Is Lewis Hamilton losing the plot? Bernie thinks so!
There’s a popular saying, a sportsman must know, just like he knows his strengths and potential, the right time to go. The time to move on from the highest annals of a contest before he is told to make way for another. Today, in a season where Red Bull has all of a sudden emerged as the frontrunner to stake a claim in the double crowns in the championship, one man finds himself struggling.
Lewis Hamilton caught napping or is it something else?
That man is seven-time world champion, Lewis Hamilton! The very personality, hero, conqueror, Senna fan, world-beater, who until five races ago, was the leading man of the current Formula 1 season.
Also, the man who happens to have shared that, “I shall move away from Formula 1 before 40!”
As Max Verstappen continues to grow in strength and stature, Lewis Hamilton finds himself increasingly under pressure, not only from the logic that of all things, an eighth world title – which none so far has bagged – is at stake, but importantly because after ages, Lewis has found another challenging for the throne.
So when someone like former Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone says, “Lewis Hamilton is not the fighter he once was,” it appears that the statement is either half-baked truth or unaccommodating of the fact that a highly talented driver, no less fierce or competitive than Hamilton himself, has found a way to get the better of him.
This is either down to the fact that a string of consistent wins, aided by a faster car on the track, which Red Bull must be credited for has caught Mercedes napping or it’s very much possible that we are all ignoring a certain glaring truth.
And what is that truth about Lewis Hamilton?
In a sport so indicative and defined by speed, what also plays a vital part, in addition to superior race pace, is the thing called reflexes. Forget not that a 36-year-old Sir Lewis Hamilton is competing against a supremely confident driver thirteen years younger.
We saw in the Vettel years at Ferrari that the old man Kimi Raikkonen was able to match the German, if only on occasions, whilst the gap between their age was merely seven years.
Well, Lewis’ antagonist for the 2021 world title is someone nearly a decade and a half younger than the famous Mercedes man.
Moreover, if one were to retract from the grid saga and step back a little, it would appear that what Mercedes did to the rest of the grid, until the 2020 F1 season is something that’s happening to them.
A faster car mowing down cars that lacked race and qualifying pace with the ease with which a lion takes to remove a hare in its path.
So the faster car plus a quick driver competing in menacing form is simply going for it. For the fact is, Max Verstappen has nothing to lose. He’s not a world champion while on the contrary, Lewis Hamilton is vying for world title #8, the greatest peak which, should he achieve it, will forever place him on the highest-possible firmament in motorsport.
The last time Lewis Hamilton was beaten was back in 2016
When Nico Rosberg aced Lewis, it was half a decade back in time. So much has changed in the sport, not in the least, the increasing involvement of technical upgrades and aerodynamic manoeuvres in the car. Red Bull have everything going for them with Mercedes seemingly committed to developing an abler machine for the next big season, which according to many, is going to be the most definitive change in Formula 1.
Against that narrative, when someone like Bernie Ecclestone undermines Hamilton, it appears a bit strange to the intrepid sports fan.
The following are the views of the man who is often trolled more on social media than he is regarded for such a long stint with the sport, truth be told:
“I have spoken to lots of people about this and perhaps Lewis is not quite the fighter that he was.
“There are lots of occasions this year where he could have done better and he hasn’t. He hasn’t had any competition, the equipment has always been super, and he hasn’t really had to make the effort. But now maybe he is thinking that he better take it a bit easier.
“At the beginning of the year I thought he would look to win the championship and then retire. But it appears not, even though I wouldn’t rely too much on contracts. He can escape from that.”
What Mr Ecclestone doesn’t realize is that only nine of the twenty-three races have happened thus far and a win at Silverstone will re-ignite the passion and fire with which Hamilton competes. Who knows what might happen ahead- it’s a long season in front of us.