Brought to you by TheJudge13 Contributor Mattpt55
Behold I tell you a mystery:
We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment,
in the twinkling of an eye
at the last trumpet
Handel-Messiah recit. preceding “The Trumpet Shall Sound “
Every classical trumpet player knows those words. When you hear them your heart rate increases, your muscles tighten. Your Universe contracts to a pinpoint and expands to the horizon as adrenalin floods your system. You blow warm air into your treacherous instrument and check the valves one last time, empty the water key. A quick breath and you’re off. The audience is in the house and the red button is on, this will be your only chance to get it right.
On a good day, it’s as much fun as can be had playing the instrument, a duet with the bass and beautiful lines with limitless phrasing opportunities. On an off day, it quickly becomes a brutal war of attrition, requiring every level of skill and experience you have acquired over the years to manage. If you’re lucky, the person next to you has your back. If not, they are seething with jealousy and contempt and you know they want your job. You are constantly one mistake away from never being called again.
As the cars come to the line in Melbourne, Lewis Hamilton sits and waits, having been delivered precisely the opportunity he wished for a year and a half ago. But as the proverb states, be careful what you wish for. His wish comes with a price, both his own expectations as well as those of his fans and team, a level of pressure it is hard to imagine for most of us.
Will his mind wander to the excellent starts Red Bull achieved last year as Ricciardo sits next to him, delivered to the front of the grid by dint of Mother Nature? Will he consider that moving over to block Ricciardo might open the door for Rosberg, or whether Ferrari will again be able to make up places with lightning starts as they did last year?
Or will he instead go all the way back to Spa, 2012, when another rookie made it to the front of the grid only to completely lose his place in the chaos of the start and take out not one, but 2 championship contenders before the first turn. Or perhaps he will be filled with joy and exuberance at the opportunity to finally, finally go racing again with a real chance.
Of course, his isn’t the only story, Kobayashi in 15th, Button and Vettel out of place, Raikkonen struggling and Williams not meeting their potential in qualifying. All the drivers have stories, but will it be demons or delights that dance through their consciousness. Only they can answer.
It’s just 265 metres to turn 1 in Melbourne. In the twinkling of an eye, all of these stories will be made manifest; turned into a cold hard reality. The season is long and it all counts from here forward. Winners, losers, or also-rans, there will be no more pretending.