Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz has suggested that many of Lewis Hamilton’s wins were due to the fact that he faced almost no competition on the grid.
The Stevenage-born driver has enjoyed almost five years of dominating the grid unrivalled as he gathered every title possible. This has coincided with Mercedes’ seven successive Constructors’ Championship triumphs.
Even at the latest race in Bahrain, Hamilton held Red Bull’s Max Verstappen at arms length and took the chequered flag.
The Dutchman had taken the lead with just a few laps remaining. But, he was instructed to give up the position after he exceeded the track limits in order to get ahead.
Hamilton has also faced backlash about his success as many believe that his victories are only because of the kind of cars Mercedes produces.
Carloz Sainz, who left McLaren for Ferrari, believes that Hamilton’s lack of competition has enabled him to get a concrete grip on proceedings.
The Spaniard also added that Hamilton has been winning based on merit and that he is a huge admirer of the 36-year-old.
“He has all the qualities a driver would like to have,” Sainz told Italian outlet Corriere della Sera.
“He has no weaknesses, I see that on the track. Maybe he lacked competition in some seasons, he had to beat one-two opponents at most.
“But if we put everyone in the same car, Lewis would be among the best. Almost certainly the best.”
When Hamilton was asked his thoughts on which is the fastest car on the grid, he revealed it to be Red Bull.
“That’s a question that everyone’s probably wondering, and I think at the moment it seems that Red Bull do,” Hamilton said.
“I think it’s definitely going to be the hardest battle we’ve had so far. At the moment they are ahead. But we’re down for the fight.
“I think each year is a little bit of an unknown, but of course more often we have a better feeling of what’s happening with our car.
“It’s massively exciting for us as a team. We are currently not the fastest. And how we’re going to work together, how we’re going to unite in order to get where we want to be.” he added.
“That, for me, I’m so excited of that challenge. And seeing some of the other teams close. I think it’s going to be great for fans.”
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