Rafael Nadal vs Lewis Hamilton - Who is the greater champion?

Sathya

New User
Had Rafael Nadal took up Formula 1 instead of Tennis, would he be able to beat Lewis Hamilton?
Had Lewis Hamilton took up Tennis instead of Formula 1, would he be able to beat Rafael Nadal?
I personally feel that Rafael Nadal and Lewis Hamilton are the two greatest sports champions of all time.
But who do you think is the greater champion of the two?
 
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Phoenix1983

G.O.A.T.
Hamilton is borderline top 5 all-time in F1 (Senna, Fangio, Schumacher, Clark are greater than him - he might be greater than Prost but it's debatable).

Nadal is generally ranked between 2nd-4th in men's tennis (Federer indisputably greater than him, Laver and Gonzales argued to be so by some).

On balance, Nadal probably slightly greater than Hamilton, I'd say.
 

clout

Hall of Fame
Hamilton is borderline top 5 all-time in F1 (Senna, Fangio, Schumacher, Clark are greater than him - he might be greater than Prost but it's debatable).

Nadal is generally ranked between 2nd-4th in men's tennis (Federer indisputably greater than him, Laver and Gonzales argued to be so by some).

On balance, Nadal probably slightly greater than Hamilton, I'd say.
Rafa probably ranks higher in tennis than Hamilton does in F1 although it’s quite close. For starters, there’s one player that most put ahead of both and that’s Federer and Schumacher, although they’re in hot pursuit of their records. Senna is such a tragic what-if and Rod Laver is the other player that might have something to say.
 

Phoenix1983

G.O.A.T.
Rafa probably ranks higher in tennis than Hamilton does in F1 although it’s quite close. For starters, there’s one player that most put ahead of both and that’s Federer and Schumacher, although they’re in hot pursuit of their records. Senna is such a tragic what-if and Rod Laver is the other player that might have something to say.
Largely agree, although most long time F1 fans would put a few others ahead of Hamilton (such as Senna and Fangio). But yes, I think Nadal ranks slightly higher than Hamilton in their respective sports.
 

Sathya

New User
Hamilton is borderline top 5 all-time in F1 (Senna, Fangio, Schumacher, Clark are greater than him - he might be greater than Prost but it's debatable).

Nadal is generally ranked between 2nd-4th in men's tennis (Federer indisputably greater than him, Laver and Gonzales argued to be so by some).

On balance, Nadal probably slightly greater than Hamilton, I'd say.
In my opinion, Nadal is many times greater champion then Federer. He is clearly far above any body else in Tennis.
Similarly Hamilton is many times greater champion than Schumacher. He is clearly far above any body else in Formula1.
This is evidenced by their unparalleled records which they are likely to set in their respective sport at the time they hang up their boots.
Nadal will surpass Federer's slam record very soon and so also Hamilton will surpass Schumacher's win record very soon.
Nadal and Hamilton are clearly far ahead than any body else in the world of sports.
But in case of a hypothetical rivalry between the two of the greatest sports champions, how do you think it will play out and whom do you think will come out on top?
 

octogon

Hall of Fame
Nadal and Hamilton are both the GOAT-elects of their respective sports, so it's probably about equal.

However, motorsport is so reliant upon the actual car, that all things being equal (accolades, level of dominance etc), I could never put any racing driver over an athlete in a sport that is mostly down to skill and athleticism (like Tennis).

So Nadal is greater, by virtue of not being heavily reliant on a car to be better than everyone else. Everyone has access to the same equipment in tennis. Hamilton"s car gives him an advantage over the field. I admire great race car drivers, but I'll always put pure athletes above them.
 

WilPro

Semi-Pro
WTF, dudes and dudettes, you brought this stupid thing of Satan vs. God to the next level.

I can't belive it. :-D :-D :-D :-D
 

octogon

Hall of Fame
Not sure he is though, because despite his statistical achievements, no one thinks he is F1 GOAT.

A lot of people clearly do think he is the F1 GOAT. He's easily going to match Schumacher's F1 titles this season, and there is little reason to think he won't finish on on 8 or 9 titles. He's on the verge of owning every meaningful record in his sport.
 

