November 05, 2008

Tidbits and Stuff About Hamilton's Championship.

The ratings numbers for various countries' viewing of the Brazilian Grand Prix have come out, and some of them are truly mindblowing.  9 million tellies were tuned into the race in England for a market share of 42%... and towards the end, it was 13.1 million.  In Germany, it was 8.8 million and 31.5%.  France, 5 million, 25% share.  By way of contrast, Super Bowl XLII had a 43% share this past January, with 97 million viewers... in one (large) country.

Lewis Hamilton returned to the McLaren factory today to a raucous welcome by the staff... and a letter of commendation from the Queen:

"To Lewis Hamilton esquire, I'm delighted that you succeeded in winning the Formula One World Championship to become the youngest-ever champion.  I send you my warmest congratulations on your remarkable and historic achievement.
(Signed) "Elizabeth R."

He's just finished the first year of a five-year contract with McLaren, worth a reported 75 million pounds, or at current exchange rates, $121 million.  That's $24 million a year, or more than every MLB player in 2007 except for Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees.  However, one PR rep thinks that he's set to clear one BILLION pounds over the length of his career, what with endorsements and all.

Not too bad for a 23-year old.

As one might expect, Ferrari is trying to be gracious in defeat... and not quite accomplishing it.  Luca di Montezemelo, president of Ferrari, praised Hamilton by saying "He was a very powerful rival, and his win, close though it was, was well deserved."  He then called for the F1 points system to be changed so that wins are worth more in the championship... in which case, his driver, Felipe Massa would have won.

Stay classy, Ferrari.  Like your driver, Massa, who wants to congratulate Hamilton in person.

UPDATE: This past February, Golf Digest Magazine printed a chart that revealed that Tiger Woods had made around $770 million dollars (in winnings and endorsements) going into the 2008 season, and predicted that he'd break the $1 billion dollar mark by 2010.  Considering that Woods lost most of the season due to injury, tack another year onto that number, so 2011.  He'd have played for 16 years at that point.  Eventually, he'll move to the Seniors League (or whatever it's called), and keep earning money into his 50s or 60s.

Lewis Hamilton's driving career probably won't last more than 15 years or so, but they might conceivably earn similar monies in a similar timespan.  The parallels between the two are intriguing.  I wonder if some (very!) deep-pocketed company will ever cough up the money to have them both appear together to sponsor some item... probably a car of some sort.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 10:59 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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I saw this over at Metafilter:

Someone told me that if a British driver wins the Formula One Championship, then the Democrats win. It works from 1972. (Jackie Stewart won in 1971 and 1973.) So.
1952 Alberto Ascari (Italy) / Adlai Stevenson loss
1956 Juan Manual Fnagio (Argentina) / Adlai Stevenson loss
1960 Jack Brabham (Australia, but based in UK - meh, half-point?) / JFK win
1964 John Surtes (UK) / Lyndon Johnson win
1968 Graham Hill (UK) / Hubert Humphrey loss
1972 Emerson Fittipaldi (Brazil) / McGovern loss
1976 James Hunt (UK) / Jimmy Carter win
1980 Alan Jones (Australia) / Jimmy Carter loss
1984 Niki Lauder (Austria) / Walter Mondale loss
1988 Ayrton Senna (Brazil) / Mike Dukakis loss
1992 Nigel Mansell (UK) / Bill Clinton win
1996 Damian Hill (UK) / Bill Clinton win
2000 Michael Schumacher (Germany) / Al Gore loss
2004 Michael Schumacher (Germany) / John Kerry loss
2008 Lewis Hamilton (UK) / Barack Obama

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at November 05, 2008 11:46 PM (+rSRq)

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