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Lewis Hamilton steps out of his father’s shadow
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Lewis Hamilton steps out of his father’s shadow
Posted By: James Allen  |  02 Mar 2010   |  11:04 am GMT  |  113 comments

Lewis Hamilton has come out with the revelation that his father Anthony will no longer manage his career, in an interview with Autosport.

The pair have been inseparable since Hamilton’s early karting days, but the dual roles of father and manager are difficult to balance because it is so hard to divorce emotion from what should be pragmatic decisions and with some of the strained situations which have arisen in Hamilton’s brief but turbulent F1 career, the 25 year old and his father have decided that they would like to have a more normal father and son relationship.


“I want to be able to tell him about all the experiences I am having – but as a dad. I want to be able to have that, and build that relationship, ” he said.

“You see, because my dad has always been my manager, and because we’ve always been working and doing business stuff, I’ve not fully had that relationship with my dad since when I was maybe a kid and we went radio control car racing – and did it just for fun.”

The Hamiltons have been on the look out for someone to help with Lewis’ career since before he came into F1. I know that because in their GP2 days I introduced them to some very experienced sports management people. So too did many of my colleagues in F1. The Hamiltons went to see all the leading sports managers and F1 driver managers and the impression some gained from this experience was that they were looking to learn as much as possible about how things were done, but intended to carry on as they were.

Now that Hamilton has reached the level he has, managing his career is a full time job. Specialist driver managers like Daniel Morelli look after only one driver, in his case Robert Kubica. Steve and David Robertson, who manage Kimi Raikkonen are the same. Others have a small roster of talent, like Nicolas Todt, who manages Felipe Massa, Jules Bianchi and Sebastien Bourdais.

“All of this time we were discussing bringing someone else in, we never quite had the confidence to do it, ” says Hamilton. “I think we’re now at the point where we are looking to take that step – and I think it is a positive step.

“I’m 25. I am my own man now, I’ve been in F1 for quite a while now and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without my dad. He’s done a fantastic job. But he’s done that job.”

Daniel Morelli told me last year that separating the emotional from the rational is critical in F1 management and is very hard to do as a parent and I’ve dug the quote up here because I think it highlights where the Hamiltons had got to in their thinking about their ongoing relationship,

“For me the key to not making mistakes is due to the emotional aspect, ” Morelli said. “I think if you are a father managing someone, and I am a father as well, I could never manage my daughter. Because I realise that my emotion would overwhelm my experience. With Robert we have almost the perfect balance between emotion and professional coolness. The day I become too involved emotionally is the day I will make mistakes.”

To many of Hamilton’s harshest critics among the public, Anthony’s “pushiness” and ambition for his son has long been perceived as a negative. The Hamiltons find it hard to understand why people dislike them so much for having a goal and working hard to achieve it, but there’s no getting away from the fact that this situation exists and it will be interesting to see how opinions change as Hamilton matures and he moves out of his father’s shadow.

Dads who push their sons to sporting success are many; Tiger Woods, Jenson Button, Andre Agassi and many more like them would not have reached the pinnacle without the support and drive of their parent. Hamilton was unusual in being managed even after hitting the big time by his father and clearly they have reached a point where they’ve decided that it is healthier for their long term relationship for the roles of father and manager to be separated.

Meanwhile it has been announced that Anthony Hamilton’s F1 driver academy, GP Prep, has been given approval by FOM and the FIA. It will help young drivers make the step up to F1 by giving them track time and coaching in recent F1 machinery. This is designed to fit in with the new testing restrictions which have made it very hard for drivers like Jaime Alguersuari, to stop straight into F1 at a Grand Prix.

Read the full Autosport article here

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113 Comments
  1. El Shish says:

    Great article and very insightful. The thoughts of Kubica’s manager and also the opinions about the Hamiltons’ meeting agents more with the intention of learning than anything else is particularly interesting.

    On a slightly different topic, I find it encouraging to see you diverting content to other sites in the name of fostering an improved fan experience, without feeling the need to try and hog internet traffic/reader attention. I feel strongly that this approach will only pay dividends in creating a more content-rich, satisfying experience for F1 fans. Bravo!

    Out of interest, do you ever pick up on any interaction between drivers’ fathers in the paddock? I’d love to be a fly on the wall in a room with Massa Sr. Messers Button and Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel’s rather eccentric father.

