Hamilton greatness 'not recognised' because of UK media scrutiny

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British Formula 1 fans don't appreciate Lewis Hamilton's greatness because of regular media criticism, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff claims.

The five-time champion is known as one of the most divisive drivers in the sport's history with his legions of fans, or TeamLH, but also a lot of detractors who are sceptical of everything he does.

While Hamilton himself insists he only focuses on the positivity from those who support him, when it comes to his place in F1 history, Wolff believes it is only after he retires that his achievements will be acknowledged.

"In general in the United Kingdom, Lewis is not recognised how he should be recognised," the Austrian was quoted by GPFans.com.

"One day he's going to stop his career with multiple records and people will say 'he was the greatest driver on the planet and we were witnesses of that journey, wasn't he an interesting personality with all the things he did?'."

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What also frustrates the Mercedes boss is he thinks much of the scrutiny aimed at Hamilton by the media is merely about gaining attention.

"For whatever reason, there is this idea of hitting out which maybe it provides the better headline, maybe it sells more newspapers, or gives more clicks," Wolff continued.

"I don't think it recognises the opportunity that we are part of, to see maybe the best driver that has ever existed on an exceptional journey."

Perhaps highlighting that point, ex-Renault boss Flavio Briatore recently played down Hamilton's ability when touting a possible F1 return for his long-time Fernando Alonso.

"In my opinion, he left too soon as he has a lot to offer," the Italian said of the Spaniard via AutosportME.

"In Formula 1, things can change incredibly fast and I wish that he’ll go to Mercedes or Ferrari where he could fight again for the title.


"At his highest level, he is better than Lewis Hamilton and also more consistent.

"I’m sure he will come back, but only if he has a good car. He is not interested in the battle for points because he wants to win."