No dramas – The Lewis Hamilton that can take a second Formula One title

Mercedes executive director Toto Wolff (left) and Lewis Hamilton deserve a smile or two, given their start to the season. Mercedes executive director Toto Wolff (left) and Lewis Hamilton deserve a smile or two, given their start to the season.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014
11:55 AM

There has been something a little ‘Truman Burbank’ about Lewis Hamilton’s Formula One career. We’ve seen him burst on to the scene, enjoy tremendous success, struggle to repeat that success and, on occasions, melt down as life outside F1 started to catch up with his racing development.

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Good week, bad week

Pole position – Force India: Deputy team principal Bob Fernley has admitted Vijay Mallya’s outfit are revelling in taking on and beating McLaren – the team that supplies Force India with most of their primary technical development. Woking won’t like that much.

Stalling – Williams: New head of vehicle performance Rob Smedley had to defend the Grove team’s early season efforts and whether they had already squandered their best chances for some big points this year.

For those wondering who Truman Burbank is, then spend a couple of hours watching the film The Truman Show. You won’t be disappointed, I’m sure – unless you have a particular aversion to Jim Carey.

Anyway, back to Lewis – probably the most naturally gifted racer on the grid at the moment, and yet he has spent too much time in recent years as a drama magnet.

It was the prime reason why I predicted a Nico Rosberg victory in the opening Australian Grand Prix this season, rather than Lewis, in our EDP Formula One podcast. It just didn’t feel like Lewis could keep it together from the off.

I appreciate it was a mechanical failure in Melbourne, that’s my point. That was the drama – it didn’t have to be Hamilton’s fault.

"He has class written all over him and we know that within in a very short space of time, we will also see the results on track"

Quote of the week: Ferrari chassis technical director James Allison talks up a so far near-anonymous Kimi Raikkonen

But that perception has changed now – hopefully for more than the time being. Hamilton looks in charge, in control, and the speed at which he whipped up his hat-trick of wins was damn impressive – even if that still hasn’t been enough to take him to the top of the drivers’ title standings.

“Hi guys, really excited for Barcelona! I’ve never won there but I’m in a good place right now so I’m hoping this can be my year!” tweeted Hamilton last week. For once, you feel Hamilton is in the position and has the momentum to make another win – and a bigger prize – happen.

“No driver ever wins a world title in a bad team, but what you can do is demonstrate how brilliantly you can win – Lewis has done that this season,” Nigel Mansell told the BBC.

“He has been close to perfection, just brilliant.”

So the European season is now upon us, which means only one thing – upgrades.

Having waited since testing was done, every team will be bringing them to their car. Every team will be hoping they make a big difference. But the reality is, it’ll be easier to go backwards than make progress. As least Renault are confident Mercedes may not have it all their own way in the next two races.

“Coming into Barcelona or Monaco, they are not going to be massively power sensitive,” said Renault’s Remi Taffin. “Ahead of Montreal we want to have something that is very close to 100pc.”

Fingers crossed the gap to the front two is a little more respectable over the coming races – although that may still be too much to wish for.

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