As this season has progressed, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the capabilities of young McLaren rookie Lewis Hamilton. He has shown a lot of skill behind the wheel of a Formula One car, and his presence on the circuit has done a lot of good for the sport. For sure, the young man has slipped on occasion, mainly relating to the PR side of things, but on the track his performances have been spectacular for someone with so little experience. So I was surprised when I read of his comments this morning concerning the team and his team mate. Is it time for Lewis to put his head down and concentrate?
For most of the year, Lewis has tried to remain calm in front of the media, and given the interest in him, I think it is fair to say he has done a reasonable job. Yes, I know he made a bit of a faux pas in Monaco, and on occasion allowed himself a little dig at Fernando Alonso. But on the whole he has done quite well of averting comments about the spy scandal and insisted he just wants to race.
However, following the Belgian Grand Prix, when Fernando put his assertive hat on and squeezed Hamilton, all I could hear afterwards was a whine from the Hamilton camp. I don’t profess to know about driver conduct from experience, but from the comfort of my sofa, I saw hard and fast racing which excited and thrilled. It was moves like the one Alonso pulled, and subsequently Hamilton made, that make Formula One exciting. However, Lewis didn’t highlight his own skill at coming back at Alonso into Eau Rouge, he simply moaned about Alonso’s squeezing. It was even brought up in Japan yesterday, just shy of two weeks later.
And so we come to this morning:
When you are in a relationship with a certain amount of people, you do the best job you can and want to show to everyone that you are the one for the team. In this situation, I was a rookie and he was the two-time world champion coming into the team. He is the one that was looked at to bring it home, but eventually I have earned more respect from them. And since what’s gone on in the last few weeks they’ve realised who the real people are in the team and who they really should back. I feel my bond with the team is even stronger. Lewis Hamilton.
And when asked about his team mate, Fernando Alonso:
He is not the person I imagined him to be, but that’s the way it is. Lewis Hamilton.
Lewis really shouldn’t be trying to play the team against Fernando, not in the current climate of the sport. For sure, try and psyche the other driver out, but don’t use the team, and certainly don’t bring up the past. McLaren boss Ron Dennis has been saying since that fateful hearing that he would like to see closure on the issue, and I’m not sure the drivers speaking of the saga is the best way to gain that.
Perhaps this is where experience will come into play, or perhaps this is where we will realise “who they [the team] really should back”?