Formula 1 is enjoying probably the best season for about 15 years. As British motorsport fans we all enjoyed watching Lewis’ successes over the previous three years, just as much as we enjoyed watching Button, Hill and Mansell thrashing everyone in their hey-days (with Adrian Newey’s help in most cases), but really F1 hasn’t been this good since the days of Senna and Prost.
Now, I should probably admit at this stage that I am not a Schumacher fan. I can happily acknowledge that he is (or maybe was) the class of the field, but I also think that a number of his World Championships were down to the car as much as the driver.
I am sure that Mansell and Hill will acknowledge that their World Championships with Williams were very much helped by the car being the best. It is the same with Vettel last year – and maybe this year.
Adrian Newey is the best car designer that F1 has ever seen. His “hits” over the last 15 years have been monumental. As have the “hits” he has had whenever anyway lets him actually drive a race-car! Considering his prowess at developing a car that sticks to the ground around slow, medium and high speed corners, he is a rubbish race car driver. Just ask Ginetta.
So it seems that you need the best car to win the F1 Championship. But there are a few other minor requirements too:
1) Be an amazing driver
2) Be incredibly motivated
3) Be fantastically lucky
4) Have access to people with ridiculously deep pockets
You need all of the above to get past the initial hurdles that face 99.9% of race drivers. Only 0.1% of race drivers have any hope of making it into an F1 cockpit.
So, you have made it from karting, to single seaters, to faster single seaters, to GP2. Someone has spent about £5-10million along the way. But you are rewarding them for their investment in you. You are about to drive an F1 car in the World Championship. So there is now only one other rather important requirement:
Be quicker than your team-mate! He has made it into the sister car. He has achieved everything that you have. He may or may not being paid the same as you. In fact, he may be paying for his drive. It doesn’t matter. He has already proved that he is good enough for F1 and he has the same car and team as you. So make sure you are quicker than him!
Good luck everyone.