Anybody who has followed F1 the last few years has come to understand that Lewis Hamilton sometimes has a way of making some pretty far out there statements. This is the man who “blew away” two time champion Fernando Alonso while both drivers were at McLaren together. However, Lewis has had a slightly different tone when discussing his on track action with Michael Schumacher.
Autosport has recently ran a story where Hamilton describes his on track action at last weeks Barcelona test with the seven time champion as well as the Fernando saga. If we are being completely honest here, I was flat impressed by the 2008 champion’s responses and hope to hear more chat like this during the season. The season does however have a way of changing a driver’s philosophy and PR statements. Lets hope that having a new manager that isn’t daddy makes a difference.
When asked about the 2007 championship, Hamilton said that he “misunderstood” the situation within the team but was quick to insist there was no favoritism (yeah right). We all remember the epic collapse of the mighty McLaren in 07 which resulted in the team being tossed from the championship and Fernando returning to Renault for the next year’s championship. Hamilton would continue in the interview to the BBC and explain the dynamics of McLaren and their “individual package” concept. While I feel that this statement is complete rubbish, I am happy about the tone and the words used. This is the guy who came out and said he blew the doors off the two time champion. So we will take baby steps on this one.
The statement that really had step back and take note was the one about driving alongside Michael. The young Brit has already stated that racing against the seven time champion will be very different, yet very special at the same time. The two were running against each other in Barcelona but on separate strategies. The German was early in a run with heavy fuel, while Lewis was lighter and quicker in his new McLaren. The Autosport interview had Lewis saying:
“Rather than backing off, I thought, ‘let’s have some fun and see if we can get close to him!’ It was really, really hard work and good to experience what the new car is like when behind people. So I was challenging, I was learning new things and thinking I need to get past him really quick.”
Further into the discussion Lewis even refers to Michael as a legend! These comments are foreign to Lewis as he previously has had no problem talking down to the Formula 1 elders. This type of chatter is what I expect from a world champion and is showing that despite our original beliefs, Lewis can and will eventually grow into a respectable racing driver. I think no longer having Ant Ham at the management position will only further the respect I have for him.
7 Thoughts to “F1 – Humble Hamilton?…I’m Confused”
He needs time to age – like a good wine. At least without his dad and some other go go girls by his side perhaps he wont hav the label of a bad bottle of plonk to deal with…. Everybody – brits as well – where taken aback by some of the semi-stupid self-centered crap that ce out of his mouth… What was even worse was his dad nodding “yes” to everything our little Lewis said ! He’ll grow up.
I’m really puzzled by the vitriol blasted toward Hamilton because his father was his manager. I got news for you people, virtually everyones’s father is their manager for the largest part of their career prior to F1. And probably the most critical part!! Because they hit F1 they are only respectable if they hire an outsider to represent them? That has got to be the most asinine thinking I could imagine. If the father is capable of the job what difference does it make to you? When a driver changes to a “pro” is usually the point where the parent decides that they are no longer capable of the task or that they have their own careers that they need to focus on.
And frankly, I think Alonso is about the most petulant, whiney little snit I’ve seen in quite awhile. Very good race car driver? Yes, for dang sure. Better than Hamilton? I think that is yet to be seen. This is the first year that they might be on equal footing with out the question of favoritism. I personally don’t believe that Alonso started his season at McLaren at any sort of deficit to Hamilton. It was his attitude that created the situation that we all got to witness by seasons end.
My prediction is that Alonso lasts less than two years at Ferrari and likely with out a championship. Massa will prove to be his better on and off the track. And we KNOW Ferrari has no problems favoring one driver over another. If Massa finds himself ahead in the championship Ferrari will demand that Alonso support him and when he doesn’t he’ll bet b–ch slapped for it. Then the real fireworks will begin.
From a performance standpoint, Lewis having his father as a manager doesn’t matter one bit, but from a public image standpoint, it has been a less than optimal situation. It is a good thing for Lewis to have some separation from his father. Its good for his public image, and for his promotion. Does this have any bearing on his abilities as a driver or his on-track performance? No, absolutely not, but let’s face it, Formula 1 is now far more than just the on-track action. (what little action there is) Its also about the show. This move improves the show for the soap-opera fans.
The Massa-Alonso show should generate a lot of off-track interest as well.
Why is it a bad thing if his father is his manager? Is it some sort of proletarian thing where by all those who have family involved in their business are some how less respectable? It’s Lewis in the car and it’s Lewis that has to live up to his contractual obligations. I fail to see what difference it makes if some stranger is keeping his calender and negotiating his deals or it’s some one in his family. Is Earnhardt Jr. some how degraded by having his sister involved in important roles in his business? Does he need to grow up?
I say judge him on his performance both on and off the track. Is he failing to meet some expectations personally that his father is doing in his stead? It doesn’t seem that way to me.
To judge him based on this seems as equally immature as he is purported to be because he chose to allow his father to manage his career as long as he did.
Just out of curiosity, where do you draw the line? Is it when he reaches a certain age or a certain level of professional advancement? Is it OK if you are only 15 when you sign your first pro contract to still have parental involvement. Well, actually it has to be since minors can’t enter into legal contracts. Is it ok to still have your parents involved if you are 19 and still racing karts?
Besides, if you think about it, it’s smarter to keep the money in the family. I think the real issue should be is the familial relationship healthy and can sustain the pressures involved in these circumstances.
On the flip side I would say that having an outsider managing his career certainly hurt Piquet jr. Flavio has made a great deal of money for many drivers and by extension himself. But, the guy is a tool and as a result of crash gate we all know it. If Piquet hadn’t been managed by Flavio he may have been more comfortable discussing the situation with a manager (and/or his father) and may have been advised differently. It is my understanding Piquet Sr. found out after the incident.
I think that good and bad can result from either situation but in either event it’s really stupid to judge a person based on something like this.
Alan, as I said, from a performance aspect who Lewis’ manager is doesn’t matter a hill of beans. Where it matters is the public’s perception of Lewis. With his father as his manager, he has the image of being a puppet of his father rather than being his own man. Whether this is in fact true or not is irrelevant, its been the perception and no one has ever accused public opinion of being mature or rational.
Why does he have the image of being the puppet of his father? He could just as easily be the puppet of Flavio Briatore!!! John Bickford was and I believe is again Gordon’s manager and I do suppose that there are a number of people who would make the same snide comments about Gordon but those are also the same people that that insist they are sure his sexual preferences don’t include women. Which I guess proves you point about public opinion and maturity.
I just don’t understand why responsible people have to feed into this irrational behavior and insist that it’s for the best because adult people want to act like 12 yr olds.
I agree that it would be fantastic to be able to ignore the irrational and immature, unfortunately they have spending power so sponsors won’t necessarily ingore them. …sucks.
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