Style gurus…. Not!
Here they come, moseying down the Sakhir race track’s paddock, nonchalantly ignoring the frenzied post-drivers’ briefing photographic activity.
Now the season is a few races old, some interesting observations can be made about the various style nuances exhibited by the class of 2009.
Kimi. Ah, Kimi, where did it all go wrong? With his easy, almost lazy gait he gives the impression of a man at ease with his lot. But don’t believe it for a second. One glance at his chewed-to-the-quick fingernails provides a window to a troubled soul. Perhaps more of a concern, though, is what’s going on on his head rather than in it.
Yo Kimi! You’re from Espoo, not NYC, so let’s lose the ‘Fiddy Cent’ cap!
Sporting a driver’s more traditional off-track headgear is Kimi’s Brazilian team-mate, Felipe Massa. A popular and affable guy, Felipe has matured from the keen youngster of a few years ago into a seasoned pro who can surely be forgiven for slightly overdoing the gunslinger-like swagger.
At Williams there’s a Mediterranean tip going on with the Timotei-haired Nico. His throwback Tom Ford shades and jumper-over-the-shoulder casualness all add to that Monaco-chic, just-off-a-yacht soap opera lothario look.
The coolest of the cool, though, is without a shadow of a doubt the ’05 and ’06 champion. Genuine star quality is a special and rare thing indeed and Fernando has it in spades.
Looking his best, unshaven with hair on the slightly longer side, it’s no wonder Russell Crowe’s Gladiator was known as ‘Spaniard’. Fernando seems well aware of his easy cool but never appears to be trying too hard.
When his wife Raquel is at his side he’s unbeatable.
They say that opposites attract and in the realm of F1 buddies that maxim holds true because Fernando’s best mate in the paddock is Robert Kubica. The lanky Pole is surely one of the least likely looking F1 drivers, and in a complete contrast to his Spanish mate tries way too hard, the pulled-down-hard cap revealing an unfortunate lack of self confidence.
Jenson – well, Jenson is Jenson, isn’t he? Relaxed, laid back, ever-cheerful and with an easy style. Whether driving a winner or a sinner of a car he’s never changed, and that’s a pretty rare quality in this arena.
Bringing up the rear is the world champion. Hamilton has a natural flair on the track, but less so off it. A middle of-the-road home counties style is the norm, but secretly I’m sure he’d love to sport Kimi’s gangsta rapper-style hat.
That, one suspects, would be livin’ a lie.
Please now take a few minutes to enjoy my pictures from the 2009 Bahrain Grand Prix by clicking on the Formula 1 link at the top of the page.