Lewis Hamilton and Barack Obama

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton celebrates his record-breaking F1 world championship title
Lewis Hamilton celebrates his record-breaking F1 world championship title

Unless you’ve been living on Venus it can’t have escaped your notice that Lewis Hamilton’s feat of becoming the first mixed race driver to win the F1 championship occurred in the same week America elected Barack Obama as its first non-white president.

American reader Kevin MacCauley emailled in a light-hearted look at the coincidences between the two:

There’s some huge similarities between our 2008 President Elect and our 2008 World Champion: (aside from the obvious)

  • Both winning teams (McLaren and the Democrats) have been repeatedly defeated by a huge opposition team that has won everything for six of the last eight years. (Republicans lost Congress for two of those years, Ferrari lost two titles to Renault). In recent times this well-oiled machine has fallen out of form, losing key personnel and making embarrassing blunders along the way. Still powerful, still with a huge base, but more reckless in strategy. I’m not gonna touch the corruption thing…
  • Both our 2008 winners had useless team mates.
  • Both our 2008 winners went into the deciding event with a several-point advantage ? but it was still an unexpected, unbelievable, history-making result.
  • The amount of money and resources it took to win in 2008 is inexplicably more than it took eight years ago. The game has changed infinitely.

So… Ross Brawn is Karl Rove?

Unfortunately there’s one more coincidence to add: both victories have been followed by rows over race: Obama being congratulated on his ‘sun tan’ by Silvio Berlusconi, and Bernie Ecclestone being criticised for his view of the racial taunts Lewis Hamilton faced earlier this year. More on that later…

Read more about Lewis Hamilton: Lewis Hamilton biography

29 comments on “Lewis Hamilton and Barack Obama”

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  1. Serbian Kimi Raikkonen
    7th November 2008, 14:18

    A brilliant comparison! Well-spotted remarks:):)

  2. A brilliant, though striking comparison.

  3. Both had useless team-mates ? ?

    I don’t think Biden was as bad as Heikki. And compared to Palin..
    AND, Palin and Kimi Raikkonen are incomparable

    Axctually, Lewis and Obama do look similar as well from some angles; that is

  4. One big difference between them. You’ll notice that pretty much the whole US nation has got behind Obama, but you can’t fail to notice the continued and unjustified negativity by alot of the gutter media & ill-imformed public.We should be celebrating a magnificent achievement by a very talented chap, not critising him.

  5. We could also note another striking difference in that Obama had the support of most of the USA’s Hispanic community, whereas Lewis has suffered much racial abuse from Spanish F1 ‘fans’.

    On the similarity front, both seem to be very adept at doing PR. And both have been compared to a former leader/champion who was killed in tragic circumstances.

    Also – have they both had their teeth whitened?

  6. Trip Hazard –

    You’ll notice that pretty much the whole US nation has got behind Obama

    Except the 58,672,812 people who voted for someone else.

  7. wow it is definitely the off season. How about a comparison with Walcott? They re both gooners, they are both polite and well spoken, they’re both quick and they both seem to annoy alot of people. Though to be fair walcott just annoys those up the road at n17

  8. Of course the gutter press are now in “Black Doctor Who” overdrive on the back of these 2 victories….

  9. There are several others;

    – Both are young compared to the rest of field, causing fans to flock to their youthfulness and energy.

    – Both are handled by staffs of hundreds. Making their interaction with the world limited.

    – Both speak and act in a way that cheers on their supporters and chills their naysayers.

    – 90% of the country of both nations already have an opinion on the their new hero and it will probably not going to change.

    – Pink wants to have sex with the both of them.

    So if Lewis Hamilton is Obama, Karl Rove is Ross Brawn, Ferrari are the Republicans, McLaren are the Democrats, and Heikki is Biden; does that mean the party I belong to (The Libertarian Party) is Force India? Actually weight, we actual got a few percent this year, so we are Honda. No wait, they are the green party. That means we are Red Bull, love to party but really don’t get any results in the end.

  10. Both are the son of a black father and white mother, who separated when their son was only two years old.

    Both overcame hardship in their youths – Obama living in a high rise with his grandmother, winning scholarships to private school and college; Lewis’s father taking multiple jobs to support his karting until he gained a scholarship from McLaren.

