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Lewis Hamilton admits to ‘lots and lots of mistakes’
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Lewis Hamilton admits to ‘lots and lots of mistakes’
Posted By: James Allen  |  06 Mar 2010   |  4:05 pm GMT  |  209 comments

In a revealing interview with BBC Radio 5 Live this weekend, Lewis Hamliton has admitted that he has made “lots and lots of mistakes in my career, hopefully this will be a year of a lot fewer!”


It’s very unusual to hear a driver admitting to any mistake, let alone lots of them.
It is criticism that was often leveled at Michael Schumacher and has to a lesser extend been aimed at Hamilton from time to time. This charm offensive marks an interesting change of direction for Hamilton, ahead of what is likely to be another hard fought season.

He has decided to dispense with his father as manager and has taken a very deliberate direction in his pr strategy, to be open about the mistakes of the past, like the way he dealt with Fernando Alonso in 2007 and – without mentioning it specifically – the episode where he lied to stewards in Melbourne last year. He has also been very careful to position himself as someone who respects new team mate Jenson Button and looks up to him in certain respects, like the “way he carries himself”, as he said yesterday. He’s going out of his way to say that he and Button are on the same page, but it will only really mean something when we see their relationship tested in the heat of battle.

He admitted that he read the tea leaves wrongly when he was thrown in alongside Alonso in his rookie season, “At the beginning of my first year I was up alongside the two-time world champion and he was seen as the guy to win the world championship and I think at the time I misinterpreted and misunderstood the goals and the understanding of how the team worked.

This rather vague sentence would appear to be a reference to the idea that the team took sides in 2007 and were pulled into doing so by the drivers, Hamilton determined to fight his corner because he and his father were of the mindset that you may never get another chance to win a world title so you should take it when presented. Alonso was seen as the guy to get the championship, but Hamilton didn’t see the need to let him through once he got ahead in the points early on.

He goes on, “But since I’ve been here they do everything to give us individually the best package possible. I’ve never had more than the guy next to me, we’ve always had equal opportunity, which is the greatest thing in a team.”

I think this is broadly true; there was a time last season in Budapest that he got a new front wing for qualifying and the race of which there was only one and went on to win the race with it.

He has also had a lot to say lately about the prospect of racing against Michael Schumacher, largely talking in awed tones about the seven times champion.

In this interview, however, he chucks a new card onto the table, suggesting that this is an old Schumacher that he will be racing against, not the man in his prime,
“It’s different to having the young Michael, who’s at his best,” he says, before going on to add, “But I’m sure he’s going to be just as good as ever, ” to tone the comment down a little.

Interesting times. There is no doubt that this is the most exciting driver and team line up for years and speaking to the drivers and teams at the moment, you get the clear sense that they are as excited about the new season as the rest of us.

One week from now we will know the grid for the first race. Bring it on.

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209 Comments
  1. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

    Great interview with Hamilton.

    I think that the problems with Alonso started at Indianapolis. Hamilton was just too good on the brakes in 2007 and Alonso was clearly upset by being upstaged by this rookie. Just remind yourself:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fv5hi9u1x8

    I think Alonso also reduced his own stock with a few very poor performances, notably against Takuma Sato:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNGuw7khT98

    Hamilton knows how to play the game now. He has become a very wily operator, and I’m sure that his entente cordiale with Button will not get in the way of his very competitive nature.

    James, given that you know Michael Schuacher better than most do you think that all this talk from the drivers about being rust and an old man will be getting to him?

    1. Henry says:

      I think Schumi will be as good as ever, but the question is does he have the car for it? And how will Hamilton and Vettel compare; can’t wait to see them all race against each other, bahrain is going to be so exciting!

    2. hamilton's fan says:

      it started way earlier. Monaco with hamilton, and with the team, as early as australia, when the mecanics cheered hamilton, when he came out, in front of alonso, at the first pit stop.
      His wife and manager, watched the races from the renault hospitality from then on.

      1. CHIUNDA says:

        that observation about the mechanics chearing is very interesting. could it be that bringing in Alonso was unpopular with the rank and file at McLaren? The rest of the internet would have missed this discontent as at the time nobody was really interested in McLaren’s internal politics that much

      2. Tim says:

        Not necessarily – the team has only one pitcrew but each driver has their own set of mechanics assigned to their car. The sight of McLaren mechanics cheering may simply indicate that they were Hamilton’s mechanics rather than Alonso’s.

        After all, at the start of 2007 people expected Hamilton to be good – but not quite as good as he turned out to be, immediately. Perhaps Hamilton’s crew were expecting him to spend the season as the support act, winning a race or two, while Alonso went for the title?

      3. less talking, more racing says:

        all i can say, it’s that alonso started to feel paranoid because of it, and like coulthart, and montoya said before, mclaren and especially dennis, always takes a side. And this time alonso could start feeling, that his side was not the one they were going to choose.
        He also realized in australia, that hamilton was not an ordinary rookie.

      4. feynman says:

        As I travel the internet, everytime I see that particular line it confuses me. There are two sets of mechanics and engineers in each garage, it was Hamilton’s mechanics that cheered.

        I feel it a little unfair that every other driver’s mechanics were and are regularly shown supporting their guy, in qualifying or the race, and only Hamilton’s mechanics are expected to stand there stony faced for fear of upsetting the Entourage.

        The only time McLaren had to actively get involved in divisive garage politics was when Alonso was trying to personally pay an additional bonus to his half of the garage … management felt this was not good for team spirit and blocked it.

        So, on the contrary, you genuinely have to admire the absolute professionalism of all the mechanics, after young Fernando and his mobile phone records nearly brought the curtain down on the whole team, and almost put them all out of work, mortgages to pay, they still dutifully bolted on new wheels everytime he stopped in front of them.

      5. less talking, more racing says:

        with the wrong tyre pressures alonso said. In quali at china, where he was half a second off the pace.
        i have no doubt that hamilton is a rocket on a quali lap, but at the end of the year, i think something happened at maclaren, and only a few people know. You just need to alter the tyre pressures at qualifying to ruin a guy’s weekend. Even if the engine, chassis and tyres are exactly the same.

      6. murray says:

        If you’ve got an ounce of political nous, make the accusation over the car-to-pit radio (publicly audible), and see how quickly they pump your tyres, clean your screen AND give you fries with that. When Fernando wasn’t faster than Hamilton, there were lots of reasons why and none of them were him.

      7. feynman says:

        to LessTalking,
        Half a second, blame the tyre pressures … but next year in China, Lewis outqualified Heikki by more than 6/10ths, maybe he’s just handy round Sepang in Quali trim. (09 only 1 Mc made it to Q3 so hard to compare)

        At his next race in Brazil 07, Alonso was also much slower in Q3 (3/10ths), and there he had his own personal FIA inspector in the garage looking after his tyre pressures. So what happened there.

        In Belgium 07, straight after singing like a canary in Paris (for those scoring at home, this was under his first FIA immunity, not his second) Alonso qualified half a second faster than Hamilton … it happens sometimes.
        No one complained about tyre pressures then.

        Who knows? … but deep-down are you genuinely 100% absolutely confident that you are not just being taken along for the ride here, having your leg lifted, part of Alonso’s signature paranoid reaction to racing adversity. “Petted lip” we call it in Scotland.

        Anyways, never mind all that, as part of my ongoing public-service remit, LessTalkingMoreRacing, here you go:
        http://bigmsmallcbigl.com/

    3. Freespecch says:

      Nice videos, the first really shows just how late Hamilton brakes, no wonder Alonso was loosing it :)
      The facts are; Hamilton has got considerably better since he raced with Alonso (esoecially last year) whilst the same isn’t true that Alonso has got better & all the Alonso army of fans find it impossible to admit this simple fact.

      1. Stef says:

        What do you base the ‘Alonso hasn’t got better’ comments on?

      2. Martin says:

        The reason Alonso fans won’t admit to your statements is that your ‘facts’ are hardly quantitative. We can say that Hamilton has three years experience now – what exactly has he learnt? There will be stuff but does it guarantee that no errors will be made or opportunities missed? We can’t prove it, therefore it is easy for others to debate.
        Equally you can’t quantify that Hamilton is for example three tenths per lap quicker than he was in 2007, and equally state that Alonso is no faster.

