Posted by: Sreejith | October 9, 2007

Champions of the World

In 2 weeks time Lewis Hamilton would have won the 2007 Formula1 Drivers championship or maybe he’ll end up in the gravel – again. If he does win, he will be a deserving champion. More so because this is his first year in Formula1. Everyone in Formula1 wants him to win. The British, the F1 experts, the commentators, the Mclaren team, the press, almost all F1 sites on the net – almost everyone! But i won’t be rooting for him. He’s a brilliant find but he still is in the best car on the grid and in my view he is as good as a Kubica.

Fernando Alonso could also win the championship but in mine and many other people’s view he won’t be a champion because champions are not just good on the track but off it too. Alonso’s continuous bitching is certainly not the hallmark of a champion. He is a great racer, and would probably even make it to the list of the best of all time but for me he is not a ‘champion’.

Kimi Raikonnen, the iceman, the other guy who could theoretically win the championship is the only one i’ll be rooting for. To many he is the best driver in F1 today and its only a matter of time before he wins the Championship. I am hoping that this time interval would be 2 weeks. Off the track, he comes across as introverted, cold and doesn’t betray a lot of passion in the paddocks too. In fact he is a lot like Schumacher(we all know which one) when he first moved to Ferrari in 96. If there was any team that can influence Kimi, Ferrari is it.

Now, Ferrari might come across like a tangled mass of entwined chaos. But you know what.. the team is the personification of passion. Mclaren might be the most professional and best run team but no other team in Formula1 wears their heart on their sleeve like Ferrari nor does any other team have such passionate fans as the tifosi. A few seasons at Ferrari will change even machines and Schumi was superhuman only when he was in a car. In a few seasons Schumi had gone from a precision German machine to an Italian anthem crooning precision German machine. Schumacher was a true champion for me because he walked on water every time he took to the track. Even when the Ferrari was a joke, Schumi was so far ahead of the field that you wondered what would happen if he had the best car too. Of course, in 2004, Ferrari did come up with the best car and then he won 13 of the 18 races that season. He is a sublime Champion for me but then i am so far biased on this issue that rationality is kicked out of the door.

Pete Sampras. Now he is a champion. There are no two ways about that statement. The extraordinary poise with which he carried himself all throughout his career is what makes him a champion for all ages. Federer will in all likelihood surpass Sampras’s 14 grand slam titles but unlike statistics, the genius of champions can only be matched not surpassed. And a performance like his 99 Wimbledon final demolition of Agassi could probably never be matched too. Federer is matching his poise off the field too but then guess who Federer’s role model is!

Sampras is playing Federer in 3 exhibition matches this November. Even if Sampras loses all three, I’ll still be proud that i started a 22,000 strong Pete Sampras community on Orkut because he is a true Champion – and true champions are timeless.



  1. Schumi is god for me . I think kimi deserves to be the champ , i am backing him up . One of the reasons being that he is from the Ferrari team .

  2. And here is my tribute to that guy

  3. A hero is someone we can admire without apology. SRT is a champion (who hasn’t won championships).
    No two ways abt that too.

  4. Maruti, lets hope Kimi will win.. and not just the race!

    Asr, to each his own 🙂 but there used to be a time when i would stop watching the match when Sachin got out – Indian cricket is much better now.

  5. Kimi is a great driver, Hamilton is a great driver; but since the past few races for me the best driver has been Vettel. At best in a mediocre car, he has been driving exceptionally. To go from 17th to 4th (ok, a 1-stop strategy and the timing helped) was brilliant. I hope Alosno goes back to Renault, and McLaren take up Vettel 😛
    Anyways I’ll be rooting for Ferrari till the end!

    And dude you are forgetting a guy who is better then any Champion India has had. I regard him as highly as SRT – V Anand.

  6. This is from the wikipedia
    “Champions are a unique breed. Champions are made from something they have deep down inside them- a desire, a goal, a dream. They stand up for what they believe in, even against all odds. They are passionate for what they believe and have a spring in their step. Obstacles arrive with the chance of them crashing and burning, but champions never throw in the towel. They face their fears and look disaster in the eye. They approach evil that may come in any way, shape or form. They reveal the sunlight in every passing storm. They are the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. In deep water they find out a way to stay a float. They love a challenge and will never give in, until the day pigs fly backwards. They stand out in a crowd displaying strength, courage and sheer determination. They uphold their values of respect, honour and integrity. They have the charisma and confidence to inspire the inspired. This is what makes them the cream of the crop. This is how they go from the ordinary to the extraordinary, from the natural to the supernatural. This is what makes them the true ultimate champions.”