  2. Stephen Hopkinson says:

    Reading the autosport article I got the impression it was perhaps Antony, rather than Lewis, who most wanted this to happen. Lewis mentions a lot of concrete reasons for his dad to move on – primarily GP Prep – but Lewis’ own reasons are a little less definite. Any thoughts?

    1. Andy Fov says:

      I’d kinda assumed it was Martin Whitmarsh who’d have wanted this the most.

  3. alex m says:

    I have always struggled to understand the bile directed at Hamilton Snr coming from anything other than simple Racism and Jealousy. As a father and a man who selflessly struggled to nurture and fund his talented son, he is way beyond any sane criticism. Any other nonsense printed about him seems to stem more from the frustrated fans of other drivers Lewis has humbled with his driving and their desperation to find any possible angle to attack.

    1. S Hughes says:

      I totally agree with the above.

    2. K Miles says:

      Thats very true! The least fernando could do was run a anti racism campaign after what his lot did. Shows you how much he cares!

      1. Drezman says:

        “what HIS LOT did”

        Absolutely unbelievable!!! What exactly does “his lot” refer to.

        You deserve a ban if that’s even possible here.

      2. K Miles says:

        it means spanish fans, and in this case im talking about the racism that was directed towards lewis! Racism is wrong, regardless of how much you love your own driver! you do know that dont you?!

  4. Steve Rogers says:

    Well done and good luck to anthony with his new venture. The new F1 really does need a training infrastructure or it will have too many places filled by temptingly well-funded pay drivers as it used to in some bet-forgotten years in the past, and wonderful talents will constantly be missing their chance.

    1. Stephen Kellett says:

      GP Prep seems like a great business idea.

      Even more so if you are as well connected as (I presume) Anthony Hamilton is.

      Its also a great way to get to know a lot of up and coming talent, if AH decides to manage other drivers.

  5. Ben says:

    Presumably Hamilton is going to be able attract – and going to need – a big name manager and heavyweight. James, do you have any theories on who this may end up being?

    Also, the Autosport article suggest McLaren are going to be supporting him whilst he is without manager – which seems more of a conflict of interest than having his father as his manager. Do you have any thoughts on this too?

    1. Zobra Wambleska says:

      Seems to me that since Lewis has been under the wing of McLaren from the age of 10, and his contract is set for several more years, he’s probably in good hands until Anthony’s replacement is found.

  6. Richard Mee says:

    Whilst Anthony was never more than an uber committed Father and 100% in Lewis’ corner regardless; there were times when you felt Lewis wasn’t being quite his own person. Anthony is a hard nut – he wouldn’t have got his son to where he is without a stubborn streak as well as a though chin.
    With the best will in the world I think it is an intelligent move to release Lewis from that powerful influence and the timing is spot on. With world class professional management I predict Lewis can go on to add his name to the shortlist of all time F1 superstars…
    ps. where do I apply for what must be the single greatest job in the world today.

  7. S Hughes says:

    I hope that Lewis finds someone completely trustworthy, and just, well, worthy.

    Interesting to hear your role in the manager search – great to hear these sort of background stories.

    No doubt we will be inundated with the usual nasty comments about not seeing AH’s face in the garage anymore. Which is a shame as he is a remarkable man who went a long way to getting Lewis to where he is today.

  8. JUDE says:

    JUST ABOUT TIME!

  9. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

    People begrudged Lewis’s quick rise to the top and the Hamiltons had unjustly become more hated than even Neil and Christine!

    A very sensible move by Lewis and Anthony. I’m glad that Flavio is not waiting in the wings on this one.

    James, would Julian Jakobi be a possibility?

    1. James Allen says:

      Yes. Worked with Senna and Prost

    2. Williams4ever says:

      If Press reports end of 2007 season where right Julian Jakobi was seen with Hamiltons and it was thought that Anthony was finally getting a “Professional” Manager for Lewis.

      The move is bit late after his “Brand Name” took a lot of hit everytime he got involved in PR disaster. But better late than never

  10. Midnight Toper says:

    Good luck to his new venture, I can’t say I will miss his surly presence.

    Just heard that Kubica will be driving a Renault branded as a Lada. I wonder how he feels about that?

    1. Nick Someone says:

      That’s actually potentially a great PR move for a Seat or a Lada type brand. How can you lose? If you beat or get close to a Ferrari, then your car is as good as theirs. If your not winning, then so what your Lada, but hey your IN F1.

    2. Stephen Kellett says:

      Its a move into the Russian market.
      Its a smart move.

