THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF THE SPEED OF A CHAMPION
“Few would argue that Lewis
Hamilton isn’t the fastest driver
in F1, but what is it that so
elevates him above the rest?”
ow do you analyze something as
instinctive and ethereal as the ability to drive
a racecar faster than anybody else? Sure,
you can break down certain techniques or
traits, but that doesn’t entirely explain why
one driver using those basic techniques
is merely quick, and another – same
techniques – can be on a whole other level.
Case in point, three-time (and
counting) Formula 1 World Champion
Lewis Hamilton. Few would argue that he
isn’t the fastest driver in F1, but what is it
that so elevates him above the rest?
In our cover story (starts page 22),
Mark Hughes goes beyond the 2015
champ’s technique (a straightforward one,
he notes) and considers the motivations
and the mindset that make him the
stand-out driver of his generation.
More fascinating still, he also explores
why those same traits can also work
against Hamilton at times – the final races
of this year’s championship, for example,
when his Mercedes teammate, Nico
Rosberg, scored six straight poles and won
the last three grands prix of the season,
while Lewis hinted at irreversible car
changes and reminded people how fast
he’d been for the first dozen-plus races...
One driver who rarely, if ever, feels the
need to justify himself is four-time IndyCar
Series Champion Scott Dixon. He’s a guy
who’s happy to fly under the radar, while
continuing to deliver at an extraordinarily
high and consistent level. But, as he tells
Mark Glendenning (page 32), there are
still areas where he’d like to raise his game.
l It’s fitting that in RACER’s annual
Champions Issue we’re saying farewell to
a truly great champion in Jeff Gordon.
No, he didn’t bow out with that elusive
fifth NASCAR Sprint Cup title, but the
mere fact he was still in the running at
Homstead’s finale speaks volumes of the
man. That he exited before his powers
had diminished, and with the same
humility and dignity that have marked his
whole career, deserves huge respect.
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