By Gary Norris Gray, Staff Reporter
For a sports fan the ultimate joy is the experience of watching excellence and witnessing the athlete’s perform at his/her best. This was in effect 20 years ago, when young Serena and Venus Williams played their first major tennis tournament.
Even a lay person could see the difference the way these two STRONG young Black women played tennis but you could sense the greatness of Serena. We are seeing it again in Naomi Osaka from Japan as she won the U.S. Open in New York.
This is the same athletic greatness for Formula One Race Car Driver Lewis Hamilton on the racing tracks around the world, winning his first world championship in 2007. Lewis has continued to impress the racing world with his driving skills.
Watching him for the first time on television many could see this young man was on a mission. Lewis Hamilton in 2020 is once again knocking on the door of greatness. He is on the verge of winning his seventh world racing title.
Hamilton taught many, not knowing the sport how important his pit crew and mechanics are in winning a race. He showed racing fans with illustrations how a pit stop could win or lose a race in one tenth of a second.
In the first Italian Grand Prix, he proved his point in the qualifying round beating his teammate by that one tenth of a second gaining that coveted pole position.
A month ago, this young man did the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. He was leading the race in Italy and one of the cars-John LeClerc went off the track and crashed into the barriers causing a red flag stop of the race.
This was nothing unusual but on the restart Hamilton was assessed a ten-second penalty for going into the pit lane when the pits were closed.
The penalty was like being sent to Siberia to never-ever return. Lewis Hamilton would defy this. Not only did he defy it he ran the four fastest laps of the race and received a point for being in the top ten. How do you do this?
On the restart his Silver Arrow was in 18th place, last, with 30 laps to go.
The Silver Arrow started moving in passing cars at every turn. On the last lap Hamilton was chasing down the 5th place car-Riccardo and if he had more laps, he would have won that race too.
Lewis Hamilton is that good and that’s how strong his Mercedes-Benz Racing Team has become. The Benz Team expects to win every race.
Last week, he was in the Inaugural Italian Tuscan Grand Prix and won. It was a crash marred race ending with only 12 cars running out of 22 on the track with two red flag restarts. The Mercedes-Benz Motor Team went 1-2 again as teammate Valtteri Bottas could not catch Hamilton.
This time number 44 did not go into the pit stands. This time he only had his teammate Bottas to battle for first place. This time he won by over five seconds which is an eternity on the racetrack.
This magical driver has been doing it for years. Last year he won the individual championship before the season ever ended and his team won The Constructors Trophy for the last six years with an eye for that number seven this year.
This trophy is for the most points for his pit crew and mechanics over the current racing season. Hamilton broke Michael Schumacher’s podium record at 156 two weeks ago, he closed in on wins at 90 and championships at six.
As always the sports radio, TV, and newspaper pundits have to put a BUT in the equations when a Black person does well in any sport. They have done it again stating that Hamilton has won the easy way with one company, one engine team, one pit crew team, and one car the Silver Arrow, all with the Mercedes-Benz Racing Team.
Schumacher used three different company engines, four different cars and two different pit crew teams. But what they did not tell you Lewis Hamilton has done all of this four years faster than Schumacher.
They also don’t tell you that Lewis is Black. It does not matter Hamilton will have seven world championships and will be the new king of the road.
Formula One will be racing in Sochi, Russia for the Russian Grand Prix on Friday, September 25th at 10:00 am Eastern Time (7:00 am Pacific Time) on ESPN.
Gary Norris Gray – Writer, Author, Historian, Gibbs Magazine-Oakland, California and New England Informer- Boston, Mass. THE GRAYLINE:- The Analects of A Black Disabled Man, The Gray Leopard Cove, Soul Tree Radio In The Raw, and The Batchelor News Radio Network, Disabled Community Activist. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
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