If you are a Formula 1 fan you probably already know a lot about the rookie of the year, Lewis Hamilton. Third in his first ever Grand Prix, and Second in his Second. Not even Michael Schumacher could do that. Of course, much of Schumacher’s mystique has arisen from the fact his contracts never allowed his team mates to compete with him on a level playing field, sometimes even preventing them from seeing Schumacher’s telemetry readouts while he was always able to see theirs. But nobody has achieved anything remotely like Lewis’ start to the season for decades, perhaps even half a century.
I suspect even Ron Dennis is surprised. After all, in both of Lewis’ races so far Lewis has been handicapped by the strategy the team gave him. In the latest race, the Malaysian GP, he had been given the heaviest fuel load so was almost the heaviest car of the pack, yet managed to overtake both Ferraris on the start lap and hold off pole sitter Kimi Raikonen for the whole race, no mean feat.
If Alonso’s car had not been so much lighter, would he have been able to gain so much ground over Lewis in the early stages of the race? Probably not. What would have happened I wonder, if McLaren had given both he and Alonso the same strategy (as close as possible) and not handicapped Lewis, how might he have done?
I guess they’ll review things from Bahrain onwards (the third GP of the year) and so maybe by the time they reach the European phase of the championship In Spain in May they’ll have had a chance to review their data and issue equal strategies for each driver: McClaren is the only top team with a history of doing this, so maybe they will. Let’s hope so! I want to see someone as exciting to watch as Nigel Mansell was, I want to see a British winner again after all this time.
Lewis Hamilton is a prodigy. A genius. And a focussed, hard worker. A role model for all youngsters. When will his first win come? Soon, I expect…
Quotes from the stars:
“Probably the brightest star that has entered Formula 1 – ever!”
– Sir Jackie Stewart, 3 times Monaco GP winner, and 3 times F1 World Champion (1969, 1971, 1973) speaking on ITV at Monaco GP, May 2007