Lewis Hamilton turns 25 today and he’s given a detailed interview on one of his sponsor’s websites about his F1 career so far.
The interview was conducted at Rye House kart circuit at Hoddesdon where he often raced during his karting years.
In it he has some interesting things to say about his father Anthony, whose drive and determination helped Hamilton reach F1:
The hardest corner of all is this corner right here. It’s where I learnt to be the latest braker of all and that’s where I learnt to overtake everyone like I do. I use it in Formula 1 now, that’s why I’m able to overtake like I do.
It wasn’t until my dad found out where the latest of brakers were braking. So if the British champion was braking here, my dad would make me brake down here – so late that I often would go off or spin. Spin, start again, spin, start again… he stood here and said I had to brake there and if I didn’t brake there I’d be in trouble.
When I have kids I want to be just like him because he was such an incredible dad. Very, very hard and very correct but he tried always to do what was best for me. He was probably harder on me than any of my friends’ parents were on them. But that’s what made me so strong.
When the family weren’t there and it was just me and my dad, there was never a moment when he was not standing at my side and watching out for me. He was my hero.
He also talked about missing out on the drivers title: in his rookie season – and the satisfaction he took from finishing ahead of team mate Fernando Alonso in the championship:
I definitely didn’t blame myself for the year that I missed out [on the championship]. My first season in Formula 1, alongside a world champion – a double world champion – and I blew him away. I beat him. No-one’s ever come in their first year and been at the front, let alone beat a world champion, beat the mentality and the strength that he would have, and his experience in Formula 1 already up to that point.
So I’m very proud that I had the experience of leading the world championship for most of the year. And it’s sickening, for sure, to think we lost it in the last couple of races. […]
I was leading and I needed a couple of points in the last two races. I barely got one. I think I got one*. The worst two races of the whole year. In one, I went off, in the second one the car stopped and it never stopped on me before.
It was a growing experience and it made me who I am today.
*He scored two in the last race, and needed two more to be champion
The full interview is over 20 minutes long and you can listen to it on the Johnnie Walker website.
104 comments on “Hamilton: “I blew Alonso away””
7th January 2010, 16:54
What he says about his dad is lovely. No wonder he will never (I presume) replace him as his manager – it is due to his dad and his own innate skill that got him where he is today.
I’m looking forward to him having kids (angel babies) – I think he will be a fabulous dad too.
7th January 2010, 17:16
He did beat Alonso by a touch on the points count, but do you believe that he was not given preferential treatment in anyway within the team? In addition to beating Alonso he also beat himself even more comprehensively in the last 2 races, talk about an own goal.
7th January 2010, 17:46
Yes. He messed up badly or was asked to do so.
7th January 2010, 22:09
…Or was made to mess-up by the team from an intentional electronic problem. Can anyone remember the last time any driver, for any team, suffered a similar problem? I can’t. It’s even more odd…or suspicious…when you consider McLaren’s reliability in that season.
8th January 2010, 4:33
have you ever seen a car driving along, then fall out of gear for 40s, and then start going again? i havnt
16th December 2016, 14:58
Don’t think that Lewis did Blow Fernando Away that Season, if he means shocked him by his initial speed then yes but not over a whole Season. Alonso was previously at Renault and had adapted his driving style to the Michelin tyres and the Renault f1 cars suspension was set up to maximise grip from the tyres and use an extreme slip angle. Read article ‘Driving styles Part A – An Introduction and Fernando Alonso’. Lewis impressed from the first race and was clearly ahead in the points at the beginning of the season, as the season went on Alonso’s performance improved as he reverted back to a conventional driving style, until at the middle of the season Alonso was outperforming Lewis and managed to claw back to equal points. In my opinion if Alonso had stayed in 2008, he would have amassed more points than Lewis over that Season partly due to experience and partly because Alonso was closer to his best. It would be fascinating to compare the two in 2016, but I just don’t see that happening. Alonso and Lewis would rather be the best driver for the team not operate as equal drivers, much to volatile lol
7th January 2010, 17:33
Interesting, thanks Keith.
His braking truly is phenomenal, I’d love to compare telemetry data between him and the rest of the grid with respect to brake points on any given circuit. Comparing with Hakkinen and Raikkonen in particular who tend to brake early and get on the gas much earlier than the rest; the opposite to Lewis’ approach.
7th January 2010, 17:44
“We weren’t racing Kimi, we were basically racing Fernando.”
After China GP 2007.
7th January 2010, 17:50
Wow, 2 races from the end of the season when Lewis was in the lead and on course to win. And after Alonso had tried to bribe the team into making him no. 1 and was spreading his poison throughout the team.
Hmmm, no wonder!
7th January 2010, 17:53
And did he win? xD
7th January 2010, 18:01
Lewis is certainly getting a lot of Birthday love on his Facebook page today.
7th January 2010, 18:02
lol I forgot to wish him happy brithday how rude of me. Happy Birthday Lewis. I’m sure he’s an avid reader of F1 fanatic like the rest of us.
7th January 2010, 18:07
Is he really? Lets not sadden him by talking rubbish, at least today.
Happy Birthday Lewis. Hope you prove all your critics wrong. But sorry, I am not supporting you :D
7th January 2010, 18:04
“Blew him away?” Regardless of the politics of the situation, finishing level on points with your teammate doesn’t constitute “blowing them away.”
7th January 2010, 20:02
Yeah. Totally agreed Andy. Thats rather exaggeratory, but then again F1 drivers arent known for their modesty…
8th January 2010, 20:38
Do you know the definition of Blown away?
Look it up.. Lewis is perfectly correct.