WilPro

Semi-Pro
A lot of people clearly do think he is the F1 GOAT. He's easily going to match Schumacher's F1 titles this season, and there is little reason to think he won't finish on on 8 or 9 titles. He's on the verge of owning every meaningful record in his sport.
Unless he goes to a ski trip in the meantime. :-D :-D :-D
 

Phoenix1983

G.O.A.T.
In my opinion, Nadal is many times greater champion then Federer. He is clearly far above any body else in Tennis.
Similarly Hamilton is many times greater champion than Schumacher. He is clearly far above any body else in Formula1.
If you seriously believe these things, there is no point having a further discussion with you on this topic.
 

Phoenix1983

G.O.A.T.
A lot of people clearly do think he is the F1 GOAT. He's easily going to match Schumacher's F1 titles this season, and there is little reason to think he won't finish on on 8 or 9 titles. He's on the verge of owning every meaningful record in his sport.
"No one" was an exaggeration, but I can guarantee you that the majority would put Senna, Fangio or Schumacher as GOAT above him. Probably the ones voting him as GOAT are people who haven't watched and have no knowledge of F1 prior to 2005.
 

Arak

Semi-Pro
If you put Hamilton in a Ferrari, I doubt he would have half the records that he has now, let alone in a Haas or a Williams. Every one knows he’s not the GOAT except the most biased fanatics.
 

octogon

Hall of Fame
"No one" was an exaggeration, but I can guarantee you that the majority would put Senna, Fangio or Schumacher as GOAT above him. Probably the ones voting him as GOAT are people who haven't watched and have no knowledge of F1 prior to 2005.

That's seems a bit snobbish and untrue to me. There are knowledgeable ex-Formula 1 drivers who know all about the achievements of the past greats, who are now putting Hamilton above pretty much everyone.

Honestly, despite 1 less title (soon to be corrected), I easily regard Hamilton as better than Schumacher. Schumacher was a flagrant cheat who demanded and relied on team orders to win (his teammates were not allowed to race him). Hamilton insists on his teammates being allowed to race him (which cost him a title vs Rosberg) and despite being occasionally whiny and petulant, is one of the fairest drivers on the track (unlike Schumacher, who would bump you off the track or try to cause a rival to crash to win).
 

octogon

Hall of Fame
If you put Hamilton in a Ferrari, I doubt he would have half the records that he has now, let alone in a Haas or a Williams. Every one knows he’s not the GOAT except the most biased fanatics.
This applies to all race car drivers. All championship winning drivers usually have the best car. You think Schumacher is dominant without Ferrari? Not a chance.
 

Arak

Semi-Pro
That's seems a bit snobbish and untrue to me. There are knowledgeable ex-Formula 1 drivers who know all about the achievements of the past greats, who are now putting Hamilton above pretty much everyone.

Honestly, despite 1 less title (soon to be corrected), I easily regard Hamilton as better than Schumacher. Schumacher was a flagrant cheat who demanded and relied on team orders to win (his teammates were not allowed to race him). Hamilton insists on his teammates being allowed to race him (which cost him a title vs Rosberg) and despite being occasionally whiny and petulant, is one of the fairest drivers on the track (unlike Schumacher, who would bump you off the track or try to cause a rival to crash to win).
Hamilton has bumped many rivals out of the track. It’s called racing.
 

Arak

Semi-Pro
This applies to all race car drivers. The best drivers have the best cars. You think Schumacher is dominant without Ferrari? Not a chance.
When Schumacher moved to Ferrari, it was middle of the pack at best. He built Ferrari around him, together with Brown and Todt. He also helped build Mercedes, that Hamilton is so successful with.
 

octogon

Hall of Fame
When Schumacher moved to Ferrari, it was middle of the pack at best. He built Ferrari around him, together with Brown and Todt. He also helped build Mercedes, that Hamilton is so successful with.
When Hamilton moved to Mercedes from McLaren, literally everyone in the sport said it was the biggest mistake of Hamilton's career and that he would fade from championship contention. Google the articles from when he moved. It's true.

Hamilton took a gigantic risk and helped Mercedes build a new dynasty.
 

Arak

Semi-Pro
When Hamilton moved to Mercedes from McLaren, literally everyone in the sport said it was the biggest mistake of Hamilton's career and that he would fade from championship contention. Google the articles from when he moved. It's true.

