Lewis Hamilton: Is he the next Nigel Mansell?

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Lewis Hamilton: Is he the next Nigel Mansell?

Post by Zudo Bug » Tue Apr 10, 2007 3:59 pm

I've been watching Formula One for almost fifteen years now and during that time I have tended to support only foreign drivers. This year though is different. Judging by how well British driver Lewis Hamilton has performed in first two races i'm inclined to support him this year.

Forget previous British 'masters' like the whinging Damon Hill and current drivers like the big-headed Jenson Button I think Lewis Hamilton is the best driver Britain has had since Nigel Mansell and i'd be interested to know what other grand prix fans think of this.

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Post by Cliffjumper » Tue Apr 10, 2007 4:46 pm

I agree and I don't... he's the best British driver since Mansell (well, since Mansell in '91... one of our biggest losses was Johnny mashing up his legs at Brands... think how good he was, and then think about Peter Collins' comments about Herbie losing a good 20% of his speed from his injuries...), but he's not, from the two races we've seen, in Mansell's class (though to a certain extent, today's cars means he's physically never going to be able to do the sort of heroics Mansell managed).

It sounds like a tremendously ignorant thing to say, but Hamilton hasn't blown me away so far.

For one, he's taken the ideal route all the way through, bankrolled by McLaren-Mercedes. Good teams, done it all in the right order, and so on. That's a very big help.

For two, he's stepped into the best-equal car in F1 in his first year. The cars, despite being closer on the timesheet, are now more regimented than ever... Put Alex Wurz or Christian Albers (both respectable, but hardly mindblowing drivers) in that McLaren, and they'd be round or about row 2. Any halfway decent driver could run moderately close to Alonso in that thing with enough testing. In a way, it's Jacques Villeneuve all over again.

For three, I'm still unconvinced about just how good those first corner moves actually are... it's more confidence than skill, simply being cool enough to think logically and put your car where the other one isn't, benefitting a lot from the other front-runners not thinking he's a factor (on Sunday, neither Ferrari driver noticed him until he was past them). Be interested to see how often that happens from now on. He's also done little else but be consistent. I know this sounds very harsh, but it's more or less true - the best drivers tear the place up from the start (Schumacher, Senna, Mansell, Hunt) and sort out the rest of it as they go along.

For four, Alonso had a Bad Day in Melbourne, and still won out in Q & R. In Malaysia, he was on form and Hamilton wasn't close (and he wasn't just playing spoiler, Alonso was quick enough not to need it).

On the other hand, the boy is calm and consistent, and still, I think, driving within himself. He's got a very disciplined approach to things (the McLaren way) and he's making sure he's got the endurance to do races at quick pace before he puts the hammer down.

Undoubtedly better than Button, though, or Kryten, or Damon Hill... I won't bore you with my opinions on them, though. Better than Kubica or Raikkonen? Hmmm.... Time will tell!

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Post by Sixswitch » Tue Apr 10, 2007 4:50 pm

Ah, so since this isn't posted in the sports forum, you're both conceding that F1 is not a sport, hmmm?

And yes, I'm joking. I'm not into F1 at all, but I do think it's good for the sport to have someone that (some) people are getting excited about (rather than a car).

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Post by inflatable dalek » Tue Apr 10, 2007 4:57 pm

Well, acording to what I saw of the post race interviews/comentarys Mr. Hamilton is clearly the best thing to ever happen to anything ever in the world ever. Ever. I'm sure that ITV's experts weren't at all biased by his Britishness in the way they basically made the whole thing about him to the point where all the questions they asked the other drivers were about him.
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Post by Cliffjumper » Tue Apr 10, 2007 4:58 pm

Yeh, I meant to say something along those lines... I think it's great for the country to have someone who does appear to be pretty good, rather than feteing that wanker Button/that loser Coulthard... It's good for the sport to have such a nice-seeming bloke on the scene as well.

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Post by Zudo Bug » Tue Apr 10, 2007 6:32 pm

Hamilton will also do wonders for a sport that has long been considered a white-mans sport.

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Post by Cliffjumper » Tue Apr 10, 2007 7:10 pm

Originally posted by Zudo Bug
Hamilton will also do wonders for a sport that has long been considered a white-mans sport.


Yeh, from that angle you've got to kinda consider why it's somehow taken so long for a black driver to emerge when you consider the massive range of countries who've managed a driver... I mean, obviously places like Africa don't have as many tracks etc, let alone single-seater series, but that doesn't really explain why the UK or the US took so long... It's difficult to analyse without wandering into outdated stereotyping (little rich white men and so on...)...

