Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull: Fact, Fiction or Inevitable?
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Like most stories as high brow as Lewis Hamilton being linked to another team, they usually carry little or no weight. Everyone's favourite rumour right now is that Hamilton is in talks with a drinks giant regarding a drive in the unstoppable Red Bull Newey machine.
Of course the initial reaction is "abosolutely not, he would never leave Mclaren, that's where he started and that's where he will finish his career."
If we delve a bit deeper and really look at the motivation behind why drivers move around, I think that this proposition may start to hold water.
Formula One is sport fuelled by glitz, glamour and the super rich, but for the real contenders of this parallel world, it is all about one thing: winning.
Lewis Hamilton broke onto the scene in 2007, with the full force and support of Mclaren behind him. He missed out on a world title in his first term by two points and from then on it seemed he and his team could be the making of the next Schumacher/Ferrari super team.
And so it went on. The 2008 campaign brought him his first title, and you wouldn't have been wrong for thinking that the next five seasons were a foregone conclusion.
But things changed rapidly, and in 2009 Ross Brawn and Brawn GP created a machine that was untouchable in its first half dozen races, and this is where the woes of the Lewis/Mclaren happy family started to rear their ugly head.
At the second race of the '09 season in Melbourne, Hamilton faced one of the toughest situations of his career—the hideously named "Liargate" scandal. The young reining champion not only had a horrible car, but his then-racing director, Dave Ryan, had put him up to one of the most obvious and blatant lies of his life. This left Hamilton not only utterly embarrassed, but questioning whether he would stay in the sport.
And it looked for a moment like he might take the long walk, behind the likes of Kimi Raikkonen and Juan Pablo Montoya, two great drivers who had also become disillusioned by what Formula One represents. Right here are three examples of supreme talent and desire to do nothing but race, but are let down by the foul stench of money and greed.
And from that incident on his 2009 campaign never recovered. He fought on in a repeatedly dismal car, managing only two wins in Hungary and Singapore, finishing the season in a poor (by his standards) fifth place.
But regardless of an overall lack of performance, Lewis Hamilton showed that year what he is really about and it is this that sparks links to teams like Red Bull or Ferrari, and why Mclaren spend most of their time adamant that he is going nowhere.
He has a fight in him, and a desire to win that only a minutiae of the F1 grid have. When he was being accused of lying, regardless of the fact that he was put up to it, he took the attitude that if someone is pointing the finger, they are pointing three back.
But let's say Mclaren don't deliver the goods for him in 2011, and he doesn't take his second title, and Red Bull run away with it again, that would add up to three seasons since taking the world crown.
Like I mentioned before, this man is about winning races and winning titles so surely it's going to get to the point where he is going to need to look to the right team to provide him the tools to succeed?
The 2011 season is not about Lewis Hamilton trying to win his second title. It's about Mclaren doing what they need to do in order to retain who is arguably the best driver on the track. With guys like Paul Di Resta barging onto the scene, Lewis will want to start adding to his titles sooner rather than later.
Why would Red Bull not want him?
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