex world of F1 his triumph can be explained in the most lucid of terms: he was faster than his most serious rival, his Mercedes team-mate, Nico Rosberg.
"He bestrode the season. He was utterly dominant, taking 11 poles and winning 10 races and taking the title with three rounds to spare. In the middle of Hurricane Patricia this was a mere breeze, and one rose-scented with the knowledge that he can now be counted among the very best of history’s vroom-vroom merchants. He started the year as a very brilliant racing driver and towards the end of it he has become an indisputably great one."
Our view: It’s correct to say that this title was different for Lewis Hamilton, who has never relinquished the title lead since the opening race of the season in Australia. Unlike in 2008 and last year, Hamilton has been utterly dominant. And not even a hurricane could get in his way!

Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) - GP of United States of America 2015

Image credit: AFP

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‘Hamilton is special, but jury is out on legendary status’ – The Times
The Times have questioned Lewis Hamilton’s status as a legend of F1, claiming his access to the best car will always leave an element of doubt that he is truly the best driver. Kevin Eason admits Hamilton’s stats don’t lie, but says the Briton is driving a “wonder car... possibly the most superior of any age in F1” created by Mercedes and thus, prevents his achievements of the past two years as being considered legendary. "Hamilton cheerfully admits that he has no regard for the history of F1, but then he lives in an era that has spawned a generation whose intellectual limits stretch no further than the array of buttons on their high-tech steering wheels," writes Eason. Ouch.
Our view: Eason makes some interesting points. While the personal attacks on his lack of patriotism and alienation of his roots given his 'love of rap music' appear to be rooted in a different agenda, his point that Hamilton has had a somewhat easier ride in the Mercedes car is a valid point. His 2008 title win with McLaren was a genuinely hard-fought victory, whereas in the Mercedes, he’s effectively only had teammate Nico Rosberg to beat.
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‘Hamilton can win five or six’ – Jackie Stewart

Lewis Hamilton Jackie Stewart

Image credit: Reuters

Jackie Stewart, the man whose three title wins has just been equalled, says Hamilton looks seemingly unstoppable in his Mercedes. “He is now looking forward to win more. He's got a lot of years ahead of him, he's got every opportunity of winning five or six titles in that car," said Stewart. "'He drove a good hard race to win his third world championship. In my case it was a little different as it was my last year, I knew I wasn't going to win again."
Our view: It’s hard to argue with Stewart, whose third title came in his final season as a driver. Hamilton, on the other hand, is still at his peak and has a few good years ahead of him yet. In a few years, we could well be reflecting on a driver whose achievements outshine those of Sebastian Vettel.
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“Hamilton is the best driver at this moment” - Nigel Mansell

Nigel Mansell and Lewis Hamilton

Image credit: Imago

Former world champion Nigel Mansell has said there can be “no question” that Hamilton is the best F1 driver at this moment – but didn’t say whether Hamilton would have won in his day. "'It's easy to say he's the best ever at this moment in time. No question. But I've never been able to compare what happened 10 years ago, 20 years ago, 50 years ago," said Mansell.
"For me the stallions of drivers were back in the early days when they didn't have helmets, they didn't have goggles, they didn't have seatbelts, and when they had an accident it was a 50/50 chance whether you lived or died. They were the real heroes.
"Now, people can make some incredible mistakes and not get hurt. To say they are better drivers than drivers gone past is impossible. Current day drivers, Lewis is the best without question.
"He crosses over some boundaries that a lot of drivers haven't done before but he's really enjoying himself and when you enjoy yourself, you do a better job. Whatever Lewis wants to do to have fun is great for him, and great for the sport. It can only help.'
Our view: Mansell is spot on. Hamilton may be the best driver at the current moment, but it’s impossible to say how he would have fared in a previous era. Hamilton has his flaws of course, but for excitement and guts on the track, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better driver from the current crop.
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