        Your comment on the braking point assumes Alonso was trying to make a pass – which at that point he wasn’t. In a modern F1 car going into that type of corner in equal cars the guy on the outside is unlikely to get by. As he was slightly behind he has to brake earlier to make space so that he can follow Hamilton through the bend. Otherwise he would have lost all air over the front wing and risked running off the road (which following Spain and Canada, he should have known was not a good idea).

        To me, seeing English language press in Australia, Hamilton is THE star in formula 1. This is a measure of status, not talent. This year will give us a better idea as to whether the adulation from many including you is warranted by talent or just personality. How Massa goes against Alonso might give more of an idea as to whether the F1 engineers that James talks to are in right in favouring Alonso over the rest of the field in race conditions.

    4. Dave F1 says:

      Actually the problems started at Monaco.

      Hamilton was instructed to remain behind Alonso, the team had a 1-2 in the bag & didn’t want to risk it by letting them race at the late stage in the race.

      Afterwards Hamilton made several comments that were said to have annoyed Alonso, that was when the problems began.

      Something to remember about Alonso V Sato at Montreal in 07 is that Sato was on the better tyre & was just about the fastest car on track. The soft tyres were close to 1 second faster than the hard’s that weekend. The same tyre strategy had seen Sato’s team mate Davidson get upto 3rd before he hit a groundhog that ran across the track & took his front wing off.

      There was nothing wrong with Alonso’s pace compared to Lewis, he was actually faster than Hamilton at that point in the race by 1 tenth a lap.

      The problems between Alonso/Hamilton came to a head at Hungary & don’t forget it was Hamilton that started it by disobeying team instructions & compramising Alonso’s qualifying strategy. Had Lewis stuck to the plan he never would have ended up behind Alonso when Alonso was in the pits & Alonso never would have ended up holding him up.

      Hamilton was far from been blameless for the situation with Alonso in 2007 & its good to see him more or less admit to the mistakes he made that year.

      1. alex m says:

        “don’t forget it was Hamilton that started it by disobeying team instructions & compramising Alonso’s qualifying strategy. Had Lewis stuck to the plan he never would have ended up behind Alonso when Alonso was in the pits & Alonso never would have ended up holding him up”

        Sorry, this is not just a lie, but an Absolute lie.

        The Hungary problem started solely from Alonso trying to “stitch up” Hamilton by deliberately slowing down so Raikkonen could catch up, so that when Hamilton went out there was a great risk of him being passed and loosing out strategically against Raikkonen.

        The fact that a 2x WDC could, or would, stoop to such depths to try and beat a Rookie really says it all.

        2007 showed that “The Alonso legend” was built on shakier ground than anybody had really suspected. Hamilton bettered him in an equal car, all he and his fans can now do is try to make out it was somehow unfair, or just admit the un-admittable, Hamilton is considerably better and fairly beat him in his début season.

        Mike from Medellin summed it up nicely with the link he posted.

      2. Dave F1 says:

        Thats not correct.

        Hamilton was instructed to let Alonso pass him while they were still sitting at the end of the pit lane.
        After ignoring the initial order given by his engineer, Ron Dennis asked Lewis a further 2 occasions to let Alonso pass him & Lewis ignored all of them.

        Lewis said that it was because Kimi was too close, in reality Kimi was far enough behind Alonso for Lewis to have been able to let Fernando past & not have Kimi become an issue-
        http://img163.imageshack.us/img163/3782/2007hungaryqualifyingav.jpg
        http://img163.imageshack.us/img163/7281/2007hungaryqualifyingavf.jpg

        Had Lewis obeyed the teams instructions none of the stuff that happened afterwards would have happened.

        To say that Alonso was 100% at fault isn’t fair or correct, Both were at fault, Lewis started the problems, Alonso finished them.

      3. Gate 21 says:

        “Hamilton is considerably better and fairly beat him in his début season.”

        So is that why Alonso was significantly faster than Hamilton at Monaco, Silverstone, Spa & Monza – the four drivers’ circuits on the calendar?

        Even with FIA interference in Hungary, Safety Car chaos in Canada and banging wheels with Massa in Spain costing Alonso, he still ended up tied on points with Hamilton. I don’t see that meaning Hamilton was considerably better.

    5. Fran says:

      yes sure, he is very good at he breaks!
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6kiPFOpFTM

      is that him going out?

    6. Tim Lamkin says:

      Typical scripted interview by Hamy…useless!

    7. Thalasa says:

      “I think Alonso also reduced his own stock with a few very poor performances, notably against Takuma Sato”

      Wasn’t then when someone dropped a piece of ceiling on Alonso’s car during the night? The following day his car had lost all its balance. No wonder Sato passed him. I would have passed him also with my Focus.
      I read somewhere that in 2007 Alonso had to get used to completely new tyres (bridgestone), in a new car in a new team. Adapting his driving style to new tyres shouldn’t be easy (James may be able to shed some light on this). He was racing against Dennis too (his boss). And nonetheless he finished on the same points as Hamilton.
      What to say about the FIA giving him a five places penalty for blocking Hamilton, isn’t it a team internal problem? Why had the FIA to interfere? Did Alonso put anyone at risk?
      Alonso is best. :)

  2. Peppe says:

    James, I am surprised you did not quote Hamilton on where he quite blatantly takes a swipe at former team mates. This was the bit that stood out for me when I first read the article on the BBC website. Clearly the rivalry (maybe more) is still bubbling away under the surface. Should be a cracking season if it spills over (legitimately, of course) on track.

    I am sur

    1. CHIUNDA says:

      of course the rivalry is it still bubbling – that is why the internet debates the Alonso/Lewis fallout with the same passion now as it did three years ago!

    2. TM says:

      If there was no rivalry it would be time to stop.

      1. LT says:

        Exacltly!

  3. Zami from Melbourne, Australia says:

    The thing I don’t understand is that why people are still so concerned about that matter. Don’t the journalists have anything more important to talk about a week before the new season? That’s a 3 year old stuff for heaven’s sakes. People will always have different opinion about this matter, just like the never ending argument of Schumacher being guilty of colliding with Hill or not. Come on guys

    1. Mario says:

      I cannot agree more on this. Media people seem to love being stuck in a moment and then we get those endless analysis of what happened and what might have happened if that did not happen and so on to the point when the whole thing is so off putting it makes people feel sick and tired.

      On the other hand I often find myself guilty of reading the stuff instead of just skipping it like I have done just now… again! And even worse I get drawn into the dispute! Am I getting old or what?

    2. TM says:

      Two words; Prost and Senna.
      People are still talking about that. These bitter rivalries make any sport, books are written about it and DVDs made about it. With both drivers looking like they’re in potential championship winning cars, it’s only natural that this sort of talk escalates.

  4. Dave+Kim says:

    James, I appreciate this is rather Off-Topic, but it concerns numbers of cars on track,and Ferrari’s recent outbursts. Please could you explain whatever was Ferrari’s logical justification for having 3 cars on the track? I never saw any ‘technical justification’ anywhere, apart from hoping Schumi would be the 3rd driver. It simply seemed grossly unfair. (a) They know many other teams couldn’t afford to have 3 cars too, (b) it was a weak excuse to keep budgets high, and (c) it would give them 50% greater chance to get more points than other teams with 2 cars! Assuming they did OK they’d score enough points to end the championship after 4 months! Hardly fair or good for the sport. It’s like having 16 players on your side of an 11-a-side football match. Perhaps ideally they’d like ALL the other teams banned to ensure THEY win the championship, plus all the money that entails? I admit not being overly keen on Ferrari before, while I acknowledge the significance of their history and constant presence in the sport, but now their selfish Spoilt Brat attitude lessens their appeal further. 2009 was a well-deserved kick up the pants for them, but with their recent outbursts they seem scared, as if even the new teams will be a threat to the mighty Ferrari, making us wonder what have they got to hide?! I look forward to Massa doing well as he deserves, and seeing how post-McLaren Alonso gets along with the team too, but I’m glad the other teams again seem so close this year, to give them a run for their arrogant money. I sense from so many people’s comments that this may be the start of a fascinating new era. Thanks for helping that happen with your articles.

    1. jose arellano says:

      they didnt want to run a 3rd car themselves. they wanted another team to use a ferrari car..

      1. TM says:

        No they definitely wanted teams so be able to run a 3rd car.

    2. Med says:

      I’m sure I’ll be corrected if I’m wrong, but I think if any team had run 3 cars, only 2 of them could score points in any one race. So if Ferrari had finished in the top 3 places, they’d only score for the one-two.

