I have a theory. The theory is, if you have a dissertation or an essay or a column to write, don't think too hard. What you want to talk about has probably been going round your head for weeks, or even, years. I proved this when I did my degree. I started doing Shakespeare because I could not think of anything else to do for my final dissertation, got bored, abandoned it, and went for Oscar Wilde, whose life and works had intrigued, enthused and amazed me for years. Since I had read Wilde and his biographers inside out, my final dissertation was not only a piece of cake, it was a hugely enjoyable piece of cake.
And so it was with this, the Formula One Grands Prix, and the Lewis Hamilton story. As David Coulthard writes;
For those sports fans who have been in a coma: McLaren were found to have deliberately misled race stewards in Melbourne, resulting in a sensational apology from Lewis Hamilton, who claimed he was told to "withhold information" by sporting director Dave Ryan, a long-serving New Zealander who has since been suspended by the team.
This has been on my mind daily since the story broke. I have to look at it from the perspective of a Dad who has a son one year younger than Lewis, who incidentally, came within a fag paper of being called - Lewis. I know young Weasel is an adult, and a bloody strong adult at that, but imagine, there you are, in a dream world, surrounded by Dad figures, and in the heat of the moment, one of these Dad figures tells you to tell a porky pie. What do you do? It is so tempting to defer to the Dad figure. The Dad figure has been at McLaren for 30 years. He is someone you admire and respect. You want to do the right thing, and ingrained in you is "be a team player".
You are confused, but you go along with it, feeling uncomfortable, but there you go.
Then it all goes ballistic. A man, a real man apologizes, properly. Which is what Lewis Hamilton did, making sure, of course, that the real culprit was named and shamed as he should be.
This should be the end of the story.
David Coulthard again:
Some people have said, 'He's a big boy, he should have thought for himself'. And yes, he is a mature 24-year-old.
But I knew a hell of a lot more when I was 30 than I did at 24. I feel for him, believe me. He has been catapulted to stardom and Formula One can be a very lonely place.
For my money, Lewis Hamilton is a breath of fresh air in F1. He has proved that he can be a player in a car that is less than competitive.
He is 24 years old. Give him a break.