Monday, 18 June 2007

Hamilton does it again

Lewis Hamilton stormed to his second career win at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway yesterday after a merciless duel with team-mate Fernando Alonso.

“It just keeps getting better and better – what an amazing week this has been. I can’t believe that I have won and am so incredibly grateful to the team who have worked to hard to continue the development which has seen us taking one-two here today,” said Hamilton.

“It’s been a long and hot day, but I have really enjoyed myself and the support from the fans,” he added.

The English language is fast becoming exhausted of superlatives for describing rookie sensation Lewis Hamilton. What an absolutely stunning drive from the 22-year-old. If you thought his victory at Montreal a week ago was special think again. [Cont…]

The challenge this time came not from an intense demand for clear headedness in the face of chaos but from a fired up double world champion with a chip on his shoulders.

And I think this is what will make the victory sweeter for Hamilton. This time he nailed Alonso fair and square.

And boy was it impressive to watch. Lap 38 – in which Alonso, aided by back-markers, got close enough to the gearbox of Hamilton to get in his slipstream and pull up alongside him on the main straight – was breathtaking and instantly invoked that classic image of Mansell and Senna duelling it out on the pit straight at Barcelona.

This was pistols at dawn F1 style. All the sparring in the media this week climaxed at this single pivotal moment. Who would dare to break later?

That Hamilton drove a faultless defence did not seem please Alonso. We still don’t know exactly what he was playing at in the next lap when he swerved towards the pit lane. Some have suggested it was a message to the team along the lines of “I’m quicker let me through.”

But Alonso maintained that he was simply trying to get some fresh air: “I followed the other car for so many laps and my overalls and everything were so black because the carbon breaks were coming into me every breaking point,” he said.

You would have to say that Alonso looked rattled. It is too coincidental that he chose that particular lap, just after he had failed to get past Hamilton, to clean his brakes.

It is complacency pure and simple. He is too used to his experiences at Renault where a) his championship rival was in another team, b) he was faster than his team-mate and c) he could readily rely on team-play to support him.

But he must realise by now that there is no way Mclaren are going to order Hamilton to simply get out of the way for him.

Okay so he was lighter? So what? He must have had a say in the strategy. It was a tactical mistake to put less fuel at the first round of pit-stops on the grounds that Mclaren would simply order Hamilton to get out of the way.

If it had been any other driver he would have still had to pass him on the track to make the strategy work. Indeed, this would have probably influenced him and his mechanics to put more fuel not less at the first stop.

It’s time to wake up Alonso. The team doesn’t care which of its drivers come first and second.

1 comment:

Sven said...

I guess I have to change my thinking - it appears that perhaps he does have more than a bit of luck. Perhaps he will take the title and the constructors. I'm just wondering what it will take for Kimi to wake from his slumber - being the fasted on the track is still not good enough. And Alonso... what's up there? I think he's trying way to hard - and he makes mistakes when that happens. Although I'm very pleased to see the BMWs coming on so hard. Love seeing them - hopefully they will win one next year.