      I have absolutely no idea how the trophy situation would’ve worked though

    3. TM says:

      Although I’m pretty sure Med is correct in his reply, apart from that I totally agree with you Dave+Kim.
      Di Montezomelo probably just read your post about banning all other teams and thought “hey, what a great idea!”

  5. hamilton's fan says:

    What is he trying to get with his comments. He would have done some things different? yes of course, the races at china and brazil. Is he trying to fool us all?
    You are trying to emulate senna, then say it like it is, don’t try to change the story to make yourself look something different of what you are.
    We like you just the way you are now. But if you start changing, i don’t know…

  6. Vinod says:

    Yeah bring it on!!!!!!! Can’t wait for the season to start.

    I wish F1 will come back to the US soon… I just can’t convince my wife to travel outside the country to watch a race :(

    1. Rich C says:

      Montreal isn’t *that far out of the country! And they do speak English there. Besides having a great social life its a great town for partying. Tell her she can pick up all sorts of French fashion stuff there, too! And there’s this deli right downtown… ;D

      1. Vinod says:

        sounds like a great idea! :)

  7. Dani says:

    Hi James,

    great post and great blog as always. I’m looking forward to this season too as a huge schumacher fan. I was just wondering what do you think pit strategy will be this season if there is a safety car period in the race? Will all the teams stop and change tyres no matter when the safety car come out?

    Best regards from Montreal!

  8. Thomas says:

    This season just has everything in it to be a classic. But then we’ve pretty much had classics since 2005, haven’t we? 06 was superb, 07 was a thriller throughout, 08 was incredible and 09 just stood everything on the head. We’ve been thruly spoiled these last seasons. May it be continued for many more years :)

    1. Phil C says:

      I don’t really count 09 as a classic. Yes everything was turned on it’s head, but Brawn dominated, and the title fight was never really that close. Jenson stuttered towards the title but no one really took advantage of that.

      2006, 2007, 2008 however – fantastic years!

  9. Edward Smith says:

    in the end it’s all phycological games

    reminds me of last season when alonso said that hamilton was a good rookie team mate as he forced him to up his game (basically have a dig at his team mate nelson piquet at the time)

    Hamilton knows his main oposition will be alonso and schumacher…..and button (coz hes his team mate)…so hes just giving them all a subtle reminder that he thinks he’s boss

  10. Marco Coltelli says:

    James I think Lewis has been the closest for me in terms of driving a car like Schumacher, however I have this feeling that Michael has not lost any of his speed and will be standing on the podium ahead of Lewis next Sunday!

    1. less talking, more racing says:

      I imagine there will be lots of incidents, being the first race of the year, so my money is on schumacher being on the podium at the end of the race, but, who would bet against hamilton winning the race? i wouldn’t.

      1. Dale says:

        I agree, it’d be great if Hamilton won, Button was second and Schumacher was third, that’s make some photo :)

      2. less talking, more racing says:

        you are a macca fan. And what about ferrari? Out of the points would make you happy?

  11. Racehound says:

    listen mate!!!! McLaren are now into the Whitmarsh era, a very different prospect from the Dennis era, and McLaren suffered in 07 under the final throes of the Dennis and ONLY era!!! Ron made a HUUUUUUUUUUGE mistake in 2007 by not making his “rookie driver” (LH had driven HOW MANY miles in the 4/22?)…FUNDAMENTALLY clear in the “goals and the understanding” of how the team worked!!!!! Who the hell is running the show at McLaren “for the good of the team”??? (How many times have we heard LH spouting this little mantra every time there has been a “crisis” at McL in the last 3 years??? Only now are McL looking to dispel the management deficiency syndrome that has befallen them because MW is in charge! #:) cant go on…need a beer!

    1. hamilton's fan says:

      just make sure it’s cold.

    2. HowardHughes says:

      …and a valium by the looks of it.

    3. ‘Calm down dear’ it’s only f1 ‘ !!!

  12. Freespeech says:

    The fact we have 4 former world champions racing each other this year in itself is just magical for F1. It’s a shame that Kimi isn’t in a RedBull this as then we’d have 5 with the likes of Vettel in particular going for it to join this elite club.
    I think the season will take its toll on Schumacher a age catches up with him especially should he be involved in any heavy off’s as joints & the body as a whole just take longer to heal & that’s just a fact of age.
    I’m very happy to see Lewis deciding he;d be better of having another manager, just the look on his father’s face watching everything McLaren did as though he was the boss was of putting in itself and I think he rattled more than a few cages at McLaren.
    I’d be amazed if Massa beats Alonso as I still rate him highly, second only to Hamilton, that said we know what happens if he can’t beat his team-mate so if Massa can be coached by his race engineer early on & get ahead who knows, for certain the pressure will mount on Alonso?
    O hope, above everything else that the rotten FIA of the past is no more and that we see NO interference by them in any way whatsoever allowing the season to play out fairly and honestly though I’d be amazed if a helping hand isn’t given at least once if Schumacher hasn’t won a race as this will be the Brawn (fairytale) story of 2010 & you can be your last cent that Eccleston wants to see the headline splashed across the world’s media, maybe though, now older and wiser we will get to a true sportsman in Schumacher, a man who wouldn’t accept the helping hand of old friends? We’ll see!……

    1. jose arellano says:

      just imagine if kimi was vettel team mate for this season. that would beee so good..

      1. Dale says:

        I agree, Webber’s good but let’s not forget he was beaten by Vettel which tells me he’s just below top class whereas Kimi is a former F1 champion

      2. Paulo says:

        Don’t forget thorugh last season Webber was still recovering from an injury

  13. peter says:

    Kimi Raikkonen was (is) one of the few drivers who always admitted if he made a mistake and he is very much liked for that and for his integrity. Its a very good direction for Hamilton, too if he will remain like that in the future. As Schumi concerned, you cannot expect a 41 old sportsman to be at the same level as was in his peak form in any sport, but he still can be pretty good. Consistency will be the key issue, I think.

    1. Rich C says:

      ” you cannot expect a 41 old sportsman to be at the same level as was in his peak form in any sport”

      Rubbish! Know many 41 yr olds do you? I’ll bet that the athletes at that age are every bit as good as they ever were.

      At 40 I could kick ass and charm the ladies far better than at 20. And now at 60(ish) you better believe I can still get the job done better than when I was 20! And I’m smarter to boot!

    2. murray says:

      Why don’t we see elite athletes going on into their 40s and over? Motivation to get there is what makes them special, then to keep doing it over and over again, and Schuey’s motivation has always been on a different level to any other driver, Senna perhaps excepted (but then you have to wonder if Michael is trying to fill shoes that can never be filled, making a point that can’t be made). The cars put more extreme loadings on a body these days, but Fangio started in Europe in his 40s, and Brabham led the championship for part of his final year, at 44. It was McLaren’s death that demotivated him. If Schuey’s spirit is willing enough to come back, he won’t let his body let him down. Besides which, racing Hamilton is a new challenge, and Lewis is the only driver whose first couple of years could ultimately shade part of Schumacher’s career statistics.

  14. A Wyatt says:

    Every single utterance that Lewis makes is leapt on and analysed and analysed and analysed again, and then often embellished. I have to say, if I were his new manager, I would advise he said as little as possible to the media as it gets pounced on and misinterpreted too many times. Let him do his talking on the track.

    I hope Lewis isn’t less competitive this year in his effort to be more popular. His millions of fans adore him as he is – a charming, lovely guy (we know he is without him trying to convince us), competitive, supremely skilled and a winner. That’s why we love him.

    As for his first year in F1, he was immediately competitive so why should he have stood back and let his teammate win when he could have won that title? I reckon he could have won if McLaren had handled the team better and if that very strange glitch with his car hadn’t occurred in Brazil (very strange).

    Anyway, I wish him heaps of luck for coming season. It’s a shame that drivers like Alonso cannot admit to their mistakes, as his behaviour was appalling and yet he rewrites history by saying he was “glad to help the FIA discover the spying”. Also by saying he deserved his win in Singapore 2008 – I find his attitude despicable but the media don’t jump on him half as much.

    I predict that the British media will be definitely pro-Button this year and whether Lewis is winning or losing, he will get the usual hard time.

    His fans will never desert him though, and he acknowledges how important that is to him.

