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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Hamilton the next Tiger? Everyone has an opinon on the new champ

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone believes newly-crowned champion Lewis Hamilton deserves more praise from his detractors after his narrow victory in the world drivers championship Sunday.

“Hamilton is a young man doing his best and I get upset with people who say he is an arrogant bastard and all this nonsense,” Ecclestone told The Times newspaper. “Lewis has achieved an awful lot and it would be bloody difficult for any of us to be the same as him. And yet there are so many people out there that want him to lose, so he has to make sure he delivers.”

Ecclestone has been critical of past champions for not doing enough for the sport, but in Lewis Hamilton, the F1 ringmaster sees possibilities to grow the sport.

“Things will open up commercially, but probably more for himself, although through that a lot of people who might not watch grand prix racing on television will switch on to see him. There could be a Tiger Woods effect,” he told the Daily Express.

Groomed by Ron Dennis from a young age, McLaren seems set to reap the benefits of the young driver's success for years to come.

“I want to see my career through with this team,” ITV reports Hamilton said. “So that's my plan.”

Eddie Irvine thinks that would be a mistake, and Hamilton should be looking to move to Ferrari.

“Okay, so he may win a couple more with McLaren and he's loyal to Ron Dennis but he's got to move to Ferrari at some point,” Irvine said in his column for Virgin Media. “Having been there, I've seen what it's like and it's a different situation to being with any other team. He'll go there as a superstar already and ultimately I feel that's where he's got to go.”

Whatever the future holds for Hamilton, rest assured, he is Irv the Swerve's type of champion.

“What Lewis has achieved in only his second season is great for Formula 1 and he is, to me, the first normal F1 champion in a long time,” he opined. “You look at Schumacher and Alonso who were super boring out of the car. Lewis can talk, he looks good, he has a pop star girlfriend so he has a real appeal to the masses and that's great for Formula 1.”

That same “super boring” Schumacher had kind words for the new champion on his official Web site.

“What a finale. I am still overwhelmed from the race yesterday,” Schumacher enthused. “I have never seen anything like this, not as a racer and not as a spectator - you can probably only say it was fate. I congratulate Lewis Hamilton and I am sending very warm greetings to Felipe and all our guys in Brasil.”

But he also praised Felipe Massa, whom he helped mold, and warned Hamilton against complacency.

“Felipe can leave that race with his head up, as with this performance he surely has convinced all the people who still had doubts about his driving skills,” he said. “He will for sure attack again next year.”

Massa, for his part, says Hamilton deserved the title, and wants to sit down with the new champion and his father.

“I want to meet Hamilton and his father to tell them they deserved the title,” autosport.com reports Massa told Italian newspaper Gazetta dello Sport. “I re-watched the race on TV: for Lewis that last lap was a drama, he was locking the wheels everywhere as he was trying to recover. Glock didn't let himself be overtaken on purpose.”

Meanwhile, Luca di Montezemolo has again shot down the latest round of reports Fernando Alonso is going to make a surprise jump to Ferrari for 2009.

“I do not want to show a lack of respect to Alonso or anyone else,” SpeedTV reports he told La Repubblica newspaper, “But we already have two drivers. We are staying with what we have already confirmed for next year. Everything else is fictional and I hope these stories stop. We have also confirmed our two testers, Badoer and Gene. A team that wins does not change. And we did win.”

The Ferrari chief sees a return to the Raikkonen of old in the cards.

“I expect him now to return to the extraordinary performance of last year and the start of this season,” he reportedly told Italian newspaper, La Stampa. “Raikkonen (departing) has never been discussed: his points have been valuable for the constructors' title. The Ferrari couple is the strongest in the championship: we are not changing.”
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I like the way that Luca put it, "I expect him to return to the extraordinary performance...", not hope, expect. Hope Kimi read that closely.

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