Dewey Beats Truman


A tale of two drivers:

One of them grew up surrounded by privilege and success, the son of a brilliant, aggressive Formula One champion who managed to win with a normally-aspirated car in the so-called “turbo era”. He was short-roped through various junior formulae where he was usually not the fastest driver but he was almost always the best-supported. His ascendancy to Formula One was pre-ordained from his early teens and he has never truly struggled for anything.

The other one was the mixed-race child of divorced, lower-middle-class parents. He attended Catholic school on a hardship supplement. His success racing cheap radio-controlled cars caused his father to work as many as three jobs at a time to support a shot at racing go-karts. His talent was apparent from the first moment. He won at every level, immediately. In a true Cinderella moment, he managed to catch the eye of McLaren and join their Driver Development Program. When he arrived in Formula One as a second banana to a World Champion, he immediately set about beating said World Champion and by the end of the season the team had almost unanimously thrown its support behind him. He has a disabled brother whom he supports in every way possible.

If you know anything about Formula One, you know that the first driver is Nico Rosberg and the second is Lewis Hamilton. Were this a movie, Nico would be the snobby prick who complains about everything and wastes his time partying and fires his own father from his management team and generally behaves like the most entitled douchebag ever born. Yet in this real-life story, it’s Lewis who is all of those things, while Rosberg is a hard worker who keeps his head down, doesn’t whine to the press, and searches tirelessly for the missing fractions of a second between him and his obviously faster teammate.

Right now, the World Championship is within Nico’s reach. All he has to do is continue qualifying well and then push Lewis until Lewis’s temper gets the better of him. But in order to do that he’s going to have to face Hamilton head-on. Aggressively. He needs to learn to mess with Hamilton’s head. Needs to be in his mirrors. Needs to make riskier moves on-track.

In short, if this nice guy wants to match his father’s accomplishments, he needs to learn to be a bad guy.

Because nice guys, they say, finish last. Or, in this case, second.

6 Replies to “Dewey Beats Truman”

  1. MartinP

    Lewis wears his heart on his sleeve for better and for MUCH worse, and Nico is a shameful pussy with his passive aggressive demeanor towards Lewis, both this season and last. You note the interesting contrast between the readymade narrative structure and the actual facts on the ground. I have nothing to add except I wish Nico had reveled in playing the evil German spoiler to Lewis’ entitled, crybaby psychodrama in the drivers meetings all last year. How much more would we like Nico if he had just told Lewis, point blank, to take his complaints and shove them, this is the big time, Nelson Piquet style?

    • Felis Concolor

      I can top that, easily.

      Lewis Hamilton, 2008 Formula One World Champion.

      The last time a Brit fucked over a Brazilian this badly was at Stockwell Tube Station.

  2. Snavehtrebor

    I think Lewis has grown up considerably in the past few years. I would have completely agreed with Jack’s characterization at one point, but Lewis has actually shown some maturity lately- for example, not completely melting down when the team called him in unnecessarily at Monaco.

    Now, about that haircut…


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