7th January 2010, 19:13
Alonso is a fantastic driver, but honestly the performance of Hamilton when they were paired together, sent him into panic mode. No one expected it to happen that way.
7th January 2010, 19:22
Panic mode might be exaggerating it a bit but your right that Alonso didn’t cope well. I don’t think such a reaction could have have happened without the atmosphere within the team towards Hamilton, Alonso clearly never felt at home even in Australia and Malaysia when he was beating Lewis.
9th January 2010, 0:18
Didn’t feel ‘at home?’
He had the opportunity to go on the team bonding week to Finland but turned it down.
Hamilton and de la Rosa were instructed to make Alonso feel at home.
Alonso was the author of his own misfortune, he chose the Greta Garbo shtick.
7th January 2010, 19:52
I’m a big fan of Hamilton, but he didn’t ‘blow Alonso away at all!’
I’m actually quite surprised he’s said this.
8th January 2010, 10:07
Please listen to the whole interview – you will be surprised at how modest and genuine Lewis sounds. You really cannot judge the interview until you have heard the entire thing, but then people are always quick to judge without having the full facts.
8th January 2010, 10:36
Am actually a fan of his driving and i must say from hearing that whole thing he didn’t seem modest or genuine. Naomi Campel like his sister? Oh! please. Doesn’t he understand that those famous guys around him aren’t really his best friends? Maybe is because it was for Johnnie Walker where they are suppose to speak big or something.
Well hopefully he will grow out of it. Button was an ass at first but his fine now.
8th January 2010, 11:05
It’s great that you know what Lewis’ relationship with Naomi Campbell really is more than him. Thanks for the inside information.
He was merely saying his job has given him the opportunity to meet and be friends with famous people he has previously admired.
Hey, maybe Nicole Scherzinger, you know her off the Pussycat Dolls, the biggest girl group in America, isn’t really is girlfriend. Do tell us as you obviously know.
9th January 2010, 8:12
Why? Would you be surprised if i say she’s not? If for some reason he becomes poor and loses his fame she’s gonna dump him before you can say “Scherzinger”.
8th January 2010, 20:40
Look up the definition of Blown away:
shocked, amazed, astonished, astounded, blown away, dumbfounded, flabbergasted, jolted, rendered speechless, startled, stunned, stupefied
overwhelmed; visibly moved, affected, at a loss for words, beaten, blown-away, bowled-over, buried, conquered, defeated, overthrown, run-over, speechless, swamped, swept off one’s feet, taken, unable to continue
Alonso WAS BLOWN AWAY!
Fer Aut (@312t)
17th December 2016, 7:23
Alonso won 2007 by finishing position – 2.47 average vs. 2.83. An that is what matters, was I ahead of X.
Bernie’s shapeshifting points system is rubbish. This year is further proof: by finishing position, Hamilton was ahead of Rosberg, 1.9 vs. 2.14.
7th January 2010, 20:20
Who would’ve thought this would turn into a Hamilton/Alonso fan boy argument? -rolls eyes-
7th January 2010, 20:32
I, like you saw it coming a mile off.
7th January 2010, 20:23
Lots of people risk their lives to achieve whatever it is they need to achieve. And to do so, they need to believe in themselves, their method, their ability and their ‘right’ to be Number One.
Doesn’t matter what the sport is – tennis “You cannot be serious!” – boxing “I am the greatest!” or professional croquet “After you, Vicar”.
None of us should be surprised by the certainty of Hamilton that he “blew Alonso away” or that Schumacher “did not do that deliberately”.
It’s part of what is necessary for them to believe they are the best. Whether we (the fans) take it seriously or not is another matter.
7th January 2010, 20:41
Don’t forget Alonso and his 6 tenths. :)
7th January 2010, 21:14
Alonso may well bring 6 tenths to a team; but if 2009 has shown us anything, it’s that Lewis brings 2.6 seconds to a team ;)
8th January 2010, 4:38
Ha Alonso and his 6 spanish tenths!
7th January 2010, 20:51
All the pro Alonso and pro Hamilton will never stop :)
All I can say is when I see f1 in real life I think you can see who has the best car control and who are the outstanding drivers.
Imo Hamilton is nr1 on that list closely followed by Alonso!
I don’t think we can doubt any of those 2 driver’s abbility. They both are very gifted and great drivers!
What Hamilton has done so far since joining f1 is stunning. In fact in the last 3 seasons he has the most points of all drivers and that won’t change anytime soon!
Pedel to the Vettel
7th January 2010, 20:54
And guess what Lewis, Jenson and Vettel blew you away when they had a better car then you did, and in their first season having the best car…… check and mate Lewis. Your a good driver but modern F1 is about 85% of the car now, it just prooves that any rookie can win a title with the best car and team against more experienced drivers with a worse car.
7th January 2010, 21:42
But Lewis was talking about beating a guy in the same car.
7th January 2010, 21:45
‘…it just prooves that any rookie can win a title with the best car and team against more experienced drivers with a worse car’.
Huh? Apart from the very first F1 season, which, therefore, doesn’t really count, no rookie has ever won the title. Lewis came closest, though. You’re right that the car is hugely important; but you still have to beat your teammate. And Lewis was paired with the reigning double world champion Alonso. This was a much, much sterner challenge than faced by any other of the ‘great drivers’ in living memory.
E.g., Alonso had the mightly challenge of Alex Young; and then the incomparable Tarso Marques. Senna had to battle tooth-and-nail with F1 legend Johnny Cecotto. As for Schumi, he faced Andrea de Cesaris. ETC. So, yes, the car is very important. But you have to beat your teammate. Which is not always easy…Though, sometimes it is.
