It is a truth universally acknowledged that the GOAT driver we all choose is the one who was racing during the first few years of our interest . Sixty plus old farts like me are as predictable as twenty somethings - we affect to disdain their choices because , bah humbug it's all flappy paddles, tattoos and and team radio now ,and they disdain ours because , y'know , most of our drivers are dead and the survivors are ancient .
Some truth in that, but I think that GOAT generalisation applies more to younger "Effwun" fans, than to oldies like most of us. My father and mother were both at Donington to see the Auto Unions and Mercedes, in her past mum had a middle-ranking racing driver boyfriend who actually featured fairly humbly in the Donington GP, and dad was always interested in racing and its history, he brought me up to share his interest. As soon as I learned to read, I devoured his copy of MotorSport each month, cover to cover, and having witnessed the last few races of his career, I still believe that Sir Stirling was arguably the greatest racing driver who ever lived. However, having been told about pre-WW2 men like Nuvolari and Rosemeyer, Tazio ranks equally highly with me, with Bernd only very slightly behind. I never saw either driver race, but I have read and appreciated almost everything available in print, about both of them, best I can do unfortunately.
Now consider the 19 year old son of a friend of mine, who would probably claim to be a racing fan, though the two of them only watch current F1 together on TV. Despite the fact that his father has bookshelves of motor racing books, almost all 60s onwards unfortunately, the lad has never even opened any of them as far as we know. He seems to have almost no interest in history at all, of anything, and unless he's heard his dad and me mentioning them, I very much doubt whether names like Nuvolari and Rosemeyer register with him at all, he'd probably guess that they were something like a pair of Jewish tailors or solicitors, younger people from my experience, just don't seem to have much interest in history, or anything that happened much before their time. The 19yr old is far from stupid, he currently studying astrophysics at "Uni", but while if asked he'd probably guess that Lewis was the greatest ever, because that's what his similarly aged friends tell him, how can he formulate any meaningful opinion, when his knowledge only goes back four or five years? It's probable that the motor racing knowledge of an awful lot of today's opinion forming journalists and other writers is similarly limited, so what chance do today's younger followers of the Sport have of forming an objective opinion without any real knowledge of the Greats of the past?