Hamilton Insists All Is In Its Right Place

Last season had so many incidents for Lewis Hamilton, it could easily be forgotten that he had three race wins under his belt. The headlines were largely of the man of Grenadian-descent having  eventful moments on-track and he received no fewer than nine penalties – the most of any driver in 2011.

That now seems to be in the past and on his form so far this year, has been left behind. Qualifying high up the grid and with three podium finishes from three races, he is very much a man with a lot to smile about. He has said that everything in his life is better than twelve months previously where it seemed nothing was right:

“I think just everything’s better this year. The team are better, the car is better and I’m a lot better. I’ve got my Dad here, you know, and that’s not fake. That’s real, a good bond we’ve got now and on the up. Things are great with my mum, things are great with my girlfriend, so things are great and that’s reflecting in my performances I think.”

Lewis seems to have happy families once again

His mention of his father is a key factor. Anthony Hamilton was his manager and had been the boss for much of his racing career. His controlling presence made him a disliked figure by some as he, not Lewis, made some of his son’s decisions for him. One of those was to withdraw him from a running race in 2008, which had been a challenge thrown down to him for a charitable cause by then-Honda driver Jenson Button. Lewis split with his father as his manager in 2010 for a while took control of his own management until he signed with Simon Fuller’s XIX Entertainment organisation – which also has sports stars such as David Beckham and Andy Murray on its books. Hamilton also had problems with his girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger of Pussycat Dolls fame, with their on-off relationship creating further mental barriers.

He had six incidents with Felipe Massa during the nineteen-race 2011 season

As a major consequence,on-track matters took a hit. He seemed to find trouble more often than not and threw hauls of points away whilst team-mate Button was consistently finishing on the podium, leading to Lewis finishing behind a team-mate for the first time since his F1 career began in 2007. This season, he is currently good to his word of finishing on the podium at every race, with three successive third-place finishes. He is ahead of Button in the driver’s championship and leads the title race for the first time since 2010. McLaren appear to have the quickest car and have things under control, in contrast to Red Bull’s 2011 domination which brought out some frustration in the Englishman’s driving.

His contract with McLaren comes to an end this year and when asked about signing, he said he was in no rush:

“I don’t need persuading. When I need to, which can be within any time frame I want so long as it is before next year, then I will decide about my future. But the team are doing fantastic. I could not be happier in the team.”

This goes against what he said at the team’s car launch in February, when he was sure that it would get sorted out at the early stage of the season. It hasn’t always been smooth sailing for the Briton and the team, with incidents such as the lying scandal in 2009 and being provided with a vastly uncompetitive car in the first half of the same year. His impromptu visit to the motorhome of rival team Red Bull at the 2011 Canadian GP sent the rumour mill into overdrive with talk of a move in full flow.

Fast and ferocious, but not always focused

Lewis Hamilton is known as a racer’s racer, with a spectacular driving style that tends to result in either the sublime or the ridiculous. An asset to any team in both on and off-track matters, McLaren look to have a fully-committed driver in him this season. All indicators point towards Hamilton’s best title shot since his victorious year in 2008.

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