It takes mental strength to win a world title

first_img Facebook homme10 Order by oldest Sportblog Damon Hill 3 Nov 2008 14:38 recommendations Lewis Hamilton Share on Twitter Donuts – You can. It’s called the A1 series.I take your point re. horse racing, but certain trainers are more successful than others, just as certain jockeys are better than others. It’s still a team game in horse racing. It’s not just down to the horse. First published on Sun 2 Nov 2008 19.01 EST BobBarnes The whole raison d’être of Lewis Hamilton’s existence is to go motor racing. In winning the world championship he has not only done a remarkable job in only his second full season of formula one, but has also effectively gone through a remarkable process of selection and survived the ordeal.Arriving in formula one is a bit like a climber reaching base camp and preparing himself for the ascent of Everest. He’s done well to get so far, but now begins the real test: you either make it to the top or fall by the wayside. I think Hamilton has now got to the point where he has demonstrated that he can deal with every step along the way and crossed every significant bridge. Winning a world championship is difficult and along the way there are setbacks to be negotiated and pressure to be handled. I’ve heard various people hazard the view that Hamilton made his fair share of mistakes along the way. I don’t agree and in any case, his wins this season at Melbourne, Monaco, Silverstone, Hockenheim and Shanghai more than balance out any low points he may have encountered. Additionally, when making observations like that you have to take account of the fact that he became the youngest ever world champion at 23 years, nine months and 26 days, and also just how much pressure you are having to handle. In your first season you are given the benefit of the doubt but, as Hamilton has discovered, in your second the pressure steps up and you have to deliver on that initial promise. Becoming world champion involves a huge deal of emotional stress and I really don’t think that fact has been widely appreciated, and I think Hamilton went through quite a lot of soul searching. It’s a rite of passage, in a sense, dealing with the inevitable pressure from the media.It’s a bit like a cat with a mouse, isn’t it? I’m not saying that the cat wants to kill the mouse but it’s a test they put you through. It starts with the fulsome praise but just a few wrong steps and before you know it you’ve suddenly changed into a national embarrassment. I was talking to a tabloid journalist about this and he said: “But Damon, you never went through what Lewis has suffered” and I replied: “I was the one who was referred to as prat right round the front of The Sun”. It was a quote from my team boss Frank Williams and, I can tell you, that sort of thing hurts.The real competitor motivates himself. All I wanted to do was to achieve the results and you just need to ride out what the media is saying about you. That’s what Lewis has to do. You just have to keep a sense of humour about it, although I must admit that I had a sense of humour failure on many occasions.I always felt, as Lewis clearly does, that it is important to surround yourself with people you trust. I was lucky enough to have a posse of friends who supported me and also believed that I had the talent to get the job done. From what I can see Hamilton is pretty much the same, but when you’ve made a mistake, ultimately the only person that you have to square your conscience with is yourself. And in that way Hamilton is very strong, very strong indeed. Ultimately, of course, what Hamilton has proved this year more than anything else is that he has huge mental strength. He has suffered his setbacks, sure enough, but he has addressed them in a logical fashion and never allowed them to get on top of him. Winning a world championship is a huge achievement, we all know that, but Hamilton’s rise to prominence has been truly impressive over his first couple of years in formula one. I am sure he has plenty more winning to do. BobBarnes Share on Pinterest Share on Facebook 0 1 Formula One 2008 Share on Twitter Share on Twitter Reuse this content,View all comments > Reply 3 Nov 2008 8:27 Threads collapsed Share on Twitter Motor sport Share on LinkedIn Share on Facebook Share | Pick 50 Twitter Report | Pick Share via Email Report Report Twitter Show 25 newest All Share oldest It takes mental strength to choke on the penultimate lap? Vettel took the championship from Hamilton with one lap to go … Reply Twitter If the Toyotas had gone in for wet tyres Glock wouldn’t have been in front of Lewis on the last lap and he would have