Lewis vs Jenson, who’s winning?

Pre season favourite was clearly Lewis.  Fully integrated into the team and widely regarded as one of the quickest drivers on raw talent, the smart money was on him despite only being in F1 for 3 years.  The fallout with Alonso in his rookie year could easily be placed at Fernando’s door and you can’t argue with the 2008 season which yielded a title.  2009 was if anything more impressive as (after he’d got past lie-gate) he put his head down and slowly got into the groove, eventually winning 2 races in Hungary and Singapore.

Jenson however, although reigning world champion, has attained a bit of an odd reputation.  Clearly extremely talented as demonstrated many times over his formula1 career, he’s always never quite been in the right place at the right time until the last couple of years.  Now that’s often been down to how his career has been managed (remember the on-off-on again tug of war between BAR and Williams?).   He was the best of the rest in 2004 but then the team faded and never lived up to expectations until it became Brawn.  Now with the tools to do the job, Jenson got on an delivered, but the doubts still circulated in the media.  Was he only winning because of the car?  How good was he?

What is becoming clear though is that Jenson has learned alot over his trials and tribulations over the years.  He’s very much his own man and the confidence of knowing himself and his strength of mind was demonstrated in his bold decision to move to McLaren and proved on track in his call to come in for slicks.

In contrast, despite showing the signs of maturing through last year and deciding to become more independent from his father this year, Lewis is still showing signs of insecurity.  His reliance on the team to call tactics, and then criticising them when they get it wrong shows he still has some growing up to do.   Although McLaren know how Lewis is more than us on the outside, I doubt that throwin his toys out of the pram on the radio during the race will endear him to the McLaren staff.  Time will tell whether his natural speed will overcome Jenson over the whole season, but on the current showing I would say probably not.

Jenson is clearly feeling the love in the team (where Lewis perhaps is not) and he’s showing them that he’s a man to lead a team rather than follow (something Ferrari seem to be currently treasuring from Alonso compared with Kimi).  Speed alone is not enough to win championships.  It’s going to be intriguing to see how the rest of the season pans out and if Lewis can turn things round

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One thought on “Lewis vs Jenson, who’s winning?

  1. In some way this mirrors Senna v Prost, ie raw speed versus a racing brain. One of the main (and probably unfair) criticisms on Jenson over the years is that he could only do well when the car was perfect, unlike Alonso or Hamilton who could wring the neck out of anything, which began mainly in the dark end days of Benneton and continued through to the Brawn season. He has proved though time and again that if the car is balanced he can get the best from it, whether it has the ultimate pace or not.One of the true measures of a driver is that he wins races he wasn’t supposed to win, and this certainly applies to the Australian GP and Jenson. The decision to pit early was very brave but a trip to the gravel in the first sector was a gamble that nearly didn’t pay off. Fortune favours the brave though as the saying goes!.I fully expect Lewis to bounce back from this though and it will be fantastic if the pendulum keeps swinging for the rest of the season.

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