Real deal on Lewis

Author

admin

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Current page

117

Current page

118

Current page

119

Current page

120

Current page

121

Current page

122

Current page

123

Current page

124

Current page

125

Current page

126

Current page

127

Current page

128

Current page

129

Current page

130

Current page

131

Current page

132

Current page

133

Current page

134

Current page

135

Current page

136

Current page

137

Current page

138

Current page

139

Current page

140

Current page

141

Current page

142

Current page

143

Current page

144

Current page

145

Current page

146

Current page

147

Current page

148

Current page

149

Current page

150

Current page

151

Current page

152

Current page

153

Current page

154

Current page

155

Current page

156

Current page

157

Current page

158

Current page

159

Current page

160

Current page

161

Current page

162

Current page

163

Current page

164

Current page

165

Current page

166

Current page

167

Current page

168

Current page

169

Current page

170

Current page

171

Current page

172

Current page

173

Current page

174

Current page

175

Current page

176

Current page

177

Current page

178

Current page

179

Current page

180

Current page

181

Current page

182

Current page

183

Current page

184

Current page

185

Current page

186

Current page

187

Current page

188

Current page

189

Current page

190

Current page

191

Current page

192

Current page

193

Current page

194

The backlash had to come. This is Great Britain after all. But Lewis Hamilton didn’t exactly endear himself to his nation towards the end of 2007 – and I’m not talking about his failure to win the World Championship. Within his first year of superstardom, Lewis complained of press intrusion while being photographed at celebrity shindigs with pop stars and models, citing the pressure as his reason for emigrating to Switzerland – which also just happens to be one of the world’s most popular tax havens. Just the sort of behaviour to wind up the quick-to-judge British press and public – and this, rather than what happened on track, might well have been the deciding factor behind his runner-up placing in the BBC Sports Personality award.

Not that Hamilton will be losing sleep over any of this, of course, and rightly so. The backlash should be remembered as a minor career blip in years to come, and anyway he will have other things on his mind at the moment, like finishing the job he started so emphatically last year. He also has the security of a new five-year McLaren contract worth anywhere between £35-70 million, depending upon which newspaper you read. ‘Living the dream’ indeed.

But forget the amount he earns and how little tax he will pay. What’s much more interesting is the timing of his new deal. Given the circumstances and context, Hamilton’s long-term commitment to McLaren-Mercedes should not be taken for granted.

The turbulence endured by the team during the past year has been severe, and it is no secret that Ron Dennis has taken the brunt of the punishment personally. As you can read in Nigel Roebuck’s excellent new column in this issue, it appears to be a matter of time before Mercedes becomes the majority shareholder in the team. When (not if) that happens, McLaren as we know it will change forever.

That Hamilton is willing to commit during this time of relative uncertainty is evidence that his ties with the team go way beyond his relationship with Dennis, which was strained last year during Lewis’s rapid development from a grateful rookie to a super-confident title contender. Also, it should be noted that the team is not dealing with a naïve boy – in fact, that hasn’t been the case for years. Lewis and his father areshrewd racing people who know exactly what they are doing, and exactly what can be achieved in the coming years, both financially and in terms of results.

That’s why we should not take it as read that Lewis Hamilton will be a Mercedes (McLaren) driver until 2012. Contracts guarantee very little in this world and, rather than providing security for Hamilton, the deal is more of a comfort blanket for his team: if McLaren fails to deliver cars that are championship contenders for the most gifted driver on the grid, he will be as ruthless as he has to be.

Hamilton dressed in Ferrari red one day is an image that would be a dagger to Dennis’s heart. But that doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen.

There’s never been a better time to ‘go green’, as the world’s oldest motor racing magazine grows bigger and better. Now we’ve got more good news. A month after announcing Nigel Roebuck as our new editor-in-chief, I’m delighted to herald another major signing – and no, it’s not Kevin Keegan.

Gordon Kirby has over 35 years of experience as a frontline journalist, covering the great years of Can-Am, Formula 5000 and Indycar racing, and joins our line-up as Motor Sport’s first US editor. Gordon remains as fired up and passionate about the sport in North America as he always has been, and he’s buzzing with ideas. Read his first monthly column on page 34.

You’ll also notice a few more developments in this issue. The content remains the best you’ll find in any motor racing magazine – and there’s more of it, too. I hope you enjoy it. Please do contact us, by letter or e-mail, to let us know what you think.

Damien Smith

Related articles

Related products