Lewis Hamilton Fans Unite
Lewis Hamilton's season has been fraught with engine failures this year. He has praised his team mate for doing all he had to , and winning the championship. But how about his team? Did they let their star driver down?
- Lewis Hamilton Fans Unite
- What about the Mercedes Team?
- What about the Radio Messages?
- At Abu Dhabi
- The Press
- How the Lewis Fans feel
Lewis Hamilton Fans Unite
This season in Formula One has seen Lewis Hamilton suffer multiple engine failures and incur penalties through no fault of his own. The hand of fate dealt him an unreliable car, which enabled his team mate to capitalise on this, and claim his first and only championship, as Rosberg has now retired, leaving his team with very little time to fill his vacant seat for next year.
Toto Wolff has referred to it as a "brave decision," but Nikki Lauda has been more vocal, accusing Rosberg of leaving Mercedes with egg on their faces. When Lewis congratulated Rosberg on Twitter, he challlenged him to defend his title next year, as he was going to do his utmost to beat him, but instead of retaliating, Rosberg said he wanted to retire.
The Press have described this as a "classy" move, as he cannot be beaten, but in fact he was beaten, in 2014 and 2015, by Lewis. The Press would have us believe that Lewis lost with bad grace, but I would refute that, as I saw him hug and congratulate Rosberg on the podium, and then the warm tweet with pictures of them as teenagers was heart warming to read.
In contrast, everyone seems to have forgotten that when Lewis won last year, Rosberg refused to celebrate, and ran off the podium, and previous to that there was the infamous " Capgate," when he threw his cap at Lewis in frustration because he had lost, when it was time to go on the ;podium.
What about the Mercedes Team?
The Mercedes Team have played a big part in the success of Rosberg this year, and also the difficulties of Lewis. After Rosberg lost the championship last year, word leaked out that not only did he complain a lot, but also the team found it necessary to be "extra warm" to him. This year, they have done exactly that. They swopped over his mechanics from Lewis, and when Lewis asked why that was, he was told to " just get on with it."
Although Lewis has always been happy to be treated equally as a driver, and not number one, many fans have felt that this year Rosberg has been massively favoured. When they came together in Spain, and both had to retire, analysis after showed Rosberg was to blame, and although the stewards did not get involved, Lewis asked Mercedes why he had not been punished for this dangerous manoeuvre and he received no support whatsoever, and the incident was swept under the carpet.
Similarly in Austria, not only did the team give Rosberg a strategy which enabled him to come from 5th to lead the race, when Lewis was about to overtake him on the last lap, Rosberg pushed him off the track, and drove along without turning his wheel, trying to stop him from coming back on.
But this back fired on Rosberg, he sustained damage himself, and limped home with a damaged car, and Lewis won the race. Later Rosberg had a trip to the stewards, as he was clearly to blame, but once again Mercedes did nothing to stop him from driving so dangerously. In fact they issued threats of suspension to both drivers, and as Lewis was in no way to blame, one has to wonder why. he was included.
What about the Radio Messages?
There was a rule that when a driver is in the car, the team are not allowed to help them., They must drive the car unaided. Indeed when Lewis was at Baku, his car had been set in the wrong mode, and when he asked his team for help, they flatly refused to help him.
But when Rosberg had gear box problems at the British Grand Prix, his team gave him help via the radio, because they knew if they had not, he would have had to retire from that race. Just that retirement alone, discounting all the reliability problems that Lewis had, would have seen Lewis win the championship, but Mercedes were happy to risk a light punishment from the stewards for Rosberg, so he could keep his 4th place.
Rosberg had bullet proof reliability all this year, unlike Lewis, who had to battle his way through the season, trying to make up ground from starting at the back of the grid . frequently. He remained stoic and determined, which makes him the outstanding talent that he undoubtedly is. By the time the last 4 races came, it was clear that Lewis could win every one, and even if Rosberg came second or third, he still had enough points to claim the championship. It was at that point, Wolff stated that Mercedes owed it to both their drivers, to give them a reliable car. . But one wonders why they could not have done that at the beginning of the year, because Lewis's only hope was for Rosberg to have a non finish, which was highly unlikely.
