Mon 3 Dec 2007
Let’s get this out of the way straight from the off - Lewis Hamilton’s lap on Top Gear last night was simply stunning. I had an inkling that he would do pretty well, but to almost match The Stig’s dry time when he was running on a wet track was superb.
I’m not a massive Hamilton fan, but credit where credit’s due.
What I’m not so keen on is their eagerness at getting him back to do a dry lap next summer. Isn’t the whole point of the challenge that each person only gets one timed run? I’m sure that Jenson Button, Mark Webber, etc could eventually beat their current times if allowed more laps.
I can see the allure for Top Gear though as given all the trails and coverage of the fact Lewis was going to be on the show last night, they obviously thought his presence would increase their viewing figures.
And if he does manage to beat The Stig’s time then that will surely send them through the roof. Would they then allow The Stig another go to try and beat Hamilton?
Having them both on the track back to back is the only way of ensuring their best chance at having a level playing field - exactly the same car, tyres and weather conditions.
Seeing the way he drove the car last night, I don’t know how much faster he could go in the dry - he was sliding the car round every corner to keep up the momentum so perhaps the damp track didn’t hold him back as much as it would have otherwise.
We will no doubt find out next summer.
Unusually, Top Gear had another Star in a Reasonably Priced Car last night, in the shape of James Blunt. As with Lewis, I’m not a big fan. Some of his tunes are okay, but are inevitably played to death - so in much the same way that the media coverage of Lewis has put me off the man himself, the airplay of Blunt’s songs has put me off him too.
To be honest I didn’t know much about him - he used to be in the army, now he is a singer and a bit of a ladies man, and that’s about it. His interview with Jeremy Clarkson made me see him differently - now I think he is funny and seems like a decent bloke. A lot of musicians and actors take themselves too seriously but James Blunt was happy to take the mickey out of himself and did it even better than Jeremy did!
Unlike the Lewis interview, which was pretty much the same as all the rest of the interviews I’ve seen with him, I think James Blunt came out of it pretty well. His eBay story was really very good indeed, and although I was surprised that he was even on Top Gear in the first place, I’m glad he took up the invite.
His driving wasn’t quite in the Hamilton class, but even his lap wasn’t too bad!