sport news Who do experts pick as greatest F1 driver between Lewis Hamilton and Michael ...

Debate has raged for some time now over who the greatest Formula One driver is between Lewis Hamilton or Michael Schumacher.

The argument bubbled up again recently after the Brit equalled Schumacher's record of 91 race wins. He is also on course to level with the F1 icon on seven world championships this season.  

Sebastian Vettel declared that his German compatriot, who continues his recovery from a life-changing skiing accident in 2013, remains unrivalled as the best he's ever seen. 

But there are many who disagree and some point not only to Hamilton's incredible winning record but also the clean driving style.  

While it is of course difficult to compare two juggernauts with different eras, cars and rule changes, the argument is an inevitable one and some of the great names in the sport have weighed in with their verdicts. 

Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher are now both level on 91 Formula One race wins

Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher are now both level on 91 Formula One race wins 

Hamilton is on course to equal Schumacher's seven world championships and was presented with a helmet belonging to the German by his son Mick after matching his win record

Hamilton is on course to equal Schumacher's seven world championships and was presented with a helmet belonging to the German by his son Mick after matching his win record 

The German is regarded as an all time great but there is debate over who is the greatest

The German is regarded as an all time great but there is debate over who is the greatest 

TEAM SCHUMACHER -   Sebastian Vettel: 

The German sided with his childhood hero and compatriot despite paying tribute to Hamilton's remarkable achievement of 91 wins. 

'I think I can't respect his (Hamilton's) efforts enough,' he told Motorsport.com

'It's been the number in my head that I thought would never be beaten or equalled. I think we can be quite certain he will exceed this number.

'Nevertheless, I have to say that Michael will always be my hero. And I think Michael had something about him that I haven't seen in another driver so far.'

'I think he was better than anybody else I've ever seen so far. I think he had a natural talent that is very difficult to explain.'  

'On top of that, he had an incredible work ethic, but I think it's the combination of the two that for me stands out. I haven't seen a match yet.

Sebastian Vettel (L) believes Schumacher (R) was better than his rival Hamilton

Sebastian Vettel (L) believes Schumacher (R) was better than his rival Hamilton  

Fernando Alonso - 

Alonso has locked horns with Hamilton down the years but the two-time world champion does not rate his old rival as on the same level as Schumacher. 

He believes that what sets them apart is the fact that Hamilton has twice been beaten to the title by team-mates in the same car.  

He said: 'It is difficult. These are different eras and cars with different levels of performance. 

'I remember Michael as a driver who is hard to beat, one with the greatest talent.

'He had that little bit extra. Lewis is very good and the best of his generation but he did not win the championship with McLaren when he was a teammate of Jenson Button At Mercedes, Nico Rosberg also won it. 

'Michael never had such things. He always won. For me, Michael is one step ahead.'

Fernando Alonso believes the German is the driver with the most amount of talent ever

Fernando Alonso believes the German is the driver with the most amount of talent ever 

TEAM HAMILTON:   Murray Walker - 

The legendary former motorsport broadcaster is well placed to offer his opinion having worked on so many races where both men were involved. 

His reasoning for siding with Hamilton is that Schumacher became renowned for ruthless, occasionally blatantly unfair tactics to win or prevent others winning. 

In terms of a disciplinary record, Hamilton is squeaky clean in comparison.  

Walker said: 'In my opinion - and this is very contentious indeed - better than either Schumacher or Senna because both of them, Schumacher and Senna, adopted at various times in their career, highly debatable driving tactics.

'Like Schumacher stopping deliberately at Monaco to prevent [Fernando Alonso] getting pole position, like Schumacher colliding with Villeneuve at Jerez in 1997, like Senna with [Alain] Prost in 1990 in Japan.

'Lewis Hamilton has never been anything like that. He's always driven as clean as a whistle.

'He's an extremely nice, gigantically talented driver, and I don't think we've ever seen anybody like him before.'

Murray Walker's voice was synonymous with F1 for many years and he picks Hamilton

Murray Walker's voice was synonymous with F1 for many years and he picks Hamilton 

Mark Webber - 

The Australia Formula One veteran spent 11 years in the sport and echoed Walker's sentiments about Hamilton's refusal to fight dirty. 

'I would take Lewis over Michael because of his completeness,' he said. 

'I am not saying Michael wasn't anything because we are comparing two juggernauts. Michael put our sport into a whole new stratosphere in terms of fitness and approach. He was an extraordinary pioneer.

'But some of Michael's numbers are challenged in terms of how he went about certain things. So, Lewis, in terms of how clinical he is, how he has done some pretty special stuff in weaker cars, I would have him by a whisker.

'When he can smell victories and the real stuff, which is winning championships, he is absolutely frightening.'

 When Lewis is eight out of 10, he is special, but when he is 10 out of 10, going for it and is hungry, he is pretty much unbeatable.'

Mark Webber is another former star to side with Hamilton and not his clean driving style

Mark Webber is another former star to side with Hamilton and not his clean driving style 

Jacques Villeneuve - 

Villeneuve and Schumacher clashed during their title battle of 1997 and the German appeared to deliberately crash into his rival in the final race of the season. Schumacher was disqualified from the race and the move backfired anyway, allowing Villeneuve to go on and claim the championship.

It is perhaps unsurprising then that he rates Hamilton above his old foe.  

'I would rate Lewis above Michael, by miles,' he declared.

'There's very little negativity with Hamilton. You can

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