March 22nd, 2013 (F1plus/E. Black).- If you are reading this and happen to be a Lewis Hamilton fan, let me begin by stating that I believe that Lewis is possibly one of the most talented drivers on the F1 grid. If that has done little to calm your nerves before reading the rest of this piece, let me also state that I believe he has what it takes to be one of the best F1 drivers ever.
Here is the part you're not going to like. Hamilton has had some moments where he has not been that shining star. In fact, some of those moments may be seen by some as mental weakness. A young boy, not yet a man, who has lost his way, without a compass which points to a path beyond his insecurities.
When partnering Alonso at McLaren, he raised many eyebrows. He made a two time world champion seem quite ordinary. This was a huge boost to Hamilton's ego. A world championship under his belt would further boost his confidence. A world championship that he narrowly won over Felipe Massa, but a championship title nonetheless.
At some point, the armour began to crack. Like many stars, the success and money may have started to mess with his head. Insecurities may have crept in and Lewis may have started to compensate by slipping into the "Hollywood" lifestyle. Further cracks appeared when frustration tossed discretion aside and Twitter became the outlet. I'm certain many of you remember Lewis tweeting sensitive McLaren telemetry or calling out team mate Jenson Button for un-following him on Twitter. It turned out that Jenson was never following Hamilton to begin with, which prompted an apology by the young Brit.
Back to Hollywood...last June, I spoke with Joe Saward, who needs no introduction to serious F1 fans. One of the things I remember most about the conversation was his warning about the dangers of mixing F1 and Hollywood. Now to clarify, "Hollywood" does not directly relate to that of the celebrity strewn hills in California, but rather a term used to depict the celebrity lifestyle it glorifies. Dating a celebrity singer/starlet and "Hangin'" with celebrity elite involves a certain celebrity scene. Have I over used the term celebrity? I’m sure you get my point... Anyhow, some may see this as a method to validate oneself or compensate for one's insecurities.
During his split from Pussycat Dolls girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger, she mentioned that Lewis was constantly on his smart phone, messaging his friends and seemed more interested in playing online video games than having a conversation with her. While this must be taken with a grain of salt, it does make one wonder of Hamilton's maturity level, state of mind and focus.
Need further food for thought? Let's go back to Twitter for a moment. Take a look at the difference between Hamilton's tweets and photos versus those of some of his rivals, such as Alonso or Button. Some may consider this evidence that Lewis' head is elsewhere. Not totally focused on his F1 career (arguably) and more concerned with maintaining that "cool" or "Hollywood" image.
If you think this is harsh, you may want to check a piece in "The Independent". It was brought to my attention by my good friend, Formula One accredited journalist and occasional contributor to F1 Plus, Jordan Irvine. The article goes on to say, "Hamilton is just a corporate hologram". The author has some abrasive views of Formula One and Lewis Hamilton. Here is the link. To clarify, Jordan did NOT write this piece, he simply stumbled upon it. He has however been able to confirm that he has witnessed Hamilton's guest list of high profile celebrities roaming the F1 paddock. Roscoe not included.
I maintain that Lewis can be one of the best F1 has ever seen. He's got natural talent, incredible skills and blinding speed. Perhaps he needs to refocus his energy and get to grips with any insecurity he may have. Lewis must conquer his mental demons before he can be the champion he has the tools to be. At the end of the day, this is just me playing devil’s advocate. Don’t take any of it seriously, draw your own conclusions and remember, everyone is entitled to an opinion.
Opinions and views on this article belong to its writer and F1plus might not necessarily share or agree with them.