In Brief

Lewis Hamilton is already an F1 legend, says Felipe Massa

Williams driver ranks Briton alongside greats Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna

Felipe Massa says Lewis Hamilton is one of the best F1 drivers ever and already ranks alongside legends like Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna. 

Hamilton is on the verge of a fourth drivers’ championship after winning the US Grand Prix last weekend and can wrap up the title in Mexico on Sunday if he finishes fifth or higher.

Austin was Hamilton’s 62nd victory and places him second in the list of most career Grand Prix wins, behind Schumacher’s 91. He has already overtaken Schumacher and Senna this season with most career pole positions (72).

It’s this form that justifies Hamilton’s place among the greats, Massa says.

“Lewis is definitely one of the best drivers in the history of Formula 1,” the Brazilian told Sky Sports.

“You cannot really take him away or [place him] in a different level compared to Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna. He’s there.” 

When Hamilton emerged in F1 ten years ago, Massa said it was evident he would go on to become a star, added the Williams driver. “All the time you saw Lewis in the car he was impressive. He impressed the people in whatever category he did. It was the same with Ayrton Senna. It was the same with Michael Schumacher.” 

Hamilton heads to the Mexican Grand Prix with a 66-point lead over nearest rival Sebastian Vettel. The Ferrari ace must outscore the Mercedes driver by 17 points if he wants to take the title race to Brazil on 12 November.

Meanwhile, New Zealander Brendon Hartley will keep his Toro Rosso seat for Mexico after finishing 13th on his F1 debut in the US.

Hartley was drafted in while Pierre Gasly was racing in Japan’s Super Formula series. The two will now be teammates this weekend, with Daniil Kvyat missing out.

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