Briatore: Hamilton has achieved F1 success with less competition than Schumacher

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Flavio Briatore believes Lewis Hamilton has faced less competition than Michael Schumacher did to achieve his success in Formula 1.

Comparisons between the two drivers have been increasing, as the Mercedes driver will go in search of his seventh world title in 2020, matching the record set by the German legend in 2004.

But while several figures have suggested Hamilton should be considered better than Schumacher, Briatore, who signed Schumacher to Benetton in 1991 and won two world titles with the German in 1994/95, naturally believes otherwise.

“Michael was fighting with the big guys like [Ayrton] Senna,” the Italian told F1's Beyond the Grid podcast.

“You need to recognise that when Michael arrived, the [competition] was tough. You are talking about Nigel Mansell, you are talking about Senna.

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“Now, is less, the competition,” he continued. “You have two drivers, three drivers… the competition is less than before.

“For Hamilton, again, nobody put the pressure onto him."

While it is true Lewis has only really had to defeat his teammate and overcome early challenges from Sebastian Vettel on two occasions to win five of the past six championships, Schumacher too only faced Damon Hill during his title-winning years at Benetton.

Where perhaps Briatore's argument holds a little more weight is in 2003/04 as McLaren, Williams and Renault all had drivers who pushed the German to his limit.

“It is the same for everybody. When Schumacher, somebody got close, he made a mistake, Fernando [Alonso] he made a mistake. Everybody made mistakes," he continued.

“If Lewis is driving like a taxi driver and is winning everything it’s because he’s a super driver, it’s fantastic, but Hamilton is one of two star drivers in F1: Hamilton and Verstappen.”