The question on all our minds yesterday was, could Lewis Hamilton make it first past the chequered flag at Indianapolis, despite his lack of experience, and the undoubtedly fierce challenge from Fernando Alonso?
This morning, the top of the Formula One drivers’ championship looks like this :
1 Lewis Hamilton GB 58
2 Fernando Alonso Spa 48
3 Felipe Massa Bra 39
4 Kimi Raikkonen Fin 32
5 Nick Heidfeld Ger 26
6 Giancarlo Fisichella Ita 13
7 Heikki Kovalainen Fin 12
7=Robert Kubica Pol 12
9 Alexander Wurz Aut 8
The ten point gap at the top will tell anyone who has been paying attention that Lewis Hamilton won his second Grand Prix back to back in North America yesterday.
Hamilton is only 22, driving in his first F1 season. Already he performs as if victory is inevitable, much as Ayrton Senna did in his pomp.
Hamilton started in pole position, scuffled with Alonso early on, but held his lead in the face of a determined challenge from his Spanish team mate.
After establishing a winning margin, he lost it, but then re-established it in alpha style. None of the other drivers on the grid knows what to do about him, not least twice Word Champ, Fernando Alonso.
Apart from his precocious talent, Hamilton’s greatest asset this season has been the reliability of his McLaren car, which has yet to let him down. Despite rumours of massive offers from Ferarri, he was right to stick with his current package, which has all the hallmarks of a runaway winning season.
The story of the US GP is neatly encapsulated in a passage from Daily Mail journalist, Jonathan McEvoy : “It was the beginning of lap 39 at the famous old Brickyard and Lewis Hamilton showed the world what he is made of. Fernando Alonso, pursuing the British rookie from second place, put his foot flat on the accelerator at 200mph and demanded of the young pretender: ‘Hold me off if you think you’re hard enough.’ The world champion wriggled level with the race leader. The wheels of their McLarens came within inches of touching and car-smattering implications. Hamilton stayed cool, pushed Alonso to the left and dived round the righthander fractionally in front. ”
The rest is yet more history for the cool dude that is Lewis Hamilton.