At Abu Dhabi
So Lewis not only qualified on pole by quite a margin in the last four races, but he also won them, in such masterful style it left Rosberg looking like an amateur. In Brazil Lewis is a master of wet and rainy conditions, and without the constant safety car interventions, he would have won the race by over 30 seconds. Rosberg's poor performance in wet conditions is well known, and as he did not stop for a tyre change, he did enough by sitting behind him all through the race. If Red Bull had a better strategy, it is likely that Verstappen and Ricciardo would have beaten him being second and third, but it wasn't to be.
Abu Dhabi was the last race, and Lewis needed Rosberg to finish 4th or lower to get the drivers title. Lewis was leading the race, and by the last 2 laps, Rosberg was back to second, after being overtaken by Verstappen earlier.. Horner had already suggested to Lewis that backing up Rosberg by going slowly was legal, and his only chance , as others might overtake.
Lewis dismissed it at the time, but then Wolff warned him that if he did that, they would give him a slow pitstop. One has to ask why a team that has already won the constructors championship would do that, and the only conclusion to come to is that they wanted to appease Rosberg by helping him to win the championship.
At the very end of the race, Lewis gave one last ditch attempt to win the drivers title, by backing Rosberg up, but then his team intervened, and told him to speed up. And although they have accuseg Lewis of anarchy for disobeying orders, one has to questoin why they would issue those orders.Why should it matter to them which driver won?
,In the end, Lewis won the race, but Rosberg won the championship, and Lewis got massive support from many celebrities as well as the public for doing his job., and trying to win, after all that is what he is paid for.
As usual Lewis has been attacked by the Press. It has been reported that he faced the sack or suspension for his actions in that race. He has been massively disrespected by Mercedes, and not given any support, except by others. However, one newspaper claimed, that if he was punished for driving a thrilling and tactical race, then racing had lost its soul.
Then suddenly everything changed, Rosberg announced his retirement, and they felt let down that he had said nothing of his intentions. Lauda has said that if he had known that, then they wished that Lewis had won the championship, and he also admitted that they had given him a reliable car to win the championship.. So it would appear that after using the warmth of Mercedes for his own ends, Rosberg has now deserted them
How the Lewis Fans feel
Lewis has got more fans in Formula One than any driver has ever had. He also has his haters, sadly. People who are unfulfilled themselves hate to see a person who has come from nothing, and a poor family, achieve so much.
The Press make him out to be arrogant, but both Serena Williams, and his personal trainer refute that, they say he is humble and grateful for all the opportunities he has been given. Serena even said that she had read so much in the Press about his arrogant attitude, she was dreading meeting him, and when she did, she realised how badly the Press had portrayed him.
The fans also feel that Mercedes have let him down badly, even going as far as to wish Mercedes could be investigated by the FIA for irregular conduct. It is not the fact that Rosberg won the championship, but HOW he won it. He has cheated on many occasions, and he had more trips to the stewards this year than any other driver, and Mercedes condoned it.
Lewis has the reputation of being a hard racer, but a fair one, he does not push other drivers off the track in an effort to win, but Rosberg does, and has never been reprimanded by Mercedes for doing it.
The Lewis fans are a mighty force, they are loyal, they say " We win and lose together," Sadly this year he lost in spite of his best efforts, but the lack of team support was obvious. They feel that was not the right way to treat a three times world champion.
Even the documentary showing this past year was manipulated and edited to make it look as if Lewis was partying during the summer holidays, which lost him the championship, and none of his mechanical failures was mentioned except by Lee Mackenzie when she interviewd him.. The truth was spoken by Lewis's trainer, who states quie clearly that Lewis is NOT a party animal, and rarely drinks.
Another reason the fans are upset is because they know that Lewis has done more to raise the profile of formula one, and the Mercedes team than any other driver. Bernie Ecclestone frequently endorses that, so they cannot understand how Mercedes do not appreciate that.
No-one is suggesting that Lewis is perfect, nor would his fans want him to be, but he is a decent kind human being, with true values, and loyalty towards others, and this is why his fans are fiercely protective of him. All they can hope is, that whoever is his team mate next year, Lewis will be treated equally to them, and not made to feel he has been left out in the cold like this year. He is a huge talent, and he makes us all proud to be British, and he deserves to be appreciated and respected.
My thanks to Wikipedia for the images, and Youtube for the video