These days to make the news – or at least to try – is the spoken F1. Red Bull is red-bullying by announcing that with the future RB18 it has already exceeded the performance of the 2021 single-seater. We always talk about virtual simulations, but someone is already scared. Mercedes makes it clear that a couple of teams have probably messed up the project: and in this communication viper I see all the hand of James Allison, one that his opponents do not just want to beat, but to mince in the Thermomix. In Ferrari, after the earthquake in the Production sector, there was some small aftershock also in the GeS organization chart, but nothing significant, waiting for the SF22 (or SF75). Of which it is whispered that, in addition to showing off a red livery with fewer shades, it is already at least as fast as the SF21 but, for the moment, rather fragile. (This is good news because, according to a well-known principle of motorsport, a machine born fast can be made reliable, but not vice versa). The pilots, after a well-deserved vacation, in these days do seat and cockpit tests. Waiting for the presentations and the winter tests, someone vents on social networks. Seb Vettel, who from a declared enemy has become an FB Taliban, churns out posts all the time. But there is someone who is silent.
Lewis’s Instagram profile Hamilton, which counts the beauty of 26.8 million followers – or half of Lady Gaga – has not been updated for a while. The latest photos show him petrified by the defeat in Abu Dhabi. And unlike Silvio Berlusconi, who officially pronounced himself on the presidential candidacy, Ham has not yet dissolved the reservation. In practice, his press blackout has lasted since the last world race. And his unofficial intentions are to wait for the outcome of the famous FIA investigation into the facts of Yas Marina, before letting the world know whether or not he will take part in the next championship.
At my age, one is no longer so afraid of making a mistake and I am calm in stating that, if Lewis does not start free practice in Bahrain in a couple of months, it is only because yet another planetary bad luck will have upset the racing calendar. I feel no concern in Mercedes nor do I expect epochal upheavals when the federal investigation – actually an analysis – will be concluded, as planned, before the opening weekend of the new season. It’s just that a short time ago I saw a special on TV on Muhammad Ali, born Cassius Marcellus Clay eighty years ago: and it came naturally to me to associate his life with that of the pilot who chose him as an example and idol. Ali, as I think you know, was a conscientious objector, as a sympathizer of the Muslim nation that rejected all wars not called by God (I don’t know who was responsible for discerning the categories). For this he refused to leave for Vietnam and for this he was sentenced, I think, to five years, later finding enlightened judges and jurists who reviewed his case and saved him from jail. But his career as a boxer, unable to fight pending appeal, was affected in some way.
Now, I do not expect Hamilton to invent yet another ideological cause, this time to be indicted and condemned. But it seems to me that, at least in this case, the thirty-seven-year-old Lewis was not up to par with his teacher. In comparison, his stubborn silence seems more a whim than a real stance. Also because, having a signed contract, he would face serious reprisals from Mercedes. But quibbles aside, what would be the future of a Lewis Hamilton who retired without a fight after the first, real defeat from the Pleistocene to today? I know a lot of people see him as a prophet of glamor, and at the same time a kind of Environmentalist river bed, not to mention the anti-racism campaigns and so on. All noble causes, apart from perhaps the glamor: but do you think that the ex-driver Lewis would have the same impact, media and image, as the Lewis who, between a fashion show and a gear, puts on a suit and helmet and takes to the track? Do you think that this meat grinder at twenty thousand revolutions / minute that we call the world would keep for him the consideration and popularity that today – rightly, by the way – accords him for sporting merits?
I think no. I think that for many Lewis Hamilton, around the street, it would be just a player in checkered Bermuda shorts or purple tracksuits. I even think that to some these ‘outfits’, as they say today, would seem like only expedients to attract attention. Which is the worst sentence for a famous ex. And I also think Lewis feels the same way. And that he is not yet willing to take a step back from the spotlight, as they say. And if I’m wrong, and if Russell will be the first driver of the constructors’ world champion team in two months, never mind. Maybe I’ll buy a pair of purple breeches too.
#Cassius #Play #FormulaPassionit