The Australian Grand Prix Corporation podcast In the Fast Lane has released this week’s episode with three-time Formula 1® World Champion, Sir Jackie Stewart.
Stewart joined In the Fast Lane co-hosts Matt Clayton and Michael Lamonato to discuss who is the best driver of all time, how it’s difficult to identify talent in this generation, the biggest influences on his post-driving career and whether or not he thinks Daniel Ricciardo has a shot at a world championship.
Stewart reveals his top drivers of all time and explains why controversially Lewis Hamilton does not make the list in his eyes.
“Fangio in my mind is the greatest driver that’s ever lived, with Jim Clark as the second greatest even ahead of Senna,” said Stewart.
“Frankly, the car (Mercedes) and the engine are now so superior its almost unfair on the rest of the field… it’s not quite the same respect if you like, of being able to do it in the less than the best car. And that’s where sometimes there’s the difference between the very very great drivers and the ones that were very successful.”
“It’s difficult to say that about Lewis, not being as good as say Fangio was… beating Michael Schumacher (record number of F1 wins) is a big thing for him. Because Schumacher again chose very well from Benetton that was successful at the time and then into Ferrari and made Ferrari buy the best engineers, the best designers, the best aerodynamicist. He really was a giant in thinking apart from his driving.”
“To say that Lewis is the greatest driver of all time, would be difficult for me to justify, if you understand me, in sheer power of what the other drivers were doing,” he continued.
Stewart then goes onto discuss how when compared to his era of racing, the domination by some teams is making it difficult to identify the great drivers of this generation.
“There was a level playing field that simply doesn’t exist today, so therefore it’s difficult to identify who really are the very best racing drivers themselves from just behind the steering wheel,” Stewart said.