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Championship contenders: Lewis Hamilton - Can the stunning new Brit take an early career title?

Published by Mr. C

It can't be easy being Lewis Hamilton. Your fellow drivers have turned against you, the British media has turned against you, legions of F1 fans appear to have turned against you, and every tiny little thing you do is watched and analysed a thousand times over.

If I was him, I would probably never say anything ever again, just in case someone takes it the wrong way. But has he let it get to him? I don't think so.

Lewis Hamilton

One thing you have to admire Lewis for is his complete focus on his job. He lives to race, and that's all that matters. It's not about winning friends and influencing people, it's about getting out onto that track and putting his foot to the floor. Perhaps this is how it should be, however Formula 1 no longer promotes out-and-out racing. It's a team game, with strategic decisions to be made, and a championship to be won.

At the beginning of the year, Hamilton's season got off to a perfect start with a sublime win, but it would be five more races before he would see the top step of the podium again. Even so, he remained in contention throughout. I wasn't backing Lewis to win the championship last year, because I wasn't sure I'd seen enough to justify the hype. Everyone said he was a great driver in the rain, but I hadn't witnessed it. I was constantly informed that he was brilliant at racing through the field, yet he never needed to. On both counts, in 2008 those arguments have proven to be correct.

There have been some questionable races, of course, but all the championship contenders have had their off days. As many pundits are keen on saying at the moment, the title will go to whichever driver makes the least number of mistakes when it really counts. Last year we saw Hamilton's error rate increase, the closer to the end of the season we got. It almost looks as though this year could see history repeat itself, but I believe Lewis is made of stronger stuff than that. Heck, this is a man who can win at Monaco after hitting the wall.

Hamilton is now sitting on four wins, without a victory since Germany, and has but five points on his nearest rival. It's his championship to lose from this point onwards, the question is will his desire to win at all costs will overcome his teams desire to bag those points.