Win some, Lewis some
We are the Champions
19 pole positions. 16 race wins. 12 front row lock outs. 10 one – two finishes. All sparked by NGK.
For Hamilton, 33 GP wins in total (11 alone this year) make him the most successful British Formula One driver ever. Two world championships put him up there with the great Brits too. Racing legends like Jim Clark, Jackie Stewart and Stirling Moss (though he of course never actually won a world championship, let alone multiples).
In their day winning a world championship was a distinctly more modest affair. The word on the street is that Mercedes have invested north of £350 million to bring home the silverware this year. An amount which sounds incredible, particularly when compared with the smaller teams at the opposite end of the grid. But when viewed as what it is, a global marketing campaign for one of the world’s major car manufacturers, it just highlights the world of difference between the teams that inhabit the opposite ends of the Formula One.
NGK’s interest in Formula One has focused not only on the Mercedes works team, but also the Mercedes powered teams which this year have included the resurgent Williams team as well as McLaren. Such has been the dominance of Mercedes power this year that at times the front end of the grid appeared to be more akin to a Mercedes car showroom!
Win on Sunday, sell on Monday has been the mantra oft repeated by manufacturers involved in motorsport. It will be interesting to see if Mercedes sales bear that out. It will then be interesting to see how their major competitors react. Rumours have been circulating that Audi might be considering a move despite their assurances that endurance racing is their chosen series. Watch this parking space…
In addition to Mercedes, NGK have a long and highly successful history with Ferrari. This year has not been one of their best, but with the arrival of four time world champion Sebastien Vettel next year, hopes will be high that past glories can be repeated.
Another world champion who joins an NGK sparked team is Fernando Alonso. The Spaniard has left the sun and pasta of Modena for the more prosaic environment of the Home Counties in search of another championship title with McLaren. In 2015 the Woking team rekindled a relationship that in the past has delivered many race victories. Honda power helped McLaren win four constructor’s championships between 1988 and 1991. Alonso will no doubt be hoping for a repeat performance.
2015 looks to have the makings of another fascinating year of competition with many teams battling to topple Mercedes from the top step of the podium.
But as we witnessed this year, the competition will not only be from outside Mercedes, but internally between their two protagonists. Relations between Hamilton and Rosberg grew increasingly strained as the season headed towards its climax. Old friendships dating back to their early days in karting appeared to founder and fester as the tension grew. But, finally, amongst all the celebrations and machinations which surround this most competitive and glamorous sport of all, perhaps the most poignant scene on Sunday was that of Nico Rosberg.
Red eyed and emotional, he found his way up to the prize giving ante room to search out his team mate and offer his congratulations. Hostilities ended. Mates once again.
After all, what’s a World Championship between friends?