The world in motorsport: Advocating for arrogance
Jamie Whincup is being cast as the villain at the recent Bathurst 1000 but, as Lewis Isaacs argues, his desire to win has done him more good than harm…
AS THE RIPPLES from the Bathurst 1000 continue to be felt in the motorsport world, it’s worth taking a step back and analysing the behaviour of the man at the centre of the conversations; Jamie Whincup.
Whincup copped the blame for not just scuppering his own Bathurst 1000 and that of Scott McLaughlin and Garth Tander, but for being too arrogant to win the race.
He crossed the line in first place, but a 15-second time penalty dropped him down the order.
After ignoring calls to conserve fuel and losing the race on the final lap in 2014 and passing the Safety Car illegally in 2015, the third incident led to the call he was self-sabotaging his own results.
When it emerged his team instructed him to sit tight behind McLaughlin moments before he made his unsuccessful lunge on lap 150, the case for the prosecutors in arrogance’s favour looked to have the judgement sewn up.
But get this – Whincup’s job is to win. And he has the unwavering desire to do so. Often to his own detriment. But with six championships and four Bathurst wins already to his name, that same attitude has done him more good than harm.
And before the race’s dramatic climax, it’s worth recalling Whincup put in one of the greatest driving stints you’re likely to see in the middle of the race. He ragged his car all over the track, millimetres from the concrete walls as he set lap record after lap record.
There’s no Jekyll and Hyde type flaw in his character. He is simple. A win is a win and the cost seems irrelevant. He’s shown numerous times now he’d rather go down in a blaze of glory than settle for second. And that’s the same reason he’s likely to smash all of the championship’s records before him that still remain.
He was called all manner of names after Bathurst. But the truth is, he is more winner, than wanker.
In his defence? Just check the record books and see how often his name pops up. That Bathurst tally is only likely to grow. The evidence? Look how hard he has tried the last three times.
Acting like a Ham sandwich
On the topic of divisive personalities in champion drivers, Lewis Hamilton is earning headlines for the wrong reasons.
The three-time champion is being called out by his local press in the UK for a bit of perceived childish behaviour in the face of adversity.
But here’s the catch: Hamilton is doing what drivers don’t often do. He is showing his personality.
What’s getting to the UK media is simple. It’s not likeable.
Therein lies the primary issue. A bloke like Daniel Ricciardo do his best to be himself and the world loves him for it. But when Hamilton’s hobbies are flying in a private jet, hip hop and the like, he’s considered out of touch and arrogant.
But what would the F1 media prefer? They should be thanking him for having something to write about.
Australia needs to celebrate Mawson
Congratulations must go out to Australia’s lowest profile sports star on the international stage.
Western-Sydney product Joey Mawson has toiled for every dollar to continue his racing career. While he often competes in the shadows by racing European junior formulae, Mawson’s success is worth singing from the hills.
The 20-year-old won the German Formula 4 crown a few weeks back and is now eying the step up to Formula 3. But a closer look at the field reveals the Aussie knocked off none other than the genetically blessed son of Michael Schumacher, Mick.
How it goes unknown in Australia is unfair for one of the few expats doing an excellent job abroad.