In the aftermath of his Malaysian Grand Prix engine blowout which cost him a more than likely victory at Sepang, Lewis Hamilton wants us to believe the scenario I have contrived below, or something of this sort, is transpiring at Mercedes.
For the record, I am a big Lewis fan since his F3 days and believe him to be one of the best of this generation. Don’t care about what he does beyond the track, on it when he is at his best there is no better.
Okay so here we go..
It is not a well known fact but Mercedes decision makers have a number of secret codes which they can deploy when and where required, as well as code names for certain people. Examples of some of these codes which pertain to this tale:
- HAM-Toast which means press the button that blows up Hamilton’s engine.
- ROS-Beef which means press that button and Rosberg gets a boost of horsepower
- BIG-Tache is the code name for Mercedes uber chief Dieter Zetsche
So picture the following taking place in the Mercedes pit garage around midway through the Malaysian Grand Prix, with Hamilton leading comfortably and Rosberg battling his way through the field after being rear-ended and turned around by crazy Sebastian Vettel in Turn 1, on the opening lap of the race.
Around mid-race the big boys in the Mercedes pit garage make an important call…
Toto: Guys this is not good. Lewis is going to take the lead of the championship again… and, god-forbid, win it again!
Toto: I think its time for HAM-Toast…
Paddy: You sure about that? Nico may end up second or third and will still lead the championship.
Toto: Yes, but let’s not risk it. He has to get by Mad Max and that’s always a risk. And you know the story, BIG-Tache wants a German driver to win even if he is Finnish. Not another Briton, you know Brexit and all that stuff.
Paddy: Okay so it comes from the top then. What the gaffer wants the gaffer gets, he signs my paycheck. I am in.
Niki: Yes I am in and its time to make it happen. Andy please confirm HAM-Toast is deployed.
Andy: Yes gentlemen HAM-Toast deployment button has been pressed, wait and watch it should happen around lap 40 or 41.
Silence for a few minutes.
Toto: Okay that’s good. But I just had another thought. How about ROS-Beef?
Paddy: Is it really necessary? We have used it before and Lewis was suspicious…
Toto: Guys the sooner we have Nico wrap up the title, the better for everyone. Come on let’s beef up Nico’s engine for the remaining laps.
Paddy: Agreed! So ROS-Beef deployment please Andy.
Andy: Okay gentlemen ROS-Beef has been deployed. Nico should notice a power boost for a dozen or so laps, and by our calculations do a best lap of 1:36.424 on lap 44 while Lewis is walking back to the pits.
Toto: Great! I had BIG-Tache on the phone all last night, now I will call him and tell him HAM-Toast is activated and the ROS-Beef touch will make him happy. Germany über alles and all that stuff we Austrians don’t really get.
Niki: Remember guys we have all signed non-disclosure agreements with regards to these secret codes aimed at harming only Lewis. So when the British media get into a conspiracy theory frenzy we know nothing.
Toto: Niki why don’t you get your mate Jackie Stewart to blame it on Lewis partying too much?
Niki: Great idea will have a chat to him.
And lo an behold on lap 41 that bullet proof Mercedes, bolted to the back of number 44 goes up in flames and three laps later Rosberg blasts around faster than anyone.
Not long after Hamilton faced the media (and this is true) and said of his ordeal: “My question is to Mercedes. We have so many engines made for drivers, but mine are the only ones failing this year. Someone need to give me some answers because this is not acceptable.”
Then, word has it, that BIG-Tache got really pissed off and called Wolff in a fit, demanding that HAM-Kaput be deployed, which according to insiders is the secret code for instant dismissal of Hamilton.
But these same insiders confirm that Toto, Niki and Paddy talked sense into BIG-Tache and instead the trio urged Hamilton to change his tune.
Which the champ, to his credit, did and instead pointed an accusing finger at god no less (and this is true too): “Someone doesn’t want me to win. A higher power. It feels right now that the man above, or a higher power is intervening a little bit.”
Seriously this Michel Vaillant style saga is what Hamilton expects us to believe to garner sympathy for an engine blow-out that cost him his 50th grand prix victory.
Why always poor Lewis? Well maybe he overdrives the thing. We know he loves to stomp the brakes, loves to pound the crap out of his toys – that’s what we admire about him as a racer – but maybe that’s also why he gets the engine hassles.
Or then perhaps not and his fate in Malaysia was simply a case of shit happens.
For him to hint at a German sabotage plot within Mercedes to have a German win at the expense of a Briton is the most laughable conspiracy theory I have ever heard in four decades of following Formula 1.
It’s an outright insult to 1500 or so people who toil hard for him and have gifted him the most dominant car in the history of F1, for the past three years, most of them British workers based in Brackley and Brixworth. I bet many of them will secretly (and not so secretly I imagine) be rooting for Rosberg to win the title.
It is also an insult to Toto Wolff (who is inexplicably tolerant of his driver’s unacceptable behaviour), an insult to Niki Lauda who got him the job, to Paddy Lowe who he knows since their McLaren days, a slap in the face to each and everyone in Mercedes team at the track that day in Malaysia, and of course his pay masters in Stuttgart who have made the lad from Stevenage rich beyond his wildest dreams.
And then for him to back pedal, in a feeble attempt at damage repair by suddenly (on the same day) attributing his misfortune to a higher power – now that takes the cake!
If there is such a thing as a higher power can it/he/she really be bothered about a Mercedes engine on the back of a spoilt brat’s race car going poof in Malaysia, when there are far more pressing matters on this planet requiring divine attention.
Lewis was wrong in the way he reacted to his misfortune on Sunday in Malaysia, he disappointed many and at the same time made a big gash in the wrist of the hand that feeds him.
Inside Line by Paul Velasco