We’ve seen it with every passing generation in Formula 1. Someone comes along and completely obliterates the competition, and defines the generation he competes in.
Juan Manual Fangio did it back in the day, Ayrton Senna perhaps the greatest of all time, Michael Schumacher during the early years of the new millennium, and in the modern age of F1, Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton.
Of the two, it is Hamilton with the greatest impact. In 2008, he won his first championship. In 2014 he won his second, and in the years since that number has increased to six – one championship away from equalling Schumacher’s record of seven.
But Hamilton won’t be around for much longer. At 34-years-old, Hamilton will be looking at life away from the sport. Though he still has plenty of drive in him and can compete at a very high level, he knows his time is running up.
He and Mercedes are at odds over a new contract after the current one runs its course in 2020, but the chances are that Hamilton will sign for one more stint in F1.
And when Hamilton calls time on his F1 career, will there be another who can pick up the mantle and carry the sport forward? Could there be another driver who will inspire and define his generation?
We list three drivers we think can define the next generation. Vote for your favourite one below by clicking on the vote button on the top right corner of each image.