Lewis Hamilton dreamed the impossible – debate over his greatness is spurious
Relentless. Relentless brilliance, relentless determination, relentless ambition.
He could have cruised around in midfield, had a gentle Sunday spin and still confirmed his seventh world drivers’ title.
Valtteri Bottas had spun on the first lap and Hamilton only needed to steer his way through the Istanbul puddles.
But Hamilton only does flat-out, only does the top step of the podium.
The casual observer, with good reason, might wonder why Hamilton did not have to change his tyres in the Turkish Grand Prix.
The experts will tell you it was because they were managed and nurtured by a peerless driver.
The hallmark of a brilliant Formula One champion is the mastery of difficult conditions.
Hamilton is a grandmaster.
For a moment, forget the incredible back story, the barely believable rise from hardship to the hall of true sporting greatness.
When Hamilton spoke about his achievements being way, way beyond his dreams, he could have added they are beyond the comprehension of most.
Think about this. Young black kid from a working class family, whose father has to hold down FOUR jobs to get him into a kart, believes he can make it in a sport that has been, almost exclusively, the preserve of rich white men?
Seriously, that is what it boils down to.
“Dream the impossible,” Hamilton said on the team radio after crossing the line for his 94th Grand Prix win.
That is what he did.
But for a moment, forget the incredible back story.
This latest victory, after starting sixth on the grid, was a technical masterpiece.
As Martin Brundle suggested in his post-race interview with Hamilton, it was the type of drive Michael Schumacher would have been proud of.
With rule changes not being introduced until 2022, Hamilton will surely now go on and surpass Schumacher’s tally of seven titles.
Only a Mercedes team-mate could pose a threat and Hamilton lapped Bottas in Turkey.
An eighth championship will further fuel the debate on where he stands in the pantheon of Formula One legends and, indeed, in a pecking order of British sportsmen and women.
But the debate is spurious.
When he signed for Mercedes in 2013, Hamilton, using tautology for effect, simply said: “I aspire to be unique in my own way.”
And no matter where you stand on comparisons, on awards, on knighthoods, one thing is beyond argument.
Lewis Hamilton is unique in his own way.
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