It’s been a while since I’ve discussed Formula 1. I always intended on recapping the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa, I just never got around to it. Well another 2 weeks have gone by and the sport is gearing up for yet another infamous track, Monza.
The Independent recently did an article on McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton and the current state of things.
“The Belgian Grand Prix 10 days ago proved to be another low point for Hamilton in what has so far been a rollercoaster campaign.”
I’m sure a lot of you caught the Belgian Grand Prix, where Hamilton crashed into Kamui Kobayashi, taking himself out of the race. He accepted full responsibility for the accident, which followed a controversial row with Pastor Maldonado, the day before during qualifying. The article goes on to discuss the driver’s high profile celebrity lifestyle and phone book of posh friends.
It’s only natural that Hamilton would take advantage of the fruits of his labor and up until this season, I’d not have thought otherwise. Unfortunately, it’s been a bad year for McLaren, with Jenson Button being their only glimmer of hope. Button has been a star on the track and further emphasized that at Spa, finishing 3rd, after a horrific qualifying the day before. Hamilton has indeed had moments of greatness this season and the cars appear to be more competitive than ever, but his temper seems to be his biggest rival.
A perfect example was at the end of Q2 at Spa. I’m sure there were unexpressed feelings from their previous encounter at Monaco, where Hamilton crashed into Maldonado, but the end of Q2 wasn’t really the place to hash it out. By no means is Maldonado innocent, I still think he’s more at fault than Hamilton, who should’ve just left it alone. Hamilton being the far superior driver, for the far superior team should’ve backed off the throttle or gone wide. It wasn’t a race and there was no need to put the entire weekend in jeopardy over something so stupid.
The same can be said for Hamilton’s crash on Sunday which was another result of his overzealousness. Hamilton’s aggressive driving style has been what’s made him a champion and I’m all for it. His temper is what costs him in the end. It seems like every week Hamilton is having to apologize to the media, for what he’s said or done. The constant damage control is extremely distracting for both the driver and the team. Do I think he’s lost focus? Possibly, but it’s hard to say because he’s accomplished some great drives this seaon. Is he in a rut? Absolutely. Consistency can be difficult and this seems to be another season for the boys at Red Bull (their time will come). For now, all Hamilton can do is take things one step at a time. The driver’s championship is virtually unattainable at this point, so what’s most important is to focus on more short term goals, like winning races (or at least finishing them).
So is Lewis Hamilton ready for Monza? Well, it’s one of Red Bull’s worst tracks but Ferrari are getting faster by the week and they’re at home. Looking back, Hamilton usually has great drives after lousy, previous races. Hopefully another fire has been lit. It’s going to be a very interesting weekend and I can’t wait.
Photos courtesy of McLaren/F1 Fanatic.