The Lewis Hamilton Saga

Well after two consecutive weekends of Formula 1 Grand Prix, the Lewis Hamilton saga continues.

Last week, SPEED’s Will Buxton wrote a fantastic article on the state of Lewis Hamilton. It’s an extremely comprehensive and accurate look at the McLaren driver’s tumultuous 2011 season.

The Grand Prix of Japan had it’s share of roadblocks for Hamilton. A botched Q3 and another run in with Ferrari’s Felipe Massa were just some of the issues he faced, over the weekend. The driver claims everything was and is fine and it’s just a succession of bad luck and slow racing. I’m not buying it, no one is.

In my last discussion of Formula 1, I had commented that Sebastian Vettel’s and Red Bull’s stellar seasons were being eclipsed in the media by the trials of Lewis Hamilton. It seems in the week that Vettel became driver’s champion and Red Bull constructor’s champion, little has changed. Hamilton’s unfortunate attitude carried over to this weekend’s Grand Prix of Korea. Upon securing his first pole in over a year, Hamilton did little to show any sort of excitement. Following a completely subdued talk with the media, reports began to circulate that the driver couldn’t even be bothered the thank his team for all their efforts. This weekend marks McLaren’s 700th grand prix.

Today’s race saw some impassioned wheel-to-wheel racing with Red Bull’s Mark Webber and a much deserved second place finish for Hamilton. Despite a good race, something is clearly wrong between the driver and his team. During radio communications, he was hardly able to hide his frustrations as he barked orders back at the team. He also made comments to the media yesterday that McLaren wasn’t his team.

While some people are claiming these next 3 races could be Hamilton’s last with McLaren, I wouldn’t be so sure. The team are clearly behind him, even if he isn’t. Martin Whitmarsh has repeatedly defended Hamilton in the media and it’s clear that despite Jenson Button’s new contract, McLaren is very much Lewis Hamilton’s team. Hypothetically speaking, even if he wanted to leave, there are no better teams that could take him. Only Lewis Hamilton really knows what’s going on and only he will be able to snap himself out of it. His issues clearly go beyond the race track.

Photos courtesy of McLaren & Pirelli.

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