7th January 2010, 22:10
“it just prooves that any rookie can win a title with the best car and team against more experienced drivers with a worse car”
Button’s not a rookie, and far from it.
8th January 2010, 4:39
Beautifully said alistair! (some bad spelling i think)
Pedel to the Vettel
8th January 2010, 17:57
For the first time he has the best car on the grid and wins the world title, So in some ways you can call Jenson a “rookie” being in that place for the first time.
9th January 2010, 17:13
Yes and next year will be the first time Schumacher will drive for Mercedes in F1 so he will be a rookie as well I suppose.
7th January 2010, 21:09
‘Alonso clearly never felt at home even in Australia and Malaysia when he was beating Lewis’ (Ads21)
Well, there was no particular reason for Alonso to feel at home in Australia: he’s Spanish, after all. On a more serious note, there were no problems, whatsoever, between Alonso and Ron, until Alonso tried to blackmail his own team into giving him No: 1 status. It’s sad that Alonso had to stoop this low, in what was a desperate attempt to establish superiority over a rookie; a rookie who wouldn’t be dominated on the track, even by the reigning double-world champion. So, Alonso was the architect of his own downfall at McLaren for two simple reasons. First, he wasn’t good enough to establish superiority over his rookie teammate (quite the contrary, in fact). Second, Alonso, as a consequence, turned on his own team.
You cite Australia and Malaysia as evidence of Alonso beating Lewis! What needs to be pointed-out, I think, is that these were Lewis’s first two races in F1. He didn’t know either track, with Melbourne, so the drivers say, being particularly difficult to learn; and Malaysia being particularly demanding, physically and mentally. Lewis hadn’t been in any car in any race for this amount of time, nor raced with such G-Force, required such levels of concentration and fitness to maintained, etc. Never mind; let’s compare his performance to his double-world champion teammate in just these two races – his first two races.
Lewis qualifies 4th: two places and 0.2 sec behind Alonso; but Lewis has a lap’s worth more fuel than Alonso. Lewis, initially, makes a bad start and falls behind Kubica on the approach to turn 1. Then, Lewis makes a stunning double-pass around the outside of both Kubica and Alonso, his double-world champion teammate, into turn 1. The race is dominated by Kimi, who leads 52 of the 58 laps. But Lewis leads twice as many laps as Alonso: 4 compared to 2. Alonso finishes the race second; Lewis is third. Lewis is just 11.3 sec behind Alonso after 58 laps of his first ever race. Alonso sets a faster race lap than Lewis – by all of 0.03 sec.
In qualifying, Lewis is again 4th; Alonso, again 2nd. Disappointingly, for Lewis, he’s 0.7 sec behind teammate Alonso. But Lewis has 2 laps more fuel than Alonso. Moreover, Lewis is frank and blames his inexperience: he backed off too much, when he got some spots of rain on his visor. Lewis vows to make amends in the race…. Massa makes a bad start: Alonso takes the lead. Then, Lewis makes a superlative start: somehow managing, in the first corner complex, to overtake not just Kimi’s Ferrari, but also Massa’s sister Ferrari as well! Alonso wins the race from Lewis by the respectable (for Lewis) margin of 17 seconds after 56 laps of racing. Alonso leads 52 of those laps; Lewis, just 2. But Lewis sets a faster lap than Alonso (in so doing Lewis sets the fastest race lap in just his second race) by a tenth of a second.
So, I would agree with you that, in Lewis’s first ever two races, Alonso did better, if we confine ourselves just on paper, than did Lewis. But, even on paper, the overall advantage Alonso had is, as we can see above, small. Given that the gap is small, given that Alonso was the reigning double-world champion, and given that these were Lewis’s first two races in F1, this shows you just how good Lewis was – straightway. Moreover, I would argue that Lewis was more impressive than Alonso in these first two races, because of his inexperience, and because of his great and nigh unprecedented overtaking.
Considering the season, as a whole, which is what we should do, Lewis beat Alonso by finishing ahead of him in the WDC – when Lewis was a rookie and Alonso was the reigning double world champion. (This needs to be reinforced, because, never in F1 history, has a rookie beat the reigning double world champion as Lewis did.) Incidentally, if Lewis hadn’t had those two bad races at the end of 07, where McLaren kept their rookie out on tyres worn down to the canvas at China and had that…very strange electronic problem at Brazil (which I view suspiciously in light of ‘Alonsogate’), Lewis would have won the title in his first year in F1 and, thus, beaten Alonso by a greater margin. It’s fair to say this, since neither of these problems were Lewis’s fault; and, up till then, his season had been nigh flawless.
The bottom-line is this First, Lewis not only beat Alonso over the course of a season when Lewis was a rookie and Alonso was the reigning double world champion, but Lewis also showed that he was faster than Alonso, better in the wet, and better at overtaking in this his rookie year. Second, all drivers improve, considerably, from their rookie year: imagine how much better Lewis is now than he was in 07; imagine how much better he will be when he reaches his peak in several seasons’ time…
8th January 2010, 4:45
Superb post! I’ll nominate it for the post of the day :)
8th January 2010, 10:16
I echo James Bond – superlative post.
How anyone cannot see what Alistair is saying is totally beyond me!!!!!
8th January 2010, 19:06
I echo S Hughes – superlative post.
Hate Lewis Hamilton all you want, there is absolutely no denying that he’s an incredible talent.
9th January 2010, 21:22
Nice one, summed up to pefection.
