Hamilton will dominate F1 for next five years, says ex-carting coach
Dino Chiesa used to be Lewis Hamilton's coach and he expects the Formula One champion to dominate the sport for the foreseeable future.
Recently crowned Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton will dominate the sport for the next five years and can even win titles with an inferior car, according to his old carting boss Dino Chiesa.
Hamilton won his fifth world crown at the Mexican Grand Prix on Sunday and now needs just two more championships to reach Michael Schumacher's record haul of seven titles.
The 33-year-old has previously suggested he can keep racing until he is 40 and Chiesa, who tutored both Hamilton and Nico Rosberg - another F1 world champion - when they were youngsters, is confident the Briton will be unbeatable for the foreseeable future.
"For me, he will beat [the record of] Michael Schumacher," Chiesa told Omnisport.
"He's in probably the best car, but at the moment he's so good and I don't see any driver that can beat him in speed, tactics, everything, for the next five years minimum.
"Then, probably, he can win the championship also when the car is not good enough to win the championship. Before he couldn't do this, now he can do this. I don't see any driver in the next five years that can beat him.
"Max Verstappen is quite good but not that special to win a championship. He can win one race, but to win a world championship you need a lot more things. He's not ready. I don't see him as good enough to beat Lewis, even if he jumped in the Mercedes car.
"[Sebastian] Vettel... for 50 per cent of the championship Ferrari was even better than Mercedes but, at the end, Lewis makes the difference. That is why it would be so difficult to beat him.
"[Charles] Leclerc is coming but he's too young. He needs a minimum of three, four years to be ready to win. I don't see anybody else can beat him [Hamilton]. The gap compared to the others is a lot."
Chiesa said Hamilton's ability was obvious from a young age and that his maturity has helped the Mercedes driver translate that talent into F1 success.
"We knew from when he was 10 years old the talent [he had]," Chiesa added.
"Before he was probably too passionate, sometimes he makes mistakes because he has that passion – he wants only to win and not [finish] second. For him it was all or nothing.
"Now he understands he can also reduce the gap or reduce the problem to try to take as many points as possible even if it's not the win."
Hamilton has won four of the past five titles despite living a hectic life away from the track, where fashion and music interests take him all over the world during the F1 calendar.
And Chiesa has credited his former protegee with being able to flick a switch when the time comes to get back in the car.
"He can turn quickly the brain from partying at night to going back to racing easily," he said.
"He can have two lives at the same time, that is the power of him.
"You can see how the eyes and face change at the weekend. You see the face change from one side to the other. During the week he's relaxed. When he's coming into the paddock, he switches and focuses for three or four days."