Lewis Hamilton’s opponents will be left scratching their heads after watching him win his fifth world crown. After all, there is no logical explanation for it.
From an early age, elite athletes are regularly told to train, get their rest, shun the parties and the temptations all in favour of living a saint-like existence.
Yet, somehow and for some reason, that approach doesn’t work for Hamilton. In fact, the more jet-setting, glitz and glamorous lifestyle he leads, the better he becomes.
A case in point this season came at the Singapore Grand Prix, a track that his Mercedes team has historically struggled at.
Hamilton stepped off the plane having racked up a whopping 25,000 miles in the air flying from London to Shanghai, to London to New York, to London to Singapore. All to promote his fashion designs with Tommy Hilfiger.
While his peers had spent time in their teams’ simulators or training, Hamilton was on the red carpet with models. Yet he responded with a brilliant pole position on a Saturday and converted that into a victory on the Sunday.
The fact is that Hamilton tried the conventional approach at McLaren as they attempted to shoe-horn him into the mould of a modern professional with little profile outside of F1 and certainly without a voice.
But at Mercedes he has been given freedom to do what he likes, within reason. He was told that he can follow his fashion career on the proviso that it does not impact his performances on track, only it does but in a positive way.
Now in his 12th season in F1, Hamilton says he still has the passion to keep competing at the highest level for victories. We know this to be true, for he has agreed a lucrative two-year contract extension with Mercedes.
Hamilton has flourished on track but in the last 20 months he has also developed off it. He has grown in confidence.
A case in point is his stance on social media. There are still a few mis-judgements, such as his comments about his nephew wanting to wear a princess dress, but that would be missing the point.
For the key example is the sheer fact he is willing to express his opinion. In this regard he is unlike many other modern athletes.
While many footballers’ Twitter account are full of the benign “we go again” or “good win for the lads”, mundane messages, Hamilton uses his social media to address matters which are important to him. -THE SUN