7th January 2010, 21:43
I don’t think he blew him away. Both were disadvantaged in 2007, Hamilton was just a rookie with little experience and Alonso had the feeling of isolation at McLaren which definitely hindered his performance that season. In the end they ended up exactly even on points, they WERE even that year.
In fact all the title contenders that year had difficulties, Raikkonen had poor reliability and Massa had less reliability issues in races but had some in qualifying. That season was equal, no one blew anyone away.
Next year we will see a better fight with Alonso free from that emotional hurt and Hamilton with more experience.
25th January 2010, 3:58
what the hel ‘isolated’ ‘ emotional hurt ‘ are you serious?
7th January 2010, 21:49
I don’t recall any rookie in F1 performing as well as Hamilton did against a two-time world champion (Surely, at the time, Briatore had manipulated the Renault team “in order” to favor Alonso, but the resume of the Spaniard was there and built to impress).
Hamilton blew Alonso away, and not only Alonso: he blew everybody away.
7th January 2010, 21:59
‘I don’t recall any rookie in F1 performing as well as Hamilton did against a two-time world champion.’
Indeed, because it’s never happened before. Here’s a good quote from Grandprix.com after the 07 Malaysian Grand Prix (Lewis’s second race)
‘When all is said and done it was another truly astonishing performance for an F1 newcomer. Lewis set the fastest lap of the race. He has been on the podium in both races thus far. He has led both races.
We knew he was good but it is doubtful that anyone dared to imagine that he would be this good’.
8th January 2010, 1:05
I’m not totally sure about this one but Piquet and Lauda in 78/79?
Lauda was a double world champ at the time, and Piquet was a rookie. I’m not certain on that one though !
8th January 2010, 5:35
Piquet scored nothing, although Lauda didnt do much himself because the engine was crap.
That’s a shame: had Lauda been that slow a few years before, he could have stopped and helped Roger Williamson.
7th January 2010, 21:55
‘Alonso had the feeling of isolation at McLaren.’
First, bo-hoo! Alonso brought this upon himself when he threatened to blackmail his own team AFTER he failed to beat his rookie teammate on the track! Second, a world champion, a double-world champion, with years of experience in F1, should have the mental fortitude to cope with this situation. Alonso didn’t. This is the same Alonso who left Renault at the end of 06 complaining that the team didn’t want him to win (to take the no: 1 to McLaren) and that Fisi wasn’t helping him enough!
Contrast this mental strength (or lack thereof) to the mental strength of Hamilton, say, in 08. In this year, Lewis was fighting both Ferraris, singlehandedly, with no help from his teammate, who was too slow, with all the other drivers rooting for Massa, with the FIA dishing out more penalties to Lewis than to any other driver in a single season in F1 history (fact), including taking wins off of Lewis, with Alonso publically declaring that he will help Massa, with Lewis’s McLaren car that wasn’t as good as the Ferrari, as evidenced by Massa’s even being in contention for the title, with all the pressure of the final races, especially after the turmoil of 07 – and Lewis holds it all together, despite the unwelcome intervention of rain, and wins!
7th January 2010, 22:09
“Lewis’s McLaren car that wasn’t as good as the Ferrari, as evidenced by Massa’s even being in contention for the title”
Well, Massa was in title contention because he had had a good season and out-performed his team mate, but i’ll say that the ’08 Mclaren was slightly slower than the Ferrari.
8th January 2010, 1:00
Well firstly, blackmailing the team was wrong, but you have to look at the build up of why he exploded like that. He felt like the outsider of the team, and even the most mentally strongest person would get affected by that. I’m not trying to excuse his behaviour, but you cannot deny it took away from his performance that season.
Secondly, Hamilton may have had the most penalties in a season, but excluding Spa (Even though I feel it was justified to an extent) he deserved them all. His teammate may not have taken points of the Ferrari’s but the Ferrari’s took points off each other until Raikkonen became an outside shot for the title. Plus it is debatable whether the McLaren was worse than the Ferrari. It may have been slightly slower, but Lewis had 100% reliability, whereas Massa had at least two mechanical failures.
And it is unfair to underrate Massa, he is a top driver now unlike a few years ago. The Ferrari was clearly not that much faster than the McLaren otherwise they would have dominated the championship even if you feel Massa and Raikkonen are average drivers.
8th January 2010, 4:47
Alonso feeling isolation at McLaren. Alonso was invited to all three team bonding weekends in finland, Lewis went to all three, fernando didnt turn up to any.
monaco gp, alonso spent most of his time i his room, only coming out when he was required on track.
if you have tat attitude then dont be suprised if you feel a little isolated.
8th January 2010, 10:33
Hear hear – I LIKE you Alistair. Brilliant!
7th January 2010, 23:21
Very interesting all this talk — again — about Lewis and Fernando because our double-world Champion have confessed to Domenicalli that he was not perfect in his relationship with Lewis.
I think Ferrari is very cautious with Alonso in the team and how the relationship with Massa will develop.
In December Montezemolo said:
7th January 2010, 23:23
Alonso beats Hamilton in 10 races
Hamilton beats Alonso in 7 races (hungary’s injustice included)
Ron’s words in China are the key of 2007
8th January 2010, 1:15
I’m not a Hamilton fan and never have been. Nor for that matter do I have a great deal of time for Alonso, but surely as the rookie, Hamilton’s performance over the course of the season was more impressive?
In many ways, Hamilton reminds me of Schumaker in the early days of his career: he’s fast, agressive and ruthless. Even as a Brit, I’m slightly worried at the prospect of him cleaning up for the next few years a la Schuey, with controversy over his driving etiquette never far away…
7th January 2010, 23:46
I haven’t heard or read the interview but as a fan of F1 I have observed a few things over the years.
