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F1: James Allen on the Hamilton phenomenon


Lewis Hamilton – new racing star to rival Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna? Or one-season wonder who’s blown his best chance and will now never cut it?

Of course, it’s horribly early in the 22-year-old’s career to be making judgments like these. But one thing we do know, we’re pretty sure that among all the bitching, backbiting and attempts by teams and drivers to do each other down, we were watching something pretty special out there on track last season.


We have to tread quite a fine line here at Brits on Pole. Too much fanboying and we make the blog boring – and get a long list of commenters saying: “He’s not all that great, you know.”

Too few mentions and we’re not doing what it says on the tin.

So it was handy to get the perspective of a couple of people that know a great deal more about Formula One than we do.

Here’s a feature written from James Allen for the ITV F1 website, discussing the Hamilton phenomenon and also talking about Mark Hughes’ book, something that we’ve seen recommended elsewhere.

Have a read, and see what you think…

Lewis Hamilton: James Allen’s verdict

Hamilton’s career could end tomorrow and he would still be considered one of the top drivers ever. How he and his rivals on the track cope with that reality over the next few years will be very interesting to watch.

I was aware as the season went on of a growing anti-Hamilton lobby in F1 and among the public.

There is a racist element in there, it would be naïve to say otherwise, but it is also born out of jealousy. Some people just can’t handle seeing a new star getting plaudits.

But Hamilton is beyond all that. He’s not a Spice Girl or a new footballer, hogging the headlines. He’s the real deal and even the most sour and bitter person has to admit that, if they know anything at all about racing.

Perspective is always hard. It only comes with experience, but then again experience tends to make people jaundiced and cynical.

But despite the growing lobby of ‘antis’ I also sensed that Hamilton was touching millions, regardless of which country we visited. Read the full feature here…


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