Wonders will never cease. Here’s the British Broadcasting Corporation’s announcement.
“Lewis Hamilton is to join BBC Sport as a columnist this season, starting on Friday. The 2008 world champion, who drives for Mercedes in 2013, will write for the BBC Sport website on the Friday before every grand prix this year.
The column, Hamilton’s first as a Formula 1 driver, is a key part of a revised online offering this season”.
In the desperate battle with SKY to find something new to bring to their F1 coverage the BBC has taken a big risk on becoming the mouth piece for Lewis Hamilton.
So, I though we’d celebrate Lewis’ invitation into the British media establishment by taking a look at an interview he did a couple of days ago with another great British institution – the Guardian Newspaper.
Additions and insertions from: TheJudge13
Lewis has over the years expressed he feels a strong sense of destiny for his life and has a desire to achieve the same level of greatness as Ayrton Senna.
“When I speak about greatness, I just know Ayrton Senna, the stories about the way he would walk into a room, the aura he had, the way people would perceive him, the way he carried himself, the way he drove and inspired people, inspired a nation – that is greatness,” Lewis said. “And that is a dream for any driver to achieve.
“It is a different era and I am not Ayrton Senna. I am my own personality, but I hope that I will have that greatness.”
An interesting perspective indeed and by way of comparison Senna once said, “I have no idols. I admire work, dedication and competence”.
Lewis muses over the thorny matter of Vettel’s 3 WDC’s and Alonso’s 2 as compared to just the 1 he himself has achieved.
“Inexperience led me to be impatient in the past. But I am more patient now and I guess that comes with age. You make wiser decisions. I hope that impacts on my racing.”
On mistakes, Senna had this to say, “My biggest error? Something that is to happen yet”.
Some would suggest that Lewis and Ayrton share something in common here – the biggest boo boo is ‘yet to come’. It may be that now Lewis is ‘free from control’ and feeling unshackled, we ‘aint seen nothing yet folks’.
“I have been thinking to build a museum. It was my dad’s idea. It would be cool to have somewhere – in Stevenage or London, I don’t know – where we could have one of the cars from every year that I have driven and have the trophies up so that people can see them. There’s no point in having them all in your house where no one can see them.
Or I am going to have to build a house big enough because I have hundreds of trophies – I must have at least 500. I don’t need my suits, boots or gloves but I design my helmets and that is what people see and they have my blood, sweat and tears in them – and the memories.
The most valuable [trophy] is my first grand prix win – Canada, then the British Grand Prix. But Canada [in 2007] is the only one I own, the rest are replicas, even the world championship trophy.”
The only reference to legacy I could find from Senna was this. “If you think I am good wait until my nephew arrives”.
Ayrton didn’t speak about his legacy, partly because he died a young man. But of those who described what he left behind, Ron Dennis was as qualified as any to comment. “Ayrton Senna was an extraordinary racing driver. His skills, craft, subtlety and courage were of such magnitude that he dwarfed his generation of drivers.”
On a personal note, Emerson Fittipaldi had this to say. “The life of Ayrton Senna was an example in dedication and the love of the sports few athletes have had at international level. The world has lost the greatest athlete in the history of motor racing and I have lost a great friend. Grand Prix racing will never be the same without Ayrton”.
Some think this a little strange, but Lewis is planning to turn his new dog into one of the Jetset and have Roscoe accompany him to various race weekends.
“I emailed Bernie about my passes and then told him at the end I had a new member of my family. I was really nervous, but he said send a picture. I sent one of Roscoe wearing headphones. Bernie wasn’t too happy but that’s the one that will be on his pass. He is the coolest dog in the world, so funny. He has me in tears every day. I will take him to the European races.”
Ayrton didn’t have a travelling pet dog in his family, but he did have an intrinsic attachment to, “Women. [I’m] always in trouble with them, but can’t live without them”.
Lewis has bought something else besides a dog, his own private jet and gives us the following reasoning.
“It is about trying to simplify everything because it can be really hectic. Having the plane gives you a lot of time back in your life.”
Asked why he had it painted red, Lewis explains “Because every airport I go to every plane is boring white or with this really sad brown stripe down the side. What were they thinking? If you are going to spend that much money on a plane, it doesn’t cost much to get a paint job.
So I did it properly, just as when I buy a car. I don’t just buy a car off the lot, I like to design it and make it mine. I think it is the nicest plane.
I will die if [Roscoe] does a turd in my plane. I will have to get the whole plane changed. I have been renting planes for some time and now I can hop from one place to the other without complications. When you go to Heathrow, for example, it can be quite manic. People notice you and you don’t always want to be seen. You want a low profile.”
Of course Senna spoke regularly about materialism and here is one of those observations. “Money is a strange business. People who haven’t got it try very hard to get it. People who have it – are full of troubles”.
Paul Wevear of the Guardian concludes, “So, Hamilton says he wants a low profile but he has painted his £20m private jet red. And he carries a dog with him, which must be as distracting as being accompanied by a small child.
Mercedes are slowly discovering just what they have taken on. This driver comes with baggage. But it will all be worthwhile if, in the next three years, he delivers the wins and the titles which the team so desperately crave.”
I beg to ask the question Paul – will it really?
One member of thejudge13 believes that the BBC F1 team wrote a number of generalised critical articles about Lewis in 2012 and is off to dig them up. It may be amusing to remind ‘Auntie’ (as the BBC is known in the UK) of her posturing as we receive the missives from Lewis’ ghost writer.