The Entire F1 World Was Quite Wrong, Even Me
There are many things that the prognosticators were wrong about this past weekend.
Nope, the best they could do was THIRD.
Yet there they were, ON THE SECOND STEP. (Another inspired drive by the BEST driver on the grid.)
“Kimi Raikkonen doesn’t want it enough to win.”
WRONG AGAIN. He gave Lotus F1 the first win of the season and himself 25 points to lead the driver’s championship.
But what were we all really the most wrong about?
We were dead wrong about Lewis Hamilton’s decision to move away from the only team he has ever known, McLaren, one of the most winning racing organizations in the history of the sport, and the one responsible for his only Driver’s Title. When Hamilton dropped that bombshell on the F1 world, I don’t think there was one person, reporter, team principal, bloggers (including my dumb ass) not to mention thousands of fans, that didn’t think he was completely nuts.
Well let me be among the first to say to Hamilton: “I’m sorry that I thought I knew better than you.” Its funny when experts get it so wrong, isn’t it? At the end of the day, what does anyone know really? I have been critical of Hamilton on this blog before, be it his driving style (crashing out too often), his choice of girlfriend (I still think he should lose her and concentrate on racing for the moment), his interaction with his team (at times it was so disrespectful), the tweet-gate issue, whatever. And then last year he decides it’s time to leave McLaren for that crappy two-seconds-off-the-pace Mercedes? I was shocked! Hamilton, what are you thinking?
Well apparently the answer to that is: he was the only one thinking and the rest of us were assuming! Upon reflection, it’s clear that no one can ever, with any real certainty, know how his team’s car is going to perform from year to year. Even the mighty Red Bull had it’s ups and downs last year. They won a race early on, but did not come on strong until the final five races. It is difficult to know when to jump ship based on car performance. Fernando guessed correctly after his two championship years at Renault when he left to go race at McLaren and it paid off. Nico Rosberg left Williams for Mercedes and that guess paid off as well. However, these choices could have easily gone the other way. Leave a team just as they get it right, and you are left thinking “If only I would have stayed another year…”
So everyone reacted to Hamilton’s decision based on the car’s (the Mercedes) then-performance. Hamilton was wisely answering the question “What environment is best for me?” Not “What car is going to provide me with another Driver’s Title?” Go race for a team that you are comfortable and happy with and you have the first ingredient to a driver’s winning success. The Driver Titles will come.
So the car has some good pace in it. Hamilton qualified third and ended the race fifth. I think on any given day with decent machinery he is just as good as Vettel, or Alonso. It is a good start for Hamilton and Mercedes. If Ross Brawn and his group can develop the car in the right direction, surely they will be race winners. Oh and by the way, where did McLaren, Hamilton’s previous team finish? Jenson Button – 9th, Sergeio Perez – 11th.
I can just about hear Lewis saying, “How do you like me now?”
jp (and I’m out)