I was up at 2.00am this morning when the twitter machine went mad. Apparently it was going to be confirmed in a few short hours that some guy called Lewis Hamilton from a team called McLaren was going to move to a team called Mercedes.
I noted how the F1 Journo's on the twitter machine credited this story to its author. Proper order too, though I don't think anyone was too surprised, given that the Great Eddie "EJ" Jordan had broken the story of the move weeks ago and it had been hogging the airtime, webtime, and reams of column inches since. It seems that we have been moving inexorably to this place.
I also noted how quick others on the twitter machine were to "break" the story to their followers without giving credit where it was due, and that caused me concern and disappointment. Everyone likes to get a scoop, few of us manage it. I have exclusives in my line of work which are newsworthy, but I'm not working as a journalist so I keep them to myself. It is a fact that 99% of any stories relating to F1 will be attributable only to those who operate professionally within F1 (I give 1% to those who might gain access to exclusive information by way of a "chance your arm" style one-off meeting/interview/drinking session). These guys swim with the piranha club. The rest of us are bottom feeders.
We have opinions on the stories, as do all the journalists, and express them; but essentially this blog, like many others, is about my feelings about the stories of the day, is about my opinion and my reaction.
All I'm saying is that credit should be given where it is due. Regardless of the freedom which twitter/facebook etc. brings to the masses; the use of other's material and its abuse too, there is an onus on all of us as human beings to provide a source to every story and to give them the credit they deserve.
Lewis is moving to Mercedes and Checo is replacing him at McLaren.
I'm happy for him if he wants to go there. I think it gives Mercedes a great boost; it will motivate Ross Brawn and will spur Nico Rosberg on to bigger and better things. I feel that his early promise has been stifled to some extent as a result of the excess of publicity given to Michael and perhaps he needs a new challenge, a breath of fresh air to allow him express himself inside the car in competition with a fellow driver he knows well rather than one he may well be in awe of.
I remember his time with Williams, four years when his driving ability got better every year, culminating in 2 great podiums in the pretty uncompetitive FW30 and a very consistent 2009 where he scored points in 11 out of 16 races completed.
It would be good to see him get his mojo on and take the fight to Lewis. Good for Lewis and good for the team. I would hate Mercedes to "Reubens" him into the second drivers position.
As for McLaren: well you can only do what you can do can't you? I think it was time for him to leave the cloistered McLaren circle to which he may have become overcomfortable. Like all kids, once they've grown up you've got to let them go or they turn on you. And who's to say he won't return a happier and more rounded driver when he's taken a gap-year or three...?
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