Formula One commentary legend Murray Walker believes Lewis Hamilton is better than Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher because he does not share their "highly debatable driving tactics".
Hamilton is five victories from overtaking Schumacher's F1 record of 91 grand prix wins, and another world title would bring him level with the German's seven championships. Schumacher was a contentious figure when racing due to the controversial incidents throughout his career.
The same can be said of Senna, who won three titles before his death at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix. Senna infamously drove bitter rival Alain Prost off the track to clinch the 1990 title at that year's Japanese Grand Prix.
Walker, who commentated on British TV between 1976 and 2001, thinks Hamilton's cleaner record sets him apart from those two men.
"[Juan Manuel] Fangio took a lot of beating, Jim Clark, Sir Jackie Stewart -- there again I could go on -- but which is the best I really don't know," Walker told the official Australian Grand Prix podcast, In The Fast Lane. "I used to say Fangio.
"I think I'm going to have to say very shortly Lewis Hamilton, because if you look at it in terms of statistics, he's already got more poles than Michael Schumacher. He's got at least three years in him if he doesn't hurt himself or leave Mercedes for some reason or they decide to stop, in which case he's got at least another three championships ahead of him, so statistically he will become the greatest."
"But he's also in my opinion -- and this is very contentious indeed -- better than either Schumacher or Senna because both of them, Schumacher and Senna, adopted at various times in their career highly debatable driving tactics, like Schumacher stopping deliberately at Monaco to prevent [Fernando Alonso] getting pole position, like Schumacher colliding with Villeneuve at Jerez in 1997, like Senna with Prost in 1990 in Japan, and Lewis Hamilton has never been anything like that. He's always driven as clean as a whistle.
"He's an extremely nice, gigantically talented driver, and I don't think we've ever seen anybody like him before."
Schumacher enjoyed the bulk of his success with Ferrari. If Hamilton keeps winning, he would surpass Schumacher's record at the Ferrari-owned Mugello circuit, host of the Grand Prix of Tuscany on Sep. 13.