ING poll crowns Ayrton Senna as greatest F1 driver ever
15 November 2007

Mercurial racing talent Lewis Hamilton might have spent the entire 2007 Formula 1 season breaking records, but he’s got a long way to go before being rated as the greatest star the sport’s ever seen. At least he has unless thousands of the sport’s European fans are wrong.Renault team sponsor ING surveyed 8500 F1 fans and, while the 22-year-old romped home in the UK vote for popularity of current drivers, he didn’t even feature in the European stakes of all-time greats.Here’s the all-time top eight according to ING: 1st: Ayrton Senna, 2nd: Michael Schumacher, 3rd: Nelson Piquet, 4th: Nigel Mansell, joint 5th: Mika Hakkinen and Robert Kubica, 7th: Kimi Raikkonen, 8th: Alain Prost.In reaction to the poll results, ING spokesperson Isabelle Conner said: “F1 is a truly global sport and our first ever ING poll throws up some fascinating results.” But with no place for multi-championship-winners Juan Manuel Fangio, Jack Brabham, Jackie Stewart or Niki Lauda – and a rather spurious one for Robert Kubica, who so far has one 3rd place finish to him name – “fascinating” isn’t the word we’d use.Perhaps Autocar Award-winner Lewis Hamilton shouldn’t be too concerned. Perhaps he wouldn't expect to be rated so highly so early in his career. Either way, it seems, there's still no accounting for taste.

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16 November 2007

Well that was expected, i mean im a big fan of lewis, but please ppl let him win a championship first before comparing him with the likes of Senna & Schumacher, i urge the media to back off before killing his career before it starts, he already moved from the uk because of the media.

I remember when Jensen Button started the media where doin the same thing, look at Jensen now, he is very talented but dont have the right car or the motivation i think.

Even though im a ferrari supporter i want lewis to become a champion, so please let him focus......i'm i the only one thinks so???????

16 November 2007

Oh I'm sorry but what a puerile piece. Its impossible to say Lewis is the greatest. He has just started. What muleheaded moron came up with this pointless guff? Oops. Sorry didn't autocar do almost the same thing in the mag the other week. Stop being so silly.

18 November 2007

Another example of poor journalism.

You can picture the editorial meeting that led to this article being written......!!

19 November 2007

Like many of our sports men and women who show a modicum of sporting prowess in their given field, they get written up, and built up without being given the opportunity to really shine. Therefore when they don't show the promise very early on they get lambasted before it's really begun.

Leave Lewis alone to shine in his own good time. He seems to have all the requirements to be a major force in F1 for years to come.

19 November 2007

It's interesting that Matt Bishop has been given the job of head of PR at MacMerc - all of a sudden great things appear in the press about what was a good debut season for LH but a disaster for MacMerc.

Now the conspiracy theory in me is really going big guns because I suspect there are one or two journos out there being tapped up right now to mak sure that MacMerc look like saints next year in F1.

Impartial press? Yeah - my ass.

It's disgusting.

19 November 2007

Whatever the press 'motive' behind the piece, the fact that Robert Kubica is joint 5th ahead of Prost in 8th, renders the entire poll a joke. I assume the pole(sic) was highly publicised in Poland?

19 November 2007

Google the name Matt Bishop and check out his Wikipedia entry. Turns out he works, until Jan 08, for Haymarket. Who publishes Autocar and most motoring titles including Autosport?

Cynical - who me? If the motoring press is going to be manipulated in this way for the next few years by a former insider - then I for one will be spending my money somewhere else.

I don't need a poll to tell me that LH is good but is most defintely not the finished article.

Schumacher was a one off like him or loath him - Prost was a politician who won his titles onand off the track. Mansell had the world against him. Hakkinen took on and beat Schumacher. Damon Hill got his head down and grafted. Etc etc.

Kubica drove into a wall.

19 November 2007

I agree, the media hype isn't necessarily a good thing, but it's hardly surprising. You don't have to be in the pay of McLaren to see that a rookie British driver competing for the championship is a good story.

With regards Matt Bishop, i would say you are erring rather on the cynical side, yes. Matt Bishop worked at Haymarket until it was confirmed that he was going to work for McLaren, at which point both parties knew he had to leave post haste. So he did, and with no ill feeling from anyone. It's just a career decision on his behalf, and the only reasonable action that Haymarket can take.

Just because it says something on wikipedia doesn't mean it's gospel. Or even vaguely true.

19 November 2007

Hi Vicky,

Thank you for taking the time to comment.

Well, we'll see what we see then.

There was nothing on Wikipedia other than he works for Haymarket - are you saying this was not true?

Are you saying that next season, when F1 starts again, all Matt's old mates won't be tripping over themselves to ingratiate themselves to MacMerc get access to Hamilton?

And are you saying that the 'Bish' as his F1 mates like to call him (Wikipedia) won't be placing all the right stories with those aforementioned chums in the press - you rub my back and I'll rub yours?

I always presumed closed shops worked this way.Fair enough if you say not.

21 November 2007

[quote Matt Saunders]

Chaps - a few points about this story. Autocar did not commission the survey. Autocar did not proclaim Lewis Hamilton the greatest driver ever, nor did it compare him with the doyens of the sport in any real degree of seriousness.

Autocar still believes, however, that he's the best thing to happen to the sport, for us Brits, in a long time. We also believe that, if he had been allowed to stop earlier in China, or had a better day at the office at Interlagos, this thread would have been treated a great deal less negatively. And although we think it's very early to make them at the moment, you have to concede that these comparisons will be drawn eventually, and we can't ignore them forever.

Hamilton is clearly one of the most talented guys ever to turn a wheel in F1. Whether he goes on to do great things on not, it won't change that. All the same - and I'll write it again - we didn't commission the survey. We just reported its results. If you re-read the story you'll find that we treated those result with a healthy degree of cynicism.

And you all read and commented on the story in the first place, so as a piece of editorial content, I'd say it's done its job.


Thank you for this - but IMHO you are missing the point.

The editor of the most widely read motorsport publication in the world, who worked for the biggest publisher of such publications and others, has gone to LH's F1 team as director of PR. Very soon thereafter - sycophantic LH stories start springing up all over the place when it's clear that what happened for MacMerc this season in both the drivers and constructors championships was an absolute PR disaster. I also happen to accept the MacMerc explanation of what happened - actions of an individual etc. I like the public persona of Ron Dennis and the ethos of the team - so no bang to drum on that front.

It's very easy for you to spin stuff the other way retrospectively, as a population we are getting used to this in the UK, but to suggest that you did this with a degree of cynicism is somewhat wide of the mark and treats us like mugs.

In the murky world of F1, things appear to be done on a nod and a wink, it's an incestuous world. Your publication of that story makes me think no different.

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