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Murray Walker believes Lewis Hamilton will become best…

Lewis Hamilton is a better driver than both Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna, Murray Walker, the voice of Formula One, has claimed.

Hamilton heads into this weekend’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone with a 30-point lead in the world championship as he goes in search of Schumacher’s record haul of seven titles.

Following his 87th career win at the British Grand Prix on Sunday, Hamilton is also now within four victories of the great German’s all-time win tally, too.

Schumacher’s brilliant craft was, on occasions, overshadowed by his win-at-all costs mentality, while triple world champion Senna also rammed his great rival Alain Prost off the road to win the title in Japan 30 years ago.

“If you look at it in terms of statistics, Lewis already has more pole positions [91] than Michael Schumacher [68], and has at least three years in him, if he doesn’t hurt himself, leave Mercedes or Mercedes decide to stop,” said Walker, who commentated for the BBC and ITV before his retirement in 2001. “Statistically he will become the greatest.

“But he is also in my opinion, better than either Schumacher and Senna, because both of them at various times in their careers, adopted highly debatable driving tactics – like Schumacher stopping deliberately in Monaco to prevent Fernando Alonso from getting pole, or colliding with Jacques Villeneuve at Jerez in 1997, and Senna crashing with Prost in 1990 in Japan.

“Lewis Hamilton has never been anything like that, he’s always driven as clean as a whistle, he’s an extremely nice, gigantically talented driver and I don’t think we’ve seen anyone like him before.”

The fifth round of the season on Sunday will celebrate 70 years of Formula One. Walker called the very first grand prix at Silverstone in 1950.

Speaking to the Australian Grand Prix Corporation podcast, the 96-year-old added: “In those days the engine was in front of the driver, the driver didn’t wear any safety clothing – a skull cap and no crash helmet – the medical facilities were absolutely minimal, and the cars were death traps with no protection.

“From a safety point of view, it got better and better, particularly after the death of Senna at Imola in 1994. The cars are more sophisticated now and it is no less exciting when you take into account what a contest it is between man and machine.”

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