Matching Senna’s wins tally feels unreal – Hamilton

2015 Japanese Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton was stunned to match his hero Ayrton Senna’s tally of 41 race victories in the Japanese Grand Prix.

Senna won all three of his world championships at Suzuka, and Hamilton said it was special to match his achievements in Japan.

“For me to come here to a race where I used to love watching Ayrton drive to match wins wins… I can’t really describe,” he said. “It doesn’t feel real at the moment.”

Hamilton added it was important for Mercedes to recover from their sub-par performance in Singapore.

“It definitely was important for us to strike back,” he said. “The Ferraris were incredibly quick in the last race. We didn’t bring our A-game.”

“We had to take a step back these last few days and make sure we brought it here. Couldn’t have done it without this team. Remarkable what they’ve done. The car was beautiful to drive today.”

2015 Japanese Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    42 comments on “Matching Senna’s wins tally feels unreal – Hamilton”

    1. The empire strikes back

      1. Haha exactly what crossed my mind.

    2. Lewis Hamilton: Greatest F1 driver of this generation. May the wins and titles keep coming.

      1. Amen. I’d love to see him paired with Vettel tho.

      2. Not statistically so no facts to back this up. That is an opinion and one I do not share.

        1. Depends. Which statistics you look at. He has more pole positions than anyone on the current grid. Come the end of this season he will have more wins than anyone on the current grid. Will still be 1 wdc down on vettel though… So… Like i said… It depends what statics you look at.

          1. Right. And he did most of it while driving the most dominant cars in the history of F1, only behind the legendary 1988 McLaren MP4/4.

            And so Vettel has more WDC’s, wins and career points in less races. And unlike Hamilton, he started his first, full F1 career in a lesser car (Toro Rosso) and still managed to win a race in it.

            Also, none of Vettel’s most dominant Red Bull cars (RB7 and RB9) enjoyed such a level of superiority as the 2014 W05 and the current W06.

      3. @sudd hardly a fact, specially in this era with so many good drivers. Hamilton is just one of them.

    3. Jeeeeez, starting to feel sick and tired about these Senna and 90s McLaren-Honda comparisons every day etc. Can we move on, please?!?!!?

      1. This is as insufferable as that was.

    4. If Lewis wins his 3rd title this year and ends the season with ~45 wins, where does that put him among the greats?

      1. Does it really matter?! Senna still the best… ahahahaha!

      2. Still a title short from Prost and Vettel either way. Sure it’s a matter of personal opinion but I would still put Vettel above Hamilton. Not that many men above both of them though, Clark, Schumacher, Prost and Senna.

        1. Titles aren’t the only metric :)

        2. @PorscheF1
          At the end of 2010, when Vettel became the 32nd driver to win a WDC, F1Fanatic did a “champion of champions” tournament.

          Back then both Vettel and Hamilton were still “only” one-time WDC’s though. I wonder how perception has changed 5 years later, now that both drivers have significantly more impressive stats.

          I suspect that both would make it to at least the quarter finals. It’d be cool if we could have another tournament like it.

          1. Ahahah. Kimi Raikkonen vs Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen wins. By some margin!
            If it was made this year, he would beat Raikkonen and Stewart. Not sure about Fangio.
            Hamilton would beat Brabham, but he would definitely not beat Senna.
            So it would be either Vettel vs Senna, or Fangio vs Senna again. And Senna would win that particular fight.

    5. I’m happy he finally got this. Now we never have to see these articles again. Or are they going to ask him at every race now how it feels to surpass Senna? Let’s hope not.

      1. PorscheF1, that will never happen. Senna has been immortalized in the world of F1. Once they start linking Verstappen to Senna, you’ll be all for it.

        So really people are just upset about a particular individual being linked to Senna. Its not that they are tired about hearing about Senna. But how do you keep Senna relevant without mentioning how the new generation is mirroring him?

        Should Senna just come up when we speak of his tragic death?

      2. We can ask him how it feels to surpass Seb.

        1. I meant match sorry.

        2. Brillaint. Which interviewer is ballsy enough to ask Lewis

          ‘So how does it feel to finally have as much wins as Vettel, you’re one title short but hey you matched Senna!’

          1. Actually, Vettel has more race wins than Hamilton (42 vs 41)… One of those in a Toro Rosso.

            And did it in less races (153 vs 162) without a W05 and a W06, the most dominant F1 cars ever (along with the 1988 McLaren MP4/4).

      3. ColdFly F1 - @coldfly (@)
        27th September 2015, 11:12

        Agree @xtwl.
        Also, I will be happy for him when he gets his 3rd WDC.
        But that means that we’ll have to sit through all these interviews/comments/comparisons again.

    6. Too late! Not only Seb Vettel has broken Senna’s wins tally (something that Hamilton still have to do), as he did it with quite a few races to spare.

      …Sorry blondie!

      1. Sebastian is a natural blonde. :)

        1. I was referring to the dyed one. =)

      2. ALL that proves is that vettel got the dominant car earier in his career, nothing else. Time to judge will be at the end of their respective careers… ONLY then willl we have an answer over this VET vHAM debate. Its opinion and conjecture until then

        1. Actually, that proves nothing! Vettel’s first “dominant car” was in 2011… 3 years after his debut in F1.

          Let’s see the facts…

          2008: In his 1st full season, Vettel drove a Toro Rosso while Hamilton was in a winning car.

