After a season in which Lewis Hamilton moved up to second on the race winners’ list, Ross Brawn says it is difficult to compare the Brit to Michael Schumacher given that the latter had to build his team.
In 2016 Hamilton overhauled Alain Prost to climb to second on the list for all-time race winners in Formula 1.
The Mercedes driver has achieved 53 along with his three World titles but is still someway off Schumacher’s 91 wins and seven Drivers’ Championship titles.
Asked to compare to the two drivers, Brawn, who worked at Ferrari and Mercedes, says that is very difficult to do given their contrasting circumstances.
He told ESPN: “I think different era’s in the sense that Michael generally had to build a team with Ferrari. He went through that process and Lewis has not done that. Not because he’s not capable, because he’s never needed to.
“He certainly contributed a lot to Mercedes but he didn’t find a team at quite the same time as Michael found Ferrari in the 1990s.
“Michael’s contribution to the Ferrari team in the late 90s and 2000s was very significant. Clearly somebody for instance, Sebastian Vettel, wants to emulate that.”
Speaking about Schumacher, the former Ferrari technical director, reckons it was the German’s desire to race along with his fitness and motivation, both personal and within the team, that made him a seven-time champ.
“He loved driving racing cars,” Brawn explained. “He just adored getting his backside into a racing car at any opportunity he was given. That was a combination that was very difficult for people to beat. He’s hugely self-motivated.
“I think he alone raised the standard of fitness for racing drivers by a huge margin when he was racing, and he was a great team player. He was really motivational within the team.
“You put all of those elements together and they combine to give you a seven-time World Champion.”