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Post by Mirage » Fri May 04, 2007 9:04 am

hamilton obviously is a good driver, instantly on the pace regardless of being in a top team, and does seem to be a nice genuine clean cut guy, even his family seems nice, but is everything just too squeaky clean?
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Post by Cliffjumper » Fri May 04, 2007 1:28 pm

But everyone said Jacques (the younger one, obviously) couldn't have just fallen into the right team at the right time... And then Williams didn't have the best car in the field anymore, he won a championship largely due to Schumacher's misfortune (yeh, Jerez was Metal Mickey's fault... getting punted off by his own brother the race before, less so) and then began a long, hilarious slide down the field, despite a tobacco multinational basically giving him the money to build his own super-team.

Too much of F1 now is down to physical and mental stamina... I mean, look at Raikkonen. He's a ****ing robot. So's Alonso, and Hamilton. I mean, I'm hoping Massa gets the title because he's about the only driver in the field (well, excepting the wonderfully mental Taku) who drives like there's a person in the car. Say what you like about Schumacher, but he was one of the last ones you could tangibly see racing, all those arm movements and twitches in corners...

*feels very old, all of a sudden* :(

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Post by CounterPunch » Fri May 04, 2007 10:43 pm

I agree with some points, the first is that its far too early to tell, lets see how he deals with pit problems, technical faults and penalties.

Also, I agree with what Cliffy said, how much is him and how much is the car? I will be honest and say that if someone said 3 years ago "I bet you Massa will be with Ferrari and be a possible title contender" I would have laughed so hard I would have pissed myself! Hamilton has the good fortune of jumping in to one of the best cars in F1 off the bat, and it's more than likely helping him alot.

I'm not saying Hamilton is crap, its refreshing to see not only a young driver, but a young british driver who isnt starting at the back of the grid in some car that can barely qualify, but hes been F1'ing for such a short space of time that there is no way to predict what might happen.

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Post by redman prime » Tue Jun 12, 2007 9:54 pm

he got a win!

congratulations to him!

but bummer to that polish guy, one of the nastiest wrecks i've seen in F1 in awhile.
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Post by Cliffjumper » Wed Jun 13, 2007 2:45 pm

I still think he's overly technical. He's Alain Prost, basically (and it's a lot easier to be Alain Prost now than it was when Alain Prost was doing it... just a matter of reading computer read-outs, basically, and as Lewis is actually a robot, this is pretty easy going). I'd say if you put 75% of the field in the car they'd match Lewis' results in a fair fight (Alonso may be a whingeing little bitch, but he has a case - Dennis would much rather see the driver who's been living the McLaren way since he was in nappies win, rather than one of Briatore's protegees - especially as Hamilton's probably on something like a hundrenth of the salary - if Dennis had known how good Hamilton [and the car] would be, he'd have happily have slung de la Rosa in the other seat). He's basically lucky there isn't a Schumacher to humiliate him when it comes to race-craft, as the only other drives with verve are either in poorer cars (Rosberg, Sato, Kubica - who will do well to go anywhere near as fast as he was before the crash again :() or are Felipe Massa.

Alonso's cut from the same cloth, but will always lose to Hamilton in the same car because somewhere inside the Spaniard there's a soul. Lewis had his programmed out a long time ago, he's F1's answer to Alan Shearer, and if people thought watching Schumacher win everything going was dull, be prepared to actually die of boredom watching this PR android do the same for God knows how long, but without the tail-slides, overtaking, red mist moments and fun team.

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Post by Jetfire » Sun Jun 17, 2007 8:01 pm

And he's won the US one.

So he's doing what very few UK sporting stars do, consolidate a win that brinsg you into the public attention with another big win in a high profile event straight afterwards.

The media are going to go even more crazy. He's a geunine sport talent. Unlike Becks, Hill, Henman, Mongomery, the england Cricket and Rugby teams who are either overrated losers or a one off where everything came together but doesn't again.

What I'm saying is Hamilton might actually be a case of "believe the hype" this time.
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Post by redman prime » Sun Jun 17, 2007 8:23 pm

I was curious about that, cause here it's mostly, "well, a black driver won an F1 race in north america, so we'll cover it."

and it's weird to hear the sports world say a black guy, cause they can't say african-american for him....

but is it wall to wall lewis hamilton?
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Post by Cliffjumper » Sun Jun 17, 2007 9:26 pm

Originally posted by Jetfire

So he's doing what very few UK sporting stars do, consolidate a win that brinsg you into the public attention with another big win in a high profile event straight afterwards.


Yeh, it's something that wasn't done by Mansell and Hill, f'r instance.


No, wait, bollocks, it was, wasn't it?


