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Wake Up F1

FEATURE BY GLEN CROMPTON
08/09/2011

I suspect the respectable end of F1-Hack-World have already long-since published their versions of a mid term report. Myself I shy away from such schoolboy titles, not least because there is a whiff of deadlines about them and, as Editor Balfe will attest, I am not good with deadlines. None the less, I've a bit to say about the F1 year to date and much of it is cranky. Read on if you wish to vote me onto the next season of Grumpy Old Men.

The Taming of Lewis

I wouldn't exactly call myself a fan of Lewis Hamilton - at least not in the traditional sense. All the same I think the kid is an amazing talent and if I had my way, the grid would be filled with Lewis clones. He is, as far as I'm concerned, a racer's racer.

He'll drive the wheels off whatever is under him, drag a poor performer way past its limits and never let a chance go by. Yes, there have been silly mistakes and yes, he's been a little recalcitrant in admitting them but then I wouldn't have him any other way. Many will pillory me for this thought but Lewis reminds me of Villeneuve the elder and in my world, that is high praise.

I certainly don't want him tamed and I fear the McLaren corporate machine is going up this path. God forbid! There is sterility enough among F1 drivers these days without curbing the natural zeal of a legitimate talent prepared to say what he thinks - however wrong it may sometimes be.

Accordingly, I've grown rather weary of Lewis' systematic vilification at the hands of numpty segments of the F1 press. Here I speak of the dullards who's every keystroke seems predicated by their enslavement to their next year's accreditation. In fairness, I suppose that's a real issue. I seem to recall stories of FIA seniors engaging in machinations to derail Martin Brundle's future as a broadcaster after he dared speak out on the so-called Stepneygate issue.

Further down the food chain are the sometime hacks who likely could not sustain a journalistic career but for the red and green wavy lines Microsoft products tend to place under atrocities of spelling and grammar. Here I speak of those who have no insight into F1 beyond their editor telling them they have to have one and, in some cases, these are editors in the employ of a company whose regard for the law apropos illegally tapping phones is currently a matter of global interest.

But, as ever, I have digressed. Personally, I think Lewis is far better than to be influenced by the rantings of miscreant publications. I just hope his media masters at Woking are up to scratch. Personally, I don't want to see Lewis mitigated one little bit.

KERS, DRS and Dodgy Tyres

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