Landmark Lewis deserves more credit

Published on Wednesday November 01 2017

Do you remember the furore that followed F1 Live in London? Lewis Hamilton, the man who was chasing down a fourth world championship, didn’t join the rest of the grand prix grid on the streets of Westminster.

While the crowds were enthralled, there was one stand-out thing missing – the UK’s most successful driver. “Hamilton’s London F1 snub to fans” was just one of the headlines, and it was a theme that was followed by several outlets.

Hamilton was in Mykonos in Greece instead, enjoying a bit of rest and relaxation. He was hunting the crown, and was 20 points behind Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel. Vettel had just finished second in the Austrian Grand Prix behind Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas and was inching away at the top of the points table.

The reaction to Hamilton’s absence was enormous, and he was quite clearly shaken by the articles that were being written. There was only one answer he could give them.

From the British Grand Prix onwards, the Mercedes man would finish no lower than fourth in a GP (until Mexico) and took a run of six wins in eight races. Along the way, he smashed the record for the most pole positions.

And then there was last weekend, and the destiny that Hamilton had tried to make happen. He secured his fourth title and became the most successful driver from the United Kingdom. Vindication?

Whatever the opinion on Hamilton, and there are plenty of diverse thoughts about his personality, but he has truly joined the list of the best drivers. The statistics dare you to say otherwise.

And the numbers are the only thing that anyone should pay any real attention to. Yes, Lewis has a very individual lifestyle and yes he might do things that would have made Sir Stirling Moss shudder, but motor racing is not about what happens away from the race track. It is all about what happens on it.

And on the Tarmac is where Lewis is best of all. There have been suggestions that Lewis could now go on to become the greatest ever. He is, after all, only three titles short of Michael Schumacher’s benchmark.

That was once a number that people thought would be invincible. However, given the current Mercedes steamroller, it has been brought into sharp focus.

If Hamilton does get there, he will deserve it. And if he does, he can happily send himself away for as many mid-season breaks as he want: after all, he delivers on track, and that is all that matters.

Recent news

Column

Are British championship calendars boring?

By Rob Ladbrook

Rallying News

Sainz Dakar quad incident penalty overturned

Dakar Rally leader Carlos Sainz has had his 10-minute penalty rescinded, after Peugeot presented...

Rallying News

WRC and Autosport Show working on 2018 public launch

The World Rally Championship launch could be moved to a public day of Autosport International...

Rallying News

Tanak says Ogier bias led to his M-Sport exit

Estonian star Ott Tanak says that being the number two driver to Sebastien Ogier at M-Sport...

Rallying News

Peterhansel wins stage, back to second overall

Peugeot's Stephane Peterhansel topped the 10th stage of the 2018 Dakar Rally, overhauling Toyota...

Rallying News

Ostberg still has Fiesta as back-up plan

Mads Ostberg could keep his private Ford Fiesta World Rally Car as a "back-up plan" if he cannot...

Racing News

Leading BWRDC figure Georgie Shaw dies

Georgie Shaw, one of the leading forces in the British Women Racing Drivers Club, died on Sunday...

Column

Rally Isle of Man is heading in the right direction

By Jack Benyon

Rallying News

Rider in Sainz incident threatens legal action

The quad rider involved in Carlos Sainz's Dakar Rally controversy has threatened criminal action...

Racing News

Kubica misses Williams F1 drive, lands testing role

Robert Kubica has lost out on a Williams Formula 1 drive this year to Russian Sergey Sirotkin,...

Rallying News

Tanak: Toyota 'best option' for WRC title shot

Ott Tanak says moving from M-Sport Ford to Toyota for the 2018 World Rally Championship was...

Rallying News

Dakar leader Sainz gets 10-minute penalty

Dakar Rally leader Carlos Sainz has been penalised for an alleged collision with quad racer...

Rallying News

Dakar leader Sainz under investigation

Dakar Rally leader Carlos Sainz is facing an investigation after a rider accused the Peugeot...

Racing News

Motorsport.tv to host entire Le Mans archive

Motorsport.tv is uploading the entire back catalogue of the 24 Hours of Le Mans to its exclusive...

Rallying News

Citroen WRC boss appointed FIA rally director

Former Citroen Racing World Rally Championship team principal Yves Matton has been confirmed...

Rallying News

Edwards gets factory M-Sport deal for BRC

British Rally Championship frontrunner Matt Edwards will return to the championship in 2018...

Racing News

Birmingham race evaluated by Formula E

Formula E has evaluated taking racing back to the streets of Birmingham for the first time since...

Rallying News

Peterhansel explains crash that cost him lead

Peugeot's Stephane Peterhansel was left "p**sed off" after the accident that took him out of...

Rallying News

Mikkelsen: Hyundai i20 reminds me of VW Polo

Hyundai World Rally Championship driver Andreas Mikkelsen says the manufacturer's i20 reminds...

Rallying News

M-Sport adds Suninen to 2018 WRC line-up

M-Sport has announced that Teemu Suninen will drive its third Ford Fiesta for the majority of...

Racing News

Autosport Show Highlights: Friday

Our team of national reporters pick their highlights from day two of the Autosport International...

Racing News

Button to race Jaguar XJR-9 at Le Mans classic

One-time Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button will drive a 1988 Jaguar XJR-9 prototype in...

1 2 3 40

More national news, in-depth race reports and analysis. Subscribe to the Motorsport News paper today.

What’s On

This weekend

No Events

Later

No Events

This weekend

No Events

Later

No Events

X