Last season Lewis Hamilton finally delivered the much needed second Formula One drivers’ title that many felt he needed to be included in the pantheon of the sport’s greatest drivers. For Lewis, 2014 was a season filled with ups and downs; from accusing his team mate of cheating in Monaco, disobeying team orders in Hungary and the infamous Spa incident. However he prevailed, winning 6 of the final 7 races and 11 in total (the most he has every accomplished in one season), thus securing title number 2.
We roll forward to 2015 and that momentum has continued. Lewis has taken pole position in all 4 races along with 3 wins (9 out of the last 11) and a second place. Hamilton now leads the F1 driver standings by 27 points over fellow team mate and title rival Nico Rosberg and 28 ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
Following his most recent victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, Lewis spoke to the APA and was asked if he felt he was unbeatable, to which he replied:
“I don’t know what the feeling of being unbeatable is. I know I feel very powerful in this car with the package we have, and I feel I’m able to get everything from it.
“I also feel more comfortable in this car than I did in the one last year, and I feel within myself, with whatever approach I have, the power is greater than ever in terms of strength in the car.
“It’s like ‘yes’. I put the car there and it goes there, I get the exit.
“Naturally you always feel there are things you can still improve on, but it’s hard to always pinpoint what those are and to tell the team what to focus on.
“That’s what a team leader has to do, and, along with Nico [Rosberg], I’m trying to guide the team, to tell them where to go next.”
We can glean from this that Hamilton clearly sees himself as the number one/lead driver at Mercedes, whatever his contract in fact states.
Lewis also had a few words for those who suggests he doesn’t work as hard as his fellow drivers and he just relies on his natural abilities
“Of course I analyse. You can’t be a world champion without doing that. I remember speaking about this a long time ago and I don’t know if people get a perception as to who you are as a driver, but I work as hard as any other driver.
“Just because I do things differently it doesn’t mean I’m worse.
“There was a point where people said Nico was a doctor of this or that; Jenson [Button] was a doctor of his tyres.
“I tick off all the boxes, and I’ve worked to do that.
“The results I get are not only from my raw ability because I study hard, I work hard to make notes about my tyres, about every single thing I do, which I’ve done since my days in Formula Three.
“Ultimately, I don’t care what people think. I just do the job.”
Winning three of the first four races, is as close to ‘perfection’ as the results get without being perfect and Lewis believes he is fulfilling his potential.
“I know the potential I have, and whether or not I’m living up to it. I feel I am coming close to full potential – although who knows exactly what that is – but I do feel quite satisfied.”
Having had his say on a number of things ‘Lewis’ in times gone by, Jackie Stewart yet acknowledged that it is just a matter of time before Lewis equals his mark of 3 driver titles.
Whilst close to perfection on track, for many Lewis fails to meet the same standard when it comes to his off track behaviour. He demonstrates moments of petulance and has in previous years looked as though he is on a continual search for new amusement.
Yet this year we are seeing so far, a focused and determined Hamilton. He is regularly scoring psychological points against his team mate both on and off the track. TJ13 has revealed on more than one occasion that those close to Lewis were concerned about the influence of his prior romantic liaison. They now believe it to be no co-incidence that Lewis’ new fixation with all things racing follows the collapse of that turbulent relationship with Nicole Sherzinger.
And now with the proverbial monkey of winning a second F1 driver title removed from his back, Hamilton will surely go on to match and maybe surpass the three championships won by his childhood hero, Ayrton Senna.
And sometime soon, he will pass Senna’s all time F1 win count – it’s surely just a matter of which race weekend this year that event occurs. Ironically, if Hamilton delivers a set of perfect results between now and Silverstone, it would be at the British GP he would equal the Senna all time win tally.