    1. alex petroc says:

      He admits mistakes when he make them. It’s not Alonso’s problem that somebody is just looking for anything against him and doesn’t listen to what he is saying. Did perfect admitter Hamilton told how he lost title in 2007 and why? Guess what – Alonso did. In few interviews Alonso told that he lost title in the crash in Fuji which was his mistake.

    2. CHIUNDA says:

      I would like to read the memoirs of the engineers one day and learn how legitimate that brazil glitch was! very strange indeed.

      1. rafa says:

        you mean the same ones that cheered him all year through, those ones would suddenly sabotage him? Why would you think that?

  15. Michael Nichol says:

    Half-truths, and innuendo from Hamilton. Sometimes outright lies. This is the Lewis Hamilton I see as a fan. This is NOT the way Kimi Raikkonen, James Hunt,and Gilles Villenueve ‘carried themselves’.

    Racing is more than whom is better friends with the team owner.

    1. Ross Dixon says:

      “Racing is more than whom is better friends with the team owner.”

      The Schumi and Brawn relationship could be used as a counter to that argument

  16. Vinola says:

    I’m not sure this “new” tack is at all necessary. He sounds too much like a ventriloquist’s dummy in my view. Now, I’m a huge fan of his; he ought to talk less, and let his on-track performances take care of the rest.

    1. **Paul** says:

      I agree, although it’s nice to hear Hamilton admit what many of his fans and the british media could not, Lewis was given more of a fair crack than Alonso at McLaren. I’m still a little perplexed why he thinks his team mates have always had an equal chance. Heikki made some very interesting comments once he’d left McLaren about the team insisting he went on long fuel loads (especially when he had pace similar to or better than LH) and also about all new parts going on Hamiltons car. The second of those was as plain as day to see, yet we still get LH’s comment about it? Odd no?

      1. CHIUNDA says:

        so what is it about LH that as a rookie in 2007 would convince RD to give him new parts and better race strategy over Alonso the reigning two time WDC who had been hired to come and win the title for McLaren? I know this is not what you are saying in your post – you specifically refer to Kovi but i assume you do so to support your arguement that he was “given more of a fair crack than Alonso at McLaren”

  17. Silverstoned says:

    Top man! Now let’s have an admission that cutting the chicane in Spa 08 was also just plain wrong.

    1. neil says:

      Why should he? when so many others don’t believe he did anything wrong.

    2. Phil says:

      Which is why he gave the place back. What was really wrong was the FIA yet again spoiling a race with unnecessary, undeserved penalties

      1. Dale says:

        You ARE soooooooooooooooo right mate, what the FIA did was nothing more than cheating and stealing the race victory from Hamilton.
        I hope I never see such blatant bias by the FIA again.

    3. A Wyatt says:

      Mmmm, yes, do you not have a memory? After he cut the chicane, he gave the position back to Kimi and checked with race control if the team had done enough, and it was confirmed more than once that they had, only for the stewards to reverse that decision after the race. Still one of the most blatantly biased and outrageous decisions EVER in F1 and ruined a spectacular race.

      1. Peppe says:

        Will people get over this! The FIA made, technically, the right decision. The question was: did Hamilton get an advantage by cutting the chicane? Yes, he most likely would not have been in the position he was in when going into La Source. That allowed him to make the move on Raikkonen. A clear advantage. Funny how, I think, all the drivers agreed with the decision after the race, apart from the obvious. If you want a precedent, go and watch Alonso at Suzuka on Webber in 2005. Same circumstances, FIA asked Alonso to give the place back. He did. No fuss. The only difference, I think, is that the Hamilton/Kimi incident occurred so late in the race that the FIA couldn’t study it quickly enough before the end of the race/the chaos of the next lap (Kimi was in the wall, so LH couldn’t give the place back to him!)

        Whether the FIA apply the rules equally and fairly generally (apart from this rare occasion) is a completely different matter!

      2. Peppe says:

        Sorry, it was Klien.

      3. Phil says:

        The point is he *did* give back the place. The very example you give (Alonso) has Alonso giving back the place.

        The point is they asked multiple times and yet were told it was o.k. If they had been told otherwise, then in spite of *already* having given the place back, they would have done so. And, as things turned out, Lewis almost certainly would then *still* have won.

        Instead of this, the FIA made a mockery by telling the team and driver one thing, only to penalize them after the fact. At best this is incompetent refereeing, at worst it smacks of bias and politics.

      4. Phil says:

        And, to add to that, if you want to make it about the FIA doing ‘technically’ the right thing. AFAIK, there was nothing in the FIA regulations about how much distance a driver had to give back before attempting another overtaking maneuver. So, *after* having given back the place, and then getting penalized, the FIA make up a new rule out of thin air that simply giving back the place was no longer enough. First of all, I don’t see why this was necessary. Secondly, if you are going to introduce new rules, you should do so without retrospectively penalizing someone with said rule, which is effectively what they did.

    4. jw1980 says:

      What just like Raikkonen’s start last year when he went wide after Eau Rouge? The only difference here was that Hamilton was punished and Raikkonen was not.

      1. Charlie B says:

        Raikkonen went wide, forcred off, taking a longer route, also some other driver did the same. Lewis took a shortcut, therefore an advantage that nobody else took.

      2. Silverstoned says:

        Thank you Charlie!
        Also the run off after turn 1 at Spa gives no one an advantage. It gets grit and dirt on the tyres and will most likely result in loss of grip for all but the best….

    5. Irish conor says:

      I agree totally mate. All these know it all Hamilton fans that only started watching f1 when lewis came in to f1. If they had been watching at japan 05 they would see alonso take over klien I think into the last chicane by goin wide and then coasting on he straight before getting back in his slipstream right away and passing again into turn 1. Fia made same decision then by making alonso give position back properly ie can’t be into next corner or braking zone. Honestly u guys know nothing and are blinded by the British media

      1. Phil says:

        Not everyone who disagrees with that is a newbie fan. And, I’d hazard a guess, plenty of them have been watching F1 before you. Even if not the case, that doesn’t make you right.

    6. Irish conor says:

      I agree totally mate. All these know it all Hamilton fans that only started watching f1 when lewis came in to f1. If they had been watching at japan 05 they would see alonso take over klien I think into the last chicane by goin wide and then coasting on he straight before getting back in his slipstream right away and passing again into turn 1. Fia made same decision then by making alonso give position back properly ie can’t be into next corner or braking zone. Honestly u guys know nothing and are blinded by the British media. There wasn’t a single driver other than Hamilton than thought it was the wrong decision

      1. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

        Thanks Conor…I have been watching F1 since Alan Jones won in 1980

    7. ahlapski says:

      Very True…

      I think LH by giving the position back and checking with the race control, he has done enough to avoid getting penalised. I totally agreed with A Wyatt that this is one of the most blatantly biased and outrageous decisions EVER in F1.

      What do you think James??

    8. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

      Hamilton was the moral victor. The questionable stewards’ decision simply could not be overturned by any form of logic.

      1. less talking, more racing says:

        for once i agree with you mike desde medellin. There was a witch hunt during 08 against hamilton, and he deserved that victory. It’s a shame that happened at spa, and important victory to have on your curriculum.
        But the oposite happened during 2007, he was allowed to do everything without any penalty. Remember when he was put back on the track at nurburgring, during the downpour?. That was a shame as well.

      2. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

        Perfectly within the rules though.

  18. Rudy Pyatt says:

    Oh this is going to be good. Button has been through so much that he may be a tough egg for Lewis to crack. And, putting aside the possibility that MS may take all the kids to school, I think the big rivalry will be Hamilton/Massa. Last year interrupted that process, but both seem to have emerged from the turbulence stronger than they were. Game on.

  19. Peppe says:

    Funny how the LH fans gloss over his transgressions and paint Alonso as a bad character. All drivers are only human and they have all made mistakes. Even LH.

    1. CHIUNDA says:

      isn’t that what he says in the interview?

      1. Peppe says:

        Yes, but his fans don’t seem to admit this.

      2. TM says:

        I haven’t read a single post of anyone saying that LH has never made a mistake. Maybe find at least one and post it as a reply to this?

      3. less talking, more racing says:

        all he said are words. let’s see what happenes if the tilte is at stake again. I bet he would eat his opponent’s heart if necessary.
        like dennis said, these competitive animals, know no limits.

