Monday, May 25, 2015

Formula 1, Nico Rosberg, and Lewis Hamilton

Its been a while since I have written a blog, certainly a long time since I have felt compelled to air my views on something so strongly. Not that my voice matters, but its boiling up inside of me so here goes.

My feelings on Lewis Hamilton have changed back and forth over the years. In times of frustration he has been known to sulk a little and seems to have gained a reputation with the negative media for being childish and a dummy spitter.
That said, time after time Lewis has shown himself to be an amazing driver, a great personality, and a deserving winner of both races and championships. As time has gone on I have realised that all in all he is a good guy, great at what he does, but just a little complex to read at times. Emotions show through and he is being a baby, hide them and he is being arrogant.

Then there is Nico. For me I have always seen Nico as a genuine guy, heart on his sleeve and saying it as he sees it. Happy times, sad times, whatever he is feeling is what is shown on the front. Rarely bitter in defeat, but not unheard of, Nico strikes me as someone who strives to have a good PR game, and tries to perform with grace. He has shown he has the spirit to win at times. However over recent times he seems to have been a little down trodden and settle for #2.

So Monaco..... Last year we had the lock up and over shoot scandal. Forcing his way to pole, ruining Lewis's chances of the position, and therefore stealing the race. A year later, the jury is still out on the matter, with different "experts" batting their feelings on the matter around again on the build up to this years race. Sky F1 for example, Johnny Herbert did 5 mins on the surface and approach to the corner this year, showing undulations in the surface, suspension bouncing, body flexing, and explaining how some favour the right to avoid uneven loads. This was followed by OvershootGate with all the theories once again resurfacing. Even though it had just been explained.

This year, pretty clear cut quali, Nico locking up a couple of times, but no impeding anyone in doing so. Lewis takes pole. Phew!
Or so we thought!

Half way through a rather dull race, I decided to go and wash my cars, so knew nothing of what would happen in the last 12 laps or so. Reading a comment on Facebook I realised that positions had changed, and looking at social media, could see it was getting messy already. Watching the highlights a short while later, there it was, Max having a huge crash (glad he is ok), safety car, and with so little time left, a strange decision by the team and Hamilton to pit.... Was passing at Monaco ever really that much of a threat.
In post race interviews, both the team and Lewis took part of the blame for the decision, and agreed it was a very badly thought out one, with dire consequences. How communication could have been so bad I don't know, but shit happens, and mistakes are made. That's just how it goes. You win some, you lose some. At times you take a gamble and it blows up in your face.

So post race, interviews with the media showed a rather disappointed Lewis Hamilton, and rightly so, and a very happy, and somewhat gracious (or I saw it that way) Nico Rosberg. From the first interview he sung Lewis praises, empathised as he is able to do, and said Lewis deserved the win.

So, so far, its a race, with an unexpected outcome, a disappointed driver, a happy driver, and a team in conflict with itself. All as expected there then really.

Now lets look at the fans....WOW !

As I have said I am all for backing someone and supporting them, even defending them (even though they don't know me, and probably don't care about my thoughts)
But some people take it all a little too far.. No scratch that, some people take it WAY too far. With personal attacks on the drivers (people they know little about), spiteful comments, and I would think that they even make the person they are supporting cringe a little with some of the comments made.

Lets take a look at a few of the comments posted on Nico Rosberg's Facebook page...

Henry Felix Mwesigwa Shame upon you Nico for the celebrations you made to day in Monaco as if u had won the race when actually u were just cheated into winning the race. Total shame and embarrassment to Mercedes team. U can cheat into winning but can't break Lewis Hamilton's fighting spirit and talent.

Mark Jones Learn to win with grace , you did not deserve to win , so why celebrate like that , I'm sorry but you came across as smug , when really you hould have been more humble and realise the situation you were in , that's why your not a champion

Christina Justice Gillardo Thank Mercedes for handing you the win that you absolutely DID NOT deserve!!! Lewis is a better person and driver than you will ever be.

There are many more where these came from.

One of the biggest complaints, from what I assume are the Hamilton fans is how Nico behaved on the podium. Huge celebrations.
Lets be honest for a second here about a couple of things.
Firstly, this is Monaco, EVERYTHING is big and overdone in Monaco, its the F1 showcase, its the fashion show, the catwalk of Formula 1. The race itself is generally a huge parade, with little overtaking or position changing, unless there is some bad luck.
Secondly, a win IS a win, you can't deny that. Gifted or fought for, crossing the line first is what matters. In the rules, a mistake was made by a team, no one cheated or broke rules. Nico crossed the line first, so celebrate. I imagine there would be even more fury if Nico had "stolen" the win, then refused to show any excitement or celebration in doing so.

At this point I would hazard a guess that Lewis and all other drivers would love to distance themselves from the true haters out there. We all have cheeky snipes, and comments about the ones we don't want to win, god only knows how many jabs I have taken at Hamilton over time, especially when he has acted like a child, or that play the race card moment he had.

I just don't understand where so much anger and hatred comes from in these people, especially given that 99.9% have never met and probably never will meet both their idol and their adversary. Having an opinion on something is all well and good, I mean, look at me typing away. But going to town, assassinating someone's character, judging them far beyond the limitations of the track and sport, and in some peoples cases, obsessing to the extend of hunting out every piece of positive media on someone, and airing an opinion on it, shooting them down with hatred and contempt. That's is borderline worrying.

For me, sadly, this has all become part of modern day sport. Social media is a wonderful thing, self expression, joining a global conversation, airing an opinion. All welcome for sure. But them some take it to a whole other level.

For me, Monaco, Mercedes, Lewis and Nico...
Merc brought a great package to the race, and gave themselves the best possible start. Lewis drove away from the start and controlled the race, as he does so well. Nico stayed close enough to take advantage of any mistakes by driver or team. The mistake was made, Nico was in the right place, gained from the error, and took the flag.
Nico's post race comments were very generous to Lewis, humble in the win, praise for his team mate who he said deserved the win.
Lewis was pretty restrained, not much he could say about the situation, but was nice not to see a hissy fit.
Mercedes admitted an error.
Nico celebrated Monaco style, and as any winner of an F1 race should.

Then sadly the people who call themselves fans destroyed the whole thing with a barrage of hatred and abuse.

Fair play to Mercedes to trying to calm things down a little.

So my message to you 'fans' out there.
Get a grip, its a sport, there will always be winners and losers. Celebrate wins, and take defeat with dignity. The drivers managed it, why can't you?
Here's to Canada, when the on track fight starts all over again, hopefully with a little less off track, on-line immaturity and pathetic behaviour from all the fans.

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