Young boy-wonder grows up in the bubble of an all-consuming team and gives his all to contribute to the global success of the team. The boy-wonder now becomes a global phenomenon whose fame is starting to eclipse that of his team, and the boss struggles to control the spark that's now turned into a roaring fire.
Boy-wonder grows up in public with influential partners and other outside influences encouraging him to 'man-up'. The fight back begins resulting in a clash of egos and a breakdown of the relationship with a boss once respected but now becoming an overbearing manager. He begins to realise that, within this stifling environment, he will always be treated like that little boy of yesteryear. New pastures beckon where he can spread his wings and take more control of his life.
But F1 is also a sport full of political chess moves, so maybe this outcome was part of some grand plan by McLaren. Or maybe they misjudged Hamilton's resolve or the negotiation skills of his XIX management team. Or maybe they thought they could make him an offer he had no choice but to accept considering his options, effectively rewarding his stellar performances with a 30% pay cut and further reducing his status within the team. Fernando Alonso is on £25m per year at Ferrari, and is considered the best current F1 driver, but Hamilton beat him in his rookie year with the same car.
To many outside observers, this was a crazy way to treat one of the fastest and most exciting F1 drivers of the modern era. McLaren may be a great team but clearly they lack driver management skills and tried to get Hamilton on the cheap. But Hamilton's team knew his worth and weren't having it, so McLaren eventually cave in and reluctantly find the money to match Mercedes offer. But during all this Hamilton has realised his beloved team weren't looking after his best interests, so he will look after himself. After all, if he was expendable and just another 'employee', as his boss Ron Dennis reminded the press, then he might as well go somewhere where he's appreciated and respected.
Mulder from 'The X files' said it best when he grew tired of fighting his bosses saying, "I used to think my victories mattered, only to find nobody was keeping score". Hamilton must know what that feels like and made the best option left to him by leaving amicably. Mercedes may not have McLaren's track record, but the future is bright with Hamilton on board. Beckham went on to achieve success with other teams, and so will Hamilton.
Thanks for the good memories and more to come.