Monday, 26 May 2008

O the memories... well done Lewis

Experts say this is where heroes were born and where some heroes fall.

This place is so unforgiving; anyone can be easily outwitted and fall straight into the contiguous background.

I was amazed and over came with excitement when Lewis Hamilton took the chequered flag in the famous street race known as Monte Carlo.

Starting third after Ferrari has surprised everyone by claiming the front row; he drove magnificently, out witting and out racing the current world champion Kimi Raikkonen. He held the pressure off, as his good friend Robert Kubica and other Ferrari Felipe Massa were challenging him. In the first year, for a very long time, without traction controls in the end, he won comfortably.

Believe me that was not the whole story.

It rained for the first since 1997; this made this race difficult, virtually impossible.

Hamilton dreamt of winning at Monaco since he was a boy. His childhood hero Ayrton Senna was immense here, winning a record six times. Moreover, I am not sure if any time it was in these conditions.

I became a huge fan of Hamilton, not because I am banging patriot (which obviously I am), but because at his first race in Melbourne in 2007 when he out thought and out classed experienced drivers with an outside manoeuvre going into the first corner to get into third.

He did not give a shit, there was never a lack of respect as he over took the double World Champion and team mate at the time Fernando Alonso. At the end of the day, he is a racing driver he was competing. Well done, son.

Nothing pleases me more than over taking at BMW or a Jag in my little car, the look on their faces, priceless.

However, in many cases it is going down straights on dual carriageways and most of the time I get the finger and they become macho and overtake me, having a smug look on their faces. Twats.

Lewis do not have that, he cares for winning. In fact, he loves to win but it is respect to him to behave in such manner. He did not ask for preferable treatment, Alonso was just bitter. He is and will always be a fierce competitor.

He said, “This will be the highlight of my career (winning at Monte Carlo) and I am sure it will continue to be the highlight for the rest of my life.”

Well Lewis, I am glad that I managed to capture it in my mind. I will take those memories with me for a long time.

A wet course, safety cars, controversy, it had it all.

The one person I did feel sorry for is Adrian Sutil, he was going very steady in a surprised fourth, which would meant so much financially for Force India, then Raikkonen made a mistake, not for the time in the race, and crashed into the back on him. What a twat.

Typically, Ferrari just suffered a damaged front wing and that was replaced without any hassle, Sutil car had broken suspension. At least Raikkonen did not manage to get a point, no way have justice been done. Force India should send Ferrari a huge bill.

What an ill turn of fate? Schumacher lives on, I suppose.

Dry and wet tyres were in constant detail and it caused much disruption for teams. They had to decide when the circuit was ready for the dry tyres, a very difficult judgement.

Who dares win?

No, not really. Alonso managed to get great time in the end and so did Heikki Kovalainen, but it was too little to late as Kovalainen achieved the fastest lap of the day. However they guinea pigged for Hamilton, McLaren master stroked the timing and this race was more or less won.

Rosberg could not handle the dry tyres and the rain caused the service to be slippery, Massa spun off for Kubica to take second spot.


Hamilton even suffered a puncture early on in the race, but that played into his hands, having to pit only once more.

He was 40 seconds ahead before Nico Rosberg destroyed his car and the safety car was out again.

It looked, possibly, that all his hard work would have been undone.

It did not. He powered like a bull over that racing line, no set backs, just sheer joy.

The reason why I idolised him is that when he won the race the first thing he did was apologise for hitting the barrier and suffering that puncture.

So down to earth, so real, he celebrated with his Dad and Brother as soon as he got out of the car before walking up into the royal box.

It was 15 years ago since Senna triumphed here, well now he can try to emulate further and put his name down in folk law.

This win has put Hamilton (2008) name up with other successful Brits, won have won at Monaco, Stirling Moss (1956, 60, 61), David Coulthard (2000, 01), Jackie Stewart (1971, 73) and five time winner Graham Hill (1963, 64, 65, 68, 69).

The remarkable thing is that he is still six years younger than any of these won have won it.

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