That’s the opinion of Williams ace Felipe Massa who has been impressed with the Mercedes man. Hamilton is closing in on his fourth drivers’ championship as he leads Sebastian Vettel by 66 points with just 75 more available. “Lewis is definitely one of the best drivers in the history of Formula 1,” said Massa at the US Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton with Senna's helmet

“You cannot really take him away or [place him] in a different level compared to Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna. He’s there.”

And Massa has admitted he was impressed with Hamilton as soon as he came to F1. But the Brazilian thinks it is unfair to compare Hamilton to those who raced in different eras.

“He impressed the people in whatever category he did. It was the same with Ayrton Senna. It was the same with Michael Schumacher,” he added.

“The problem is people always love to look back and say in the past it was much better than now, which is not true.

“If [in football] you see Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi and some other players, maybe even Neymar will be very soon on that level, they have nothing to lose compared to Maradona, Pele or whoever. It’s the same here [in F1].”

Hamilton will become the 2017 world champion if he finishes fifth or above in Mexico this weekend. After that the season finishes with events in Brazil and Abu Dhabi.