    2. John H says:

      I respected Alonso, right up to the point of not renouncing his win at Singapore 2008.

      That showed his true character I’m afraid.

      1. Peppe says:

        Show me a driver who would have? Has Schumi ever renounced any of the races where Rubens moved over? Has he in fact renounced his 94 title yet?

        As I said, no one is perfect and everyone has faults.

      2. TM says:

        I don’t think team orders to move over is quite the same as team orders to crash a car mate. Sorry.

    3. Phil says:

      Which LH fans? We’re not one single headed entity you know. This particular LH fan gets wound up by generalizations that serve no purpose and reflect no meaningful truth.

      1. Nathan says:

        here here phil

  20. MikeW says:

    The tone, and change in tone, definitely seems to show some growth in maturity. I wonder if he’s learning that a little from his team-mate – it is one area that there is to learn from Button’s side. While Button seems to be gaining some steeliness.

    I’ve never been a fan of the Schumacher way, so while I hope that he helps make this season more exciting, I equally hope he *just* comes out behind. I can’t help but feel that the battle will be most personal with Vettel, so will be watching Seb’s reaction too.

    As you say… bring on the 1st race!

  21. markus0027 says:

    If I see in print one more bloody time that very few drivers admit to there mistakes I am going to swim across the Atlantic hunt you down and cut all your fingers off (or maybe not).

    Do you even remember what you said in the past or myabe read other publications for driver comments?

    Ever driver on the grid has admitted to their faults at some point or another INCLUDING Micheal

    1. machista says:

      your spelling and grammar are simply out of this world

    2. TM says:

      Maybe you should start up your own website? Lol

  22. rpaco says:

    No manager yet then!
    Unfortunately the James Hunt/Eddie Irvine era where drivers were free to say what they felt, is long over. Everything needs to be rehearsed and learned in case the question comes up. Most of it will be based on the truth, but tilted toward the impression most favourable to the driver. ie “Did you deliberately knock Alonso off on the second corner?” “No of course not, I would never do something like that, I’m afraid he just left the door open far too long and I was already ahead when he ran over my rear wheel and pitched himself over the fence, I just saw him sailing into the sky in my mirror”

    He needs a manager, or at very least a PR person to manage his media interface. Lou does that doesn’t she?

    1. TM says:

      I doubt anyone working for McLaren needs any more PR people!

  23. Mike Dawson says:

    … and Kimi running wide at turn one to gain an advantage last year wasn’t ‘wrong’?

    (both instances are just racing, now let’s move on.) :)

    1. Silverstoned says:

      Beg to differ here for reasons often stated by, for example, DC, who explained that taking this longer route if you have to means picking up dirt and thus risking loss of all grip when you’re back on track.

  24. Stu says:

    I mentioned the other day that Hamilton dispensing of his father’s services as his manager basically squashed my only real criticism of him, well I forgot to mention how Hamilton could occasionally come across as arrogant (I expect I would given his position in life at 25) – if this is how he is going to conduct himself this season then I have no criticisms of him at all!

    I cannot wait for next weekend, I feel it’s going to be a good season. I am looking forward to seeing a 3 way battle for the title with McClaren, Ferrari and Red Bull being in my mind slightly ahead Mercedes. I can also see Force India and Sauber being at the top of the mid tier teams with the ability to pull out the odd surprise here and there…

    Looking forward to continuing to read this great blog through 2010!

  25. Dale says:

    Hats off to Hamilton, if Schumacher had shown similar humility when he was last in F1 many, me included, would think more highly of him as a bloke!
    If his car is competitive my money’s on Hamilton for the championship, way to go Lewis

    1. less talking, more racing says:

      he is trying to fool us all. He is not planning to change. When the world championship is at stake, he will do wathever thinks neccesary. otherwise he wouldn’t be a world champion.

    2. Sam says:

      When did Schumacher sound arragant?
      Never… If you care to pay attention in his interviews, he only talks about positive things about other drivers, like Lewis.

      1. John H says:

        Agree, he is very good in interviews. But it was more is actions sometimes, like trying to convince everyone he just made a mistake at moncao in 2006. That really was pathetic, and got worse as he still doesn’t admit he lied.

      2. TM says:

        Oh hang on I’m just holding my stomach in through laughing. Schumacher not arrogant??? WHAT?! Don’t you think it was arrogant to think it was ok to take out Damon Hill for the championship? Or Jacque Villeneuve? Or to stop qualifying by crashing at Monaco? Come on.

        Actions speak louder than words, and his actions spoke louder than most.

  26. Ebi Bozimo says:

    Hamilton should only say variants of 3 things:

    1. The TEAM did a fantastic job today;
    2. I look forward to building on today’s performance.
    3. I respect each driver I’m battling on track.

    1. less talking, more racing says:

      he seems a little mellow. May be it has something to do with the problems he is having with his girlfriend, and the pressure she is putting on him to get married.

      1. Zobra Wambleska says:

        Do think your comments here are contributing anything to this discussion? If you don’t like Lewis, say so and then let it go.

      2. less talking, more racing says:

        cool it dude.

  27. Pat says:

    Nice article :) I think Lewis maybe even more humble when Button proves himself a tough opponent this year.

  28. Carl says:

    I hope he actually means that.

    Back in Hungry 07 he started that whole ugly episode. IIRC the McLaren drivers took it in turns as to who would set their time last in qualifying. In Hungry it was Alonso’s turn, but Hamilton decided that he wanted to set his time after Alonso (and have a better chance of grabbing pole), this angered Alonso which then caused him to block Hamilton in the pits.

    Handbag stuff that the rookie should never have started and Alonso should never have reacted to.

    1. less talking, more racing says:

      sould never have reacted to!!!
      And let hamilton take the pole without a fight? world champs don’t act like that.
      He should have stalled, and then start again, but that’s easy to say.

      1. Thalasa says:

        I don’t think he had any intention to stall. If he wants to stall he knows how to do it. I think he wanted to make clear that nobody was going to grab his Alfa-male status without a fight. And I think that, at the time, he saw the lost of five places on the grid as a worthy loss.

    2. Alf says:

      Agreed!!!

    3. machista says:

      spot on, but it was Ron Dennis NOT Alonso who decided to keep him (ALO) in the pit just a little bit longer. Resulting in HAM (and manager) taking matters into FIA hands

      1. TM says:

        What? Of Course it wasn’t Ron Dennis.
        What a ridiculous thing to say. It might have been Alonso with his mechanics, but certainly not Dennis. Didn’t you see how angry he was?

      2. CroftFan says:

        Machista, you are mistaken about who ordered Alonso to stay in the pits and block Hamiliton.

        Alonso was given the order by his trainer NOT Ron Dennis. Dennis was plainly furious with Alonso and could be seen throwing his headphones across the garage. The FIA investigation was not instigated by Hamilton or anyone in McLaren it was started by the stewards.

        Ironically, Alonso’s actions could have cost him the championship.

      3. rafa says:

        get yer facts right, mate. Dennis threw the headphones in disgust at Hamilton´s reaction on the radio: something along the lines of “Dont ever f… talk to me like that again!” “no, you don´t ever f… talk to me like that again!” it´s amazing seeing fans rewrite history in ways I suspect are embarrassing even for their admired ones.

      4. CroftFan says:

        Rafa, you seem to be the one rewriting history. The conversation that you state never happened even though it was reported in some parts of the media. McLaren actually released the full pit-radio as part of the investigation into pitlanegate and that exchange of profanities never occurred.

        Are you denying the role of Fabrizio Borraon in holding Alonso in the pits?

      5. rafa says:

        Croftfan:

        this was McLaren´s statement:
        “We agree with the stewards that, when the team decided to hold Fernando for 20 seconds, there were four cars on the circuit.

        “However, we do not understand the relevance of this observation as the team needed to estimate where all the remaining cars would be in the final minutes of the session.

        “Similarly the team does not agree with the statement of the stewards that the 20-second hold caused Lewis to be impeded.”

        Do notice that it says THE TEAM held Alonso.
        And further:
        http://f1.gpupdate.net/en/formula-1-news/162323/dennis-hold-up-is-hamilton-s-fault/

        You only need to notice the headline of the article and the quotes from Dennis. these are only the first resuls of a google search after three years. why none have supported your claims i wonder?

