It’s an obvious question really, that deserves an equally obvious answer. Surely, the one and only response is yes. And it should always be yes. As a nation that often fails to celebrate its victors and regularly berates its losers, we should be standing on two feet and applauding the efforts of Lewis Hamilton, buoying him up and encouraging the guy to do even better.
However, and you knew there was a however coming, didn’t you? However, how far should it all go? As far as dedicating the UK ITV F1 show to Lewis? As far as pretty much taking over the Monday papers sports section? What about the frontpage?
It seems the UK media has jumped all over the surprise competitiveness of Lewis, and a part me thinks that is a very good thing. Celebrating our victors, and all that. But the ITV show really has become a little too Lewis-orientated. It seems the commentators cannot utter the man’s name enough, driver interviews seem to revolve around Lewis, and all this has caused just about everyone in the media to forget that not since 1999 have we had so many British drivers on the grid.
Jenson is still racing, David had a cracking race in Bahrain until it all went wrong and Anthony improved over his previous form. But where were they in the newspapers?
Personally, I feel ITV need to be more unbiased. The show needs to be better balanced, after all, not every Englishman and Englishwoman is a Hamilton fan. Sure, do the special features, dedicate a few interviews to the guy over the course of the season, analyse his performances. And then do the same with the other drivers. The newspapers too need to go back to reporting the facts, rather than the hype. Sure Jenson isn’t making much news at the moment, I’ll give them that, but I didn’t see much of Coulthard last Monday, and I reckon very few people have even heard of Anthony Davidson.
I’ll leave you with just one more thing, in case readers from other countries have no idea what I am talking about: During the commentary, and towards the end of each race, James Allen always asks co-commentator Martin Brundle for a ‘driver of the race’. Allen has become Hamilton’s new best friend, while Brundle has remained a little more balanced, thankfully. In Bahrain, this is how it went down:
Allen: And your driver of the day? As if I had to ask.
Brundle: For me, Felipe Massa.
James Allen and Martin Brundle, ITV Commentators.