    Both achieved early success (Obama at Harvard law school becoming editor of the Harvard Law Review, later state senator then US Senator; Lewis with multiple wins in karting and lower racing formulae), but neither entered the public eye until 2007, when Obama announced his run for the presidency on February 10, 2007 and Lewis announced his run for the WDC when he came third behind team mate Fernando Alonso in his debut at the Australian grand prix on March 18, 2007

    Their adversaries in 2008 included more experienced campaigners with family ties in the business who fell by the wayside at an early stage – Clinton in the case of Obama, Rosberg and Nakajima for Lewis.

    Their adversaries’ running mates are from snow-mobiling families in remote, cold regions (Palin in Alaska, and Raikkonnen in Finland)

    Their adversaries are represented by the colour red.

    They outspent their rivals right up until victory was secured (McLaren spending $2million on a small aero upgrade in the last fortnight of the campaign, the Obama team spending $300K every hour in October)

    Their victories in 2008 mean they replace incumbents with (1) a history of heavy drinking (Bush now teetotal after youthful indiscretion, Kimi still going strong), (2) a reputation for being poor at public speaking despite their jobs bringing them into frequent contact with a sometimes hostile media, and (3) accents that can be difficult to understand (Texan drawl versus Finnish mumble)

    They have both been the target of racists (Lewis by Spanish fans in Barcelona, Obama by the neo-nazi white supremacists Daniel Cowart and Paul Schlesseman whom the FBI allege were plotting an assassination).

    Their main adversaries were of below average stature (McCain 5’7″, Felipe Massa 5’5″).

    Their main adversaries were unexpected – McCain initially being an outsider for the Republican nomination and Massa predicted to take a back seat to Raikkonnen.

    They have both talked about the importance of God and spirituality in their lives (Lewis in a brief press conference remark, Obama in two books)

    Jeez, you’ve got to say this is more than just a coincidence…. It’s several coincidences, most of them highly contrived and a bit of a stretch.

  11. – Pink wants to have sex with the both of them.

    now that is an accolade, having pink as a conquest.

  12. Well Keith, The moment Hamilton won the championship, I knew Obama was going to be president.
    Who says Obama hasn’t suffered racial abuse. I’d rather not give links to sites preaching hatred and stuff, but it does exist and even news networks like Fox went very low indeed. H

  13. I might as well mention that there is a rather solid link between Hamilton and Obama. Nicole Scherzinger, Hamilton’s GF, was one of the many singers that put together the song ‘Yes We Can’ in support of Obama. The song became very famous, especially right after it was released during the Democratic primaries.

  14. That was a funny article. I would love to see Sarah Palin in a Ferrari, wearing those tight red overalls.

  15. Wow, thanks for posting this Keith, brilliant additional observations by some of you guys, especially John and Dan, you have completely outdone me!

  16. While I know that F1 Fanatic is basically an anti-racist site masquerading as a F1 blog, could you capitalize the word “White” when referring to the White race? Thanks.

  17. As a political junkie and Democrat, I would have to disagree that Joe Biden has been useless. Perhaps he has on the campaign trail, but over the next four or, hopefully, eight years he’ll prove his worth.

    And something I pointed out on the F1 Fanatic Facebook group: if you don’t count 1960, since the official start of Formula 1 in 1950 Democrats have only won the Presidency in years when a Briton has won the world championship. 1964 (Kennedy/Surtees), 1968 (Johnson/Hill), 1976 (Carter/Hunt), 1992 (Clinton/Mansell), 1996 (Clinton/Hill), and now 2008 (Obama/Hamilton).

    Also, I don’t like Ferrari being the Republicans, because I want to root for them!

  18. Thanks for the suggestions guys – keep them coming!

    Mr. Man – This is intended as a light-hearted post, see the second paragraph.

  19. Funnily enough, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga won his first Masters Series tournament a few hours before Lewis won the championship.

  20. Nico, quick correction there: it was Johnson/Surtees in 1964 (since JFK died in 1963). LBJ decided to pass on a 2nd term after the nightmare that was Vietnam, and it was the Republicans led by Nixon who won in 1968.

    But come to think of it, yeah, that’s a rather creepy coincidence there. :)

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