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Page last updated at 14:04 GMT, Monday, 21 July 2008 15:04 UK

Lauda hails 'unbeatable' Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton
Lauda compared Hamilton to three-time world champion Ayrton Senna

Formula One great Niki Lauda believes Britain's Lewis Hamilton could become unbeatable after securing back-to-back wins in Germany and Britain.

Hamilton, who went to Germany locked in a three-way tie at the top of the drivers' standings, has now built a four-point lead in the championship.

"He gave an outstanding performance," said the three-time F1 champion.

"It was a great race from him in Germany and if he continues like this, he will be unbeatable."

Lauda has been critical of Hamilton in the past, notably for his error-prone start to this season, and for wasting his chance to win the championship last year.

It was an absolutely great race from Hamilton - it was Senna-type driving

Niki Lauda
But after two breathtaking pieces of overtaking at Hockenheim at the weekend and his consummate performance in the wet at Silverstone a fortnight ago, Lauda compared the Englishman to the iconic former world champion Ayrton Senna.

"He has now gone up in my estimation," said Lauda, who won who won the drivers' championship in 1975, 1977 and 1984.

"The race was won by Lewis and not by the team, because the team made it unnecessarily complicated (by not pitting Hamilton during the safety car period).

"Whatever excuse they will have, the other way was easier. But if he continues to drive like this, and not start fading like last year in the last couple of races, then he is going in the right direction, no question.

"It was an absolutely great race from him. It was Senna-type driving.

"Last year he was my favourite, but then he screwed up in the last couple of races and so didn't understand why he started this year as bad as he finished last year, but I think he's got the message now.

"From Silverstone and that difficult race, and in this difficult race, he has produced outstanding performances.

"So he is on the right track, and if he continues like this he is unbeatable."

see also
Still a long way to go - Hamilton
20 Jul 08 |  Formula One
Hamilton fights back for victory
20 Jul 08 |  Formula One
As it happened: German GP
20 Jul 08 |  Formula One
Hamilton like Senna, says sister
03 Dec 07 |  Formula One
Hamilton surges to British GP win
06 Jul 08 |  Formula One
'Best victory' delights Hamilton
06 Jul 08 |  Formula One
Hamilton planning Senna tribute
11 Oct 07 |  Formula One
Senna 'was fastest ever'
25 Apr 04 |  Formula One
A death that shocked the world
21 Apr 04 |  Formula One

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