Stewart tips Hamilton to win six titlesposted in F130 | 10 | 2015

    IT'S 42 YEARS SINCE Sir Jackie Stewart won the last of his three Formula One World Championships, and today the Scots legend believes Lewis Hamilton "can win six titles".

    On the eve of the Mexican Grand Prix, and just days after Hamilton equalled Stewart's title tally by winning the US GP in Texas, becoming only the second Brit to be a three-time F1 world champ, the veteran praised the Mercedes driver's achievements.

    "Lewis has a lot of years ahead of him," the 76-year-old Scot said. "He's only 30 years of age, so he's got every opportunity of now winning four or five championships.

    "In fact, such is the strength of the Mercedes operation, that it might even be five or six.

    "At the present time, Mercedes-Benz is so superior. Not only is the engine good, but the chassis is good. The engineering talent they have at their HQ in Brackley is outstanding.

    Related: Hamilton wins third F1 world title

    "There's no question Lewis is in a position where he's looking forward to winning more world championships."

    And Stewart was quick to highlight the contrast of Hamilton's current career position, to that of his own when the Dunbartonshire racer won his third world crown.

    Having taken the world title in 1969 and '71, Stewart knew he would be retiring at the end of the '73 USGP.

    "When I won the third of my three world championships, I knew before I started the season that I was never going to race again," Stewart explained.

    "I had already taken the decision that I was going to retire from Formula One at the end of the 1973 season.

    "So to win the world championship that year, for me I think it might have been even more important than Lewis's third because I knew if I lost it, I would never be in the position to win it again.

    "Lewis will be back again next year, and hopefully for many years after that, and will always have the chance of adding to this tally of world titles."

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    Tragically, having already sealed his third world title, Stewart never actually started the '73 USGP, which would have been the 100th of his career. Following the death of his young French team-mate, Francois Cevert, during practice for the New York race, Stewart and his Tyrrell team took the decision not to start.

    Stewart though believes Hamilton's current achievement — his win in Texas was the 43rd grand prix win of his career, and he has now won back-to-back world titles — will make him an even stronger, better driver.

    "You're always learning," Stewart said. "The older you get in motor racing, the more you learn, and the more you can adapt to some of the idiosyncrasies that previously you would have wrestled with.

    "You learn how to push them aside and learn how to get round them, rather than fight them.

    "I think Lewis is at that point now. I think before, he was fighting them, and I think he will now mature a little bit by being confident in having won three world championships, and realising you don't need to race hard all the time to win titles.

    "He's always an exciting driver to watch. And once again Lewis has proved he is definitely, currently the fastest driver in Formula One."

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    Jim McGill


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