Prior to the season starting, I think practically everyone wished Lewis Hamilton well with his first season in F1.

But now after the year we’ve had,  just how welcome would a win for him be?  Who would welcome it and who would rather the victor was someone else?

The obvious people who will be happiest will be Lewis himself, his father and of course his McLaren team.  If the Lewis charm offensive in the media over the last few weeks has done it’s job then even the half of the garage which is meant to really support Alonso will also be relatively pleased that Hamilton is victorious.

Who else will be pleased with the outcome of a rather turbulent season?  Well, rather controversially (as they are meant to be impartial), I think the FIA will be over the moon - one of the most marketable young men to come into the sport in recent years has gone on to break records in his first year so what could be better for the sport?  This should open the sport up to new markets and increase interest in F1 which can only be good for everybody.

The British media will no doubt be overjoyed, screaming headlines will be published proclaiming “Our Lewis” as the best driver in history - for a short time at least.  They love to build people up, but then knock them back down again just as quick so I have a feeling this winter is going to be a long one for Lewis and just because there are no races, it doesn’t mean the spotlight will move from him.

To be honest, these are the only people I can think of who will be overjoyed at Hamilton’s victory (apart from ITV’s James Allen obviously, who will shout himself hoarse with some silly wailing as Hamilton takes the chequered flag when the deed is done, but let’s not dwell on him).

So if that’s the list of people for a Hamilton win, who would be against it?

Ferrari have already come out as saying that a win for either McLaren driver will be tainted as they feel they gained an advantage through the whole Stepney-Coughlan affair and I must admit to feeling some sympathy for this viewpoint.  But let’s not drag all that up again!

Alonso will also feel aggrieved, as rightly or wrongly he felt he would be the main man at McLaren but instead he has Coulthard-syndrome and feels that the team are favouring Hamilton.  To be honest I think he probably has a case - Ron won’t admit it, but if he was given a choice between Alonso winning the championship, or Hamilton then he would choose Lewis in a flash every time.

As for the other drivers, at the start of the season no-one really spoke too much about Hamilton - apart from congratulating him on his drives in GP2 last year.  Coulthard was given a hard time after being misquoted in the press, but after that was smoothed out the other drivers have been pretty silent on the matter.  There have been some murmurings this week however about Hamilton’s driving in last weekend’s Japaneses GP - he seems to drive a little strangely behind the safety car, as if he is trying to catch the people behind him out.

This point has been raised on numerous sites, perhaps most notably on Ed Gorman’s blog (he is the F1 correspondent for The Times), and was even backed up by the victim of the piece, Mark Webber, in a press conference.  Both of Red Bull’s drivers are refreshingly open with their thoughts and opinions so it’s good that after criticising Vettel live on TV after the crash last week, that Webber has now had a think about things and admitted that Hamilton was at least partly to blame.  So I doubt Webber will be overjoyed if Hamilton has the number 1 on his car next year.

From a fan’s perspective, there will be those who have followed Lewis and who will be happy that he won the title - as well as those who follow McLaren as a team and will also be happy.  Ferrari supporters will no doubt bring up the same arguments that their team make, ie that the win has been tainted by the findings of the FIA against McLaren’s behaviour this year.  But for those with no affiliation with the red or silver teams, will they be supportive of a Hamilton victory or not?

At the start of the season, ITV were discouraged from speaking to Lewis prior to the races - this left the viewers feeling a little distant from the emerging star of the show.  He was new to F1 so we didn’t know much about him, and as they didn’t talk to him much (they spoke about him loads though), we didn’t feel like we were getting to know him very much either.  The company line was that the lack of interviews were so that Lewis could concentrate on the race itself, but I’ve got another theory (which is probably not true!).

During those first few races, I was genuinely pleased that Lewis was doing to well - I didn’t believe all the media hype surrounding him, but it was good that he was driving well.  Although I felt him lucky to have been given such an amazing opportunity, it was a case of “good luck to him”.

Now that Lewis has been interviewed on the TV a bit more, plus obviously his appearances in FIA press conferences post-races, my attitude towards him has changed considerably.  His demeanour in these interviews may be a front, and not indicative of his true character but he comes across as being incredibly arrogant, self confident and big-headed.  So did someone at McLaren have the foresight to give Lewis a few races of non-interviews to build up a fanbase, prior to unleashing his personality onto the world?  I doubt it, but it has crossed my mind!

Yes, an F1 driver needs to be full of confidence in order to drive well - he must have the self-belief that he can go out there and beat everyone else.  But there’s a fine line between an acceptable amount of confidence and being so over the top that it discourages people from supporting you.  Compare Lewis’s press conference interviews to those of Raikkonen, or Alonso, or practically any other driver and you will see a marked difference.

Of course, it would be easy to assume it’s a language thing - Hamilton’s first language is English whereas everyone else mentioned has English as a second language but Coulthard or Damon Hill would never have spoken the way that Hamilton does.

This weekend is shaping up as being the biggest of Hamilton’s life - and will probably prompt a mad scramble for a reprint of the numerous biographies already in the shops.

I will be watching, and I will be hoping that whatever the result this weekend that the title isn’t decided until the last race of the season - as it should be.  If Hamilton is victorious, as is more than likely, then hopefully he will learn not only from his season on the track, but also his season off it as well.