    I think Sachin is a genius, but the only indian cricketers I think fits the above definition are
    Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble

  7. Am not too much into F1… but since you touched upon Sampras.. couldnt stop from saying.. Since the time i hav started watching tennis..there has been only one champion for me… none other than Sampras.. that poise.. that service… He is the Sachin of tennis to me… cant say more than that.. 🙂

  8. Alonso’s has crossed limits with his bitching.
    just before the sinopec GP he said tat the race had been decided off the track by the marshalls in hamiltons favour when he was not penalised for the japanese gp.

    last year, sometime during the last few races he said the same abt schumi tat the race had been decided on the table referring to all the F1 bosses.

  9. Kimi is not like schumi was because as far as the races I have seen this season(lost interest after schumi left), all the races have ended in nearly the same positions as during the starting position (for the mclarens and ferraris).There have been too few a performances like that of vettel, which is what I worship schumi for(still !!).He wasn’t satisfied with his position in race and always strived to move one place ahead whenever possible.

    And yeah, Alonso removed his name from the worshipped greats after that scandal.

    Will be rooting for Kimi !!

  10. hakkinen anyone? the first two years when i followed f1, this guy was winning & schumi was trying only to catch up.

    but i have t-shirt which reads – schumi rules – bought from indianapolis.

  11. *Fernando Alonso could also win the championship but in mine and many other people’s view he won’t be a champion because champions are not just good on the track but off it too.* Whoa! Talk of sources of pressure for celebs!! 🙂 Lol..

    I agree. Sampras is the dude!! Grew up watching him blow spit bubbles on court (what do u think he did blowing into his tongue all the time)… but helluvan amazing player..:) Me likes federer too:)

  12. Pssst: started spinning some yarns here.. First try saar…:)
    Do start from Chap 1, would help if you followed footnotes… do lemme know what you think:)

  13. Go Kimi. Loved his last race. Hope Brazil’s lucky for him 🙂

  14. oh i loved pete sampras…ever since i saw him playing jim courier in the wimbledon finals in 1993

  15. Kunal, but Vettel did bang into Webber which worked out rather well for Kimi 😀 he’s good though.. and a German too. And V Anand has been India’s leading torchbearer since ever! Sad that he doesn’t get 1/10 of the prizes thats heaped upon some of the worthless cricketers!

    Majji, Agree. and i agree completely!

    Himank, yeah.. his serve was something.. esp when he was facing breakpoints! bang bang bang.. game Sampras 🙂

    Anony, seriously that guy needs to stop whining. bad example for young impressionable minds.

    Vishnu, No one is like Schumi! that would be blasphemy! but Kimi’s reserved behavior sure does remind me of Schumi. Kimi is of course far more sporting on the track 🙂

    Asr, show off! btw my favourite overtaking move was Hakinnen passing Schumi and lapping Zonta at the same time at Spa..three abreast at the same time. some move that was!

    Ziah, when i was growing up i used to even ape his tongue wagging style 😀 Anyone who truly liked Sampras’s game cannot hate Federer’s. And yes… will definitely check out your tales!

    Karan, Hopefully Massa will help too… fingers crossed.

    Zee, me believes that was when i saw him play for the first time as well!

  16. Sports is strange in a way..that once you are a fan of someone you always support him till the i cant think of supportin anyone else but schumi or Nadal..

  17. have no idea wht u r talking abt…i must be the dying breed of those males who hve no clue abt sports..well, except pocket billards…

  18. Sampras is Sampras ..the legend I grew up watching ..the class , the spirit , the panache is what sampras exudes ..I dont really find the machine-like federer inspiring ….

  19. Mathew, very true. True love knows no logic!

    Tys, you are a rare breed… and lets take this billiards off the table.

    Abbulu, 🙂 people like Pete happen only once in a lifetime.

  20. I do find F1 quite exciting but never got to watching or understanding it.. 😦 After reading this blog probably I’ll do a bit of research.. 😉

    Blogrolling ya..

  21. Alonso…. *sigh*

  22. Sam, it fun and it happens almost every fortnight so its not hard to sustain the interest too!

    AP, *sigh* Alonso

  23. I wasn’t much of a fan of Sampras’s game ( the serve and volley kinds). Sampras vs Ivanisevic wimbeldon final was the most boring final I have seen. I’d like to see players fight it out from the baseline (agassi n the likes..)..i have always loved watching Sampras vs Agassi.
    I like Hamilton’s driving and my heart lies with Ferrari. Hamilton joining Ferrari would be the icing:-)

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