“The truth is I feel somewhat sad. I love this country, especially the city of Barcelona. The people in Spain have always been very warm.” The words of Lewis Hamilton after he was subject to racist abuse in Spain. As he prepares for a new season, the rest of the Formula One field should be concerned. With the foundation of a second place rookie season to draw on, Hamilton now has a new motivation. A motivation that drives many top professionals to peak achievements. The motivation to prove others wrong. To shove their ill-advised words or actions right back down their throats.
Hamilton may feel sad about what has happened in Barcelona. But if he wants it, there is an edge now available to him. An edge that could make him unbeatable. The edge that comes from knowing that he can’t argue back with his racial abusers. But he can get them back in another way. By driving to win after win in the 2008 season. And beyond. Knowing that they won’t like it. That they will be desperate for their hero Alonso to win.
Hamilton now has a visible enemy to focus on. An enemy that disrespects his colour. An enemy that needs to be silenced. An enemy he can picture.
The one thing that separates the truly great sporting legends from the rest, is that they have that edge. That insatiable hunger to win. And win again. And again. They never tire of winning. If they do, they leave their sport. Instantly.
Lewis Hamilton may be saddened by the incidents at the Circuit de Catalunya. But it may be the making of a sporting legend.