World Champion Formula One racer Lewis Hamilton called a press conference in Malaysia today after hitting an all-time low in his career.
Hamilton answered a number of questions about the incident in Melbourne last weekend, including how and why he lied to the race stewards. If you haven't seen the press conference, click here.
After two years in Formula One, Lewis has been part of nearly every controversial issue. The "spygate" scandal of 2007 seriously upset team relationships that were tense to begin with, and the pressure got to Lewis: He panicked and missed out on a rookie championship.
In 2008, his reputation took a serious battering as he was involved in pit lane pileups, chicane cutting sagas, and some outrageous overtaking. He bounced back from it all. McLaren helped him along the way, and he took the title crown.
But one could not help but wonder if there was more to Lewis Hamilton than what the eye could see. He was extremely robotic, answering questions always in favour of the team, almost as if he was being controlled.
The British public cast this suspicion aside, but yesterday, the press hurt him like never before. They called him a liar.
This may sound a little childish, with all the "he called me," but personally, there is one thing I do not like, and that is being called a liar.
Lewis has come out and justified his reasons, and, after watching the press conference, he really spoke from the heart. I saw him after Spa and Fuji, and it really doesn't compare. After the incident in Japan, he said, "We'll win the next two races, not at any cost, but we will win." I cannot help but feel now that McLaren was speaking there, not Lewis, and was trying to show they were all-powerful almost.
McLaren wasn't speaking today, however. Lewis spoke with dignity, realising his mistakes, and realising that what you do off the track DOES matter. He has realised that winning all the races in the world won't make him an honest person, and it won't gain him respect.
So, to Lewis Hamilton, I am proud of you after what you did today, and I will always be a loyal fan. Whether you finish in P1 or P20, it doesn't matter, so long as you are yourself.