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Softly, softly Lewis

NEWS STORY
19/03/2013

In the wake of ever more worrying headlines, Lewis Hamilton's new found freedom threatens a media and public backlash.

Freed of the 'corporate chains' of Woking, Hamilton appears to be allowing the freedom afforded him by Mercedes to go to his head.

On the back of his performance in the season opener, the Mercedes driver is today quoted as saying that those who were sceptical about his move to the Brackley team don't know what they are talking about.

"It's nice to prove people wrong," he told reporters ahead of this weekend's Malaysia Grand Prix, according to the Guardian.

Fair enough.

However, he then continued: "It's nice to prove people wrong. It has been everyone, particularly all the ex-drivers commenting that it was the worst decision ever. They said: 'He's going to finish nowhere, they're going to be nowhere.' And then they contradicted themselves, going the other way.

"They don't know what they're talking about," he added. "They're either this way or that, when the truth is the bit in the middle.

"We didn't ever come out and say: 'We'll kick everyone's butt.' But we never said that we would be crap, either. The team have done well, I'm really proud of my team. I'm proud of my decision as well."

It is widely thought that his comments about ex-drivers refer to Sir Stirling Moss and Sir Jackie Stewart, though there are many ex-drivers who shared their view that the youngster was making a serious mistake in changing teams.

The obvious problems at Woking combined with his strong showing in Melbourne might bear Hamilton out, however, it is never good to gloat and certainly not after just one race. Heading into the summer break with three wins under his belt and a forty point lead in the championship is the time to start ridiculing your critics.

However, other than the berating those who dared to doubt his wisdom in making the Mercedes move there are other worrying aspects to Lewis' attitude this season.

Having bought a private plane and obtained a paddock pass for his dog, the Mercedes driver has talked of his desire to open a museum dedicated to his career. All of which is in stark contrast to his racing hero, Ayrton Senna, a man who sat in respectful contemplation when he visited the isolated museum dedicated to his hero, the legendary Jim Clark.

While allowing a photographer to record the visit, during which he was joined by his great friend Sid Watkins, Senna requested that there was no pre-publicity. After watching a video of the legendary Scottish world champion the Brazilian signed the visitors book - giving his home address - bought a couple of souvenirs and then headed to Clark's old school in Edinburgh to talk to the pupils.

Lewis is a young man with the world at his feet. He has talent, looks and money that the rest of us can only dream of.

However, while there is clear indication that he can become one of the sport's greats until he has actually demonstrated it he would be best advised to take a slightly more humble approach. In building himself up so much publicly he risks greater ridicule, and less sympathy, should it all go pear shaped.

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