Sir Jackie Stewart believes Lewis Hamilton can take on the Formula 1 world title records held by Juan Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher with time on his side in his career, after becoming the most decorated British driver in the history of the sport.

Hamilton surpassed Stewart’s record of three F1 titles last weekend at the Mexican Grand Prix by taking his fourth championship with two rounds to spare.

Stewart, who had held the British record for most titles for 44 years, was thrilled to see his feat beaten by Hamilton and feels the best is yet to come from the 32-year-old.

“There’s no reason to assume Lewis won’t go even further and challenge Schumacher’s and Fangio’s records, and I wish him the very best of luck on that,” Stewart said. “He’s earned everything and deserves every recognition for winning four world championships.”

Hamilton’s fourth F1 title drew him level with Sebastian Vettel and Alain Prost in the overall title standings with Fangio ahead on five and Schumacher leading on seven.

While the British driver also clinched the highest number of F1 pole positions earlier this year, surpassing Schumacher’s record, Hamilton is also second on the all-time list of F1 race wins with 62 victories – 29 behind Schumacher’s outright record.

But Stewart is confident there is more to come from Hamilton and expects his fellow countryman to continue to rewrite the F1 record book thanks to the moves he's made during his career having switched from McLaren to Mercedes.

“There’s no doubt he’s a better driver than when he first won his first world championship,” Stewart said. “You mature, you learn – you never stop learning. If he races for many more years, he’ll become an even better driver. I don’t think he’s reached his true potential.

“I decided to retire at a very early age – I was 34. There comes a time when retirement is a good thing to do. No doubt he will chose that time correctly also. [But] at 32 years of age, you’re just maturing.”

“He’s made the right decisions of being with the right people. Fangio won five world championships with Ferrari, Maserati, Mercedes and so on. He drove a variety of different cars and teams because when he saw who was going to be the best team, he went there.

“That’s part of the reason for success - that you make the right decisions. You’ve got to have the team behind you to achieve. You need reliable engineering of the highest level.”

 

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