Author : cmunroe

Drag racing fans are not restrained by the norm. Their season apparently has no finish line. Despite the absence from the scene of the NDRC, other outfits have climbed aboard and drag racing maintains relevance long after other disciplines have waved the checkered flag. An event – King Of Shores -  is scheduled for the latter stages of December at Jamwest Speedway.

The Driver of the Year is a title that, consistent with what is presented here on these pages, is not limited to what is offered locally. As such, this individual may be drawn from any motorsport discipline, but you must be able to advance a convincing argument for your choice.


Based on what I observed throughout 2018, no debate exists in my mind who this individual must be. Formula 1 has its detractors, but ladies and more gentlemen, the numbers do not lie. Formula 1 is still ultra-popular and the $$$$$$$$ it commands creates drivers who retain US millions in bank accounts. It is a super-lotto-dollar sport that creates sustainable wealth for some wealthy but, also has the potential to erase the bank account of others! Lol!

Say what you will about the sport, its drivers are celebrities and their fans treat them like – cliche on its way -  rock stars! At the start of the 2018 season, one team had visions of claiming a spot they saw as their birthright. The team has never been absent from the grid in the modern era of Formula 1, but, within recent times, dominance has been an elusive target.


Mercedes Petronas AMG, by contrast, thanks to its hugely successful pursuit of victory/P1, has emerged as the highly sought after prey. If the first race of the season was a sign of things to come, Ferrari held the upper hand.

But, Mercedes’ arrival to the championship-winning era was no fluke. A Soviet Union/Russia vs the USA chess match ensued. It was too close to call in the early stages of 2018 and honestly, not much separated both teams and their drivers.


At the German GP, Vettel, the human, appeared without invitation. While leading the race, he exchanged victory for defeat – DNF. Some could argue that a demon hopped on to Ferrari’s bus in Germany, but, the team’s performance at Spa, one could also argue, was the exorcism! I can still see Lewis Hamilton’s bewildered face, frightened by a rollicking Ferrari.

The performance of Vettel’s Ferrari at Spa solidifies my choice for driver of the year. F1 is a discipline which, in no uncertain terms, favors immensely, the best machine on the grid. An advantage, no matter how minute, can translate into significant gains on the track. Button’s championship run and Vettel’s ‘beat and teach’ romp while at Red Bull, provide ample evidence for my theory.

In 2018, Ferrari had the machine to capsize any vessel Mercedes brought to the water. Lewis was blown away – literally – by Ferrari’s pace and performance. But, somehow, instead of quivering and cowering in an isolated corner and fall victim to Ferrari’s Tyson-like blows (when he was Iron Mike -lol), Lewis Hamilton conceptualized, manufactured and delivered Gladiator-like race craft which has been absent for far too long from F1 races.

I will concede, however, that Vettel and Ferrari were operating at an American Sniper level  – they were sharpshooters – terminating/neutralizing their chances! It cannot be said though that Lewis’ victories were Uber-delivered. He had exhibit Braveheart tendencies, bite vigorously and wrestle his way to victory at times.

A plucky performance some would say. And for his valiant effort, despite being flung along an obstacle-laden path, the Driver of the Year, is the 2018 and Five-Times World Champion, Lewis Hamilton!


Do you agree? Who is your Driver of the Year?

Cecil Munroe Gleaner On-Line Writer

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