17 2008

英国阅读 Reckless Hamilton should now take a history lesson in respect

Published by at 23:00 under 英语阅读

在F1上海站即将举行之际,让我们来读一下《卫报》体育记者 Richard Williams 在F1日本站后写的这篇文章。他对 Lewis Hamilton 与其他F1车手之间关系加入了一点历史视角。

Reckless Hamilton should now take a history lesson in respect
There are signs that Lewis Hamilton has inherited from his predecessors the view that any tactic justifies victory

Richard Williams

They grew up racing go-karts as though they were dodgems. Now they race 750-horsepower cars with survival cells so strong that you could probably drive one off the rim of the Grand Canyon and live to tell the tale. No wonder today’s formula one drivers don’t play by the old rules, as those of us who rose before dawn on Sunday saw during the course of an absorbing but, in the end, dismaying telecast from the foothills of Mount Fuji.

Manoeuvres that could be politely described as over-aggressive by Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa, rivals for this year’s drivers’ title, shaped the outcome of the race and provoked the subsequent accusations and recriminations. Both were penalised by the race stewards. Deeper down, however, the real blame lies with those who allowed their predecessors to adapt motor racing’s etiquette in order to incorporate the kind of tactics that drivers of earlier eras would have seen as tantamount to attempted murder.

There is no difficulty in identifying those predecessors. Ayrton Senna’s belief in his own near-divinity and Michael Schumacher’s sheer unscrupulousness set an example to Hamilton and Massa as surely as Bach begat Beethoven and Cézanne begat Picasso. What we are seeing now is the inevitable consequence of kowtowing to the standing they had established in the grand prix circus.

There is certainly something of Senna about Hamilton and, sadly, it is not confined to a driving talent that approaches genius. When the Brazilian was once put on the spot over a misdemeanour on the track, he replied: “But I am Senna.” Hamilton appears to have acquired a similar sense of bulletproof entitlement, a conviction that goes far beyond the normal boundaries of self-confidence and into a realm where the rest of the human race plays only a supporting role.

From what we know of him, Hamilton does not share Senna’s propensity for seeing his role in a near-mystical light. He prefers to keep his wheels on the ground, with an attitude more reminiscent of that displayed by Schumacher .during the German’s period of total dominance. There are signs that Hamilton inherited from both men the view that any tactic, from the borderline unchivalrous to the downright illegitimate, justifies victory, for the simple reason that, according to their logic, it confirms the natural order of things.

When Robert Kubica criticised Hamilton’s approach last week, he was probably not expecting to see such instant and vivid evidence in support of his words. “There are differences of philosophies,” the Polish driver said. “Either you drive hard but fair or you are overconfident.” He went on to make a specific criticism of the English driver’s tactics at Monza last month. Hamilton rejected the accusation, but on Sunday his behaviour as he refused to accept the consequences of a poor start showed that Kubica’s comments were not merely an example of the usual mind games.

While he nurses his hope that the next two races will make him the next British world champion, Hamilton might like to be reminded of how the very first, Mike Hawthorn, won his crown exactly 50 years ago. Three races from the end of the season, Hawthorn was neck and neck with his great rival, Stirling Moss, as they went to the street circuit at Porto. Moss won the first Portuguese grand prix at a canter in his Vanwall, with Hawthorn heading for second place until he span on the last lap and stalled the engine, facing the way he had come. In order to restart his car, Hawthorn had to push it. Under a rule that forbids a car to travel against the direction of the circuit, the stewards promptly disqualified him. Moss, however, stood up before them to say that when Hawthorn had pushed the car, the Ferrari had been on the pavement and therefore not, strictly speaking, on the track.

As a result of Moss’s testimony, Hawthorn was allowed to keep his second place and the six points which, under the scoring system of the day, went with it. A few weeks later, after races at Monza and in Casablanca, Hawthorn was named champion. He had won the title by a single point from a man who has never, from that day to this, expressed even the tiniest twinge of regret for the action that cost him so dear. Perhaps the difference is this: those men knew that every time they raced, each had the other’s life in his hands.

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