Ronnie O’Sullivan questions Lewis Hamilton’s place among sporting greats

Snooker ace Ronnie O’Sullivan recently decided to take a swipe at Formula 1 and Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton.

Although this is not the first time he has expressed his lack of engagement with the sport, this time he decided to question the credentials of Hamilton.

Ahead of Sports Personality of the Year 2021, O’Sullivan was asked who he would vote for.

In an interview with the Daily Mail, he said, “You’d probably have to say Lewis Hamilton. It depends what the award is for, because sometimes the message gets lost.

Ronnie O’Sullivan. Credits:

“Is it for sporting brilliance? Is it for personality? Is it for your achievements within your sport? Nobody really knows.”

The British cueist went on to criticise the sport in general, claiming that it lacked any real competition.

He seemed to feel that the sport revolved solely around Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas.

Bottas, of course, recently confessed that Mercedes is offering him a different engine to Hamilton, so read as much into that as you want.

O’Sullivan questions Hamilton’s skill

O’Sullivan added: “It’s amazing to do what Hamilton has done but you tune out of Formula One because it’s a race, really, against two people.

“The only person who can in theory give Hamilton a go is Valtteri Bottas (his Mercedes team-mate), but Hamilton is mentally tougher than Bottas.

“When George Russell got in the Mercedes, he should have won the race and in his other car he was coming pretty much last every race.

“So it just shows how important the car is. You think, ‘Is there any point in watching it because there is no competition?’.”

Difficult to say if Hamilton is a sporting great: O’Sullivan

Lewis Hamilton. Credits:

In an interview conducted a few months ago, O’Sullivan had presented a similarly blunt view on Formula 1.

“I think it’s difficult to say where he is [among the country’s sporting icons].

“A lot of the sports I watch… the people that have done it, you have to look whether it’s a level playing field.

“If you have a car that is going a second a lap quicker than the other cars, in theory all he has to beat is his team-mate Bottas – who seems to be comfortable and happy playing second fiddle.

“It doesn’t mean as much as say a sport like tennis with Federer playing everyone on a level playing field, or [Eliud] Kipchoge running against everyone on a level playing field.

“Snooker is like that, too, with a level playing field. In boxing certain boxers avoid certain fighters so that makes it hard for them to have credibility unless they fought the best.”

O’Sullivan points to the example of Tyson Fury

O’Sullivan was lavish in his praise towards Tyson Fury, arguing that the true skill of a sportsperson should not be dictated by the equipment at their disposal.

“That’s why you have to give credit to people like Tyson Fury because you know they won’t duck anyone and will fight anyone anywhere at any time,” he said.

“I just think sport is where there is no advantage.

Tyson Fury. Credits:

“You don’t get to choose your opponent or have better equipment. So for me, [Roger] Federer, [Rafael] Nadal, [Novak] Djokovic, Phil Taylor in darts, Tiger Woods, [Lionel] Messi, [Cristiano] Ronaldo… it’s there to see.

“I wouldn’t have felt as good about my career in snooker if I had been playing on a table where the pockets I was using were bigger than my opponent’s.

“At least in snooker everyone has the same equipment and it is totally a level playing field. I don’t choose my opponents or the table.

“It is fantastic for Lewis to win seven world titles, but if your car is going around quicker you can afford to make a few mistakes and still get away with it.

“It’s a bit like driving around smoking a cigar with one finger on the wheel!”

Do you feel Hamilton’s achievements are due solely to the efficiency of the Mercedes engine, or has the current season proved that he can compete against stronger cars? Let us know in the comments below!

Read more: Wolff dismisses Horner jibberish and berates him for landing in trouble – “Heard he was being naughty”


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