Archive — Lewis Hamilton
What might lead Lewis Hamilton to drive to Ferrari, and the pros and cons of doing so.
If Mercedes pull out of Formula 1 next year, moving to Ferrari would possibly be his only chance of surpassing Michael Schumacher as the most successful F1 driver of all time. But could he really bring himself to break his equally incredible record of racing with Mercedes power throughout his entire career?
Every race he has ever run has been with a three-pointed star on the car’s nose, which shows incredible loyalty. And he is very conscious of his future earnings.
He wants to continue bringing in eight figures a year. If he retires in a Mercedes he will be an ambassador for life, a lucrative deal I call ‘Fangio Plus’.
In all seriousness, I’m impressed at the effort Mercedes have put in to celebrating 125 years in motorsport and their 200th F1 race.
While having all the team personnel (including mechanics!) dressed up in 1950s-style outfits looks fun, it surely must be distracting. Watching the mechanics working on the cars in the garage with their baggy overalls dangling all over the place, I had to think some of these mechanics must find it all annoying.
Lewis Hamilton certainly seemed to find his special gloves annoying during free practice 3 yesterday when he tetchily requested his normal gloves as the session was about to start.
As for the livery, Toto Wolff said:
“I can tell you it’s definitely not making the car lighter… In all the briefing sheets prior to this weekend the engineers pointed out ‘too heavy stickers’…”
I’m sure it’s a small thing, but I’ve always wondered if thick stickers have an effect on aerodynamics. If you look at the photos on the RaceFans article, you can actually see how thick some of the decals are.
I’m sure they wouldn’t do it if it was a problem. But surely thick stickers would be more of a factor than matt paint?
Re-live the 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix
Today it is ten years since the 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix, the most extraordinary championship decider since I started watching Formula 1 in the mid-1990s. Formula 1 have made the full race available on YouTube today.
The race was gripping. The Ferrari team believed they’d won the championship as Felipe Massa crossed the finish line to take race victory in front of his home crowd. Soon after, two corners further back, Lewis Hamilton made a vital pass for 5th, to clinch his first title.
But it’s the post-race events that live strongly in my memory. That year, ITV streamed F1 sessions online. There you could continue watching the raw FOM world feed after ITV’s transmission had finished. This was a novelty, before the days of the BBC’s extended Red Button forum, or the umpteen-hour-long post-race breakdown we now get as routine on Sky.
Felipe Massa’s dignity in defeat was deeply impressive. His conflicted face as the Brazilian national anthem played out on the podium said it all.
Despair at having lost his best chance to become champion. Pride at having done the best job he could.
Up to that year, Massa was a bit of a joke driver. Not since then.
Note — 2017-10-31
It’s worth reading the full transcript of Lewis Hamilton’s press conference following his championship victory on Sunday (scroll down to about halfway down the page to see “Questions to Lewis Hamilton”). As noted by Andrew Benson, his answers are long, in-depth, and provide an interesting insight into the mindset that has seen him step up a level this year.