Hamilton 'more dominant in F1 than Schumacher was' - Todt

Lewis Hamilton - 2020 FIA Prize Giving Ceremony - Geneva - Friday December 18 2020.

FIA president Jean Todt has declared Lewis Hamilton to be a more dominant presence in Formula 1 today than Michael Schumacher was at the peak of his powers in the early 2000s.

Schumacher clinched five consecutive world championships between 2000 and 2004 with Ferrari, adding to the two he had already won the previous decade with Benetton.

But his record of seven titles was equalled by Hamilton in 2020, and looks set to be broken this season - assuming that the Briton extends his contract with Mercedes as expected.

Todt - who was team principal at Ferrari during Schumacher's time at Maranello - admitted that Hamilton was proving to be even an even more potent presence in the sport than the German driver had been.

"I feel - and I'm sure I will be quoted for that - the supremacy, the dominance of Mercedes and Lewis is bigger than the one we had at the time with Ferrari and Michael.

"It's absolutely outstanding," he admitted, crediting both the driver and the team for their achievement. "On one side, you had a very structured organised German team, with a very talented, extra-talented driver.

"The driver is not making any mistakes, it's just a combination again," he added. "I must give a lot of credit to Lewis, because every time he speaks about the success he speaks about the team behind him for the success.

"And credit to them, the car is very reliable. Apart from the second Bahrain race which Lewis missed [due to coronavirus], in two years he didn't miss out on scoring points in a race."

"I've been very impressed, but I did not wait until 2020 to be impressed," he pointed out. "He is celebrating seven times being a world champion, so I've been impressed at least six times before.

© WRI2

"I'm also impressed by the continuity of what his team have been able to secure," he said, referring to Mercedes' record achievement of seven consecutive world championships from 2014 to 2020.

"We are in a world where it's not only a sportsman or a sportswoman, it's a man and a machine, and here, it's the best example of outstanding team spirit, team work.

"I'm very impressed, and clearly that does explain why some records have been beaten, some have been equaled."

As to which of the two was the better overall driver, Todt was careful to balance his opinions and not choose a favourite between Hamilton and his own long-time friend Schumacher.

"I think we are talking about different persons, different ingredients," Todt said. "The only thing really we can compare is seven against seven.

"You had one Italian team with different mentality, a different approach, which became a well-structured, well-organised [team] and also a great driver in Michael Schumacher."

Todt gave a special FIA President's Award to both Hamilton and Schumacher for their achievement in winning seven titles apiece in last month's prize giving ceremony.

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