The problem with Alonso is that he’s not happy unless the team is biased towards him, much like Michael Schumacher. He did brilliantly on his first acquaintance at Renault. He expected his move to Mclaren to command the same ‘team leaders’ authority, especially when bringing in such kudos and sponsorship against a rookie. There’s no doubt that, had Mclaren established this hierarchy, Alonso would have been triple world champion at a stroll, but I’m so glad that didn’t happen as you would kill the spirit of the budding new talent and we would have none of the entertainment that this sport has brought us over the last couple of years. Alonso will have been surprised to have seen Hamilton taking points off him on merit and felt threatened that he couldn’t influence the team to back him as 2 times world champion. I’m sure this will have been interpreted as bias towards Hamilton when non existed. The fact is that Mclaren did everything that could to give both drivers every possible opportunity to win and this is illustrated by Alonso fielding his car shod with Hitco brakes (instead of McLaren’s usual Carbone Industries discs) he had previously got used to at Renault. Alonso’s hierarchy will have been handed to him on a plate by Briatore when he returned to Renault and we all saw what that eventually led to at Singapore, regardless of whether Alonso was ‘aware of it’ or not. It’ll be interesting to see how both Schumacher and Alonso position themselves in their new teams. We know that all 3 drivers mentioned are talented but evidence shows us, one will fear no team mate!
8th January 2010, 1:32
I have been hearing some news (Eddie Irvine?)that Lewis will basically walk away from his new team mate once the flag drops.
From what I have seen over the past year, Button is much smoother and seems to have the ability to conserve his car … Lewis, well, not so good in that respect.
Does anyone think that Lewis can make a set of tires last a whole race?
My money is on Button, not for “most poles” or most “fastest laps”, but for the Championship.
8th January 2010, 3:21
yes Eddie Irvine has said that he is walking into a lion’s den and he will get murdered. This season could be a cracker…
8th January 2010, 4:15
He’s not a robot with a fixed skill-set, he can change his driving style to make his tyres last longer if he needs to. Same applies to all of the other drivers – change the incentives and they’ll change their style if they have to, some more successfully than others perhaps, but they all will.
Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine)
8th January 2010, 7:40
Here it is: Irvine: “Schumacher will be number one”
8th January 2010, 10:58
Oh not this old chestnut AGAIN.
Hamilton – one stopper in Turkey 2009
Hamilton – one stopper (on first lap) in Brazil 2009 – went from 17th to 3rd.
I think he is intelligent and adaptable, don’t you?
8th January 2010, 22:20
‘From what I have seen over the past year, Button is much smoother and seems to have the ability to conserve his car … Lewis, well, not so good in that respect.’ (John Armstrong)
We’ve seen it throughout Jenson’s career, most recently in the second half of last year, that Jenson is ultra smooth in his driving style: he likes to make minimal and relaxed steering and throttle movements. So, for Jenson’s style to work, he needs the car to be perfectly underneath him. When it’s not, he really struggles: remember the second half of 09. Also, when the track temperature is cold, Jenson struggles to generate heat into his tyres: remember him having to weave on the straights at the Nurburgring, to generate heat into his tyres, when Rubens didn’t need to in the sister Brawn; remember how he struggled at Silverstone. So Jenson may well find that a McLaren, full-to-the-brink of fuel, on cold tyres, with its handling characteristics changing throughout the race, may not suit his style.
Whereas, Lewis likes to slide his car into the corners, having the rear-end step out and then control the slide; thus, maximizing the momentum that he can carry into the corners. So Lewis, compared to Jenson, should prefer and be better able to adapt to a McLaren on full-fuel. And, as for his adaptability, Lewis mastered KERS when many other drivers struggled with the weight-distribution and consequent braking characteristics, and advised the dropping of the system altogether – despite it giving them a power advantage. (Fisi was completely lost!) As for the tyres, Lewis has shown in the past that he can control the pace to look after the tyres and the car: remember Hungary, last year, when he was basically controlling the pace after just a few laps. And, as other posters have commented, Lewis has successfully implemented a number of one-stop strategies. Moreover, it has been announced that the tyres will be made more durable for next year. What’s more, remember that a driver can still pit for tyres whenever he likes. In the absence of refueling, the stops will be much shorter: a fresh set of rubber might more than negate the (much reduced) time loss in the pits.
And let’s not forget that qualifying will finally return to low-fuel. Lewis has always been very strong on a single-lap; and in qualifying. (He’s been on pole in a third of his races; and, in 07, scored three times as many poles as Alonso!) Jenson might find, therefore, that he starts each race with a significant and immediate disadvantage to Lewis – a disadvantage that any driver would find extremely difficult to overcome. But the ‘proof is in the pudding’. Roll on F1 2010!
One final note:
Many people, especially pundits in the British media, are hailing the Lewis v Jenson battle as something that’s great for British motor-sport. It’s not: one of these drivers (most probably Jenson) must lose. And this loss might very well damage their reputation, and past achievements, forever. How, exactly, is this good for British motor-sport? If the good of British motor-sport were our chief concern, these drivers should be kept apart, preferably both in potentially championship winning cars…So fans of British motor-sport perhaps ought to have wanted Jenson to have stayed, in fact, at Brawn.
8th January 2010, 2:51
I like Hamilton, and he’s a great driver but people like Valentino Rossi and Casey Stoner (MotoGP) don’t talk about ‘blowing people away’. They have a little more class then that.
I haven’t seen the whole interview, so will assume it was taken out of context a little.
