The Art of #F1: Lewis Hamilton – A Reflection

Brought to you by TheJudge13 contributor Andries van Overbeeke

Editors Note: When TJ13 started the vision was simple, the voice of Formula 1 fans – by the fans for the fans. As the TJ13 community grew more and more people from different walks of life shed light on aspects of the sport that they find interesting. The result is that the content published through TJ13 is different and unique but more than that, it gives the community a voice.

Lewis Hamilton - 1You might remember how you felt: it was late September 2012 and Lewis Hamilton had announced he would be leaving McLaren to join Mercedes at the end of the season. A season that saw Lewis end up in 4th place in the standings, being beaten by a Red Bull, a Ferrari and a Lotus. But we all know what they say about lies and statistics, and those who witnessed the season unfold may have felt that Hamilton deserved more that year. There was the fuel breach in Barcelona, a number of retirements from pole and a not so fair share of bad luck. But we also all know how you spell ‘IF’, and Lewis had already learned that lesson 5 years earlier when he reflected on the last races of 2007.

Or did he? His qualifying error in Silverstone may suggest otherwise. However in a remarkable turn of events he got away with the best race result possible, and he might just have learned his lesson once and for all. On Saturday he may have felt that his error could well be costing him the WDC, and now he is back in full contention to become champion again.

Lewis Hamilton - 4Who would have thought, in late September 2012… Did you? Remember, McLaren was the fastest car at the moment whereas Mercedes were fighting for points. There was a substantial lack of support or understanding in the media for his decision, and it was even ridiculed. But apparently Lewis felt it was the right time for the move: something was brewing for a while, and Lewis felt he needed to break away from the smothering. In the painting of Lewis, I tried to grasp factors that played a role in his decision: the frustration and pressure in the relationship with McLaren is captured in the darker side with McLaren’s red and grey tones, while the lighter greys and the fresh Petronas green embody the liberating new beginning at Mercedes.

Lewis Hamilton - 3But the story didn’t end when the ink dried: I hoped that his career at Mercedes would develop in unknown directions and that his narrative would continue to grow. And it did! There was a pole at Silverstone, a home win that slipped through his fingers and then finally an unexpected win in the heat of Hungary. And this year the move to Mercedes might really bear fruit and turn out to be a masterstroke. Meanwhile the fierce red and bright green show Lewis’ broad emotional range that we’ve gotten to know a lot better. Something he is cherished for by some as he speaks his heart, while others condemn it or see it as a weakness.

And what do you see, what story do you tell? Do you still feel the same as in 2012? What’s changed? In the soil of narratives, statistics and nostalgia, you can all grow your own truth. And when you do, please don’t hold on to it. Let it go so it can breathe once more. Let fresh winds blow through it and new lights shine upon it. It will come back as a matured chronicle with new branches, as you as well have grown as a person.

Lewis Hamilton - 2

12 responses to “The Art of #F1: Lewis Hamilton – A Reflection

  1. Nice piece.
    I can’t help but like Lewis, he is unique and often refreshing. Whether he wins this year or not, I will still like they guy. The retirement in Singapore when he was walking away from the stranded McLaren and then turns back and takes a long lingering look at his broken steed said more than any words. The deal was sealed, as Lauda pounced that evening and the rest s they say is history. Inspired move? Maybe, required move? Definitely

  2. Fantastic bit of writing. I genuinely enjoyed it,and I love your characterization of letting go of the narrative you grew, it would do the comments some good to reflect on that for a while. I hope you’ll keep on writing stuff for the site.

    • I agree. It’s hard to let go of a view that you have ‘grown’ even in the face of evidence to the contray.

      You think it’s easy to call Gilles average? Especially in the face of the common and populist perception of his godly talents. Hell, he was a hero in a way. The comments section yesterday clearly showed the inability to face a different view.

      Search the internet for another single person who claimed GV average at best.

  3. Thank you, Andries , both for your writing and art.

    In answer, I think I did think the move possible, even likely, at the time. Though I did not come down with a prediction, so much as quietly thought to myself it made sense, because the pressure seemed to me to be Hamilton’s need for self determination. In that sense, as with your painting, he seems to reflect the light of both periods of his career, but neither be consumed nor swallowed by either. Maybe within, a conflict, and without, the mark of war paint, a display of his role, rather than his thoughts.

    Forgive me, I’m no art critic, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading and viewing your work.

    • Nice to see you here JoJ; can’t say I’ve noticed before.
      Article was most enjoyable though, on both counts.

  4. I think I’ve seen that picture before – though the guy was from Crenshaw and had just had a “meeting” with the LAPD

  5. “…season that saw Lewis end up in 4th place in the standings, being beaten by a Red Bull, a Ferrari and a Lotus. But we all know what they say about lies and statistics, and those who witnessed the season unfold may have felt that Hamilton deserved more that year…”

    So who deserved less? If Lewis deserved more, by definition someone deserved less that year? Was it Kimi? Or maybe Sebastian? Or perhaps Fernando? Please enlighten me, I’d Lewis deserved more, who got his results in an undeserved way.

    Deserve: The silliest concept humans invented.

  6. Enjoyed the write up! though I wouldnt 100% agree that all was bleak at mclaren from the get go. Lets hope we see Lewis’ brighter side at merc moving forward. great art of F1

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