A week to remember for Lewis
PUBLISHED: 13:58 29 May 2008 | UPDATED: 22:19 26 October 2009
BBC 5-live F1 commentator David Croft gives us his exclusive view on events in Monaco at the weekend… THROUGHOUT any sporting career there are weeks to remember and weeks to forget. Whatever Lewis Hamilton achieves from here on in, this will be a week
BBC 5-live F1 commentator David Croft gives us his exclusive view on events in Monaco at the weekend...
THROUGHOUT any sporting career there are weeks to remember and weeks to forget.
Whatever Lewis Hamilton achieves from here on in, this will be a week that tops the lot.
It started with a trip to see the new Indiana Jones film with Indy - Harrison Ford - himself sat right behind Lewis, an outcome he thought both 'awesome and unreal', but definitely 'pretty cool'.
It ended with the race of his life and his first F1 win on the streets of Monaco, an achievement he confessed moments afterwards that 'he couldn't believe'.
In all honesty, Lewis wasn't alone in that thought.
To cap it off, in between it all he picked up a new £25,000 diamond ring courtesy of sponsors Steinmetz and welcomed his new girlfriend to the track for the first time.
One day it might just sink in, but that moment may be a long time in coming.
The Monaco Grand Prix, as Lewis pointed out, is the race that he always wanted to own.
Well now he can and given the way that team orders denied him victory 12 months ago, there was a sense of justice to the events that unfolded.
It was a superb drive, faultless from the seventh lap onwards, although a lap earlier his chances of victory looked to have bitten the dust.
Incredibly, though, the bang into the barriers that damaged his right rear tyre indirectly put him on the ideal strategy for the conditions.
With his tyres changed and his car fuelled to the brim, Lewis was able to catch the leading group when the safety car came out for the first time, which allowed him to take the lead when Felipe Massa and Robert Kubica came into the pits for their first stops.
By this time, Kimi Raikkonen had picked up a stop-go penalty that ruined his race, before later crashing into the back of Adrian Sutil, which definitely ruined his.
By the time Lewis came in for his second stop, his lead was large enough to comfortably keep him ahead but there was once last scare to come in the final few laps. Nico Rosberg's crash at the swimming pool left the track covered in debris, some of which Lewis ran over as he tried to thread his way through.
Unknown to those watching and listening, Lewis picked up a slow puncture and wouldn't have finished the race had it run the full 78 laps.
Luckily for Lewis, the chequered flag came out at the two-hour time limit after 75 laps, which meant he could reach the line.
Any longer and the dream would have become the nightmare.
It was also a very timely win as it puts the Herts motor racer back on top of the Drivers' Championship with a maximum haul from a race that he was expected to stamp his authority on.
McLaren have admitted that it was a vital win for the teams' title aspirations and they believe that the battle between themselves and Ferrari is now finely poised.
It certainly won't do them or Lewis any harm that they head to Canada next, scene of Hamilton's first win in the sport 12 months ago.
In between now and the race in Canada, the FIA General Assembly will take place in Paris with a vote of confidence in the president Max Mosley on the agenda. Mr Mosley put in an appearance at Monaco, his first at a grand prix this season and an appearance that caused a stir, but not the glut of headlines that were expected. They were created by a win for Bruno Senna, 15 years after his uncle's last victory in the Principality, and by Lewis Hamilton.
Who knows how many more wins Hamilton will be celebrating there?
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