      Skoda were a joke once. Now you effectively driving the previous range of Audis/VW with a different skin job.

      You can generally tell if a car is any good or not – the police don’t drive crap cars and neither do taxi drivers. Both are looking for reliability, a reasonable price and the police also performance. Skodas are used by both groups.

      How long until Lada are a non-joke brand?

      1. Martin P says:

        About 40 years?

  11. The Kitchen Cynic says:

    Imteresting you mention Agassi, as he’s had a very difficult relationship with a classic tennis father. I expect you’ve read his recent book – it’s not until recently that he’s come to terms with what that meant for their relationship.

    1. James Allen says:

      I have an it’s not healthy!

  12. Williams4ever says:

    Finally Lewis has made a wise decision. Whatever/whoever made him realize the Hamiltons that Anthony/father as Driver manager of Lewis was detrimental to his career in long term needs to be thanked. If Martin Whitmarsh as McLaren team principal has a role to play in this Kudos to him, for successfully performing this “Difficult Procedure”

    1. Tom Johnson says:

      What a load of nonsense. One point off champion in first season, champion in season two, more points than any other during first three years, how you can say ‘detrimental to his career in long term…’ is beyond me. I’m happy for the Hamiltons if they feel that this is a natural maturing of their relationship. As for the bashers, why should the Hamiltons give a flying fig.

      1. Martin P says:

        Ha ha yep, couldn’t agree more. I wish I’d been steered as badly to fame, fortune and success.

  13. Stu says:

    Good on you Hamilton, this has basically silenced my only real criticism of him – I have never felt that a member of your family managing you really has your best interests at heart. Certainly not when a risky decision might be needed…

    1. Williams4ever says:

      Amen!! While I have never denied his racing talent right from Oz’07. His PR gaffes, loud mouth comments and trash talk reminded me more of “Boxer” than a “race car” driver. Hope he gets a good Manager, who mentors him on PR front…

  14. Zami from Melbourne, Australia says:

    All these does makes sense. I haven’t seen my parents for 7 years and I’m 25 years old. I’m just an ordinary person who just loves this sport. Being born in a close family and separating myself from my family is hard enough to realize what parent & children relationship is like. So it’s great to know Lewis and his father are going to have a normal relationship.

    I’m one of those critics of Lewis who believes his father had too much attention to the media than my likings. It was to me just a waste of time watching him, his brother or his girl friend during the race rather than the actual race. However, Anthony has done a great job without a doubt. I guess that there’s no problem with using son’s name to become a successful businessman. After all, Anthony must get a lot of credit for Lewis’s success. I wonder who’s going to be managing Lewis now!!! Hopefully his new manager won’t take away any track time or his girl friend gets extra time on camera during the race.

    1. Ahlapski says:

      A lot of credits and a lot of sacrifices too …. Without these sacrifices, there will be no Lewis Hamilton, The F1 GP driver today.

    2. Rick J says:

      Personally I’ve never had a problem with extra camera time spent on Lewis’ girlfriend. Or Jenson’s, or anyone else’s for that matter.

      1. Jiten says:

        I second that

      2. Zami from Melbourne, Australia says:

        You should be watching MTV or some Hoolywood news channel instead then. That will keep your eyes entertained 24/7

  15. Paul A M says:

    Sounds like the sensible route to take, I’m sure Anthony will be keeping a close eye on things though.

    James with ref to the Hamiltons being labelled pushy by the British public,
    isn’t that just typical of us when someone gets to the top of there game we all try and knock them down.
    I say good on them and keep pushing, you make your own luck and after reading Lewis’s book there family made some real sacrifices.

  16. michael grievson says:

    It’s a good move. I think it will be hard for Anthony to let go after all these years of helping lewis. Good luck to them both. They got where they are through hard work and determination. Something we could all learn from

  17. Gettingold says:

    Seems to me that F1 is missing a trick here. Instead of focusing on the offspring, surely there is an opportunity to start the F1 Old Man championship. Lead contenders being Anthony Hamilton, John Button, Massa’s dad (sorry, the memory’s fail me….) and others.

    When the TV camera zooms in on an F1OM he can score 5 points for a smile, 3 for an acknowledgement, 1 for a grimace (John is going to thrash Anthony here then).

    When the son wins the F1OM gets a whole 10 points for looking like he’s three sheets to the wind. Another obvious score for John? Well, note the caveat, son must win. So, if Lewis wins will Anthony have it in him (or enough of it in him)? Perhaps he is relinquishing the manager role in order to spend more time in the beer tent.

