Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Must See Hilarious: the "Hamilton Hype-ometer"!

Over at F1 Fanatic, Keith Collantine has developed the "Hamilton Hype-ometer" to track just how nutty the British press is getting over "Our Lewis". Here's the second "update" of the, er, tool...

Funny stuff!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Parade in Monaco: M-M start, finish 1-2

Some have called it a "snorefest", a rather poor name for the flashiest and most famous Grand Prix of the current season. In any case, Lewis Hamilton finished right where he started, in second place behind his pole-winning teammate, and this adds up to his fourth consecutive second place finish and his fifth podium finish in five starts. Here's the story from the official F1 website...

Now I am sure that the buzz about Lewis will be about "when will he win one?", and it is appropriate, in that although Hamilton and Alonso are technically tied for the driver's championship with 38 points apiece, Alonso is considered the leader because he has won two events this season.

On to Canada!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Uh-oh for Ferrari: McLaren owns the front row at Monaco!

It's almost race time in the beautiful city, and those diamonds must have worked their magic: Merceces-McLaren teammates Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton qualifed 1-2 to control the front row of the grid for tomorrow's Grand Prix of Monaco. Here's the story from Planet F1.com.

Ferrari's Felipe Massa settled for third, with a time just .06 slower than Lewis! In fact, Lewis says he could have been much faster, maybe even taken pole position, if he weren't held up by Mark Webber in the Red Bull car on his final hot lap. Yes, Lewis had something to say about that.

In any case, as the qualifying article states, "McLaren got their first pole of the season and their first front row for a long time. The chances of overtaking into the first turn, Ste Devote, on Sunday are not good, but stranger things have happened in F1." So if the boys in silver and red can stay out of the barriers, they're probably looking at another strong finish. Pit stop strategies will be key.

And what happened to Kimi Raikonnen? The Finn made a huge mistake in the second qualifying session, clipping a barrier hard. He had to settle for 14th (!) on the grid. He definitely has his work cut out for him tomorrow.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Hamilton on Monaco: "I remember the first time I drove through there I just shouted in my helmet as I was so excited."

Planet F1.com has a great interview with our man Lewis, as he talks us through a lap at Monaco. Go and enjoy the read; Hamilton provides some great insight on the famous course.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Hamilton leads the pack at Paul Ricard

During multi-team testing on day one at the Paul Ricard circuit in France, Lewis Hamilton topped the lap charts, clocking a time over a second faster than second place Toyota pilot Ralf Schumacher. Here's the story from the official F1 website. Felipe Massa in the Ferrari could only manage 6th place.

The Formula One teams were testing on the track's "2D SC" configuration, which is supposed to replicate the tight teams the drivers will face at nextweekend's Monaco Grand Prix.

So what does this all mean? Probably nothing, as the F1 testing rules limit the teams to testing only one car per day. And, as they say, the hold the races for a reason. Test times are great, but all that really matters is who takes the checkered flag.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

More superlatives... as if any more were needed

Four podiums in the first four races. Sole ownership of the championship points lead in only 4 outings. And now this, from those folks at Planet F1.com: "...[Hamilton] has again etched his name into the history of the sport, becoming the youngest driver since Bruce McLaren - founder of the team he drives for - in 1960 to stand on top."

Oh lord, what will the naysayers go on about this week? Who knows, but as for the man himself, Lewis went with the obvious:
"To come out of only my fourth grand prix leading the World Championship when I'm racing against the top drivers in the world, is just incredible."

Well then.

Here's a full race report from the Scotsman.com. Enjoy!

Holy Toledo! Hamilton leads the title chase!

Lewis Hamilton's second place finish at the Grand Prix of Spain netted him a big 8 championships points, and that, along with Fernando Alonso's third and Kimi Raikonnen's dnf, was enough to vault him into sole ownership of first place in the championship standings!

I mean, that's just incredible. More to come...

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Hamilton P4 in Spanish Grand Prix Qualifying

After shocking the Formula 1 world by "winning" the first and final practice sessions for the Grand Prix of Spain at Catalunya, Lewis Hamilton was finally overtaken by his teammate, two-time World Champion Fernando Alonso, and BOTH Ferrari drivers, Raikonnen and Massa, to wind up in the fourth position on the grid.

Felipe Massa squeaked by Alonso late in the final qualifying session to take the pole, so the front row is Ferrari/McLaren-Mercedes, and the second row is the same. Less than 4 tenths of a second separates them!

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Hamilton: "I am still your average young guy..."

Here's a great interview of Lewis Hamilton, conducted by those great folks at Planet F1.com. In it, Lewis touches on his family and friends' reaction to his astounding success, as well as his feelings about the upcoming Spanish Grand Prix. Enjoy.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Well, it didn't take long for the "Backlash" word to appear...

I guess I didn't want to be the first to point this out in print, but I pretty much knew it was coming.

This editorial by Peter Gill from Planet F1.com is the first time that I've seen the concept of a Lewis Hamilton "backlash" actually spelled out, although all one had to do was read some of the letters and comments that have been flooding F1 websites since the last GP. Seems some people are very upset that our man Lew is receiving so much attention from the press. And not just the motoring press, but the mainstream as well.

"And he hasn't even won a race yet!", they fume. And so it goes.

Well, if I were Lewis Hamilton, not only would I try my best to pay the naysayers no mind, I would reflect on the very similar circumstances that have surround American motocross and supercross champion James Stewart. Stewart, now at the age of 21, has just last week achieved what some writers call the "ultimate prize" in American dirtbike racing when he clinched both the American Motorcyclist Association's Supercross (stadium motocross) national championship as well as the FIM's World supercross championship, becoming the first black man (or African American, if you prefer) to do so in the history of the sport. Yet, unlike Hamilton, James Stewart is no rookie. Despite his very young age, this is his SIXTH year racing professional motocross, AND he has won a championship in every one of those years, except for 2005, when injuries and illnesses prevented him from taking a title.

But, very similar to what Mr. Hamilton is experiencing at this very moment, Mr. Stewart suffered (and some would say, CONTINUES to suffer) a certain amount of fan backlash. I would go so far as to actually call it enmity. Severe dislike... even hatred. Because while some media types have tried to explain the behavior away as being part and parcel of typical boorish sportsfan antics, when reading some of the comments posted on motocross internet bulletin boards, or some of the letters sent to motocross publications, it becomes clear that much of the attitudes displayed have little to do with on-track performance and more to do with perceptions of personality.

Just as Lewis Hamilton brought with him a number of lesser racing titles before he turned a wheel in his first Grand Prix, James Stewart was a record-setting amateur motocross champion prior to his very first professional race. And while Hamilton took an astonishing third place finish in his first GP, Stewart finished second in his first Supercross event. Much was made of Stewart's performance; he was "too agressive" according to some... this after only his first race!

And just as with Lewis, the media descended on James and wrote article after article... and this further fueled the "backlash."

What to make of all this? Personally, I believe that thinking about it too much will be detrimental to one's health. Some people just don't like to see other people have success, that's the bottom line. Some folks have a tendency to find the negative in the positive, rather than vice versa. For them, the glass is not only half-empty, it's likely to spring a leak at any second! Just ignore them, Lewis Hamilton; you've got plenty of good folks on your side.