If you get the chance, take a look at Lewis.
The 2008 world champion – 2010 style – is a changed man: calm, confident and relaxed. Hell, he’s almost ‘cool’.
Of course it’s great to see. We all like it when our sporting heroes come of age, evolving from sometimes petulant, spoilt prodigies into icons that fans of all ages can respect and admire.
So what’s changed in the McLaren man’s life?
We all know his ol’ man doesn’t front up to races any more, but it’s more than that.
Perhaps it’s last year’s dog of a car and the monster effort – by team and driver – to drag it to the front of the grid. All true grit stuff.
Perhaps having a team-mate he genuinely appears to like plays well.
Certainly having a top-notch in-team media advisor – so as to put out all those potential fires before they’ve started – has helped.
It can’t be bad to have Nicole, his very own Pussycat Doll, become a Formula 1 regular, easy on the eye and popular with the team.
Whatever it is, his rivals hate it.
Arriving on the ’07 scene in a blaze of glory, driving for a top team, winning with ease, etc, etc – you can just imagine how this went down in the school playground-like world of the F1 drivers.
Chief chip–on–his–shoulder man Fernando Alonso didn’t like it then and he can’t stand it now. Compare and contrast the present demeanour of the driver who was once the coolest man in F1. He’s rattled, and the Ferrari man’s toys are scattered all over the nursery floor.
All positive for Hamilton and McLaren, of course. Alonso is well aware of the Blitzkrieg-like approach McLaren can and do apply to research and racing. This can only serve to compound his frustration as the Scuderia continues to flounder.
Lewis’s mildly sarcastic “Sorry, mate” as he dumped champagne on the unsuspecting Spaniard’s head on the Montreal podium went down like a lead balloon too.
How can poor old Fernando ever recover his mojo?!