    Hmmm, does Bernie read this excellent blog? Can I patent this idea?

  18. Meeklo says:

    What ever happened with the Webber/Briatore management situation?

    1. AJ says:

      Webber has said that if it is clear that Flavio can’t represent him any longer; he’ll just manage his own affairs … especially since he is in the ‘sunset’ years of his F1 career.

      Not an uncommon notion. I don’t know if any of the current grid do without a manager; but I think Gerhard Berger did without and possibly also Martin Brundle.

      1. Coops says:

        Seb Vettel does not have a manager ….

      2. James Allen says:

        That’s right. Just him and a lawyer, as Gerhard Berger used to do. I think Bernie gives him some tips though – he’s in love with Vettel

      3. Stevie P says:

        Steady on James… Bernie will sue you! ;-)

      4. CHIUNDA says:

        Do i recall Martin managing David Coulthard? I think he did okay. Nicholas Todt has done a good job with Massa – from pizza boy to Ferrari against the likes of Alonso and Kimi – not bad.

      5. Med says:

        Although having his father running the team at the time may have helped…

    2. I think Briatore is still managing Webber pending the results of any FIA appeals. If the FIA does manage to win an appeal against Briatore and reinstate its original penalty, Webber will manage himself. To the best of my knowledge, the FIA are tolerating the situation since it can’t enforce its decision against Flavio without breaching its own statutes and a court order.

  19. Kieran says:

    It’s good that Hamilton appears to now be taking his own decisions, he can’t always live in his fathers protective embrace and I guess that it will do them both good in the long term.

    After last years ‘character building’ (to say the least) I think Hamilton will now want to be his own man, as he feels he can earn it. He’s got my respect too, anyone who can go through an experience like last year and come out smiling deserves it!

    James, on a different note, the BBC via. Eddie Jordan says that Stefan GP will be racing at Bahrain. I know he’s not overly popular, but do you believe this story? He was right about Schumacher coming back. I know USF1 is dead now, but I had thought that the FIA was cancelling their entry, rather than letting Stefan F1 in?

    1. James Allen says:

      Eddie moves in mysterious ways. He also said qualifying would be cancelled in Brazil. I know Bernie is keen on it, but getting it past Ferrari and McLaren may be tricky

      1. Eric Weinraub says:

        Mike Coughlan’s employment at Stefan F1 is a MAJOR sticking point for McLaren and Ferrari. While not having a right to tell someone who to employ, they don’t have to be quite so blatant to effect that. Money always greases the wheels and this case is no different.

      2. Freespeech says:

        Both Ferrari & McLaren would be mad to let them in when Prodrive/Aston martin are there for next year.

  20. monktonnik says:

    Could Martin Brundle take it on? He was a top line manager as well as driver.

    I think it is a good move for Team Hamilton, and whatever your opinion of their public personna you have to respect their achievement.

    I think Anthony Hamilton’s Driver Academy is a great idea, and for the good of the sport.

    Excelsior to them!

    1. Martin P says:

      Martin B has packed I think. I thought he sold his half of 2MB onto Martin Blundell so he could focus on his own and his son’s career?

  21. Jasper says:

    Martin Brundle should be Hamilton’s new manager, there’s few more savvy than Brundle. Only thing is managing Hamilton is probably gonna be a pretty demanding full-time job, and we wouldn’t want anything to get in the way of Brundle’s excellent commentary work. And yes everyone in my house misses James as his accomplice in the commentary box.

    1. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

      Do you really think that Martin would want to take the job on, especially after all very unfair stick that James got for supposedly being “pro-Hamilton”?

    2. rpaco says:

      Yes I agree, now that DC has effectively if not officially retired,to his hectic lifestyle of restauranteering, hoteliering, sunbathing, and relaxing, Mr Brundle could drop his percentage and still get a raise on Lewis’s annual earnings. And to be honest we rate Martin.
      He would be the guy to make sure that a BBC interviewer knew the difference between Jense and Lewis, and got their names right, Lewis was heard to mutter “It’s not like we look the same” Hilarious Lewis, you’re like peas in a pod mate.
      I trust that the BBC guy got a suitable sudden verbal information overload!

  22. Erico says:

    Maybe he should take some advice form Vettel and drop managers altogether. Have McLaren take care of the PR, say yes or no whenever it becomes too stresful, and always go after the best cars, not the money.

