Click to view our fantastic subscription offers

Instant access to the F1 paddock

You have 5 views remaining

You have read 10 stories this month. After 15, you will need to register or subscribe.

Register with us for free to view 25 stories a month.

Or subscribe to AUTOSPORT+ for unlimited news stories and access to our exclusive subscriber-only content.

Our commitment to quality journalism

We've introduced metered access to AUTOSPORT which will ensure that the majority of our visitors can continue to view the site for free. But we think that is worth a small investment from those who use it most, so that we can continue to send the leading experts in their field to motor racing paddocks all over the world to break the latest news and produce the most compelling interviews and race reports.

Every visitor gets 15 free page views per month. Once you reach the limit you can register to get 25 views or choose one of our value-for-money subscription packages to continue viewing and to get additional access to a range of features including:

  • Unlimited access to AUTOSPORT with news and views from the paddock
  • Enjoy AUTOSPORT+: subscriber-only analysis, comment and top-quality pictures
  • Get AUTOSPORT magazine in a digital format on your computer or iPad every week
  • Full access to FORIX - the world's best motorsport statistics website

We greatly appreciate your continued support to keep AUTOSPORT at the forefront of motorsport coverage, and we look forward to welcoming you as a new subscriber.

Glenn Freeman Editor
Find out more about our subscriptions
You are on the classic version of Autosport. Visit to see our new site.

Hamilton the only F1 driver to reach same level as Senna - Berger

Lewis Hamilton Mercedes Chinese Grand Prix 2019

Gerhard Berger says Lewis Hamilton is the only Formula 1 driver he has seen who he would rank on the same level as his former McLaren team-mate Ayrton Senna.

Berger, who is chairman of DTM's organising body the ITR, partnered Senna at McLaren from 1990-92.

The Austrian said he rates five-time world champion Hamilton above all the other title winners he raced against or has watched.

"Everybody always asks me, 'How do you see this driver against Ayrton?'" said Berger.

"And I always in all the years say, 'I don't see anybody near to Ayrton'. But Lewis is the first driver I put on the same level as Ayrton.

"The guy is outstandingly fast. He makes a bit less mistakes than the others, and what impressed me so much with him when you have won as much as he's won you [might] think, 'I'm second, either I'm going to run over his head and I win, or I'm out'.

"He doesn't do it, he just stays there and waits: 'OK I finish second, take the points.' It looks like he is just running the game in such a good way now that he's unbeatable at the moment.

"He won the championship five times, he won one race after the next one. Yes, he's in the best car with the best engine, but he's also the best - by far the best man at the moment."

Expanding on the comparison between Senna and Hamilton, Berger acknowledged the Brazilian has a special place in F1's history.

"I see still Ayrton winning the game, because in the end Ayrton was such a charming guy and personality, and obviously if someone loses his life and stays with us in the way of a legend, it's something special," added Berger.

"So I would say maybe there you have more sympathy. But I try to stay out of this, I try to see it from a performance point.

"Lewis is going from one position to the next one, and Lewis is going from one race win to the next one, just like Ayrton did."

Hamilton Schumacher F1

Asked to compare Hamilton with Michael Schumacher, Berger said: "On the one side you can just go statistically, who won the most races or whatever.

"And then you go a bit deeper, and say then who won the most races out of how many races he did, then you look at quali.

"I go more by feeling and watching.

"For me there have always been great champions, like Nelson [Piquet], Niki [Lauda], [Alain] Prost, like Michael.

"But there was always one thing above them, Ayrton. Now I see Lewis in the same league."

Berger said he thinks Hamilton can challenge Schumacher's records - including his haul of seven world championships.

"I think Lewis, if nothing happens to him and he keeps going like this, for the next two or three years, I think he's always going to be onto the championship," said Berger.

"Definitely he has the chance [to beat those records].

"What happened with Michael [his skiing accident], on one side I would like to protect Michael's success, because it's such a tragedy, and so sad.

"But when you put this all out for a moment, then Lewis Hamilton is a very special driver from all the time I watched F1."

  More news  
Read the AUTOSPORT Digital Edition
See highlights from 60 years of AUTOSPORT
Breaking news feed
Live commentary feed