Hamilton took a gigantic risk and helped Mercedes build a new dynasty.
I have been following F1 religiously since the late 80s. I don’t need to google any articles. Hamilton is a great driver. He completely obliterated Alonso when they were teammates. But he’s not a Schumacher, even if he breaks his records.
 

alexio88

Hall of Fame
Is Hamilton a better driver than Verstappen age for age? Maybe, maybe not. Max is clearly quality and that's all that matters. Personality lol.
незабываемый был сезон тогда в 07 году, жаль что алонсо так поступил, не стоило реально того, как тут предыдущий оратор сказал что хэм уделал его в одну калитку, но как же уделал если абсолютно равная борьба была, поровну очков набрали, если он имел в виду фактор новичка, то есть новичка не смог обыграть, тогда тут другое дело, можно с натяжкой так считать
 

Phoenix1983

G.O.A.T.
That's seems a bit snobbish and untrue to me. There are knowledgeable ex-Formula 1 drivers who know all about the achievements of the past greats, who are now putting Hamilton above pretty much everyone.

Honestly, despite 1 less title (soon to be corrected), I easily regard Hamilton as better than Schumacher. Schumacher was a flagrant cheat who demanded and relied on team orders to win (his teammates were not allowed to race him). Hamilton insists on his teammates being allowed to race him (which cost him a title vs Rosberg) and despite being occasionally whiny and petulant, is one of the fairest drivers on the track (unlike Schumacher, who would bump you off the track or try to cause a rival to crash to win).
It's true that Schumacher cheated sometimes. So did Senna and Prost. Most of the greatest have done this. They're still all greater drivers than Hamilton IMHO (well, certainly Senna and Schumacher are - it's debatable about Prost but he was also a genius driver who would've won even more had he not been in the same era as Senna).

It seems like you're relying purely on stats btw, and not appreciating the innate driving genius of guys like Clark and Senna. That is an error on your part.
 

octogon

Hall of Fame
It seems like you're relying purely on stats btw, and not appreciating the innate driving genius of guys like Clark and Senna. That is an error on your part.
Not true. Sebastian Vettel has better stats than Senna, but I put Senna above him. Vettel was dominant in a domimant Red Bull, but failed to prove himself outside that in the way Hamilton did.

Hamilton has "innate driving genius", and that factors into how I rate him. In terms of pure one lap speed he can get out of a car, probably no on in his era is faster. Hamilton's genius is why he could outpoint a double world champion in Fernando Alonso in his rookie season. Very few drivers are as good in wet conditions as Hamilton.

Alonso himself said he rated Hamilton above Vettel even when Hamilton had less titles, because he'd seen Hamilton get race wins and podiums out of mediocre cars (and he had some mediocre cars during his McLaren years, but always got race wins). Hamilton was the only guy Alonso recognised as his peer/equal, even when Vettel had more World Titles than both of them. That says a lot.
 

Phoenix1983

G.O.A.T.
Not true. Sebastian Vettel has better stats than Senna, but I put Senna above him. Vettel was dominant in a domimant Red Bull, but failed to prove himself outside that in the way Hamilton did.

Hamilton has "innate driving genius", and that factors into how I rate him. In terms of pure one lap speed he can get out of a car, probably no on in his era is faster. Hamilton's genius is why he could outpoint a double world champion in Fernando Alonso in his rookie season. Very few drivers are as good in wet conditions as Hamilton.

Alonso himself said he rated Hamilton above Vettel even when Hamilton had less titles, because he'd seen Hamilton get race wins and podiums out of mediocre cars (and he had some mediocre cars during his McLaren years, but always got race wins). Hamilton was the only guy Alonso recognised as his peer/equal, even when Vettel had more World Titles than both of them. That says a lot.
Well yeah, of course Hamilton's greater than Vettel. (By the way, he didn't technically "outpoint" Alonso in his rookie season - they got the same number of points. Perhaps English isn't your first language though, so I'll let you off for this error)

He has innate driving genius, but I wouldn't say it's as great as that of Senna, Clark, Fangio or Schumacher. Many long time F1 observers would agree with me. Many millennials wouldn't.

:cool:
 

octogon

Hall of Fame
Well yeah, of course Hamilton's greater than Vettel. (By the way, he didn't technically "outpoint" Alonso in his rookie season - they got the same number of points. Perhaps English isn't your first language though, so I'll let you off for this error)

He has innate driving genius, but I wouldn't say it's as great as that of Senna, Clark, Fangio or Schumacher. Many long time F1 observers would agree with me. Many millennials wouldn't.

:cool:
English is my first language. LOL!

Let me rephrase. A rookie Hamilton finished above a double world champion in the drivers championship standings in his debut season. Hamilton finished 2nd in the drivers standings due to countback, while Alonso (who did get the same amount of points, as you said) finished 3rd. So even though it was by a razor thin margin, Hamilton did beat his then more esteemed teammate.