          2009: Vettel’s first year at Red Bull. Only lost to Button (in that Brawn BGP001) and gave Hamilton at McLaren, a run for his money.

          2010: Vettel had a winning car and became WDC, but also McLaren and Ferrari had very competitive cars and perfectly capable to win the WDC/WDC. Hamilton ended 4th.

          2011: Vettel had a dominant car and won the WDC. Hamilton ended 5th and was totally trashed by his team mate in the same car (Jenson Button – ended 2nd in WDC).

          2012: Vettel clinches his 3rd WDC in a row. Red Bull wins the WDC but Alonso and Ferrari challenged until the end. Hamilton ended 4th in the WDC.

          2013: Vettel wins his 4th WDC in a row in a dominant car. Hamilton (now in Mercedes) finishes 4th in the WDC. Mercedes finished 2nd in the WCC.

          1. 2009 Mclaren was way worse than the Red Bull.
            2010 Red Bull was dominant, but it was unreliable.
            2012 Lewis wasn’t in the fight because of Mclaren reliability

            I think Vettel is better, but your post is just full of bitterness.

    7. Lewis is a big Senna fan, so I understand it means a lot to equal the great man’s win tally. I have to say though, Ayrton had REAL competition within his team. And even on the years when he was dominant in the team, he always had REAL competition from other teams and drivers. Ayrton never had it easy. And to top it off, he was denied the opportunity to add to his wins tally whilst on the peak of his powers.
      No knock on Lewis though, he’s doing an excellent job.

      1. Real competition within is team ? Really ? “Competition” like Dumfries, Berger and Andretti ?

        The only real competition Senna faced within his team was Alain Prost in 1988/1989 and they’ve won a WDC each, even though Prost scored more points than Senna in both seasons.

        1. @elio Watch your mouth. In 1989 Ayrton had an epic battle against Prost. In 1990, again Prost and the Ferrari and in 1991 a massive fight with Nigel in the Williams which was arguably a faster car than the Mclaren.
          I am simply pointing out that Lewis won the WDC last year by wiping the floor with Rosberg and again this year, ie. no competition at all.

      2. Nigel Mansell or Alonso and Vettel? I know who had that easier!

        1. @lockup I am not drawing direct comparison between Nigel, Alonso or Vettel. Over the past two years neither Alonso nor Vettel had the equipment to battle for the championship. The only ‘competition’ Lewis had is Mr. Walkover Nico Rosberg, i.e.. no competition at all.
          As I said that is no knock on Lewis, in fact I am a big Lewis fan.

          1. Well I find the whole idea of comparing drivers from different eras too difficult @pmccarthy_is_a_legend, but I don’t think we can say Senna definitely had it harder than Hamilton can we?

            Lewis is talking about his whole career rather than the last two years, and what basis do we have for saying Rosberg is so much weaker than Prost? Rosberg saw off Schumi2, after all, and had those glowing reports from Williams. Prost had some good fortune collecting his championships, and Senna made him look slow just as Hamilton is making Rosberg look slow.

            Senna made so many more mistakes than Lewis does, but they all did. It took him years to get into a top car and that’s when his stats took off, whereas Lewis caught McLaren’s eye as a boy as was in the top tier from Race1, Lap1,Turn1. Lewis was up against Alonso. There are too many differences.

            So who knows, as far as I’m concerned. Senna was then and Hamilton is now. Lewis vs Seb is where the action is, for me :)


    8. @lockup well we are just going to have to agree to disagree.
      I am talking about the championship years specifically. I stand by the fact that Senna had much harder competition to win his three titles than Lewis had. Again no knock on Lewis I’m a fan, but Lewis potential challengers over the past two years did not have the equipment to beat Lewis whereas Senna’s challengers did.
      On a side note, I’m sorry buddy but you really don’t know your F1 from your GP2 if you are comparing Prost to Rosberg…

      1. Hmmm @pmccarthy_is_a_legend my point is that you were comparing Prost with Rosberg; but on what basis? That Senna struggled to beat Prost whereas Lewis easily beats Rosberg? ;)

        You can’t dismiss Rosberg because Lewis beats him, that is chicken-and-egg. It doesn’t give us a basis for comparing Senna and Hamilton. There is no basis, really.

    9. @lockup oh no please forgive me if I gave the impression I was comparing Prost to Rosberg. There is no comparison. Prost is among the top five greatest F1 drivers of all time. Rosberg, I fear, will be but a footnote on the history of F1. You seem to be proving my point for me actually.
      Lewis, to win over the past two years, had to beat… wait for it… Nico Rosberg. Senna to win two of his titles, had to fight Alain Prost. Who had it harder? I rest my case.
      Ps. I am not dismissing Rosberg I am simply pointing out that it has become clear over the past two years. Rosberg is not championship material. But thats alright not everyone can be championship material. No shame in that at all!

      1. But without Lewis @pmccarthy_is_a_legend Rosberg would be about to become a 2x wdc.

        Take away the 1986 tyre blowout and only having Damon to beat and Alain would equally be 2x wdc.

        So clearly Rosberg = Prost. Senna barely beat Prost/Rosberg while Lewis easily beats them. Do the math dude :))

    10. @lockup Oh my God that’s hilarious! That’s logic 101 isn’t it? :D
      If my aunt was a man she would have been my uncle therefore she is a better cook than my neighbour. There I’m with you!

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