Say Hello To Hamilton

It seems a new champion has finally come to Formula 1 – a driver flashy enough and skillful enough to excite the spectators, even those who aren’t fans of Mercedes’ McLaren! Who is it? Lewis Hamilton, a British Formula 1 driver who has begun his career with some stunning victories. In his first seven races, he had seven consecutive podium finishes – and two of those were straight wins, with Hamilton taking first place. He’s amazing! And he never slips up.

The first to pay the price was none other than the great Fernando Alonso, his own team mate. The buzz over Lewis Hamilton’s performance even took over the McLaren team, who focused all their efforts on Hamilton’s car and press appearances, leaving Alonso trailing in the dust. There have even been rumours that Alonso plans to immediately transfer to Ferrari – he’s certainly not playing as one of a team any more, refusing to allow the telemetry from his car to be viewed by the team because Hamilton can also see that and gain an advantage. But does Hamilton actually need it…? Not from what we’ve been seeing from his performance on the track lately!

Despite the fact that this is probably just a rumour, many Ferrari fans have been calling on the team to let go of Raikkonen because of his disappointing results lately, and instead use Alonso as the replacement for Schumacher. However, I think it’s likely that people have actually forgotten that when Alonso was still at Renault, he already said he would never go over to Ferrari – that he hated that team, in fact! Jean Todt said himself that as long as he is in charge at Ferrari, he will never allow Alonso to become part of the team.

Personally, I believe that Todt means it and there’s no chance of Alonso joining Ferrari. I’ve been following the Formula 1 racing since I was four years old, and though I know I’m no expert at the technical level, I do know a great driver when I see one. Fernando Alonso has never been one of those – he certainly doesn’t match up to Senna, Prost, Mansel at his best, and he’s far behind the formidable Schumacher. Alonso has achieved solid results in his time, placing second and third at times, but mostly just coming in as part of the pack. He doesn’t win the points needed to win a championship (which is undoubtedly why McLaren are focusing on Hamilton, who seems to have the skill they need). A true champion wants to win everything, and will stop at nothing to win – even if it’s nothing but a game of table football in a bar!

Hamilton is a true star player, and I believe we’re going to be following his career for some time to come. Alonso is definitely the second string in McLaren’s fiddle – and there’s little chance they’re going to need him. He can’t replicate the astounding results that Hamilton brings home time after time.

Today, like millions of others, I found myself cheering for Hamilton all the way. Alonso has never produced that kind of reaction in a crowd.

As for Ferrari, just think about the official statement of Stefano Domenicali, the sporting director of the Ferrari team. “Now we just have to work on the performance of the car,” he said, “on pilots and the team.”

Well, that’s pretty much everything!

What do you think of Hamilton, Alonso and Ferrari? Are you expecting to see Hamilton’s star rise the same way I am?

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Wire Tapping Controversy

The player Christian Vieri is planning to ask for a huge amount of compensation after reports that he was being spied on by his club, a move justified by thenpresident Moratti. It transpires that the club kept tabs on Vieri by having a private investigator track him, and even had his phone wiretapped, in order to build up a body of evidence about his behavior off-pitch. The reasons Vieri’s legal team are giving for the legal action are all kinds of damage to his public image, to his earning capability, and even to his physical wellbeing. The club claim that such surveillance is justified based on his behavior.

It doesn’t matter how Vieri was behaving, as far as we’re concerned. He had a right to privacy and there’s no way it should be so easy to intercept his private communications. There need to be more controls on this, and there needs to be some kind of watchdog keeping an eye on the Telecom companies.

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Schumacher returns to Ferrari?

More and more sources in Formula 1 are buzzing with the latest news. It seems Schumacher could be back and racing in the Formula 1 races again sometime soon – within the next one or two years! I was already pretty excited about this rumor, but it’s awesome to also know that Schumacher remains in Ferrari’s orbit, promising that he will do the tests for sure next year. Granted, he’s going to limit his involvement so as not to clash with the official test driver, Luca Badoer.

Still, Schumacher’s return bodes really well for Ferrari. He’s amazing at judging the weaknesses of a car and alerting the technicians, and this means he works really well with his cars as well. He knows just how to lean on them to get the most out of them. This would give us a duo of Raikkonen and Schumacher – Massa would just have to go if that was possible.

Is it feasible for Schumacher to return to racing? He wouldn’t be the first. Prost, for example, returned to racing and even won the championship before he retired.

It’s not confirmed yet, but Schumacher’s promise to work as a test driver is a good sign – it gives him a chance to get to know the car and get back in the game. We can only hope! Schumi, please come!

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Legitimize doping?

Francesco Moser, the great cycling champion that no one is likely to forget, recently made a shocking statement in the wake of more accusations of doping in the professional cycling world. His comments are basically along the lines of saying that since we can’t seem to stop it, the sporting world should instead allow it under strict controls. I’m not sure how that would help? It would probably allow more people to use doping to get ahead while hiding it under supposedly legitimate methods. It wouldn’t increase the fairness in sport at all.

The journalist who broke this story was quick to point out that the other danger of this is that it would set a really bad example to young people. It implies that there are “short cuts” toward health and fitness, and often these short cuts are often dangerous for your health and untested, unregulated, and unadvisable. Moser’s attitude seems to be that many things are dangerous in this world.

Of course, fierce debate erupted immediately around these suggestions, prompting people to ask how they could be applied to other sports like football and athletics. As far as I know, Moser has given no answer to this…

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Farewell to Schumacher

As Schumacher says farewell to the world of racing, I can’t help but notice the way Ferrari are saying goodbye to him. Instead of celebrating his many achievements, they’ve been focusing entirely on Raikkonen. For all the controversy that has sometimes existed around Schumacher, nobody can deny that he was a talented driver and really symbolized everything Formula 1 and Ferrari wanted to offer. He was one of the best racers and test drivers we’ve ever seen, and I don’t think Formula 1 yet has a champion who could replace him. Other names will be forgotten, but not Schumacher. In many ways, Schumacher was Formula 1.

He’s raced for Ferrari for so long, and always been a loyal member of the team, that it seems doubly shocking that they are abandoning him now. There has been a lot of criticism aimed at both Schumacher and Ferrari, despite his long term loyalty. He deserves better from his old team – and they should be very sorry to lose him. Raikkonen is not a bad driver, but he doesn’t have Schumacher’s style.

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Juventus

It seems that the story of Calciopoli and Juventus is still going on without a break. It doesn’t actually seem to follow any kind of logic or common sense – and the whining from Juventus is completely lacking in any kind of class. (Class, Juve – you remember class?) In the latest game, Juve played all out in a game which threatens to blow up the entire league. However, FIFA have warned Italy and Juve not to go any further. Juventus continue to claim to be protecting their shareholders who have been damaged by the whole affair. What exactly are they saying is unfair? I bet when the Juventus shareholders see a win, they don’t mind too much about whether it was fair or not.