When Fernando Alonso spoke of the inevitability of the world championship boiling down to two competitors as it always has in the past, he was perhaps hoping he would be one of the two. But the way it is looking now, the two competitors might well turn out to be Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton – the two biggest surprises of the year so far. I have personally always believed in Felipe, and have never doubted his speed, though his consistency was a bit of a gray area to me. Now with 4 wins in just over 8 races…you really can’t get more consistent than that (well you can, but you know what I mean). So if you have been regarding Massa with the kind of fond indulgence one reserves for a half-witted brother (or like Michael does for Ralf), it is about time you sat up and paid attention. This man means business, and he is darned good. Nobody has said he is the next Michael Schumacher (NMS) yet, but someone is bound to in a few races time as it pretty much seems the trend. The paddock is positively teeming with NMSs these days – Kimi Raikkonen was supposed to be one, Hamilton certainly seems to be one, not to mention Vettel, Hulkenberg and so on and so forth.

massahamiltonbuddies.jpg Lewis: Hey, are you a NMS yet?
Felipe: No not yet, the Brazilian media is a bit slow to catch up with the theme.

As for Lewis Hamilton, what could one possibly say that hasn’t already been said? When a chappie makes his debut in F1 racing, you don’t really expect him to rake in four podiums in four races and lead the championship to add to it…and all while looking like he has just been out for a short walk in the nearby park. He is undoubtedly fast, he is obviously talented, he doesn’t have an attitude problem and he is refreshing to have around (especially after I spent half of last year worrying how bad it would be to have to listen to Kimi and Alonso in press conferences over and over again). Fernando Alonso is feeling the heat, and we all know what happens to Alonso when he feels the heat. Still Ron Dennis must feel like he has been blessed with an abundance of riches after being starved for the past few years.

Which brings us to the fourth player in this fascinating battle – Kimi Raikkonen. It appears there has been a small goof-up in the luck allocation department up there somewhere and Kimi’s share has been accidentally passed on to Alonso in addition to his (Alonso’s) own. And really, Kimi’s attitude is not really endearing him to the tifosi either (not that he cares a darn, I am sure). When Kimi read the book on “How to become a F1 driver in 30 days” he seems to have missed the chapter on F1 being a team sport. He is supposed to be the Flying Finn all set to blow us all away with his sheer pace, and we are still waiting patiently for it to happen. Let’s hope for Kimi’s sake (and for Ferrari’s) that he pulls his act together and shows us what he is really made of. Keeping fingers crossed for Kimi to stay in the championship battle. Forza.

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