who is the greatest f1 driver of all time?
The Formula 1 careers of Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher compared, including championships, victories, pole positions, points and more.
In the 2020 Formula One season, Lewis Hamilton checks off several of Michael Schumacher’s long-standing records. Some records that we thought would never be beaten fell one by one into the hands of the Brit.
Schumacher’s seven world championships were considered untouchable. At the turn of the last decade, it was his German compatriot Sebastian Vettel who seemed most likely to come close with a string of four in a row. But Lewis Hamilton has won every title since Vettel’s last in 2013.
So, how does Lewis Hamilton stack up against Michael Schumacher? The two drivers raced against each other for just three seasons. Schumacher returned the year before Hamilton’s debut, but returned from 2010 to 2012. And when he left Mercedes, he made way for Hamilton himself.
We looked at how they fared in terms of championship wins, pole positions and points. But in our in-depth video, we went even further. We applied different scoring systems to their races, looked at the margin by which they take pole position, and compared their performances to those of their teammates.
Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher Formula 1 comparison
It’s difficult to compare Hamilton and Schumacher because they raced at very different times. While both dominated the sport for their respective periods, it’s hard to say who is the best because many factors come into play.
For example, we can’t compare their overall point totals because there are different scoring systems in play in 2021 than in the 1990s. Therefore, we extrapolated the results of both drivers and applied both scoring systems from 1991 and 2021.
We looked at how many pole positions each driver achieved, but to see who was the most dominant, we looked at the distance they achieved pole. This could tell us if the car they are driving is the most dominant, or if it is their driving ability.
Finally, we compared the performance of their teammates. In Formula 1, they say that your number one rival is your teammate because you compete in the same machinery. For this reason, we looked at Hamilton and Schumacher’s championship results and compared them to their teammates.
Take a look at the data below and decide for yourself who is the greatest.
Michael Schumacher Lewis Hamilton
World Championship 7 7
Grand Prix victories 91 95
Podiums 165 155
Pole positions 68 98
1991 System points 1,335 (4.4 per race) 1,417 (5.3 per race)
2021 System points 3,967 (13 per race) 4,172 (15.6 per race)
Average pole margin 0,308 s 0,277 s
Average championship position 3 2
Average teammate championship position 5 4
Average distance to a teammate in the championship -1.7 positions -2 positions
Comparison of Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher
Data until the end of the 2020 F1 season
Is it possible to compare Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher?
Although we may have given some insight into the two drivers, it is ultimately impossible to decide who is the best. Both drivers could only race with the cars on the track in front of them, and that’s what they excelled at. But at the moment, numbers alone are not enough to directly determine the greatest.