The six appeal: What really is the secret of Lewis Hamilton?
Lewis Hamilton always approaches every race as if he’s going to win it — even if he isn’t in an optimum position to do so.
Thirty-four-year-old Lewis Hamilton has won the Formula One Drivers Championship a record six times now. His first title came in 2008, his second and third were back-to-back in 2014 and 2015 and he’s now completed a hattrick in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
He has 10 victories from 19 races this season with two more races still to be run. He has either made it to the podium or scored points in all of the remaining rounds until Austin, Texas.
His fans call him the G.O.A.T or 'Greatest Of All Time'. His critics are tired of his era, which doesn’t seem to be coming to an end anytime soon!
He has 87 poles and 83 career wins on his enviable CV. But like him or loathe him, you have to accept, that he’s one winning machine with an incredible strike rate. But what really is his secret? Why don’t the others on the grid, touted as future champions, score as many points over a season like he does.
The answer lies in his approach to a Grand Prix weekend. He always approaches the race as if he’s going to win it — even if he isn’t in an optimum position to do so.
Seven of his ten victories this season have been won from outside of pole position! This feat alone underlines the ’winners-do-things-differently’ pedigree of Hamilton.
It hasn’t mattered to him that Ferrari have developed a ‘jet mode’ to combat Mercedes famed qualifying ‘party mode’. Instead, he’s developed his own race craft to a level that seems out of reach for everyone else.
“I don’t think I’ve hit peak yet and I plan to continue to get stronger,” says Hamilton. Will he surpass Michael Schumacher’s ultimate records of 91 victories and 7 world titles? Only time will tell.
But while he sets his eyes on becoming the ‘winningest’ driver ever, one wonders what plans the next generation of stars are making. What dreams are they dreaming?
Can Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc, Daniel Ricciardo, Carlos Sainz, Lando Norris, Alex Albon achieve even more than Hamilton one day? One thing is for certain.
They’ve all enjoyed the best seats in the house to experience a masterclass in winning. And they can demonstrate their learnings right from the next race which is in Brazil this week or they could take it easy and enjoy a Samba.
The writer is a motorsports enthusiast who will cover the 2019 FIA Formula One™ season exclusively for Indulge.