#Lewis Hamilton is the second most titled current Formula One driver ever and is undoubtly among the few very best of motorsport these days. But his most important contribution is perhaps the spirit of racing that he brought back to Formula One.
In 2016, the spotlight has been on young Max Verstappen, who is delivering results far better than expected for his age and experience. However, as the Dutch teen has gathered lots of supporters as well as critics, specially regarding his ragged defensive moves, Lewis Hamilton is bringing a great contribution to turn Formula One into a sport of fairness, adjusted to today's expectations.
This is not a minor achievement, in face of the audience troubles F1 has been through over the last seasons.
The pure racer of our age
After the Japanese GP, Hamilton complained briefly about the harsh manoeuvre of Verstappen, in the fabled Casino Triangle chicane, that forced him to go to the escape area. One had to think that, in 1989, Prost should have done like Verstappen and turned in earlier, forcing Senna to go to the left. However, when his team tried to complain, Hamilton, the pure racer, stepped in and declined it.
There is no protest from myself. Just heard the team had but I told them it is not what we do. We are champions, we move on. End of!— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) October 9, 2016
Last year, when Rosberg accused him of being too slow in the early stages of China Grand Prix, Hamilton replied that if his stablemate thought he could be quicker, he should fight him and overtake, if he could. Later in the season, he publicly said that Mercedes shouldn't impose team orders to benefit him, because he is there to race, in the first place.
This kind of attitude is in stark contrast to some we have seen over the years. The best example was Michael Schumacher. Those who remember the Austrian Grand Prix of 2001 and 2002, when Rubens Barrichello lifted over the finish line to give position to the German are likely to be very happy with Hamilton's public praising of competition.
Hamilton himself clearly attacked Ferrari's stance, when he mentioned, again in 2015: "I think they showed a replay of Michael and Barrichello many years ago - and I was disappointed as a fan back then. We never want to see team orders like that ever happen."
Not only was he disappointed, but the Austrian fans who booed Schumacher then, and millions around the world. If Hamilton was there, he surely would have braked, not to overtake his teammate.
In the same way, we don't recall Fernando Alonso criticising his former manager Briatore after involving his name in the infamous "Crashgate" of the Singapore Grand Prix 2008.
The Triple Champion that looks like a teenager
Lewis Hamilton does not have the look of a F1 Triple Champion. He behaves like a late teenager, is proudly single and party-loving, hangs around in social media, loves music and behaves like a Hollywood star.
Some in the F1 establishment don't understand that; that's because memory - even Bernie Ecclestone's is short, and people tend to forget that the gentlemen Fangio and Clark were followed by the playboy James Hunt.
Collectively, F1 world thinks that a Triple Champion should be like Senna after 1991: mature, charismatic, almost error-free, and 100% devoted to the sport. For those people, Hamilton and Verstappen seem to be both teenagers; perhaps Lewis in 19 and Max 14, as the Dutch doesn't seem to have a public life at all.
But we should avoid this kind of comparisons. Hamilton is taking F1 away of Schumacher's legacy of considering normal to have team orders. People want to see real racing, and Lewis delivers it. What a relief. #Formula 1