      6. CroftFan says:

        Rafa – You seem to be quite happy to pick and choose your reference points & quotes. The statements by McLaren were politically motivated and designed to minimise the punishment which was to be imposed on team. The video clearly shows that Alonso was held in the box for 20 seconds by the team but that he stayed in the box for an additional 10 seconds AFTER the Team raised the lollipop and released him. His own mechanics were urging him to go so your assertion is nonsense and was rejected by the race stewards. The fact that there were only 4 cars on track should be a clue :)

        I don’t deny that Lewis’s action precipated the process but that doesn’t excuse a World Champion from throwing his toys out of the pram & then cheating.

        The full findings of the stewards report is here: http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2007/08/05/the-stewards-verdict-on-mclaren-alonso/

    4. Rudy Pyatt says:

      +1 on that

  29. Clackers says:

    Hamilton, Alonso, and Schumacher are the 3 Champions on the grid. Sorry, but we cannot include someone like Button in that statement. None of the drivers respect him, that much is clear. I am a big Button fan, but he lacks the outright speed, the mental strength, and the racecraft to beat people like Webber, Rosberg and Massa, let alone the Big Four. This season will be a humiliation for the Jenson Button Fan Club, or which I am a founder member. :( I wish he had retired at the end of 2009 when he still had a modicum of credibility left. Hamilton will be challenging for victories at every circuit in 2010, it’s a shame that his team mate cannot get between Lewis and the others to take points of them and help Lewis’ title bid.

    1. Pat says:

      Clackers…. are you sure that’s not a mis-spelt Crackers ? Button will give Hamilton et al a run for their money :)

    2. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

      I am no Button fan, but we have to stick with the facts here. He won the World Driver’s Championship fair and square.

      The WDC is not about who is the best driver in the world….it’s about who scored the most points in the season….and that’s what Button did.

    3. Racehound says:

      errr!!! Watch a re-run of Brazil 09! #:)

    4. swayze says:

      Would not like to hear from one of his detractors if you are a founder member of his fan club ?

      1. TM says:

        Yeah i bet the monthly fan newsletter is a barrel of laughs!

    5. rafa says:

      sorry mate but isn´t it a bit awkward being a “huge button Fan” and writing about him as you do?

    6. Cliff says:

      None of the drivers respect him, that much is clear. And your evidence is?

      As a founding memnber of the Fan Club, god help us when you dislike someone. Out of the three WDC’s memtioned, only MS can claim not to have been beaten by JB. From my recollection, 2009 had few overtaking moves, those that we did see were performed by Button. As for the others mentioned,the records show that they finished behind Button in the 2009 WDC.

    7. Pat says:

      Button’ capable of handling Schumacher :)

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAYZErfcOPQ

  30. Giuseppe F1 says:

    Sorry, off-topic James, but I know you were following Ferrari’s Driver Academy – theyve just added 3 new recruits – and brought in recently Red Bull ousted Bortolotti into their programme to race in the new for 2010 GP3 series:

    http://en.espnf1.com/ferrari/motorsport/story/10283.html

  31. Arya says:

    James,

    As I see 2007 season, Fernando and Ron both underestimated Lewis’ ability.

    Till Monaco Mclaren was pretty much behind Fernando. Fernando did no good to his cause by lackluster performances in Bahrain and Spain. That”Number 2 is written on my car” comment by Lewis had set the house on fire.
    Mclaren was under immense pressure to make sure both drivers get equality due to media scrutiny after Monaco.
    As far as I understand, both driver and management decided on alternate qualifying strategy after Monaco.
    At Hungary, mostly due to disastrous Ring weekend, Lewis breached that unwritten agreement and took things in his hand. An infuriated Fernando did whatever he had to do in Q3 and rest of that ugly piece of history is known to all of us.
    This is my understanding of 2007.
    Being a part of paddock, is there any other interpretation you have of that episode?

    1. williams4ever says:

      Very well summarized. One thing that you didn’t document and which was well captured was “reaction of entire McLaren team and more specifically Ron & his wife Lisa”, one poles and wins of Lewis Vs that of Fernando.

      Ron should have been more professional at his age and experience,after all the drivers were barely in 20s. Unfortunately 2007 was case of massive management failure from man whose famous “Ronspeak” was that of managing Prost-Senna as his drivers.

      On subject of “alternate qualifying” strategy that McLaren deployed in 2007, suddenly disappeared in 2008 when Heikki was qualifying every race on higher fuel than Lewis. This fact is evidenced by every race debrief release from McLaren where Whitmarsh played the song “Fuel corrected Heikki was faster than Lewis”.

      And having said that the whole premises of Lewis’s claim that he has never got preferential treatment over his team-mates falls flat on its face.

      I admire Lewis as racer with big balls, but he needs to keep his mouth in check and make Kimi as his role model when it comes to Press and Interviews…

      1. CHIUNDA says:

        Only problem i have with Kovi is he would not have won the title in 2008 if he had been given Ham’s strategy at every race. So his whinning is really irrelevant. The race is to win the title not to win the heart of the lesser performing driver.

      2. Williams4ever says:

        If McLaren had played fair and Kovi had failed, the question would have never raised its ugly head. I can understand if later part of season, where Heikki was out of equation and Team backing Lewis, but to do that right from race one effectively throws the driver equality claim out of window period

      3. TM says:

        So are you saying that being lighter in qualifying and therefore the start of the race was always the worst strategy? Come on.

    2. less talking, more racing says:

      he had another during 2007. Let’s see if he has changed his mind now.

  32. malcom says:

    Mike from Medellin…..The problem between Hamilton and Alonso started as early as the Spanish GP. As a result of being beaten by Lewis at Bahrain. Fernando had Mclaren exclude Lewis from a scheduled test session for the upcoming Spanish GP. Remember the start of the Spanish GP, when Fernando nearly took out both Hamilton and Raikkonen, and Alonso still lost to Hamilton in Spain.

    The storm clouds were now starting to gather.

  33. K miles says:

    “we’ve always had equal opportunity” being abit humble isnt he? Who can forget webber blocking hamilton in quali at monaco 07 and then mclaren forcing him to pit early in the race, which kept him behing alonso! and the new suspension package that mclaren brought to silverstone and because they only had one they gave it to alonso! which he went on to finish ahead of lewis! afew facts for the hardcore alonso fans to think about!

    1. CHIUNDA says:

      revealing that no FA has replied to your comment

    2. less talking, more racing says:

      you are right about monaco, hamilton was faster over the week end, but he didn’t win the race. And alonso’s victory was deserved.
      About silverstone, i heard he missed the set-
      up, and that was the reason he was slower than alonso during the race.

      1. K miles says:

        how was ur deserved?! it was GIVEN to him by mclaren! if they didnt force hamilton to come in he would have made up the difference and comeout ahead of alonso! as for silverstone im sure James Allen can confirm there was ONLY ONE new suspension package available??
        Also james on itv-f1 you stated that “Adaptability is the key this season, It is for this reason that I feel Alonso possibly has the best chance because he is the most adaptable.”
        James are you feeling ok?! have you been watching the same racing as everybody else?! when have you seen alonso drive a car stuck in 5th?! when did you see him pump 25 qualifying laps in the race?! and your talking about alonso and adaptability?! PLEASE!

  34. Rus_h says:

    It’s all part of what makes up F1 folk law, Senna taking off Prost and vice versatile, Mansell’s blow out in Adelade, Schmi taking off Hill, Villeneuve and parking his car in Monaco. Hamilton’s illegal overtake in Belgium on Kimi and Hungarian GP quali with Alonso. These are tales as a fan I’ll be recounting to my possibly indifferent children for years. So what’s different with journalism and a pifling 3 years. Granted 1966 world cup stories wearing thin, bring on 2010.

  35. clutter says:

    Many already we said… Alonso to it was not a demon, Alonso was not “the unique” culprit of 2007, but the newspapers and press of UK said the opposite, and all the fans UK swallowed the lie. All gave the reason to Rum Dennis and LH and discredits to FA.
    Don’t mention it this fact, the sweepings serves to rectify… the evil either or this scattered, everything smells bad, LH idol, FA demon and thus it will be by always between fans UK

    1. John H says:

      “all the fans UK swallowed the lie”

      Please, credit us with at least some intelligence!

    2. Very poetic, but what does it mean?

      1. rafa says:

        I think it´s either google translator or Master Yoda´s English tutorial in action.

  36. Alias James says:

    Just to think about it, Lewis Hamilton does start to seem like Tiger Woods!

