F1 »

Hamilton: F1 title 'holds less value' than it used to

As his frustrations with McLaren-Mercedes' continuing struggles mount, Lewis Hamilton has declared that triumphing in the F1 World Championship no longer means as much, since 'a different guy is winning it every year'...
It should perhaps come as less of a surprise during a season in which practically every race seems to elicit an outspoken remark from Lewis Hamilton, but the McLaren-Mercedes star has extraordinarily claimed on the eve of this weekend's German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring that the F1 title 'holds less value' now than it used to – and that he 'never thinks' about his 'one very small world championship'.

In fairness, the chances of Hamilton adding to his 2008 laurels this year are slim in the extreme, languishing as he does a gaping 95 points adrift of runaway F1 2011 World Championship leader Sebastian Vettel in the drivers' standings at the midpoint of the campaign – and with McLaren ostensibly having no answer to the crushing Red Bull Racing steamroller.

When the Briton joined the grand prix grid back in 2007, there was just one previous world champion in the field – his team-mate Fernando Alonso, whom he beat that year as he incredibly very nearly clinched the crown at the first time of asking. Now, there are five – Alonso, Vettel, his current team-mate Jenson Button, record-breaking F1 returnee Michael Schumacher and, of course, Hamilton himself.

There have been 32 world champions in the sport's six-decade history, but 18 of them have triumphed only once, and of the 14 multiple title-winners, just eight have prevailed more than twice. Since his nail-biting, down-to-the-wire 2008 success, Hamilton has seen his career progress frustratingly stall, with McLaren having failed to provide him with a championship-challenging car in any of the three subsequent campaigns – and the pressure is telling.

There has been just a single victory in 2011 to-date, no front row start since Malaysia back in April and – remarkably – no pole position in more than a year and as many wins in the past three years as Vettel has tallied in under four months. With his 2008 title glory now a distant and fading memory, Hamilton concedes that to him, beating the very best in the world only once has lost its lustre.

“The world championship is like a gold medal,” the 26-year-old is quoted as having said by the Daily Mirror, suggesting that the thrill of the fight for him is no longer enough, and that true satisfaction and inner-validation come solely from winning. “It's great to have, but doesn't last very long. You move on. I never think about my one very small world championship.

“In the past, not many people won the championship – it was the same guys winning them – but now everyone has them. There are five drivers on the grid with championships. A different guy is winning it every year, so it holds less value for me because other people have won – but having two or three, that's a nice feeling. That would say something.”

Erstwhile McLaren driver David Coulthard, meanwhile, has echoed Hamilton's concerns in bluntly warning his former employer that unless improvements are swiftly forthcoming, the Woking-based outfit can 'wave goodbye to [its] F1 title chances'.

“McLaren's performance in practice on Friday – never the most reliable form guide, but a guide nonetheless – was not hugely encouraging, with Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button seventh and eleventh-fastest respectively,” the Scot wrote in The Daily Telegraph. “McLaren need to get their form back, and quickly, or they can kiss this season goodbye. They made some big claims coming into this race, and they need to deliver.”



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
22.07.2011- Friday Practice 2, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
22.07.2011- Friday Practice 1, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
22.07.2011- Friday Practice 2, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
22.07.2011- Friday Practice 2, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
22.07.2011- Friday Practice 2, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
10.07.2011- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes
09.07.2011- Saturday Practice, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
08.07.2011- Friday Practice 2, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
08.07.2011- Friday Practice 2, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
09.07.2011- Saturday Practice, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
09.07.2011- Saturday Practice, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
09.07.2011- Saturday Practice, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
08.07.2011- Friday Practice 2, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
Denny Hulme on the grid in his McLaren at the non-championship Oulton Park Gold Cup in May 1972
Kevin Magnussen speaks to <i>Crash.net</i> F1 Editor Chris Medland, Singapore Grand Prix
Kevin Magnussen speaks to <i>Crash.net</i> F1 Editor Chris Medland, Singapore Grand Prix
Kevin Magnussen speaks to <i>Crash.net</i> F1 Editor Chris Medland, Singapore Grand Prix

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.