Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Test of a Champion

As many of you will be aware the Formula 1 season started a couple of weeks ago and with all the hype surrounding British driver and last years World Champion Lewis Hamilton it has been fellow Brit Jenson Button who has been leading the way with two wins out of two yet it is still Lewis getting all the headlines but for all the wrong reasons.

Last year Lewis became the youngest ever Formula 1 World Champion aged 23 after only three seasons in the sport and for this he was awarded an MBE. Now defending a championship is always said to be winning it for the first time and already that has been proving true for Lewis. Not only have things been going wrong in his performances and the car but off the track as well Lewis has been brought in to question. We have had Lewis starting from the back of the grid, Lewis failing to make it through to the final stages of qualifying in the qualification stages, having points taken off him, and to cap it all off was hauled in front of the F1 panel in lying and cover up scandal involving him and his team.

Now everyone goes through bad seasons and yes his quality as a driver and the quality of the car was being brought in to question but it is the scandal that threatens to derail his season and possibly his career. With Lewis being the posterchild for F1 and him having more sponsorship endorsements than you can shake a stick at he can ill afford any scandal. With such a quick rise to fame with little time to adapt Lewis could be brought down to ground just as fast.

What all the Lewis scandal is doing is taking away the limelight from Jenson Button who is not getting the column inches that Lewis was when he was on top. Jenson when he started his career had a bit of a reputation off the track but has since seemed to mended his ways and for the last few years has been loyal to a team where the car hasn’t delivered. Jenson is now reaping the reward from his loyalty as the buy out of his old team has left him with a car that can compete at the top level.

The recent weeks really bring in to question things like when should an MBE awarded to someone and what should it be awarded for and it has really shown how no matter how good you are and no matter what is going wrong on the track you need to always make sure that you aren’t doing anything stupid or anything that can be perceived in a negative light as one bad incident can jeapordise years worth of hard work. I still think that Lewis can recover from this and hope he does but I hope this makes him wiser. Is it worth trying to cheat the system for a few extra points if it costs you your image and brings you character in to question? What is more important, your performance on the track or how you are perceived off of it? As a racer should you be brave and speak out when you see wrong doing in your team? Hard questions but the questions I think Lewis and other drivers need to ask themselves.

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"
”Shaking up the Youth of Today”

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