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The Mercedes Dilemma

It has again been a while since I have taken the time to write a blog but as with much of life, finding time is always the issue.

I recently posted this on my Facebook wall: “On reflection. Mercedes did play the situation wrong. Rosberg’s attacking skills are somewhat average at best. He is not as clinical a driver as others out there. Merc really had no reason to ask Hamilton to move over. Split strategy, yes, but they would come back together due to degradation. All it would do is create Rosberg with a smaller gap to close, something like 10 seconds over 22. Still prefer a Rosberg champ over Hamilton but to me it more so illustrates just how good Alonso is and how Ricciardo is fast becoming one of the best drivers in the field.”

I wanted to elaborate on this more and felt going back to my blogging would be the ideal way to approach this.

The 2014 season has turned in to a straight Mercedes fight for the Drivers World Championship while the team romp off with the Constructors Championship. I find you can understand a driver or a person more when then they fight through adversity. It is when their skill, talent and mental capabilities are tested to the maximum.

Lewis Hamilton has been tested pretty significantly now throughout this season and to be fair has actually done a remarkable job to keep his title chances alive. Arguably showing his strength mentally but then also shows utter frailties when it comes to the media which a more closely associated with throwing toys out of the pram. So, how does a guy that seemingly has the mentality of a yo-yo overcome someone that appears to play cool-calm-collected?

Quite simply we saw the Hunger in Hungary. Hamilton’s all out driven, balls to the wall, bin it or win it shows that he will stop at nothing to win the 2014 championship. Hamilton said his hunger is greater than Rosberg’s due to his background and upbringing “”I come from a not great place in Stevenage and lived on a couch in my dad’s apartment,” said Hamilton.
“Nico grew up in Monaco with jets and boats and all these kind of things – so the hunger is different.” This entire statement is utter nonsense really and just a psychological tactic and a pretty poor one at that.

Hamilton’s direct ignoring of the Mercedes team wall of team orders to move aside for his team mate and championship rival showing that his tenacity prevails over any team need. The phrase “team player” seemingly lost on Hamilton but in a sport that is the most individual team sport, do you blame him?

Mercedes stance is that they tried to maximise both strategies to get the best for the team. That is fair but also the team are fighting for a World Drivers’ Championship therefore a driver is not just going to back down. Not in the current position. I do believe there is a time and place for team orders but they are circumstantial not just a one set rule. Evaluating the whole picture is required.

I am not a Hamilton fan, I never will be a Hamilton fan but I have a level of admiration for the job he is doing, even if that is through gritted teeth. Rosberg for me is not clinical enough. He does not have that natural rawness of a Champion. He plays the media well and wins a lot of media fights. Let’s be frank here if Hamilton had not had his troubles then the Championship would be long gone. Rosberg though in truth is kinder to his car and deals with heated situations and moments better, at least until Hungary.

Hamilton during qualifying seemed incredibly calm even through a burning backside. His calmness over team radio was personified during the race. So my question is has his mentality changed? Is he now viewing things differently and simply believing he is better than Rosberg anyway and the title will come to him? Well if he does not already, he should.

Sounds like I am backing someone I do not like? No, not really. I would actually prefer a Rosberg win for the sport. I think across the first half of the season he has achieved the maximum possible during Hamilton’s difficulties and that speaks volumes also. If we evaluate this though what real challenge has he had? Williams in Austria could be viewed as a challenge but that was more patience than a challenge.

So to Rosberg’s credit he has done everything he can. To Hamilton’s credit he has fought with all his might to stay in the title. Who deserves it more? Alonso. But that is for another blog.

@Nico888