It's pretty obvious most of the media and public jumping the bandwagon don't watch the races. Everyone's saying he's the greatest talent to hit the sport in years, and he's not (at least half the field is more innately quick - Rosberg, Sato, Kubica, Raikkonen, Trulli). He's just come completely packaged, been dropped into the best car in the filed and it's still taken him six races to win (experience is a lot less important in F1 than it was.... the feeder categories have become processional too, so the drivers pick up their "racecraft" [love that... drop this guy into 1984, put him up against Bellof, Mansell, Senna, Winkelhock, Alboreto, Arnoux , Surer and Patrese... that would be hilarious] there, and all they have to do to succeed in F1 is adjust to more powerful engines and reams of technical data... being the lovething of a massive team helps, too...) - even someone with as questionable talent as Jacques Villeneuve won his fourth race in nearly the same circumstances (Jacques didn't have the same magic carpet ride to a seat, and had to un-learn CART), having lost his first due to mechanical trouble... Actually watch Hamilton drive, and he's unimpressive. Someone tell me a manouvere he's made this season that was good. C'mon, anything, other than making sure his CPU keeps the car going 'round the track. Alonso (a driver who has been well and truly found out) is making him look good, and the car's much better than the rest. To anyone who watches, and has been watching for any period of time, this much is obvious. Let's see how good he is when Ferrari catch up on the development front and he might have to overtake someone.

Oh no, wait, he's British. Forget all that, he's actually Stirling ****ing Moss.

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Post by Jetfire » Sun Jun 17, 2007 10:15 pm

Damn straight.

Seriously, I don't profess to watch F1 much but a british talent who appears to be living up to the hype is a rarity.

Its nice to see people rave about 'a local boy done good' who actually is doing good for once. Especially one dedicated to his craft and isn't a overpaid wanker with a dirty WAG on his arm polluting up the air around him.
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Post by Sixswitch » Sun Jun 17, 2007 10:30 pm

Originally posted by Jetfire
Damn straight.

Seriously, I don't profess to watch F1 much but a british talent who appears to be living up to the hype is a rarity.

Its nice to see people rave about 'a local boy done good' who actually is doing good for once. Especially one dedicated to his craft and isn't a overpaid wanker with a dirty WAG on his arm polluting up the air around him.


Ummm... You did read Cliffy's post, right?

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Post by Jetfire » Sun Jun 17, 2007 10:40 pm

Yup. I fail to see how the quoted text needs reference?
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Post by Cliffjumper » Mon Jun 18, 2007 1:21 pm

Well, that he isn't really "living up to the hype". At this stage, he's not necessarily half as talented as the British press are making out - I'm not saying he defintley isn't, just that we've yet to see anything approaching a challenge that requires him to draw on talent that may or may not be there. The closest thing he's been to a real scrap (a scrap is not, and never will be however far the sport falls, the bloke three corners back taking 0.2s off you in a lap) was Massa bombing past him and off in Sepang, and that told you more about Massa than Hamilton (the skilsl required by Lewis in that situation were basically "don't drive directly into him"). It says it all for the sad state of F1 that he hasn't had to prove anything, and might actually be able to get through most of his career without proving anything. It's not really his fault that no-one's really challenging him, that he's fallen into such a ludicrously favourable position (we won't find out what exactly is going on with Alonso for a couple of years... my best guess is that he's been severly rattled by equal treatment after 3 years on a pedestal at Renault... throughout the sport there's been a history of drivers and teams simply not gelling, however good the ingredients are - Alesi at Benetton, Lauda at Brabham, Ickx at Lotus, Arnoux at Ferrari, Rosberg at McLaren, Montoya at McLaren, Frentzen at Williams, etc.).
Originally posted by Jetfire
Its nice to see people rave about 'a local boy done good' who actually is doing good for once. Especially one dedicated to his craft and isn't a overpaid wanker with a dirty WAG on his arm polluting up the air around him.


Yup, it's nice. Nice is one thing, though - I can personally attest to the wonderful personalities of Piercarlo Ghinzani, Pedro Diniz and Giovanni Lavaggi. However, as F1 has probably proved more than any other sport (Senna, Mansell, Piquet, Schumacher), nice and good are two different things. Not to mention huis personality is strangely concurrent to Button's, back when Jensen was doing his first year on a pittance and the junior member of the team... Let's see what the boy's like next year when he's on seven figures and living in Monaco with a super-model, yes?

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Post by redman prime » Tue Jun 19, 2007 2:40 am

Originally posted by Cliffjumper
Let's see what the boy's like next year when he's on seven figures and living in Monaco with a super-model, yes?


we all should be so lucky...
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