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McLaren driver Carlos Sainz he believes few current drivers could win Lewis Hamilton in a Mercedes, but that in the absence of a seven-time champion they could win with that car.
Hamilton won his seventh world title after one of his most dominant seasons of his career, shrouded in a brilliant comeback victory in Turkey.
Six of Hamilton’s seven titles arrived in the V6 hybrid era, in which his Mercedes team was the dominant force. This rekindled the debate about the role the car and driver played in Hamilton’s record success.
Hamilton’s colleague Sainz argued that “90 percent of the grid wouldn’t beat Hamilton in a Mercedes,” but that any driver on the current grid could win races with a Mercedes W11 if the world champion is removed from the equation.
“As a teammate, with that car very few people could beat Hamilton during a 20-race season. But if you remove Hamilton from the grid, any current F1 driver would win with a Mercedes. ”- CARLOS SAINZ
"It describes a lot of what's going on with the current F1, but also that Hamilton, even if it has the best car, is one of the best or the best for a long time."
According to Sainz, Hamilton’s ability to provide a good game when it matters is one of the attributes that sets him apart.
“I watch carefully as Hamilton acts under pressure. How in Q3 he always manages to do all the sectors well and take the pole, even if it's a little bit compared to Bottas. ”- CARLOS SAINZ
"In Austria, he took a second and a half from his teammate in the rain. There are things you don't see everyone doing."
Sainz, who will move from McLaren to Ferrari next year, added that he would “have to be Hamilton’s teammate” to truly understand what makes a 35-year-old different.
"Without driving the same car, it is impossible for the driver to know how good the other [driver] really is. Hamilton seems to me to be one of the best drivers in history, and I know that even without being his teammate. ”- CARLOS SAINZ
"I'm very curious to know what it might be like to have [Ayrton] Senna as a teammate or [Michael Schumacher, to learn from them, to know what they're doing to be so good."
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