Johannesburg - Sir Lewis Hamilton is having a tough time of it right now, but at least things are looking up for the seven-time world champion on the home front.
The great Brit this week won a dispute with his neighbours at his R360-million London mansion in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, after the council granted him permission to chop down a “beautiful” sugarplum tree outside his home, as reported by the BBC.
Apparently, Hamilton’s tree surgeon insists that the offending fern is “mostly dead and dying”. I know, slow news day, right?
I also get it.
At my much more modest domicile, there is a rather destructive Morus alba – a silkworm mulberry – whose taxonomy I just learnt this week, that grows just on the border of my property and that of the city’s.
Come even the hint of springtime, and it explodes into a thousand berries that hang precarious on the vine, before falling to the ground in a storm of purple.
It soils everything, and combined with the migrating birds that frequent the tree during those months, you can understand how messy it can all get. At least I can be content that the tree is already is in its prime and that – if I am lucky – I will outlive it.
Hamilton also trimmed back a horse chestnut tree – Aesculus hippocastanum FYI – to combat pigeon droppings, so there is at least one thing he and I share in common.
Like Hamilton right now, it’s the small victories that you have to enjoy ... and defeating the intrusive nature of, well, nature can be quite satisfying.
Elsewhere, however, things aren’t going as swimmingly for Hamilton.
Mercedes are currently battling to find the best out of their newly designed W13 car, and the 37-yearold has been the unhappy recipient of the team’s current woes.
There have been four races so far this season, and Hamilton has managed to finish in P3, P10, P4 and P13.
His two highest finishes have been due to a healthy dose of luck; while he has also had to suffer the embarrassment of being shown up by new teammate George Russell, who has now finished ahead of him on three occasions.
Legend is built over time 💪💜 pic.twitter.com/iKHbAoUe71— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) April 27, 2022
This past weekend at Imola was particularly grim – not only did he finish at the back of the field and Russell way ahead in fourth, but fierce 2021 rival, defending champion and eventual winner of the Emilia Romagna GP, Max Verstappen, lapped him.
After the race, Hamilton posted a cryptic message on Instagram: “Working on my masterpiece, I’ll be the one to decide when it is finished,” leaving some to speculate that he will be announcing his retirement soon.
I’d like to see it as a warning that he believes that Mercedes can still make a fist of this season, and charge forward into race-winning contention once more.
Major upgrades are expected at the Miami GP next weekend from the team, ones that could possibly help alleviate their current technical deficiencies.
And while it’s all a bit sketchy at the moment, I hope they do help … Hamilton, after all, needs every little win he can get right now.