I understand that Lewis Hamilton hasn’t had the best year and I do get the point that his recent spate of collisions with Massa and slating in the press have heightened everyone’s sixth sense on just what is going on with the young man but for my part, can we give the guy a break? Seriously, I’ve seen more stories in the press about his ‘mental’ state than a recent edition of Psychology Today.
It seems Lewis isn’t the happiest guy with his current performance or position in the world championship. He’s had a few scraps this year and perhaps over-thought the situation placing him in a few dodgy moves but if I had a dime for every news story that offers advice on what he should do or how he’s mentally ruined or why he hasn’t shown more joy in his pole-winning performance on Saturday in Korea, I’d be a rich man.
Grumpy Lewis, indifferent Lewis, sour Lewis…can we get out of the man’s head for 48 hours? He’s not happy. Winning a pole position and lacking the over-the-top reaction has some questioning his motivation and continued presence in the sport. Really? Does anyone think a pole position really sends Lewis over the moon? This is a guy who is here to win titles, not just poles. If he’s not ‘jazzed’ about his pole position, maybe it’s because the press have been so far up his backside lately that he can taste them.
Let’s give the man some room. He’s had a bad year (by his measure) and trying to psychoanalyze his every move really isn’t helping matters. I’m willing to bet that nearly everyone reading this or any other F1 news has had a time in their life when they’ve just simply been down or depressed with their performance, the situation they are in or support they’ve felt was lacking or just disenchanted with life in general. As humans, that happens. We get down on things and just need some time to recharge our batteries and start to take inventory of the good things we have and what we really want as the next step in our journey.
I don’t think Lewis is any different. Sure, he’s a champion and wealthy and has had a good go of it but when you march into a sport you are supposed to be dominating and you don’t, that takes the stuffing out of you and it takes time to rekindle and find yourself and your place in the future moving forward. For my part, I think we should give Lewis some room to breathe. Let him finish the year and have some time off to consider 2012 and his mental and physical plan for coming back to F1 with a new lease on life and what his aspirations are.
Even McLaren felt compeled to comment on the press questions today about Lewis’s lack of happiness with his pole:
“It is not obligatory to whoop!” explained Whitmarsh. “The fact is that we all have different styles and different views. We all enjoyed the moment but at the same time we are focused on the fact that we have a race that we think we can win tomorrow, and we are looking and concentrating on that.”
As I adamantly said in 2007…stop putting pressure on this kid that isn’t fair. The media had him equal to Senna and a multi-world champion before he’d actually won one title. That’s not fair. He’s not that good…no one is. Not even Senna was as good as the expectations people placed on Hamilton. It’s time to come back to reality and realize he’s a young man who is not happy with his current situation and that placing expectations that the greatest F1 drivers in history couldn’t match is doing him no good.
Oh, and let’s stop with the psychoanalyzing as well…precious few of us are licensed therapist so I think our waxing poetic about his mental state is simply white noise.