Hamilton: “I blew Alonso away”

2010 F1 season

Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2007Lewis Hamilton turns 25 today and he’s given a detailed interview on one of his sponsor’s websites about his F1 career so far.

The interview was conducted at Rye House kart circuit at Hoddesdon where he often raced during his karting years.

In it he has some interesting things to say about his father Anthony, whose drive and determination helped Hamilton reach F1:

The hardest corner of all is this corner right here. It’s where I learnt to be the latest braker of all and that’s where I learnt to overtake everyone like I do. I use it in Formula 1 now, that’s why I’m able to overtake like I do.

It wasn’t until my dad found out where the latest of brakers were braking. So if the British champion was braking here, my dad would make me brake down here – so late that I often would go off or spin. Spin, start again, spin, start again… he stood here and said I had to brake there and if I didn’t brake there I’d be in trouble.

When I have kids I want to be just like him because he was such an incredible dad. Very, very hard and very correct but he tried always to do what was best for me. He was probably harder on me than any of my friends’ parents were on them. But that’s what made me so strong.

When the family weren’t there and it was just me and my dad, there was never a moment when he was not standing at my side and watching out for me. He was my hero.

He also talked about missing out on the drivers title: in his rookie season – and the satisfaction he took from finishing ahead of team mate Fernando Alonso in the championship:

I definitely didn’t blame myself for the year that I missed out [on the championship]. My first season in Formula 1, alongside a world champion – a double world champion – and I blew him away. I beat him. No-one’s ever come in their first year and been at the front, let alone beat a world champion, beat the mentality and the strength that he would have, and his experience in Formula 1 already up to that point.

So I’m very proud that I had the experience of leading the world championship for most of the year. And it’s sickening, for sure, to think we lost it in the last couple of races. […]

I was leading and I needed a couple of points in the last two races. I barely got one. I think I got one*. The worst two races of the whole year. In one, I went off, in the second one the car stopped and it never stopped on me before.

It was a growing experience and it made me who I am today.

*He scored two in the last race, and needed two more to be champion

The full interview is over 20 minutes long and you can listen to it on the Johnnie Walker website.

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142 comments on Hamilton: “I blew Alonso away”

  1. Jason said on 8th January 2010, 20:08

    The comment ‘blew him away’ doesn’t have to refer to either ability or points, as many people seem to be taking it. When Hamilton showed up in the F1 scene he, quite frankly, ‘blew’ everyone ‘away.’ Nobody expected him to become a force in most advanced motorsport in the world as a rookie. Nobody suspected, let alone EXPECTED him to lead the championship for most of his rookie year. How many people here thought it was a fluke that he made it onto the podium is first race? How many thought, ‘this kid is good, but I bet he won’t get up there again anytime soon’? How many started taking this kid seriously only after he podiumed at almost every race the first half, and even WON his first race in his rookie season? There are guys who have been racing for years and still haven’t had a win. Look at Webber! What? 9 seasons without a win until this year?

    With the results that he was getting because he was 1) a rookie and 2) because he was so young. To ASSUME that he means he is/was better than Alonso because he says ‘I blew him away’ is folly. I don’t care that Hamilton didn’t get in a Jordan, or a Minardi, or some other backmarker seat and sit at the rear of the grid half his career before he ‘earned’ himself a spot at a top team. That top team, with a top car, could be any one of the teams this next year, just like we saw in ’09. Fact is, he took a dog of a car to two wins and a good number of points they never expected to haul in in ’09. He’s a great driver and he made an impact his first race all the way to the end of the season. That’s one way to interpret the meaning of ‘I blew himaway.’

    /rant

    • Jason said on 8th January 2010, 20:11

      Oh, sorry, one more addition. Insert this right after “before he ‘earned’ himself a spot at a top team.” in my post above:

      Do any of you suspect that there were any other rookies on the grid in ’09 that would have hauled the Brawn, or the RB (clearly the top two cars – yet not as venerated as Ferrari/McLaren) to as many points as Jensen/Vettel? I suspect not.

    • Icthyes said on 9th January 2010, 12:37

      I have to say, that is a brilliant post. You said exactly what I wanted to say and more.

    • Well, I’ll agree with Icthyes, it’s a brilliant post. Unfortunately, it is also quite inaccurate.

      Hamilton was third at the Australian GP, the first race of his rookie year. He got his first win of his rookie year at the Canadian GP, number 6 on the schedule.

  2. I wonder how well that article is going down in the Spanish F1 forums?

  3. Paul F said on 9th January 2010, 8:37

    “I hope that the 2010 WDC is won by someone that in F1 has never lied, cheated, moaned or has in any way caused any of us to think of them has being anything other than a good role model.”

    That’s everyone out then! This is motor racing, kids. Not Sesame Street.

    A wise man once told me: Lie, win, cheat, succeed. All these words have the same meaning in the real world. Lewis/McLaren made a mistake in Aus by getting caught, but cheating is rife in all sports, places of work… everywhere. Let’s wake up from these illusions of a kindergarten F1 and just enjoy our 2 hours on a Sunday shall we?

  4. Psychic said on 10th January 2010, 20:26

    Hamilton’s rose tinited glasses view aside, simply finishing equal on points isn’t blowing anyone away. A very entertaining discussion, you guys make me giggle.

  5. I thought he came across well. He still sounds like he needs to pinch himself every morning to make sure it’s all true…

  6. Bill Gough said on 19th September 2014, 15:14

    You can’t compare a driver’s ability from one season’s battle with a team mate. The element of
    circumstantial luck is IMMENSE in such a technical sport. We have to remember machines are involved. But to be fair Alonso has proved himself more since 2007 than Hamilton has. In my unbiased opinion it is clear that Alonso maybe the best driver in history.

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