Lewis Hamilton is Britain’s greatest Formula 1 driver. Ever.

Discuss.

On pure statistics, that statement doesn’t require much discussion. Hamilton’s 62 wins are twice as many as the second most successful Brit, Nigel Mansell (31 wins). He has scored 72 pole positions – an all-time F1 record that dwarfs Jim Clark’s 33. His 116 podium finishes are another British record (David Coulthard is second with 62). And now Hamilton has won four world championships, putting him ahead of three-time champ Jackie Stewart.

In pictures: the defining races of Lewis Hamilton's F1 career

No debate, then. Consider the numbers and Hamilton is, without question, the greatest British F1 driver ever. And yet…

I’m fairly certain that asserting Hamilton is Britain’s greatest-ever F1 driver will draw strong objection, howls of indignation and vehement, passionate opposition. 

Frankly, I suspect some of that opposition is because many people aren’t particularly fond of Hamilton – for everything from his regular moaning on his in-car radio to his fashion sense and social media posts.