In my eyes and my mind, Formula One has already crowned it’s 2014 World Driver’s champion? “How so” you say? “We have 2 races to go” they argue, “and one them is double points!”
Let me elaborate.
Lewis Hamilton is a man on a mission. Nico Rosberg is a guy without motivation. As a former athlete myself, I’m not sure how he ended up here. If you had put me in a corner and told me I was going to lose a race as a swimmer or jockey, there are two mindsets to take. One would be to say “yeah, you’re probably right. Why bother” The other would be to say “F&*K you” and go fight for every inch. If you lose, at least you can say you tried with the latter. At this point, Rosberg isn’t trying very hard. Forget he was on pole for the United States GP. Hamilton had a “problem” with the car and fell down the order to a pathetic second place grid position….well that’s the way he made it feel anyway. So it was Rosberg’s to lose, right?
Sunday afternoon, my job as a photographer working as part of a larger team was to go down to the hairpin of turn 12 after the long back straight and wait for the inevitable. There were two places a pass could happen between the Mercedes drivers. And it was either turn 1, or turn 12. And we had a photographer at turn 1 already. So there I was at 12. Watching the race unfold in front of me. From the get go, Rosberg was losing time to Hamilton. Slowly but surely, the second placed Mercedes got closer and closer and closer and closer. It was going to happen.
I heard it before I saw it. And when I say heard it, I mean I heard the crowd going nuts as Hamilton dove up Rosberg’s inside and made the move stick as he pushed his teammate onto the rumble strip and astroturf with a very confident “You’re second place now, BI*TCH.”
And to think, these guys used to be pretty good friends.
Fast forward one hour to the press conference, and Rosberg sits dejected. His teammate to his left, full of smiles. Full of confidence. And the only thing Rosberg can muster when asked what had happened in the race, was a rather mopey sounding “I just didn’t have a rhythm today.”
So there it is. To me, through my Nikon’s viewfinder, on track and in the paddock and in person in the press conferences, you have a world champion already. And it isn’t Nico Rosberg.