8th January 2010, 4:55
everyone in f1 thinks they are the best. thats what makes it so competitive.
i read a interview with Sebastian Vettel at the begining of 2009
SV: you have to have a big ego to be in F1. you have to think you are the best otherwise you will get no where. everyone thinks they are the best. even if they dont say it
Sebatian, Do you think you are the best?
8th January 2010, 5:48
I’m suspicious of this “interview.” Either Hamilton has lost touch with reality or someone else wrote it.
Obviously Hamilton didn’t blow away Alonso – they finished even on points. Drivers remember things like this, so I can’t imagine Hamilton saying something untrue like this. I wonder if Hamilton’s managment allowed some PR guy to write an interview for a sponsor.
Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine)
8th January 2010, 7:36
As I wrote in the article, you can listen to it here: http://www.johnniewalker.com/global/lewishamilton/
8th January 2010, 14:33
Huh. Well, thanks. I guess he lost touch with reality then.
8th January 2010, 5:59
Sure, Hamilton ‘blew us all away’ with how good he was. But when comparing his results to Alonso’s in 2007, I don’t think you can categorically state that he blew Alonso into the weeds, when the finished equal on points.
I have always thought that Alonso’s season was derailed in Canada when Alonso got that stupid drive through penalty for having to re-fuel when the pitlane was ‘closed’. Lewis was already making noises about driver equality (see Monaco) and once he was in front in points from Canada, can it be any coincidence that he won the very next race? I am sure that McLaren openly backed Hamilton from that point on.
And while I don’t beleive that Alonso handled the situation as well as he could have at McLaren, I still beleive he was justified in stating that he did not have support within the team.
8th January 2010, 7:11
“if Lewis hadn’t had those two bad races at the end of 07, where McLaren kept their rookie out on tyres worn down to the canvas at China and had that…very strange electronic problem at Brazil (which I view suspiciously in light of ‘Alonsogate’),”
I second that. I am absolutely sure that the FIA only kept the McLaren drivers in the championship on condition that neihter was allowed to win it.
The reversal happened in Brazil 2008 despite Glock saying mid-season that if Lewis comes anywhere near to him and yet he clearly opened the door widely on instructions from those behind the scene OR ELSE!
8th January 2010, 7:28
After reading this article i now know that he is a well trained guy rather than a well educated one. His father has trained him like a dog gets trained. Being harsh on him and forcing him on several occasions says it all. Hamilton is an animal and boy oh boy a well trained one, that is all i can learn from here. hah..
8th January 2010, 7:51
I couldn’t listen to more than two minutes of that.
8th January 2010, 9:29
i stopped commenting on the whole hamilton v alonso thing a while back..we are lucky to have 2 great drivers at the top of the sport who hopefully will go head to head for the tittle next year.
my opinion on the whole thing is quite simple.
At the end of 2005 mclaren signed alonso on a 3 year contract starting from 2007. he was brought in because it was clear to see that he was the driver to take over from shcumacher at the top of the sport. mclaren brought him in because they wanted to win the world championship. alonso was on a good salary..now mcalren wouldnt give outright number 1 status to alonso because thats always been their policy..but no one expected lewis to be so good straight away…i think they thought if they had a competitive car he would win a race or 2 but he blew everyone away and alonso felt under pressure from the word go and like many other great drivers e.g. schumacher, senna, when hes put under pressure hes prone to cracking under it.
lewis was on less than £1 million for his 1st year in f1…yet they were paying alonso something near £10 million..so why on earth would mclaren give hamilton better equipment etc? it doesnt make sense!
naturally people do lean towards 1 person..its human nature…im sure ron dennis would have been delighted if alonso won the world championship…but alonso blew it when he thre his toys out of the pram.
I dont think anyone can honestly say hamilton was expected by mclaren to be that good from his 1st race..im sure the thinking behind paring hamilton and alonso was it would be good for lewis to learn from the supposedly best driver in the sport while he learnt his trade and then by the 2nd 3rd season he could really challenge fernando.
hamilton is arrogant…all sportsmen at the top level are…you have to have that confidence especially in f1 where once out on the track it really is 1 man against the other.
hamilton is a supreme talent and ina few years time he will dominate the sport.
8th January 2010, 10:21
[quote]hamilton is arrogant…all sportsmen at the top level are[/quote]
Jim Clark was not arrogant. I think modern day F1 drivers have to be.
Mind you were Damon Hill \ Häkkinen arrogant?
I get what you mean though. It’s the win at all cost attitude. I think the improved safety standards in F1 have brought this attitude on and it’s not right.
8th January 2010, 10:19
His dad strikes me as one of those people who arn’t good enough to do something so they push there children to do it.
8th January 2010, 11:17
Just like my mum’s husband :( Wants me to get into Caltech!!
8th January 2010, 11:19
The blew away coment is a media spin on it, i bet any money Lewis did not utter those words. The fact remains that Lewis ( A rookie ) was faster than Alonso in testing prior to the season starting and then was able to beat him with no F1 experience. For Hamilton haters you still have to agree that Lewis is a one off. I cant think of another driver that would have been able to do the same to Alonso.If you really think Mclaren would sign Alonso to then give special treatment to Lewis a rookie, i dont think so. This year we will see when hopefully they both have good cars. My guess is that Lewis will beat Alonso in every season for the rest of his career if give comparative equipment.
8th January 2010, 11:43
Ok so ive now listened to the interview and he did say Blew him away, hmm a bit of a nobish thing to say, he did not blow him away but i suppose taking into account his lack of experience he was the more impresive without doubt. Im not going to say anymore until I see what happens this year with Button, Schumacher, Alonso, vettel. This year may really prove who is the best in F1.
