Lewis Hamilton is yet to establish himself as a great driver – unlike Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso and Jim Clark.
That is the view of Stirling Moss, even though Clark and Alonso, like Hamilton, won two Formula One titles.
“I don’t think Lewis is great yet,” said Moss, 85, who is considered by many to be the greatest driver never to have become world champion. “We know Vettel is in there, and Alonso. And Lewis is slightly less valued than someone like Jim Clark but he’s certainly on the way.
“I would think if he clinches the title this year then he would be considered the same but you have to be very careful. Because him doing that is one thing but what Clark did to get to the same stage is different. It’s very difficult to appraise it.”
Moss, who has been critical of Hamilton in the past, added: “The thing Lewis is really interested in is music, not driving.” Moss and Hamilton spent time together at Monza recently, with Hamilton anxious to try his hand at driving the cars of Moss’s generation. Moss, however, admitted he would be out of his depth with the modern F1 car. “The steering wheel has 32 buttons, and I don’t have a clue what any of them are for.”
Moss, speaking at the launch of his latest book, My Racing Life, also expressed his doubts about the way drivers spray champagne on the podium. He said: “Champagne spraying didn’t really exist in my day, it was brought in mostly by Dan Gurney. I think he was the first person who did it. With good looking girls, I think it would be rather nice to give them an embrace rather than cover them in champagne, frankly.”
This article was written by Paul Weaver, for theguardian.com on Thursday 30th April 2015 19.22 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010