Why there IS in fact a GOAT in Formula 1
Why I personally think why Ellie Jane is not completely right.
Let me start with the obvious. Ellie Jane made some very valid points in her article and if I hadn't partially agreed with her, I would have fully agreed with her. But I do disagree with her in a certain way.
As Liberty Media called it a few years ago, Formula 1 is engineered insanity. It is something that, for a lot of mere mortals like myself, is way too complicated to ever grasp at all. Most of us understand the basic concept of downforce, wind going over a car creates negative lift pushing the car down. That is about where my technical understanding of the sport reaches its limit. Now, of course the drivers have a bit more understanding about it, but they aren't usually doctors of engineering. Who says drivers have to be the GOATs of the sport? In my opinion, Toto Wolff could be just as much of a GOAT as Lewis Hamilton could be. Not to take away from Lewis' achievements, but running a full formula one team for years and making sure to come out on top every single time is no mean feat. What about Adrian Newey, who was technical director for some of the most dominant teams of their times, designing championship winning cars at 3(!) different constructors. He was (partially) responsible for 4 championships at Williams, 1 at McLaren, and another 4 at Red Bull Racing. That's more championships than Lewis Hamilton or Michael Schumacher. Does that not count?
Times are ever changing
Okay, okay, I get it. Of course These people aren't the face of our beloved sport. They are not the warriors getting into a deathtrap and kicking it around some of the scariest circuits of the world. And though improvements have been made since the multiple deaths of the 60's and 70's, it is still a dangerous sport. Most of all though, we should judge by ourselves.
These are two drivers I would consider as the GOATs
I was born in 2000. I am one of the first children to come from Generation-Z. And although I watched Formula 1 with my dad as toddler, it was more funny sounds and bright colours coming from a TV. I was not consciously concentrating on the racing. In fact, by the time I was seriously getting interested into Formula 1 and cars in general, I was 15 years old. Poor Michael already had his unfortunate accident. Seb just joined Ferrari a year ago, and Lewis was battling Nico Rosberg that year for the championship. For me, Lewis Hamilton is the GOAT, as he is the most dominant driver of my time.
My father, however, has been watching for quite a bit longer than I have. And, although I do not know if he was into F1 by the time Senna was winning, I do know, in his heart, Michael Schumacher is very much the best. If my late grandfather had been here today, he might have ridiculed my father and myself, before exclaiming that Niki Lauda was the greatest ever. Not for his 3 championships, but for his personal strength, getting into his car such a short time after his nearly mortal accident, and then joking about the situation afterwards by exclaiming Ferrari was already looking for a replacement for him!
My opinion isn't set in stone, it could very well change in the future.
The future of Formula 1
So what's next? Well, see the picture above. We all know the still very young Max Verstappen has the potential to be one of the best ever drivers in Formula 1. Then again, this could also be Charles LeClerc, Lando Norris, George Russell, or any of the young bloods currently in the lower classes of formula racing and karts. But potentially being the best ever in statistics doesn't mean anything, as it is all speculative. But then, also remember some people see Sir Stirling Moss as the GOAT, even though he never won a championship himself. Statistics don't tell the whole story about a driver.
The point I am trying to get across (which I'm probably failing to do), is that the sport of Formula 1 is so mythical, so incredibly mysterious for us mere mortals, that every single fan of the sport has their own reason to GOAT one driver or another. I chose Lewis Hamilton for his statistical dominance, as he is now without a doubt the most succesful driver ever, as he equals Michael Schumacher in championships but beat "Schumi" in wins and poles. My dad chose Michael because he was the most succesful driver of his own time. Someone else might choose Jacky Stewart for all the safety upgrades he brought to the sport. Others might choose Senna as he is, undoubtedly, the most iconic driver outside of the sport due to all he did for his homecountry. I could go on all day.
Niki Kauda for getting back in after his accident, Jacques Villeneuve for stopping a juggernaut like Michael Schumacher, Fangio for his obvious success, Ascari for winning the first ever official F1 championship, Alain Prost for his own championships and going up against Senna and winning. Nico Rosberg for winning against the two most dominant drivers ever. Mika Häkkinen for being the only driver ever feared by Schumacher. Just to name a few.
We all have our different reasons for adoring or GOATing a driver. Let's not get caught up with whoever is the better one, as it isn't comparable. All of these drivers are superhumans, who risked and sometimes lost their lives kicking around a bomb on wheels, laughing in the face of death. In that aspect, even the most unsuccesful drivers are, in my opinion, GOATS. Taki Inoue is one of the most comically bad drivers to ever enter the sport, yet, because of some funny moments that happened because of him, he became a cult-legend.
So let's stop arguing. Everyone has their own GOAT, and we will never agree with all of us which driver that might be. Let's respect all the drivers that have risked their lives just so we have something to do on sunday afternoon, and call it a day.