8th January 2010, 12:00
Hamilton keeps his opinion to himself and he’s a robotic McLaren media whore.
He speaks his mind and he’s mind-blowingly arrogant.
I will admit that part of the reason I love F1 is the panto element to it – loving your favorite driver, hating your least favorite driver – but you really have to question someone’s basic social abilitiy when they pick apart every single syllabal of every word uttered by their “enemy” driver and use it against them in whichever way they can.
On the track, I “hate” Vettel and Alonso – but I have no vendetta against them except for when they’re behind the wheel during those special weekends we have between March and November… I certainly don’t go witch hunting every interview and try and base a deep understanding of their minds or personality on a few sound bites. Ultimately they’re amongst the best 20-26 racing drivers in the world and are entitled to at least a modicum of my respect. Conversely, despite this respect I don’t have much time for a lot of what they have to say, it’s the racing I’m more concerned about.
This response applies to a large amount of the above posts… Some people need to grow up significantly! Perhaps I’m just over-estimating the age/maturity of the majority of the online F1 fan community…
8th January 2010, 13:33
It never ceases to amaze me, the level of pettiness i come across sometimes on these forums;I personally think the blew away remark has been completely taken out of context, in all honesty anyone who followed the 2007 season would remember that Hamilton’s performance in comparison to his double world champion team mate during the course of the season was anything short of remarkable,and if we’re going to get all pedantic and analytical yes i dare say his performance blew every one away from pundits to fellow drivers and even we the spectators.. perhaps it might help if some take the time to look up the phrase “blew away” in the urban dictionary. And another suggestion would be to listen to the whole interview before making crass remarks. But at the end of the day however Blinkered your opinions might be or what ever spin you choose to put on it,the fact of the matter remains the young man is an exceptional talent the likes of which is very rare in F1.Since his debut in 2007 till date has scored more points than any other driver in F1. Love him or hate him the stats dont lie.
8th January 2010, 13:51
It seens Hamilton thinks he´s a King now, Alonso is much a better driver than him and people, let´s not forget the shame he would suffer if in the McLaren scandale Hamilton will loose his points as well.
Hamilton is just a kid, where fame put him in the spotlight, his comments about Alonso are shameful and above all not true.
When Alonso, realised that he was not having the same chances to fight for the title, his head turned in other direction.
With a car made for him and another driver finish with the same points, i would consider him a looser not someone who blew another one away!
Grow up Hamilton!
8th January 2010, 14:16
Nothing comes on a platter, one has to earn it. When Alonso was at Renault he was clearly given No.1 status as M.S. was at Ferrari. Initially McLaren didn’t favour Lewis. If you remember 2006 McLaren were considering Garry, Pedro, Lewis, etc., for the 2007 season. It was a gamble. They themselves didn’t know the talent of Lewis. Ron initially favoured Alonso a lot and made sure that he felt comfortable. When Lewis was not favoured he came 3rd in the 1st race, 2nd in the next all by himself. In Monacco if Ron didn’t told him slow down he would have been 1st again by his own talent.
No one blew Alonso. He blew himself by being part of the Alonsogate. Every F1 driver is a human being and every humanbeing cracks under pressure. When a student rises above a teacher the teacher cracks, when a wife rises above a husband the husband cracks, like this if you take any occassion we do crack. Alonso tried everything in the book to get No.1 status but in vain.
Forget about Lewis and Alonso for the time being. Please F1 fans think if someone blackmails you will you support him? I, wouldn’t. Hungary is there for everyone to look at what Alonso did. After this episode I won’t comment on whether Lewis was favoured or not but one thing on the Race Track no one helps or stops anyone. Lewis drove superbly in his maiden year. Till now S.V. inspite being in F1 for long cannot win if starting in the middle. Forget which country/religion/etc., he belongs to, Lewis is talanted. We humans tend to give recognize one’s talent only after their demise(Senna). We should be happy that we are seeing him race. We F1 fans should be happy once again that we are going to witness a fantastic 2010 year with M.S., Lewis and Alonso.
Races 140 52
Wins 21 11
Podiums 53 27
Poles 18 17
Wins% 15 21.15
Podiums% 37.86 51.92
Poles% 12.86 32.69
Stats speak for themselves.
9th January 2010, 0:01
Great post. You hit the nail on the head. I remember Monaco very well where Hamilton could have won if not for Mclaren favouring Alonso. People forget what really happened and just spout rubbish to try and diminish Lewis’s talent. The Senna comment is also very true. I am very happy to be watching what i believe will turn out to be one of the best F1 drivers of all time. Leave the guy alone and enjoy the show.
9th January 2010, 2:15
“stats speak for themselves’
Yes but how many seasons has Lewis had a dog of a car? 1
How many for Alonso? A lot more. The stats do not show the whole story. Far from it.
Oh and yes i think highly of bothdrivers.
8th January 2010, 15:43
I agree with your observation that Alonso improved as the 2007 season progressed. Hamilton had all the attention and all the kudos in the beginning, being a rookie and achieving all those podiums.
As the season went along, the expectation on Hamilton increased and thats when he started making mistakes. Alonso, on the other hand, drove some of his best races of that year especially at Nurburgring and Monza. His wheel to wheel battle at Spa with Hamilton was a great piece of driving from both drivers, but showed Alonso’s experience in relation to Hamilton’s inexperience.
Personally, I don’t think Hamilton believes he is better than Alonso. It appears he just enjoys rubbing people up the wrong way and getting into their heads. With someone like that, you just have to focus on ‘WHAT YOU ARE DOING’ and nothing else. I agree that this part of Hamilton’s character goes along way to explaining why so many people dislike him, however it was no different with Aryton Senna or Michael Schumacher.
