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How will the world look back on Lewis Hamilton’s legacy?

It’s probably fair to say that Lewis Hamilton doesn’t always get the credit that his driving deserves given how much the 36-year-old divides opinion. To his supporters, Hamilton is the greatest Formula One driver of any era but to his detractors, however, the sentiment is quite different with the general feeling being that Hamilton is fortunate to have been in the fastest car on the grid over the last decade.

Indeed, there is an unwillingness to acknowledge the Englishman’s prowess behind the wheel by a large majority of Formula One fans and even past drivers. It must be said that it shouldn’t be a point of view that is automatically dismissed as sour grapes given that Formula One does have a history of being inexcusably one-sided.

You only have to look back on Michael Schumacher’s legacy over the early 2000s to understand this as the German won five consecutive drivers’ championships.

Although it should be noted that this season is proving to be the exception and anyone studying the latest betting odds on who will win the 2021 championship will know as much. For those unsure of how the odds correlate into a competitive season, this betting page will provide a better understanding of odds and probabilities but most importantly, how to read and calculate the prices offered. In this instance, with Hamilton at odds of just 3/5 and Verstappen at 5/4, it really is just too close to call, something that can’t be said for the majority of Formula One’s history.

Yes, Formula One is a sport that is often dominated by one team which is why the case against Hamilton benefiting from a fast car more than anything else isn’t altogether an unfounded one. There is, however, also overwhelming evidence in support of the likes of Schumacher and Hamilton being the greatest of all time given that their teammates, who in theory, drive exactly the same vehicle, aren’t nearly as successful. For further proof of this take a look at the latest driver standings and you’ll see the extraordinary points difference between Lewis Hamilton and teammate Valtteri Bottas is over 140 so far this season.

In other words, Hamilton may have a superior car to the rest of the grid but he’s probably the man most capable of winning in it. Either way, that is hardly a glowing endorsement to what should be a tribute to the greatest the sport has seen and you can see why Hamilton takes umbrage with the perceived lack of respect. The 36-year-old does have the opportunity to finally begin to silence his critics though.

In reality, it’s all on the line for Hamilton this season as he is within touching distance of winning his eighth title which will make him, statistically speaking, the most successful driver in Formula One’s history as he surpasses Schumacher’s record of seven.

If the 36-year-old were to achieve this record-breaking feat then, realistically speaking, in the short term, it won’t stop the conversation about him piggybacking off Mercedes’ superiority to establish a legacy but these points of view will begin to fade away with time as the history books won’t make mention of these caveats. The only fact that will be recorded is that Lewis Hamilton was the most successful driver in the history of the sport.

 

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