Nigel Mansell's verdict on F1's stars and its safety paradox

Nigel Mansell's verdict on F1's stars and its safety paradox

Hamilton can match Schumacher. Why Ferrari is so special. How F1's essential safety push is also having a negative effect. Nigel Mansell passes verdict on the key talking points of current F1 - with some throwbacks to his era, too

The phone rings. Nigel Mansell has something to add. Five minutes after we've ended our conversation, the 1992 Formula 1 world champion is back on the line with another thought about Lewis Hamilton. It's a bold prophecy: "I predict Lewis will challenge Michael Schumacher's records in both wins and championships," says Mansell. "I won my world championship at 39 and he's only 32. Lewis is on 62 wins, while Michael has 91. With a hit rate of eight or nine wins a season, he only needs four more successful years to break all the records."

Last year, Hamilton eclipsed both Ayrton Senna and Schumacher to top the all-time pole position list, and has only Juan Manuel Fangio (five) and Schumacher (seven) ahead of him on world titles. Mansell's right; it's not insurmountable for Hamilton to become, statistically, the greatest F1 driver of all time.

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