formula one

After fourth world Formula 1 title, what next for Lewis Hamilton?

In the form of his life, there’s no limit to how far the British driver might rise.

Sixty-two wins, seventy-two pole positions, four world titles. The 2017 season saw Lewis Hamilton cement his place among the greatest of Formula One’s greats.

Until this year, only four of the 33 drivers to have won a Formula One title since the sport’s first season in 1950, had achieved the feat four or more times.

But last month in Mexico, Hamilton became the fifth, wrapping up the title with two races to spare and indelibly etching his name in Formula One history alongside Michael Schumacher, Juan Manuel Fangio, Alain Prost and Sebastian Vettel.

“It’s like I’m in space,” said Hamilton immediately after the Mexican race, the scale of his achievement yet to register.

“Of course there’s all the energy from all the people around you and you’re riding on Cloud Nine but it’s really hard to, it’s really hard to… it takes a while for it to really, truly sink in.”

Outer space, cloud nine, Hamilton has this year elevated himself to rarefied heights indeed. But with the curtain having come down on the 2017 season, the question now is – where does he go from here?

Going past Senna

Every sportsperson needs a target to chase.

Hamilton is no different. He has always benchmarked his career against that of boyhood idol Ayrton Senna.

He has stopped short of comparing himself with the late Brazilian legend. The cars Senna raced were vastly different to the Mercedes W08 Hamilton took to nine wins this year, as the Briton has pointed out on numerous occasions.

There’s also no saying how many more titles the triple champion would have gone on to win had his life not been tragically cut short at the age of 34, when fighting for a fourth title against a young Michael Schumacher.

Nevertheless, Senna has always been a reference in Hamilton’s career. With four world titles to his name, the Briton has now surpassed his hero’s haul.

It’s not just the titles either.

Hamilton beat Senna’s tally of 41 wins last year. In Canada this season, he scored his 65th career pole position, equalling Senna’s qualifying success.

Six races later he blew past Schumacher’s all-time qualifying benchmark by seizing his 69th pole position.

More than most of his peers, Hamilton has always delighted in the thrill of the chase. He has always thrived in adversity. Being on the back foot has tended to inspire his most scintillating performances. Give him a target to chase down and he is at his best.

Similarly, by his own admission, he has tended to take his foot off the gas once he has accomplished what he set his mind to.

He didn’t, for instance, win either of the final two races this year after clinching the title. In 2015, Nico Rosberg went on to win each of the final three races after Hamilton wrapped up the title in Austin.

But, he has nothing to chase down anymore.

Schumacher’s seven titles and 91 wins remain for the taking. Taking those records away from the German, however, had never been – and still isn’t – part of Hamilton’s plan.

“Now I’m like… I don’t know where it’s going next,” he said after equalling Senna’s tally of three world championships at the US Grand Prix in 2015.

“There is no-one else I look to, that I want to equal or emulate now.”

‘There’s harder times ahead’

So, what does the future now hold for Hamilton, a driver who has been chasing something or the other from his earliest go-karting days when, driving a banged-up old kart, he would line up near the back and pick his way through the field?

He has relished battling a driver of the calibre of Vettel this season. Either one of the pair has swept to the title in seven of the last nine seasons, yet, this was the first time they had gone head-to-head.

Next year Hamilton can expect more of the same. Never in the history of Formula One have two four-time champions gone up against each other for a fifth crown.

The added prospect of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo, and just maybe even his old nemesis Fernando Alonso, joining in the fight could provide enough of a challenge to stoke the fires that saw him blaze to five wins from the opening seven races of the season’s second-half.

“I think there’s more in me,” Hamilton said in Mexico. “I think there’s more to come, more of a challenge ... there’s harder times ahead and I like that, I love that.”

The 32-year-old has a contract to race next year. But, his future beyond that remains uncertain.

Hamilton’s keen interest in pursuits outside Formula One is well-known. And while he is expected to agree an extension to his Mercedes deal, his comments regarding his future have done little to silence the speculation surrounding it.

“Someone just said to me, ‘How many championships do you have to have before you could stop?’” he said at the Chinese Grand Prix in April this year, before he clinched his fourth title.

“I could stop now and be very satisfied and grateful for the time I have had and the experiences I have had and what I have earned already in terms of championships.”