Could you imagine what it would have been like if Senna or Schumacher had been in the same team together? Fireworks, absolute fireworks, but it would have made great drama.
8th January 2010, 16:46
@ the limit
totally agree with that…alot of sportsmen at the very top of their professions sometimes cross the line an that makes some people dislike them. Thats the difference between your schumachers, sennas, prosts and (i assume in years to come) hamilton, from the likes of button, hill, mansell, good/great drivers on their day but they lack that win at all costs attitude that prevents them becoming 1 of the greats
Pedel to the Vettel
8th January 2010, 17:39
@Alistair “Just imagine Lewis at his peak”
I think he is pritty much there in driving ability since he needs fast reflex’s to drive like that. When he gets in his 30’s he will have to adapt to be less aggressive, so sooner or later his experience will have to replace his raw ability and youth or he will never last long in the top flight F1 teams.
when your 25 it’s all downhill baby….:p
15th January 2010, 11:46
Tell that to Schumacher.
8th January 2010, 17:56
A “win at all costs attitude” doesn’t make anyone a “great” driver, or at least it shouldn’t, and if it does, then there’s something wrong with our definition of a ‘Champion’.
I hope that the 2010 WDC is won by someone that in F1 has never lied, cheated, moaned or has in any way caused any of us to think of them has being anything other than a good role model.
8th January 2010, 19:15
“I hope that the 2010 WDC is won by someone that in F1 has never lied, cheated, moaned or has in any way caused any of us to think of them has being anything other than a good role model.”
Umm, I struggling to think of who fits this criteria. Massa, Button or Vettel maybe?
8th January 2010, 19:37
Yes, so unless you’d prefer to have a ‘cheat’ a ‘liar’ or whatever as a world champion, then you’d have to look elsewhere. :)
Isn’t it better to win a WDC like Button did, rather than cheat and lie your way to one?
I, for one, could not have stomached Hamilton winning this passed seasons WDC, simply because of what happened in Melbourne.
8th January 2010, 20:08
The comment ‘blew him away’ doesn’t have to refer to either ability or points, as many people seem to be taking it. When Hamilton showed up in the F1 scene he, quite frankly, ‘blew’ everyone ‘away.’ Nobody expected him to become a force in most advanced motorsport in the world as a rookie. Nobody suspected, let alone EXPECTED him to lead the championship for most of his rookie year. How many people here thought it was a fluke that he made it onto the podium is first race? How many thought, ‘this kid is good, but I bet he won’t get up there again anytime soon’? How many started taking this kid seriously only after he podiumed at almost every race the first half, and even WON his first race in his rookie season? There are guys who have been racing for years and still haven’t had a win. Look at Webber! What? 9 seasons without a win until this year?
With the results that he was getting because he was 1) a rookie and 2) because he was so young. To ASSUME that he means he is/was better than Alonso because he says ‘I blew him away’ is folly. I don’t care that Hamilton didn’t get in a Jordan, or a Minardi, or some other backmarker seat and sit at the rear of the grid half his career before he ‘earned’ himself a spot at a top team. That top team, with a top car, could be any one of the teams this next year, just like we saw in ’09. Fact is, he took a dog of a car to two wins and a good number of points they never expected to haul in in ’09. He’s a great driver and he made an impact his first race all the way to the end of the season. That’s one way to interpret the meaning of ‘I blew himaway.’
8th January 2010, 20:11
Oh, sorry, one more addition. Insert this right after “before he ‘earned’ himself a spot at a top team.” in my post above:
Do any of you suspect that there were any other rookies on the grid in ’09 that would have hauled the Brawn, or the RB (clearly the top two cars – yet not as venerated as Ferrari/McLaren) to as many points as Jensen/Vettel? I suspect not.
9th January 2010, 12:37
I have to say, that is a brilliant post. You said exactly what I wanted to say and more.
9th January 2010, 14:42
Well, I’ll agree with Icthyes, it’s a brilliant post. Unfortunately, it is also quite inaccurate.
Hamilton was third at the Australian GP, the first race of his rookie year. He got his first win of his rookie year at the Canadian GP, number 6 on the schedule.
9th January 2010, 0:24
I wonder how well that article is going down in the Spanish F1 forums?
10th January 2010, 13:18
I´m telling you: total indiference
9th January 2010, 8:37
“I hope that the 2010 WDC is won by someone that in F1 has never lied, cheated, moaned or has in any way caused any of us to think of them has being anything other than a good role model.”
That’s everyone out then! This is motor racing, kids. Not Sesame Street.
A wise man once told me: Lie, win, cheat, succeed. All these words have the same meaning in the real world. Lewis/McLaren made a mistake in Aus by getting caught, but cheating is rife in all sports, places of work… everywhere. Let’s wake up from these illusions of a kindergarten F1 and just enjoy our 2 hours on a Sunday shall we?
10th January 2010, 20:26
Hamilton’s rose tinited glasses view aside, simply finishing equal on points isn’t blowing anyone away. A very entertaining discussion, you guys make me giggle.
14th January 2010, 17:03
I thought he came across well. He still sounds like he needs to pinch himself every morning to make sure it’s all true…
19th September 2014, 15:14
You can’t compare a driver’s ability from one season’s battle with a team mate. The element of
circumstantial luck is IMMENSE in such a technical sport. We have to remember machines are involved. But to be fair Alonso has proved himself more since 2007 than Hamilton has. In my unbiased opinion it is clear that Alonso maybe the best driver in history.
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