Sir Jackie Stewart and Lewis Hamilton are engaged in a culture war separated by a double-generational divide. In the days leading up to the 2020 Eiffel GP, Stewart dismissed Hamilton’s achievements in Formula One. Having secured victory at the Eiffel GP, Hamilton equaled Michael Schumacher’s record of 91 race victories. A record many thought never to be surpassed. When the 2020 F1 season ends Hamilton will overtake Schumacher to become the leading statistical benchmark. Yet, despite all he has achieved, Sir Jackie Stewart seems somewhat unimpressed, pointing out that Hamilton benefits from a superior car who has an “almost unfair advantage”.
An “unfair advantage” assumes Hamilton and therefore Mercedes is cheating, bending the rules and getting away with it. If that was the case then the FIA would have discovered any anomalies by now. However the best drivers always end up driving the best car, that is an overwhelming statistical fact. Stewart has previously made petty comments about Hamilton, referring to him as a “little ballerina”.
During a recent Podcast interview, Stewart declined to put Hamilton in his list of the top three of all-time F1 greats. Not a deal-breaker, but just another angle in which to attack Hamilton. For his part, Hamilton has remained silent and dignified in the face of Stewart’s ongoing criticism. But after matching Schumacher’s tally of 91 race victories he felt it was time to speak up and did so during a recent interview, referring to Stewart as “older drivers.”
“I get knocked by many people, particularly by older drivers. They have a bee in their bonnet. I don’t know why.”
“I have so much respect for the past legends, even though they continue to speak negatively about me.”
Hamilton was as ever being the diplomat in the room saying he would always show respect to all who have gone before, including Stewart. Stewart countered Hamilton’s assertions by saying he isn’t diminishing the 6 times F1 champion in any way.
You know what? this is all getting messy. Sir Jackie Stewart and Lewis Hamilton to get together, sit down and have a mask to mask talk, one-on-one instead of using the media to communicate with one another.