After winning in front of his home fans in Silverstone, a triumph that Hamilton credited with unleashing a “forest fire” within him, he said: “At the moment I’m loving driving. I feel like I’m at my prime.

“I still feel young, still feel fit. I’m sure I can go for a long time if I really wanted but yeah, I really have no idea what the future holds.”

Hamilton has always lived life and raced on his own terms. He has no targets to chase now and is free to further his own legacy in his own way. In his case, more than most, there’s no saying how long he will carry on. You would say the sky is the limit as long as he does. But already in space, and in the form of his life, there’s no limit to how far Hamilton might rise.

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Not just for experts: How videography is poised for a disruption

Digital solutions are making sure it’s easier than ever to express your creativity in moving images.

Where was the last time you saw art? Chances are on a screen, either on your phone or your computer. Stunning photography and intricate doodles are a frequent occurrence in the social feeds of many. That’s the defining feature of art in the 21st century - it fits in your pocket, pretty much everyone’s pocket. It is no more dictated by just a few elite players - renowned artists, museum curators, art critics, art fair promoters and powerful gallery owners. The digital age is spawning creators who choose to be defined by their creativity more than their skills. The negligible incubation time of digital art has enabled experimentation at staggering levels. Just a few minutes of browsing on the online art community, DeviantArt, is enough to gauge the scope of what digital art can achieve.

Sure enough, in the 21st century, entire creative industries are getting democratised like never before. Take photography, for example. Digital photography enabled everyone to capture a memory, and then convert it into personalised artwork with a plethora of editing options. Apps like Instagram reduced the learning curve even further with its set of filters that could lend character to even unremarkable snaps. Prisma further helped to make photos look like paintings, shaving off several more steps in the editing process. Now, yet another industry is showing similar signs of disruption – videography.

Once burdened by unreliable film, bulky cameras and prohibitive production costs, videography is now accessible to anyone with a smartphone and a decent Internet bandwidth. A lay person casually using social media today has so many video types and platforms to choose from - looping Vine videos, staccato Musical.lys, GIFs, Instagram stories, YouTube channels and many more. Videos are indeed fast emerging as the next front of expression online, and so are the digital solutions to support video creation.

One such example is Vizmato, an app which enables anyone with a smartphone to create professional-looking videos minus the learning curve required to master heavy, desktop software. It makes it easy to shoot 720p or 1080p HD videos with a choice of more than 40 visual effects. This fuss- free app is essentially like three apps built into one - a camcorder with live effects, a feature-rich video editor and a video sharing platform.

With Vizmato, the creative process starts at the shooting stage itself as it enables live application of themes and effects. Choose from hip hop, noir, haunted, vintage and many more.

The variety of filters available on Vizmato
The variety of filters available on Vizmato

Or you can simply choose to unleash your creativity at the editing stage; the possibilities are endless. Vizmato simplifies the core editing process by making it easier to apply cuts and join and reverse clips so your video can flow exactly the way you envisioned. Once the video is edited, you can use a variety of interesting effects to give your video that extra edge.

The RGB split, Inset and Fluidic effects.
The RGB split, Inset and Fluidic effects.

You can even choose music and sound effects to go with your clip; there’s nothing like applause at the right moment, or a laugh track at the crack of the worst joke.

Or just annotated GIFs customised for each moment.

Vizmato is the latest offering from Global Delight, which builds cross-platform audio, video and photography applications. It is the Indian developer that created award-winning iPhone apps such as Camera Plus, Camera Plus Pro and the Boom series. Vizmato is an upgrade of its hugely popular app Game Your Video, one of the winners of the Macworld Best of Show 2012. The overhauled Vizmato, in essence, brings the Instagram functionality to videos. With instant themes, filters and effects at your disposal, you can feel like the director of a sci-fi film, horror movie or a romance drama, all within a single video clip. It even provides an in-built video-sharing platform, Popular, to which you can upload your creations and gain visibility and feedback.

Play

So, whether you’re into making the most interesting Vines or shooting your take on Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’, experience for yourself how Vizmato has made video creation addictively simple. Android users can download the app here and iOS users will have their version in January.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Vizmato and not by the Scroll editorial team.