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THE STEERING COLUMN: Thy fearful symmetry

THE STEERING COLUMN: Thy fearful symmetry

When the story of this Montreal race weekend is told, it will no doubt read like it was written in the stars all along.

Hindsight, of course, is a wonderful thing

Hindsight, of course, is a wonderful thing. But so is Murphy’s Law – and it invariably strikes at the most awkward moments. Fortunately, it spared us for 70 laps yesterday afternoon in Canada…

As we touched down on the streets of Montreal, everybody knew this weekend meant something special to Lewis. A decade of unimagined success had filled the time since his first pole and race win on the smooth tarmac of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve back in 2007.

We marked that moment with a special reflective film up on the podium, and Lewis opened up about his memories of looking down to the crowd and seeing his Dad beaming back at him.

The stage was set for a memorable performance from Lewis

The boy of 2007 is now a man, confident in his own decisions, determined to forge his own path. The protective paternal arm has given way to a champion standing tall in the history of Formula One. On such a resonant weekend, the stage was set for a memorable performance from Lewis. And boy did he deliver.

If the streets of Monte-Carlo were the “living room” of his great idol Ayrton Senna, then the concrete-lined roadway of the Ile Notre-Dame is Lewis’. That fastest ever lap of the circuit on Saturday afternoon brought Lewis pole number 65, bringing him level with the great Brazilian champion. More spookily, Lewis took his 65th pole by a margin of 0.330s – Senna’s final pole had been won by 0.337s at Imola in 1994.

If it was the day of 65 on Saturday, then it reversed on Sunday when 56 was the magic number – the number of F1 race victories Lewis now has to his name. It was his sixth win in Montreal, equalling the number of Monaco wins Ayrton achieved.

The pendulum of this magnificent season swung again

The symmetry continued between Mercedes and Ferrari, too. The “disaster” of Monaco saw our two cars finish fourth and seventh, collecting a total of 18 points while Ferrari stretched their legs with a perfect score of 43.

But the pendulum of this magnificent season swung again on Sunday. It was our turn to grasp the opportunity with a 1-2 finish while Ferrari finished… you guessed it… fourth and seventh. We know how it feels, guys.

So we are seven races in, 13 to go. Just over one-third distance. Both titles are beautifully poised. We have 222 points – last year after seven races, it was 223.

Mind you, we did experience a two-car wipe-out and zero score in 2016. That’s one piece of symmetry we don’t need to complete this year… ;)

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