Former World Champion Sir Jackie Stewart OBE has tipped Lewis Hamilton as the force to be reckoned with in F1. The Scott, speaking to an English Newspaper, described the young Brit s dÃ©but as exceptional .
“Lewis is exceptional,” said the three times World Champion. “The big success in life comes as much outside as inside the cockpit. You cannot make the other career work without being awfully good in the cockpit. Lewis already has that bit. He has the mind for it, the attitude, the God-given skill, but he is already recognising that he needs something else. That’s why he is in the factory every day, that’s why he is already more popular than many British drivers who have won world championships. And he is doing it with style and humility.”
The 67 year old believes Lewis is the first of a new wave of racing driver, already groomed for a life at the top of motorsport.
“I think he is going to rewrite the book. We will see a new generation of what I call properly prepared professional racing drivers. I don’t think there is one who is that. Schumacher became that but I am talking about fully-rounded. Schumacher was not as good as he should have been, not in terms of the driving but the total package.â€
“I believe Lewis will create the new benchmark for a whole generation of drivers. Niki Lauda and James Hunt changed the culture of racing drivers. They were not role models. They said nothing, didn’t give a damn. Lewis Hamilton can become the role model. Everybody needs one.”
He then went on to describe the differences in approach between Hamilton and Raikkonen, the Ferrari driver who many have tipped to win the World Championship this season.
“The way he [Raikkonen] lives his life is contrary to allowing him to put together the complete package, the kind that allowed Schumacher to win multiple championships, Senna and Prost, Jim Clark or even me. It is an attitude, a mentality, and a way of doing business. Our lifestyle, mind, make-up was different from a Raikkonen. That is why Hamilton has the opportunity to be dominant over time and Raikkonen doesn’t, unless something substantial changes.â€