When you are a manager for the current championship points leader and you’re asked who you tip for the trophy this year, you say…Uh, Mark Webber? At least that’s what Flavio Briatore said to Gazzetta dello Sport
“Watch out, Webber is on his way to win the title: what he has done in Hungary on Sunday was phenomenal,” Briatore said. “But I’m not tipping Webber just because he is one of my drivers, I only state what everyone has seen from home.
“Mark is a driver capable of exceptional feats. He has now reached a maturity and inner calmness that can take him really far. In Hungary he was the first one understanding that he could take a risk in running for three-quarter distance on the soft tyres he had at the start. That was the winning move, but it also demonstrated how much he uses his brain, unlike many others.”
I jest of course but there is a key factor that I think Briatore mentions; an inner-calmness and maturity. I was thinking about that notion today and found it benign on the surface but as I was lying in bed last evening, I began thinking of all the champions of the past (yeah, I think about those things at night).
Of all the champions, which ones do you think had this inner-calmness and maturity as it is juxtaposed with their driving style? Was Senna calm and mature according to his driving style? How about Phil Hill or Niki Lauda? Which drivers strike you as a model of calmness and maturity while mopping the floor with his rivals?
A couple come to mind for me and the first one is Alain Prost. Purely from an outsiders point of view of course. Perhaps internally he was a real hot head. What about Jenson Button? I think Jense has really matured and has a certain poise to him now.
I was thinking farther back and finally arrived at the driver who is perhaps my favorite and one I rank as the greatest; Jimmy Clark. Surely you agree with me? Or do you? Is there a favorite champion you feel exemplified this? What about a dominant force who wasn’t a champion ala’ Stirling Moss? Let’s discuss shall we?