Lewis Hamilton is in the best Formula 1 car, but he has also been instrumental in making Mercedes unbeatable

If winning in a Mercedes is so easy, why does Toto Wolff ask Daimler to send a cheque for $54million to Hamilton each year?

The best driver races the best car. You might have seen this quoted in press reports and across social media after Lewis Hamilton recorded the most Formula 1 race victories in history before going on to claim his seventh world title.

Naturally it sparked the tiresome debate that Hamilton’s achievement was down to the car rather than his ability behind the wheel. Hamilton is undoubtedly in the best car, but he has also been instrumental in making the Mercedes F1 racer an unbeatable car, just as Schumacher did at Ferrari. Technology may dictate the motorsport rules but you still need a driver to work with an engineering team to determine what does and doesn’t work. And to make those split-second decisions when they are three abreast heading into turn one.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

But to denounce any driver’s achievement and put it all down to the car they have negotiated their way to race is a level of naivety that’s hard to comprehend. If winning in a Mercedes is so easy, why does Toto Wolff ask Daimler to send a cheque for $54million to Hamilton each year? Surely you’d pluck a driver willing to pay you for the opportunity to be a world champion, wouldn’t you? After all, there are plenty out there who think they could match Hamilton’s achievements given the same opportunities judging by the noise created each time he breaks another record.

> 2021 Formula 1 regulations revealed: the biggest step yet?

And that’s the issue. Very few of us are in the position to know what it takes to be a professional sportsperson, even fewer will have the opportunity and only a handful will know what it’s like to be the best in the world at your chosen sport. Yet there are many who instantly dismiss some frankly staggering personal sporting achievements on the grounds it wasn’t all down to them. 

But isn’t this true of all successful athletes? They rise to the top of their chosen sport because someone at sometime saw something special in them and invested time, money and resources in making them the best of the best.

From athletics to football, cycling to sailing, cricket to rugby, tennis to golf every person competing at the very top level is doing so because they are part of a team, both on and off the field. A team that recognises the potential of an individual’s talent and will do whatever it takes to get them to the very top.

Hamilton wasn’t the only driver to have been given the opportunity he was by Mercedes and McLaren at the beginning of his career, but it’s safe to say he grasped that opportunity tighter than any. He has also been instrumental in building a team around him – both personally and at Mercedes – that’s enabled him to make history we are unlikely to witness ever again in F1.

To read more from the current issue of evo order your copy here.

Most Popular

Cheap BMW M3? E46, E92 and F80 go head-to-head
BMW M3 saloon

Cheap BMW M3? E46, E92 and F80 go head-to-head

You might require a second mortgage to buy an E30 BMW M3, but fear not, as there are equally appealing M Power options that won’t test your credit sco…
14 Nov 2020
Renault Megane RS Trophy-R 2020 review - is Renault's record breaker worth its price tag?
Renault Megane RS

Renault Megane RS Trophy-R 2020 review - is Renault's record breaker worth its price tag?

The Trophy R is arguably the most focused, and extreme hot hatch ever made, albeit at a eye-wateringly high price.
17 Nov 2020
Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series breaks Nürburgring lap record
Mercedes AMG GT

Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series breaks Nürburgring lap record

The GT3-derived Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series is now officially the world’s fastest series production road car around the Nürburgring Nordschleife, lap…
17 Nov 2020
UK bans sale of petrol engined cars from 2030
Electric cars

UK bans sale of petrol engined cars from 2030

British Government brings forward its ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel engines to 2030. All hybrids banned from 2035.
18 Nov 2020