Hamilton 'was impossible to beat in 2018', says Prost

Alain Prost (FRA) Renault Sport F1 Team Special Advisor.
© XPB 

Alain Prost says that Lewis Hamilton was on such top form in the cockpit in 2018 that there was no chance he would be beaten to a fifth world championship by Sebastian Vettel.

And with four titles to his own name, Prost should certainly know what he's talking about!

“Multiple world champions are obviously doing something different from the others," Prost told Sky Sports F1. "The biggest different I notice about Lewis is how he forces himself to become an even better driver.

“This was perhaps his best season and he can be even better," the Frenchman suggested. "Sebastian also had a good season, but not good enough to beat the combination of Lewis and Mercedes."

Prost said that the key to Hamilton's success this year was how he had been able to raise his game at events where the odds were stacked against him.

"Even if his car is not that good, he takes second or third place," he explained. "And if he has to do something special in qualifying he is able to, like in Singapore."

The 63-year-old also said that Hamilton had come out on top in the 'mind games' over his rival this season.

“Lewis was psychologically very strong against Seb this year," he commented. "He was very mature and under the circumstances, he was impossible to beat.

"[Sebastian] made mistakes at the wrong time, as in Baku or Hockenheim, otherwise he would have been 30 points ahead at the time and with less pressure.”

There's been criticism that Ferrari placed too much pressure on Vettel and then failed to fully support him during the campaign. Prost - now a special advisor to the Renault F1 team - compared this with the level of support Hamilton received from Mercedes.

"[The team] supports Lewis in his special way of life, which gives him a lot of confidence and strength - which is very important to him."

Hamilton's fifth title moves him ahead of Prost and Vettel in the all-time rankings. It puts Hamilton equal with the legendary Juan Manuel Fangio. Only Michael Schumacher has been more successful in the sport, winning a total of seven championships.

Ayrton Senna claimed three titles during his time in F1, putting him equal with the likes of Jackie Stewart, Niki Lauda, Jack Brabham and Nelson Piquet.

But Prost said it was impossible to really decide which of the sport's icons are truly the 'best' or to objectively measure how Hamilton lines up among them.

“You cannot compare the generations," he insisted. "Senna and I were perhaps the best of ours.

"Now you can only say that Lewis is one of the best, if not the best of his generation."

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