Belfast Telegraph

Linda Brien: Lew sexy thing

IF YOU needed anything more than the gorgeous glitz of Monaco to entice you to tune into the next Formula One fixture, look no further.

Here he is. Lewis Hamilton, 22, currently leading the drivers' World Championship - the youngest in history ever to do so.

And all in his first season!

He's already had three podium finishes - 30 points in the bag and is the absolute epitomy of genteel decorum - outside the car. Inside it, he's clearly a savage.

Could it have happened to the sport at a better time?

Widespread criticism and disaffection with F1 has bubbled away for seasons now. Even the awesome and perennial genius of the recently retired Schumacher had become a bit of a bore.

Now in young Hamilton we have the up and coming young buck with outrageous talent and modesty in equal measure. What a beguiling mix in an ego-ridden, cash-soggy sport.

Call it a retro backlash but Formula One, so dominated in recent years by machinery, has suddenly reacquainted itself with the pleasure of a personality.

And unlike so many before him, a personality that is actually living up to the hype adequately enough to induce the nervy will-he-won't-he agitation that has us salivating over our screens for his first outright win.

Not to mention torture all those seasoned pros left sniffing his exhaust.

"As long as the team keeps the reliability and I keep mistakes to a minimum, then we have chance," he calmly told reporters this week

The irony of the humble young pretender being crowned prince in Monaco - the flashiest of all Grand Prix next weekend - would be rich.

Hammer horror

AN absolutely marvellous family day out at Old Trafford last Sunday was soured by a bunch of United and West Ham thugs who conducted running riots in nearby Altrincham after the match

Our kids came home in tears having had to hide in a telephone box after a man was battered by a bloodied United fan right in front of them and they were almost hit by bottles hurled by the opposing fans.

They wanted to know why people did things like that.

Good question.

The fact that four coachloads of West Ham supporters had been dropped off at an Altrincham hostelry earlier in the day would not have been missed by a minority of textually-adept United fans who sent the good news around.

They had a welcome party ready for the West Ham supporters on their return from the game. And make no mistake the Hammers were right up for it, too.

Pigs, the lot of them.

The fact that both sides were supposed to be celebrating - United the title and West Ham for avoiding relegation, makes it obvious that these punters aren't in to win but to give someone - anyone - a good hiding on the day.

Oh to cart them all off to some godforsaken hole in the middle of nowhere which they could systematically knock each-other off? and where the rest of us wouldn't have to watch.

Job for Boycie

JIMMY Boyce is quite right.

There should be no ungainly scramble to appoint Lawrie Sanchez's successor.

No need to drag out and dust off the usual string of former Norn Iron players as possible managerial candidates.

No disrespect, but things are different now.

Northern Ireland is ranked 33 in the world.

This wee country is a very interesting proposition for any manager worth his salt.

Don't get me wrong. It would be the very antithesis of Ulster mentality to get too above one's station.

Heaven knows, you could be on your ear very quick, as they say.

But there's no harm in recognising our rising stock in a highly competitive market.

The IFA must take time and make the right offer to the right man..

Totally wrist off

I HAVE no idea what he did to his wrist but even allowing for Andy Murray's usual theatrics, that injury at the Rome Masters did look a sore one.

It is a right pain for the young Scot (below) who, despite suffering a series of injury setbacks, had been producing some awesome form in the run-up to the French Open.

Not to mention a headache for the executives at Sky Sport who'd been televising the match live when Murray swore for Britain

His expletive could have been heard for miles - without the aid of a satellite dish.

Belfast Telegraph


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