just sailed in behind Vettel for 5th job done.It was the gamble by Toyota to stick with the dry tyres that very nearly paid off that cost Glock 4th place. Share on Messenger Twitter 0 1 Reply Share on Facebook 3 Nov 2008 17:51 Share on Twitter 0 1 0 1 Sun 2 Nov 2008 19.01 EST | Pick Support The Guardian 3 Nov 2008 13:51 Report 25 Report Reply Comments 9 first!,completely agree.who said there isnt a God? LH should ve been off and away (previous races) but for those dang stewards.Today however, i say Massa in a completely new light. He is a true gentleman and I believe a good heart. Being gracious in defeat is difficult and i have to say hats off to him.well done lewis.H1ps please no more pussy cats in the paddock for next season eh. Share on Twitter RoyalTurkey blogposts Loading comments… Trouble loading? Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Twitter 0 1 RoyalTurkey It takes mental strength to choke on the penultimate lap? Vettel took the championship from Hamilton with one lap to go …Obviously, that’s why we’re celebrating Massa’s world championship… Share Twitter collapsed Please select Personal abuse Off topic Legal issue Trolling Hate speech Offensive/Threatening language Copyright Spam Other comments (9)Sign in or create your Guardian account to join the discussion. Share on Facebook Donutscenter_img MrLumpy Share on Facebook Share Close report comment form Reply Report Report | Pick Share on Twitter Formula One Topics 0 1 UKBlaza Facebook 3 Nov 2008 17:19 Facebook 0 1 Email (optional) Facebook Share | Pick 0 1 It takes mental strength to choke on the penultimate lap? Vettel took the championship from Hamilton with one lap to go …You clearly haven’t been paying attention this season. Vettel had this year already proven himself to be one of the best, if not *the* best, drivers in wet conditions. Hamilton didn’t choke in giving up the place to Vettel. Vettel was catching him and would have passed him even if Hamilton hadn’t slid wide after letting Kubica through.What horrible nonsense the Hamilton haters spout, when all I’ve seen from Hamilton fans is congratulations towards Massa for the way he conducted himself after yesterday’s race, which was impeccable.Spot on Damon, coming from somebody who was genuinely cheated out of a world championship. I wonder what it must have taken to pick yourself up from that moment. Reply Twitter 3 Nov 2008 18:17 Since you’re here… Share on Facebook Share Zerotolerance matraV12 Share Sign in or create your Guardian account to recommend a comment RoyalTurkeyYour claptrap is of the kind that Hamilton has had to deal with every time he makes a mistake and this article sums it up particularly well. There have been thousands of people, so-called fans, sectors of the press (and even the FIA, it appears) who have made themselves quite clear that they desire Hamilton to fail to the point of abusively dsplaying their wish to have anyone else win but him. That he has successfully dealt with such adversity has proved idiots like you wrong – and that he has mental strength in bucket-loads. McLaren knew the score with Glock and they told Hamilton simply to stay out of trouble, which is exactly what he did.Lewis is a genuine, deserving champion… I wonder how long it will take to for that reality to sink in? 100 Facebook I wish no disrespect to Mr Hamilton, who has played his part, but I would love to see all the drivers in the same specification car, tyres, same amounts of juice, etc, for a year just so we could see who is the best driver.As it stands, as it has pretty much always stood, it is very difficult to work out what has won the championship; the driver, the car, the organisation, the pitstops, the tyres? I mean, why isn’t it like horse racing. We don’t say that Lester Piggott has won the Derby, do we? It’s the horse… It takes mental strength to win a world title 0 1 Facebook Report Share on Twitter Twitter Shares00 Twitter Facebook Share on Twitter 3 Nov 2008 22:17 Formula One 2008 Exactly Mr Lumpy! Talk of Glock handing the Championship to LH is crazy. If they wanted to throw the race, they would have called Glock into the pits instead of risking a collision etc out on the track! Reply | Pick 3 Nov 2008 19:45 Do not underestimate the immense emotional stress the new world champion Lewis Hamilton would have been under Report Facebook Share | Pick | Pick Sorry there was an error. Please try again later. If the problem persists, please contact Userhelp View more comments Share on WhatsApp Twitter Facebook Reply Share | Pick Sportblog Share on Facebook … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. 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