…chance doesn't exist; there's always a cause and a reason for everything – Elahi

Archive for the tag “Lewis Hamilton”

Down to the wire

Here is the third and final part of this week’s show, specially segmented for YouTube viewers.  In this section we look back at last weekend’s Indian GP and then talk to the GP2 Championship leader, Switzerland’s Fabio Leimer, shortly after his arrival in Abu Dhabi.   Fabio, who drives for the Spanish-based Racing Engineering team, currently holds a slender points lead over England’s Sam Bird (who is well-known to regular viewers of our show).  In our analysis of the GP2 and GP3 title deciders, I’m joined in the studio by Tom Gaymor, the former lower-rung single-seater driver whose promising career was cut short by an accident (from which he has now fully recovered).  As well as voicing the new F1 smart-device, livetream app, Tom also calls GP3 and Porsche Supercup races for Eurosport.  He loves his racing – as he loves all sport – and is as passionate about it now as he was when he was competing himself.   He lives in nearby Teddington, sharing an apartment with the very talented Porsche driver, Richie Stanaway.  Don’t forget that the full-length version of the show can be downloaded from tonight on iTunes;  in the meantime I hope you enjoy this special “preview” segments.

The Racer’s Edge

TRE_1920x1080Welcome to The Racer’s Edge – your weekly, live, F1 chat show brought to you in association with F1 Racing magazine. You can watch it either here or on our host YouTube channel (; on both locations you will find a countdown to the next live show and on the YT channel you will in addition be able to watch previous episodes on-demand. Here we will be featuring comments and updates from some of the show’s regular guests, including Craig Scarborough, Rob Wilson, Enrique Scalabroni and the journalists at F1 Racing. The show will be based from May onwards at a new studio at Haymarket Publishing in Teddington but we’ll be on-the-road, too, starting Wednesday, March 13, when we’ll be broadcasting to you live (on YouTube) from the offices of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation in Melbourne, Australia. A week later we’ll be live from Malaysia.

Already the season is looking mouthwateringly close. You may like to take a look at the latest edition of F1 Racing for your full guide to the season;  it’s a big read, so give it some space. At some point you may come across the  preview feature I wrote (before the recent tests started in Jerez and Barcelona).  Twelve months ago I opted for Fernando Alonso to win the championship, so, this year – rather than stating the obvious (which is that both Fernando and Sebastian Vettel naturally have great chances to win) – I’ve gone for the new Mercedes driver, Lewis Hamilton. I know many people are expecting him to be ultra-quick in 2014, when the new engine regulations come into play, but I think he’s also in great shape this year, too. I could be wrong, of course – I was last year, by a point or seven! – but there you are.

My column in F1 Racing this month is about how certain races – the Australian and French Grands Prix, to give but two examples – belong on the F1 calendar – and in the next edition of the magazine I’ll be analysing the driving styles of the 2013 F1 drivers and why some of them – but not all – will be well-placed to take advantage of this year’s Pirelli tyres.

I hope you enjoy the new show. You’ll be able to post live comments on Twitter (#trelive) and send in questions to our Facebook wall ( For now, I hope I make you all envious with a shot I took this morning from Newport Beach, Sydney.  Call it  “dawn of the new season”.


One new F1 car after another…

All the teams (bar Williams) launched their 2013 F1 cars prior to this week’s first test at Jerez.  Here, courtesy of the ever-concise Craig Scarborough, are some additional, brief thumbnails:


Notes from the Barcelona testing

Lewis Hamilton in Turn Four – perfect use of steering and throttle, plus the correct minimum speed, gives him a straight car mid-corner. The rest, from the point, is a piece of cake

Bruno Senna at Turn Four in the Williams: mid-corner, he has managed to convert initial understeer into oversteer. Lovely to watch but lots of time going away here

Barcelona looks lovely in the late winter, and so it is that 2012 F1 cars gleam in the yellow sun, starbursts of florescent orange, or a deep aquatic blue suddenly catching the shaded eye.  For all that, I actually found it quite difficult to see the cars in action on Tuesday, February 21.   I headed straight for Turn Nine of course, because I love to watch F1 cars swallowing blind, fifth-gear corners, but I came away confused.  Lewis Hamilton flew through first, in that chrome-and-orange -“No plans to change the nose at this stage” – McLaren – and he was impressive enough: he tore into the corner without a lift in fifth, then grabbed fourth two-thirds of the way through it, as the tyres scrubbed away speed.  Astonishingly, though, Nico Hulkenberg , to my eye, looked every bit as good at this point of the circuit in the Sahara Force India – as did Fernando in the Ferrari.  It was only when Bruno Senna appeared in the Williams FW34-Renault, car understeering pretty much from entry to exit, that I could see the first three in any kind of relief. On the plus side, they were all mind-blowingly quick – quick, neat and very, very tidy. Read more…

Victory – good for the soul?

I think I understood Lewis Hamilton when he said after this year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, “victory is good for the soul”.   What he meant, I think, is that winning can put things right, can restore your confidence in life and people and can wipe the slate clean.  “To be able to walk away with a smile is just fantastic,” said Lewis as a pre-cursor (to give the phrase its context).  The “Victory is good for the soul” mantra was then quickly adopted by Vodafone McLaren Mercedes on their merchandise site on the Monday after the race.

Actually, I don’t believe it is.  Victory is good for the ego and probably damaging for the soul;  defeat, on the contrary, is good for the soul – good in the sense that we can learn from defeat much more than we can ever learn from success.  If we look at the ways we develop as sincere human beings the progress is measured in steps rather than by 45 deg slopes.  It is the big “setbacks” that force us to re-group and to work harder, to re-focus or to re-calibrate.  The good days are easy and quickly pass;  it is the bad days that we remember and around which we are forced to make choices.  Sometimes we choose badly – but inevitably we choose;  and, from that choice, comes experience and thus knowledge.  And knowledge equals progress for the soul.

My point?  I think Lewis Hamilton is a better driver right now than at any stage of his career – and not because he won at Abu Dhabi after Seb Vettel stopped on lap one.  He’s better because of all the stuff with which he’s had to deal in 2011.  Virtually all of it has been of his own making – but it wouldn’t have mattered if he’d been a victim of outside circumstances either (as he was for much of 2007).   The point is that Lewis had to think a little bit in 2011 about things that normally he took for granted – about criticism from his peers, for example, about his new personal life and about the job Jenson Button has done at McLaren. I don’t know the detail of how any of these issues would have affected Lewis;  none of us does – least of all the famous British popular press.  What I do believe is that Lewis subconsciously would have worked on his pride and his attention to detail – elements that would certainly have improved the health of his soul.

Far more knowledgable and intelligent people than I have warned against the attractions of fame and wealth and it is in this sense that I suspect 2011 has probably been a pivotal year for Lewis.   There’s nothing wrong with earning your market value – and there’s nothing wrong with fame, providing you don’t think it’s real or something you can control.  The Lewis Hamilton who won in Abu Dhabi, I suspect, now knows this.  That’s why he’s a better person and thus a better racing driver – and that’s why his victory there would have felt all the sweeter.

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