Lewis Hamilton has been hailed as the ‘greatest’ F1 driver ever by former racer Johnny Herbert.
Hamilton won his sixth Formula One World Championship on Sunday with a second place finish in the United States, and takes one step closer to being the most successful driver of all time, behind the legendary Michael Schumacher by only a single title.
The Brit secured the championship in Texas with two races remaining, in Brazil later this month and Abu Dhabi at the start of December.
Herbert, who raced for the likes of Lotus and Jaguar and now works on TV, said Hamilton’s talent and mental strength make him special – and the ‘greatest’ he has ever seen.
“It is his ability to drive on the edge which captures me,” Herbert told the Guardian. “He is, simply, exciting to watch and just gets everything out of the car, while possessing a mental strength that I have not seen in other drivers.
“He is different, special and has the ‘wow’ factor. There is more ‘wow’ to Lewis than all of the other drivers I know.
“The best driver I have ever watched on track, he has the ability to dig something special out, to pull it out of the bag when needed but his race craft and race brain have simply got better and better.
“He might make it look easy. It most definitely is not.
“Nor has it come easily to him, the natural talent he possesses has not been wasted, only worked on and improved. People should enjoy what they are watching. It is something that only comes around very, very rarely and right now is probably the peak of Lewis Hamilton.
“He has always been able to pull off extraordinary laps and races but Lewis now does it with formidable regularity.
“He has found a balance in life off-track that allows him to perform exceptionally on it. He is thoughtful, he feels the tyre, he feeds back information, when there are choices that are marginal he questions them.
“This is a driver thinking of every aspect of a race even in the heat of battle.”
Despite Hamilton’s incredible success, he remains a divisive figure in England with just as many people disliking him as adoring him.
And talkSPORT’s very own Big Alan Brazil believes the Mercedes driver lacks ‘likeability’ factor.
He said on Monday morning: “There is no doubting he is a fantastic, brilliant driver, but Formula One at the moment is just, hmm…
“But saying that, he is a fantastic driver. Just people don’t like, he doesn’t have that sort of, ‘I’m a warm person, like me’, about him.”
You can watch the full discussion of Lewis Hamilton, above…