Formula 1 betting lewis needs to look at the man in the mirror

← Homepage



There is only one man who can stop Lewis Hamilton winning his third world drivers title in a row - and, believe it or not, that man isn't Nico Rosberg.

No, the guy who will give Hamilton the most problems - or suddenly put the second half of his season back on track - is the man in the mirror: Hamilton himself.

After finishing third behind Rosberg and Daniel Ricciardo in Singapore he is now eight points off the lead in a Drivers Championship race he was leading by 19 points during the summer break. With a fortnight before the next race in Malaysia he has some soul searching to do.

Lewis had given a hint that he was allowing his mind to wander with his poor start in the Italian Grand Prix, when he went form pole position to sixth in the blink of an eye. I suggested then he might be showing the first signs of slipping up, even though he was still [1.33] to be world champion despite that mistake.

This morning the markets still have him odds-on, but the price has drifted to [1.62] while Rosberg is in to [2.66], having been matched at one time at [6.0] or greater.

The significance of the weekend result is deep. Since 2008 only world champions have won this race, Sebastian Vettel four times, Hamilton and Fernando Alonso twice. Rosberg must now believe that he can add his own name to that list.

It's all very well for Hamilton's boss Toto Wolff to take the pressure off his star driver by blaming the Mercedes team for his poor build-up to yesterday's Singapore Grand Prix. And it's true that faults on the car that cost him precious lap time during Friday's practice sessions didn't help.

"Lewis did not have a car able to extract all the performance," was Wolff's Saturday night verdict. But that hid the fact that Hamilton himself made mistakes both in qualifying and then again in Sunday's race.

I thought Damon Hill's analysis was far more on the money. "Lewis is a little out of sorts and that can happen with him," he said. "Sometimes I feel his concentration goes."

Singapore seemed a case in point. The warning signs were there when he arrived talking about how the twisty circuit with 23 turns was a "Red Bull track". That hardly suggested a positive mindset. When the technical problems with his own car began to multiply it only made matters worse.

What will count now is how he reacts. And there are good signs. After refusing to accept the blame for what went wrong in Monza, at least this time he was candid. "I struggled with the balance, struggled getting on the pace myself, and then in the race struggled with the brakes," he said - as well as Tweeting that "we win or lose as a team."

The last time Hamilton had such a bad weekend was in Baku when practice, qualifying and the race itself were all scrappy and fragmented. After the fortnight break that followed he reeled off four wins in a row in July.

That's what he is capable of when his competitive juices are flowing and his mind is completely on his job. He has to find that focus again. That's why what happens next is all down to the man in the mirror.