    1. A Wyatt says:

      Why? Because he has the same colour skin?

    2. less talking, more racing says:

      because he likes women? nothing wrong with that.

    3. TM says:

      Utterly stupid comment.

  37. PaulL says:

    It was only a month ago that Hamilton was talking up how he “blew Alonso away” in 2007 and mentioning how he became the top dog in the team.

    I just don’t think the leopard has changed his spots and wonder whether he really has ‘humility’.

    1. less talking, more racing says:

      he is talking too much. I hope he doesn’t turn into one of those pilots that think they have the obligation to speak, when it’s time to keep quiet. less is more here.

      1. CHIUNDA says:

        give credit where its due – Lewis has been very quiet over the winter testing period

      2. Zobra Wambleska says:

        That’s an odd comment coming from you. Have you counted your remarks on this thread? Not trying to pick on you, but …..

  38. Robert Powers says:

    “It’s different to having the young Michael, who’s at his best,but I’m sure he’s going to be just as good as ever.”Is there any doubt that the cars with the prancing horse represent the Ferrari factory?This year marks the return of the Silver Arrows to Formula One after a 55 year absence.They only know one way to run these events,and you know what their expectations are.It is possible that one year from now there will be postings here to the effect that the 7 or 8 time champ is at his best right now.And that his currently winless understudy is the revelation of the year.It remains to be seen.There will be new pieces on the Mercedes in Bahrain-a classic case of sandbagging by the defending constructor’s champions?I have no crystal ball,but if I’m right-enjoy the final week of a passing era.Good luck to Lewis,Jenson,Fernando,Felipe and company.you are going to need it.

    1. DC says:

      I’d just like to point out that Alonso did beat MS twice in ’05 and ’06 so there is no reason why he can’t do it again and LH has proved he is at least the equal of Alonso….so I don’t think they need all the luck you think they do… it’s going to be very close.

  39. Ryan Eckford says:

    I think Alonso thought he was the next all time great and totally underestimated Hamilton. Hamilton took full advantage and taught Alonso a well and truly deserved lesson. For any teammates of Hamilton, it should also serve warning that he has never been beaten by his teammate over the course of a season in any category over his entire career so far. Going to 2010 now, I have the view that Button is similar in a way to Kovalainen. Button just seems to beat himself up when things are not going his way, e.g. when trying to clinch the world championship last year, the pressure, which he placed on himself I must say nearly got to him. I think Hamilton is McLaren’s No.1 driver with Button having to play second fiddle for the entire season this season. What do you think, James?

    1. mcr says:

      “he has never been beaten by a team mate”.

      There is always a first time.

    2. Thalasa says:

      I think Alonso thought he was the next all time great and totally underestimated Hamilton.
      I think Alonso still believes he is the next all time great, and I’m sure he is right. :)

  40. C Lin says:

    Yes its going to be an exciting season but something is amiss……ah
    Kimi Raikkonen should be in the grid then it would be fantastic, 5 WDCs racing! Woot!

  41. Paul Mc says:

    It was refreshing to see a humble Lewis last year. He was much more likable compared to what he was in his rookie season. Im sure he has people around him coaching him on his interview style. Im a fan of his driving and his obvious skill..im not a fan of the person though.

    1. CHIUNDA says:

      you are supposed to be a fan of the driver so that is ok

  42. Thalasa says:

    For those who think that Hamilton has suddenly become humble, I remind you that only a few days ago he said he had blown away Alonso in 2007. If he calls finishing equal “blowing away”, Alonso, Shumi or Vettel, for example, have nothing to worry about.

    To say something good about Hamilton (since I always criticise him), I would say that he has the fastest (on a single lap) and most thrilling approach to racing in the entire paddock. He is not as consistent as Schumy or Alonso though.

    1. A Wyatt says:

      What I can’t understand is all these Lewis detractors banging on about “Lewis must be humble”. What, is he a manservant? Name another F1 driver of his calibre who shuffles around apologising for his very existence. It really gets my goat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      1. TM says:

        Yeah I totally agree.

      2. Thalasa says:

        Sorry Wyatt, you read me wrong. I didn’t say that Hamilton should be humble. As you suggest, F1 drivers are not know to be the most humble people on earth.
        I don’t like when people who are not humble pretend they are. That’s all.

      3. S Hughes says:

        Whatever, Hamilton can’t win eh?

      4. CHIUNDA says:

        Lewis has been apologizing since he joined formula 1 so i don’t think he is pretending to be humble. That is who he is. Indeed, I recall a French female journalist accusing him of thinking that apologies are a fix-all strategy in Brazil 2007. So Thalasa, maybe you are getting abit prejudicial there.

  43. Ike Gern says:

    Ron Dennis, 2007: “We are racing Fernando”

    1. Becken says:

      Even Jesus would be “RACING” Fernando after he tried to blackmail him.

      So, get over it…

      1. less talking, more racing says:

        but not by sabotage. during quali with tyre pressures.

  44. rpaco says:

    Apparently Charlie Whiting failed to turn up at Woking to examine the vented rear fin. Has Whiting been got at????? Who advised him not to go? An ex Ferrari team manager maybe???

    Plot thickens by the minute, in particular because there is no way McLaren would build anything which could not be justified within the letter of the regs. That Charlie would do other than approve the thing as the relevant regs were consulted, is unthinkable, thus the only recourse of “others” is to prevent pre-approval and leave the door open for protests. A separate thread on this please James.

  45. Eric Weinraub says:

    Yet one more reason to be utterly digusted. His talent is unmistakable. Yet, this attempt to rewrite the past is just laugable. You have to admit Schuey makes no bones, no excuses, no apologies for doing it all HIS way. Hamilton wants to be loved while lying and cheating his way to the top. Not from me. He has been involved in 2 out of the 3 worst cheating scandals of the past 5 years. He got off light in each. Schuey was stripped of all his points, banned for 3 races, and stripped of a poll in a decisive race. Hamilton is no champion. He is a great driver, nothing more.

    1. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

      And Alonso was also “involved” in the two worst cheating scandals of the decade.

      1. CHIUNDA says:

        i have read Lewis being accused of arrogance and many emotive things but at least never of a win he didn’t deserve

    2. Rob Gallagher says:

      Well who won the 2008 World Driver’s Championship then? And he was not involved in ‘Spygate’ that was Alonso and de la Rosa.

    3. CHIUNDA says:

      a great driver who nearly won the championship in his first year and nailed it in his second. As scandals go, Alonso has been implicated in 2 really bad ones in two years and got off very lightly indeed. Anyway i doubt Lewis was trying to win hearts – it would be rediculous to try win the hearts of Alonso fans. He was just saying it the way he sees it now in retrospect – he made mistakes, he hopes he will make less in 2010.

      1. Eric Weinraub says:

        I like Alonso but by those making comments on my post keep dragging his name into the discussion I don’t know. Factually speaking, Alonso has NEVER, repeat, NEVER been sanctioned or even charged with an offense. You Hamilton lovers NEED to get your facts straight. What is with British fans and their total blind love for their drivers and there inherent character flaws?

  46. VicWeir says:

    “a revealing interview”; well yes, if you remember that LH is the Madonna of F1, changing his image,forever reinventing himself.

    The current image presented for our appreciation is the humble, genuine, Mr Niceguy. The “I’m the best in the business’ persona served him quite well but doesn’t work when you’re not even in the front three at the end of the year, quite aside from depressing your popularity with other drivers alarmingly.

    When your Dad’s gone and you’re on your own in the paddock I expect you need a few friends and LH is feeling the need to put himslf in the same category of ‘all round good guy’ as Jenson if he’s to keep the British media’s
    (and maybe his own team’s) personality admiration in 2010.

    And of course it has the additional value of being slightly irritating to the other driver to feel himself being imitated. No bad thing in the destabilising stakes as Alonso learned, so long ago, to his cost.

    I’m afaid when it comes to Hamilton’s off track performances I remain eternally cynical.

    1. CHIUNDA says:

      and the problem with reinventing oneself is? I believe there is an english saying to the effect that imitation is the best form of flattery – so may be Jenson is enjoying all this rather than getting irritated? but fundamentally, LH is a F1 DRIVER, that is why you watch him and that is why you know him. If he wasn’t one you probably would never have heard of him – its therefore absurd to try deny him his accolades as a driver because of his off track performance

      1. VicWeir says:

        Chiunda – I was replying to James’ posting and invitation to discuss LH’s recent public statements concerning his having made ‘lots and lots of mistakes’. This is why I quoted ‘a revealing interview’ at the top.
        It wasn’t my intention, nor do I think I did, to deny him any ‘accolades’ for his on-track performances.