As for the rest, it's super-subjective territory. "My genius is better than your genius" type arguments usually resolve nothing. All those guys are in rarified air in regards to talent and achievement, including Hamilton.
 

ibbi

Legend
Hamilton is a GREAT driver, but put him in one of those crappy cars and while he'd probably do better than a Vettel or someone would, he's unlikely to be a champion. You could probably say something similar about Nadal and his racket, but it's far less extreme.
 

-NN-

G.O.A.T.
Nadal ranks in most top 5 lists, and now so does Hamilton. Hamilton is currently riding a wave of recency bias so we'll see where opinion settles but generally he's top 5 and often top 3 whether in polls, or by "experts" and pundits. On the other hand, Nadal has been solidly top 5 for several years now in the eyes of many. His GOAThood is more established, so I'd say right now he's the greater champion. Although it should be said that serious outlets have started to rank Hamilton as the very greatest, #1, and I don't tend to see an awful lot of this for Nadal. It won't be long though. Just wait till he wins 2020 RG.

The people tending to this view on Hamilton aren't just millenials, but come from people who have worked with several of the now retired (or dead) greats and from the likes of Murray Walker, who has seen them all.
 

-NN-

G.O.A.T.
Hamilton is a GREAT driver, but put him in one of those crappy cars and while he'd probably do better than a Vettel or someone would, he's unlikely to be a champion. You could probably say something similar about Nadal and his racket, but it's far less extreme.

He would certainly outdo "Du bist SPINmeister", yes.
 

MasterZeb

Hall of Fame
Hamilton is a GREAT driver, but put him in one of those crappy cars and while he'd probably do better than a Vettel or someone would, he's unlikely to be a champion. You could probably say something similar about Nadal and his racket, but it's far less extreme.
That’s a null argument. You can say that for literally every single driver in the history of f1
 

-NN-

G.O.A.T.
Is Hamilton a better driver than Verstappen age for age? Maybe, maybe not. Max is clearly quality and that's all that matters. Personality lol.

No. Lewis came in with more of a bang because he was ~22 and already mature and ready to compete at the very top. Verstappen came in at 17 and showed immense talent but needed much longer to get going, but age for age he's now way more experienced than Hamilton was at 22 and I'm very sure he's better than Hamilton was as he's less error prone and at least as quick.
 

-NN-

G.O.A.T.
That's seems a bit snobbish and untrue to me. There are knowledgeable ex-Formula 1 drivers who know all about the achievements of the past greats, who are now putting Hamilton above pretty much everyone.

Honestly, despite 1 less title (soon to be corrected), I easily regard Hamilton as better than Schumacher. Schumacher was a flagrant cheat who demanded and relied on team orders to win (his teammates were not allowed to race him). Hamilton insists on his teammates being allowed to race him (which cost him a title vs Rosberg) and despite being occasionally whiny and petulant, is one of the fairest drivers on the track (unlike Schumacher, who would bump you off the track or try to cause a rival to crash to win).

Schumacher looked especially dominant in a weaker era. His main competition to-be in the early phase of his career was wiped out in 1994. Mansell and Prost had peaced out, and then began a career the equivalent of if Federer didn't have to deal with even just one of Nadal or Djokovic until he was already well into his 30s. Schumacher's competition is perhaps his biggest problem in the debate, that or his "cheating" shenanigans, as people like to call it.
 

-NN-

G.O.A.T.
Clarke, Senna and Hamilton only really have the claim to goathood now
If Senna has a claim I don't see why Schumacher wouldn't have one, unless your argument is Senna's level of competition, which was much higher at the top end. I think a huge proportion of fans will still see Schumacher as the GOAT for years to come. I haven't seen much of Jim Clark and can only go by what I've read and heard, but I'm not sure he leads Fangio (who of course I haven't seen much of either) in the opinions of most experts and polls. Maybe as a pure talent, but the achievements are also important.

Had Rafael Nadal took up Formula 1 instead of Tennis, would he be able to beat Lewis Hamilton?
Had Lewis Hamilton took up Tennis instead of Formula 1, would he be able to beat Rafael Nadal?
I personally feel that Rafael Nadal and Lewis Hamilton are the two greatest sports champions of all time.
But who do you think is the greater champion of the two?
Nadal would have been on the podium twice and Hamilton would have won a 250, naturally.
 
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