There is No GOAT Driver
Trust me, when I say read it I'll explain why.
"GOAT", the greatest of all time, it is a subjective term which relies entirely upon the opinion of people. It is a long time argument, who is the GOAT driver in F1? But, what if I say there isn't one.
Relying on statistics, Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher are the GOAT drivers of the sport. Hamilton has the total number of wins, pole positions, all-time points and he stands with Schumacher at seven world titles, the all-time (current) record.
But the debate of the GOAT driver is opinions, which is why it is a great debate. I will discredit what I said by admitting I have a GOAT driver, and that is Jim Clark. But what I need to acknowledge is I can't compare him to Hamilton, Senna, Prost, Lauda or Schumacher (only a few drivers in the GOAT debate).
There is no GOAT; there is a GOAT of every era of Formula 1. Sir Jackie Stewart made comments surrounding his choice and how it would be hard to justify Hamilton as the greatest, which is precisely what inspired this article.
It is hard to justify anyone because it comes down to you, your opinion and in some cases your knowledge. But to look over each era, picking out a sole best is pretty straightforward. Apart from the 1990s, that's where things get tricky.
Fangio was the best at the start of F1, Clark then comes into the equation in the 1960s. Modern-day F1, the 2000s seemingly belong to Schumacher. The early part of 2010 only for three years it's easy to look at Vettel. Then Hamilton for the current era of F1. The 1990s has a lot of debate because you have Senna, Prost and Schumacher all racing each other.
That's the key, notice how there are only a few that raced against each other. That's it; every era is different, one of them was in the most dominant or best car at the time (because you have to be). But they did not all race with the same technology or same engine or chassis.
Since Fangio raced in Formula 1 technology within F1 has developed amazingly, in fact, it's evolved since the days of Senna and Prost. F1 now stands as one of the pinnacles for engineering; the road relevance isn't as crucial as it probably once was, but it still has such high engineering standards. That is what has changed the most.
Stewart talked of changed to the calendar and how this means Hamilton is not on the level of Fangio, for example. But this is because times vary, we no longer have ten races a year. Due to F1 growing so globally becoming a business for the sport itself and the companies racing in it. The sport has to change with its interests at heart.
We still have top-quality drivers, most who enter karting at a young age, they want to race in F1. There's been no decline in drivers. Otherwise, people wouldn't debate the GOAT argument so heavily between eras.
But despite this, it is so hard to compare. It is all down to the route of engineering and the cars produced. The evolution is what means we cannot label a single driver as the Greatest of All Time. Also, we can't as it is so heavily based on opinion.
However, that doesn't mean the GOAT debate will not carry on, because it will, and it has to because it wouldn't be as fun otherwise.