Lewis Hamilton won the 2018 Formula 1 season. With it, he also claimed his fifth world title. That’s a great achievement. In fact, it’s more than that. It is an extraordinary feat.
It’s deserving of an endless string of bouquets of respect. You can’t get bored of it, actually. Commentators call it ‘Hammertime’ when he wins. Fans wield placards of LH44 at tracks where the masterly driver reigns supreme.
The fraternity respects this great driver
And to be honest, there’s this fear in the minds of drivers on the grid when he appears in their side mirrors. It means that something powerful is about to happen. It’s happened to Kimi at Monza.
It happened to Sebastian Vettel at Russia.
It’s happened to all drivers on the grid at Singapore where Hamilton never lagged behind. Like a rattlesnake, he came and hissed at all cars who tried to stop him at Silverstone, where the Ferrari of Kimi made contact with Hamilton, nearly compromising his race.
And now, for a driver who has, until now, having debuted back in 2007, clinched 73 wins out of 83 pole positions, there’s yet another reward for his amazing consistency.
Recently, upon being asked to vote for their driver of the 2018 season, F1 team bosses chose Lewis Hamilton as their ideal choice.
Sebastian Vettel didn’t win the popular vote. The unanimous decision upheld the name of the man from Stevenage, England.
This great win, a mood elevator of sorts for Hamilton, who’s often compared with Schumacher and Senna in terms of the driver’s ability to win Grands Prix speaks volumes about the man’s consistency.
It appears that two definite records- that of winning most world championships (7) and, with it, most race wins (91) are all set to be toppled by a man who epitomizes his social media saying: “Still, I rise.”
But all that said, it remains to be asked, does Hamilton’s selection as the best 2018 F1 driver, as voted by the team bosses, really come as a surprise?
Wasn’t he the best man all along?
Perhaps to some, it may have been a lot more than a surprise, and it isn’t hard to think it would’ve irked Sebastian Vettel’s fans.
In a season where Vettel was, when compared to Kimi Raikkonen’s visibly-improved final season, not exactly a top rate driver, the Hamilton versus Vettels show often tilted easily in the former’s favor.
Having said that, it wasn’t just that Vettel faltered in most cases or that Lewis inherited race wins.
Would you say that?
In most cases, although, much to one’s surprise on hard-surface and old racing tracks such as Suzuka and Interlagos, designed in a way that aids cars with better straight-line speed, it was the Ferraris that struggled in front of the Mercedes.
While tracks like Baku proved fortunate for Lewis Hamilton, one can’t exactly blame the jurors to have picked the ‘Hammer’ as their choice for 2018’s best driver, especially when one considers that the multiple world champion made minimal errors in comparison to a doubtful challenger in Vettel.
Surely, things might have been different had Vettel gone the fastest at France to set a great race with Lewis, or kept up with his car inside the track despite towering rains at Hockenheim, or at the most- managed to get past Hamilton- at Hockenheimring.
But that none of the above came true for the experienced German at Ferrari. This, therefore, also indicates the pressure he was under in facing a Hamilton (in menacing form) has been now recognized by none other than the team bosses.
What does the verdict mean for Vettel?
The fans ought to ask: don’t they (team principals) know their drivers well or the most? Now that they’ve hailed Hamilton over Vettel- should one feel that justice has prevailed or should Vettel feel his task is even more obdurate then before to counter his oppressor the next season?
After all, a thing or two regards to the race is also decided in the mind, instead of everything being decided on the tarmac, isn’t it?