Eddie Jordan feels Lewis Hamilton has “already surpassed” Michael Schumacher as he has had to fight team-mates whereas Schumacher’s partners had to yield.
Hamilton clinched his sixth Drivers’ Championship at Sunday’s United States Grand Prix, bringing his W10 home in second place after Valtteri Bottas made a late pass for the win.
His sixth time means he is now just one behind Schumacher on the all-time list while also trailing the German 83 race wins to 91.
But while the numbers still proclaim Schumacher to be the best, Jordan feels Hamilton is in a different league.
“Everyone has their own view on this, but I am of the view he’s already surpassed Michael,” the former F1 team boss told talkSPORT.
“Michael started with me so there is a love affair there, but there is a situation some people may not fully grasp.
“At the time I handled people like [Rubens] Barrichello, [Eddie] Irvine, [Giancarlo] Fisichella and [Jean] Alesi, and every time we went to sign a contract with Michael Schumacher or Ferrari it always had conditions in it, where what we saw in Austin wouldn’t have been allowed to happen.
“Lewis, if he had in his contract the same things, he would have had to been able to pass [Valtteri] Bottas [to win the race].
“You can’t have that in a competitive sport, where one part of the team dictates to the other.
“For me, that is a flaw factor for Michael.
“Seven World Championships… how many would he have won if he hadn’t had the influence and support of the other people in the team?
“And I’m not just talking about team members – I’m talking about the drivers.
“Lewis is already in a different league, in my opinion. He’s done it on his own.
“What he has done has brought great pride to his family and his people, and he can be justifiably proud.”