  47. Dom says:

    Remind us what his personal involvement in the spying one was?

    1. CHIUNDA says:

      NONE – even after FIA delving into email; zero

  48. Freespeech says:

    I doubt this will be printed as I dare to mention the ‘R’word.

    Reading a number of posts on the thread there seems to be a awful lot of almost hatred directed towards Lewis Hamilton?
    I think what we saw at that Barcelona test was not as isolated as the FIA would have us believe as I sincerely believe a number of comments posted on this thread have their routes in racist opinions.

    James, I and I am sure others would welcome you HONEST comments on this……….

    The truth is it will take a fair few years before, if at all, racism is not an issue in F1 just like it has in other global sports and in the likes of football is is far from non existent!

    1. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

      If you want to face up to the reality of racism against Hamilton then you only have to enter his name into YouTube.

      Some of the comments and videos made about him are downright racist and absolutely disgusting. Some of the comments come from F1 “fans” that are knowledgeable on the sport and hide behind anonymity. Bitterness regarding his success comes from well beyond the far right BNP types.

      Some of the Spanish YouTube videos are blatantly racially offensive and would be illegal in the UK.

    2. rafa says:

      oh dear Jesus! I really am unfocused, but here we go again with the Lewis camp waving the racism banner. Freespeech, has it not occurred to you that disliking a particular sportsman is part of the game for most people? Look at all the commentaries from Lewis supporters, they distill the same disgust for Alonso that you assume to be racism from those that don´t like Lewis, but nobody would say that in fact there´s any form of racism towards Fernando, or Michael or Button for the matter: somehow nobody gets the impression that white people can be subject of racism while black people if disliked are victims of race hatred.
      Following your logic, shouldn´t I assume that the bulk of commentaries on this and other threads rendering Jenson an unworthy champion are in fact written by white hating Jamaicans or Nigerians? Those that declare Michael Shumacher a cheat and an unrepentant one at that, angry French who can´t get over the German´s invasion in world War II? Maybe those who dislike Fernando so much are native South American Indians, pissed off with us Spaniards invading and exterminating them and letting out their feelings on one of our most notorious sportsmen.

      The fact is, actually, that protecting Hamilton from these virtual racist attacks is racist in itself: it implies that Hamilton is somehow in need of protection and therefore of a different status somehow than you and me: it´s called positive racism, but racism it is all the same.

      1. James Allen says:

        OK I’ve had enough of this topic, so we will call it a day there. Thanks

  49. mcr says:

    Don’t worry if Hamilton makes the same mistakes again, he will go to each and every one in the team and say how sorry he is and that it will never happen again. Then people in Mclaren will give him a pat on his shoulder and will say he is forgiven and that nothing has happened.

    Everyone in 2007 events shares a part of responsibility. The biggest one lies in the Maclaren management. They should have made their point clear to every driver and established certain limits and enforced them.

    They mismanaged the drivers and showed little or no concern for Alonso from the beginning. They never defended him from the press. It all started in Monaco when Hamilton claimed he was the second driver,causing a storm in the press and a FIA investigation. We got Ron Dennis almost apologizing for Alonso’s victory. It was his team, he was the manager, he made a decision and he should have stuck to it. He should have said to the press that Alonso’s victory was well deserved as indeed it was,that it was his team and that he took the decisions which he considered were best for it. He should have told Hamilton to shut up and stick to driving as well as he was doing, and that if he ever dreamt of making similar comments and forcing another FIA investigation he was done.

    But Hamilton was doing quite well, he had been in the team since a young age, was a personal bet and his feelings got in the way.

    Everybody wanted Hamilton to win from the beginning, Ron Dennis, the whole Mclaren team, the press and the FIA, Bernie. He was a british, black, rookie driver going against a 2 time World Champion,and doing a good job. So it was good for the sport, it meant money and press headlines.

    1. JR says:

      “He should have told Hamilton to shut up and stick to driving as well as he was doing, and that if he ever dreamt of making similar comments and forcing another FIA investigation he was done.”
      Couldn’t agree more but he didn’t, so Lewis did it again a few months later, disobeying the team orders to allow Alonso his turn of extra lap and triggering a second FIA investigation that eventually cost Fernando the WC.

  50. Robert Powers says:

    Lewis Hamilton is a likeable chap.He is one whale of a racing driver.Lewis Hamilton gave up a 35 point lead in the World Championship,losing to Kimi Raikkonen.Our other protagonists wouldn’t have allowed that.Take Button,for one.

  51. Vic says:

    I think alot of you guys can probably appreciate that you mature alot as a person from your 20′s through to your 30′s. These young drivers are thrust into the limelight at a young age piloting cars that are made by teams who spend hundreds of millions of pounds, being watched by the world.

    In my opinion Vettel is the only one who seems to have a good head at a young age when it comes to dealing with people/media, the others seem to be learning through their mistakes.

  52. Patrickl says:

    When Hamilton says: “they do everything to give us individually the best package possible” and “we’ve always had equal opportunity” doesn’t really say that they had identical equipment.

    So mentioning an example where the drivers didn’t have the same equipment doesn’t make Hamilton’s statement wrong.

    Also, Hamilton and Kovalainen have the same opportunity, but if Hamilton makes more of it and scores more points, who would you give the new front wing first? Still, initially they had the same opportunity which he mentions.

  53. Dan says:

    Hi James, Way OT but have you been privy as to which teams have invested the most in pit stops ?

    http://www.f1times.co.uk/horner-we-ve-done-sub-two-second-stops-1993.html

    Interesting to see if some teams will end up making 2 secs on the field during stops..

    1. James Allen says:

      They’ve all been working on it. I know Williams have put the mechanics through an intensive fitness programme

      1. Trent says:

        How times change – Williams used to regularly have the slowest stops by far amongst the top teams of 80s and 90s in the pre-refuelling era. Good to hear they’re taking it seriously.

  54. Trent says:

    It’s interesting this topic has so many responses. I’m not a hardcore supporter of either driver, but I think they’re both brilliant and will make 2010 a season to savour. There’s clearly a lot of passion amongst both fanbases – F1 needs passion, so it’s great to see!

    1. James Allen says:

      180 or so replies is quite normal for a post on here these days!

      1. agusn says:

        James,
        with the trend of a long discussion on your blog, I think you should introduce some kind of rating like thumb up/down or the one used in amazon.com. So we can pick up the most meaningful thread first to read.

  55. Pawel says:

    Perhaps Hami is getting older and has grown up at last, good.

  56. Nathan says:

    Amazing how Hamilton sparks up so much debate in F1. Come on hamilton win the WDC this year. add more flames to the haters

    1. jack_faith says:

      Have to say the last three seasons without Hamilton would have been lacked a great deal. For someone who gets slammed for his overly PR blandishments his racing has made F1 more of an attraction than it has been for years. It was unfortunate that Schumacher, aside from Hakkinen, had to wait til Alonso to find a proper rival. These cries of calumny I think miss the point, Sport works so much more as a spectacle when you find yourself in vigorous opposition. By all means knock Hamiltion, but at least have the good grace to appreciate that sport is about stirring people!

  57. Dave says:

    Now that refeulling is banned will we see the mechanics return to the more casual dress code of shirt and shorts that we used to see in the 80′s ?

    I hope not really. I’m used to seeing the pit crews dressed in all that fire retardant gear, helmet, googles etc, they looked ‘cool’.. rather futuristic and I thought it epitomised the image of F1.

  58. BrendanN says:

    Sounds to me like Lewis is maturing! That can only be a good thing! With Raikkonen gone many people don’t have someone to support with similar characteristics.

    However if Hamilton realises that yes he is super talented but doesn’t have to be an ass about it..then hey we might have another Kimi in the making!

    In fact looking at all the factors, it seems that Hami is going to be in a Raikkonenesque position IMO…He’s going to be super-fast, possibly outright fastest(provided his car is on it) against Schumi and Alonso and he’ll have a fast team-mate ala Montoya, maybe complaining and leaving to Nascar halfway through 2010..lol..interesting times ahead..

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