The British people have a champion in Lewis Hamilton. For that there can be no doubt and while they have every reason to rejoice, there is a large (very large) portion of them that are not buying in to the Lewis Hamilton mystique.There is an uneasy feeling that some get about Lewis and that feeling is exposed in Matthew Syed’s piece at the times.
There are some soncepts that I have felt and been accused of being anti-Hamilton but in the end, it seems that many Britis feel it too. The tax evasions that Anthony attempted to pawn off on the public as a paparazzi-avoiding move to Switzerland and then the Turkish opera, susperstar girlfriend, island investments, Porsche wrecking show-off stunt in front of laborers and the brooding face of Anthony on the TV every 5-10 minutes from the McLaren garage. The admittance that Anthony would use race as a key feature or advantage if he could to get Lewis into a racing series and the ultra-quick biography mere months into Lewis’s first year. The McLaren/Hamilton/Alonso debacle and the foot-in-mouth statements that comprise of bravado mixed with naivete as well as the comparisons, hype and marketing Juggernaut that Hamilton has become. As Syed says, perhaps Lewis has become an example of everything that is wrong about modern sports.
The British people are a very intelligent folk and while they would be hard pressed not to be proud of Lewis bringing the title back home, they also sense a deeper undertow in the Hamilton camp and perhaps specifically they sense to false sense of humility that seeps out from time to time. Always astute and very, shall we say, British – they certainly understand the up side of the Hamilton presence and victory. But like the rest of the world, they also sense a certain level of manufactured hero syndrome draped in false humility with a suspect amount of disingenuous behavior that seems to be driven mainly by an oppressive father claiming his fortunes through the success of his son. Then again, maybe this is all to do about nothing but Anthony’s recent comments regarding the racist treatment they received from a Spanish web site and from testing last February gives reason for pause.