    1. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

      Hamilton is too much of a marketing commodity not to have a manager.

      SIMON COWELL AND SIMON FULLER – PLEASE STAY AWAY FROM LEWIS!!

    2. Ah, but Vettel still uses his dad as a sounding board, which would bring Hamilton almost full circle again…

  23. Kent Paul says:

    Good luck to both Hamiltons in whatever they do!

    Unfortunately people are stll going to bash Lewis and his father no matter what they do :(

    1. CHIUNDA says:

      strange but i think you are right – he just has that image that attracts bashing

  24. Andy C says:

    Not a bad idea to be honest…

    I had read about Anthony Hamiltons academy idea and that would be a great project for him to get involved in.

    It will be good for Formula 1 in general, as the new guys dont even get the chance to do proper testing, so its do or die.

    Kobayashi was the rare exception of someone recently who just came in and blitzed it. Others take more time to get used to it.

  25. smellyden says:

    Wow changing times in the Hamilton camp, would be intrested to see whoever gets the job how they will go about changing the image of lewis.

  26. Freespeech says:

    Considering his race I think Lewis Hamilton is an excellent example to us all whatever our colour or racial origins.
    All in a pretty nice bloke is how he comes across to me, I say good luck to him.

  27. ARVI says:

    time to move on and be a man!!!

  28. john g says:

    does vettel still manage himself?

    1. CHIUNDA says:

      was he still managing himself @ 19? what does that say about managing a F1 driver?

  29. Alex says:

    So, who are the managerial candidates?

    1. James Allen says:

      I would expect him to go for one of the big sports agencies, like SFX or IMG, rather than a Willi Weber, Steve Robertson type candidate, but you never know.

      1. Eric Weinraub says:

        Depends on how Lewis sees himself. Is he a sports property or a sports figure? If the former, then IMG is perfect. Lewis has already showed himself to be flawed so IMG would be perfect. He can use the same spin doctors as Tiger Woods. IF on the other hand, he wants the best deal then Weber would be perfect.

      2. rpaco says:

        Flavio’s a bit freeish at the moment. :-)

      3. rpaco says:

        Ever thought of having a go yourself James?

      4. James Allen says:

        I love what I do and wouldn’t suit that kind of work

      5. smellyden says:

        yeah I think it will be one of those bigger firms rather than a F1 specalist, mainly trying to cash in on his crossover appeal.

    2. A Wyatt says:

      I read that Mika Hakkinen was in line and that they don’t want a slick type or large agency. All speculation at the moment though.

      1. John F says:

        A bit OTT, but is Mika a McLaren or Mercedes guy these days?

  30. Howard Hughes says:

    Interesting that most very high end managers invariably only look after one or two top level drivers – let one wonders how Flavio was able to manage Alonso, Webber, a few others, Renault, Mechachrome, Billionaire Fashion, Billionaire Club Sardinia, Lion in the Sun, his investment in QPR, his investment in Cipriani, his investment in Pierrel and a club in Tuscany…

    And Alonso and Webber’s careers have enjoyed arguably the most relative success of any driver, given that the former won 2 WDCs and ended up in both McLaren and Ferrari, while Webber, despite never really being as good as he’s lauded to be, has endured with avrious top teams…

    Face it, the guy’s a business GENIUS.

    1. mcruiz says:

      Alonso’s manager is Luis García Abad, I think.
      It has been for some time now.

  31. Silverstoned says:

    I’d say change is never risk free. It ain’t broken, so why fix it?

    1. Zobra Wambleska says:

      Ah, but it is broken. It’s time for Lewis to move on to the next level.

  32. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

    James, any comments coming up on the shambles that was Campos and has now been reborn as “Hispania”?

    This has to be the worst name for a team since Midland.

    1. LT says:

      Sounds like they took the name straight from an Asterix comic book

  33. Ian says:

    Did Martin not step away from driver management as he wanted to look after his own sons racing career

  34. John Z says:

    This move should help both men in the future. Anthony Hamilton has busted his butt for years, making sure that Lewis’s career stayed on the proper path. He did everything he could to let Lewis focus on the driving. Anthony deserves to sit back and enjoy the prime of his son’s career as any proud dad would. Go to Willi Weber, Lewis. He’s worked pretty well for his other F1 client.

    1. Zobra Wambleska says:

      You’re not referring to Ralph are you?

    2. Drezman says:

      Don’t think Anthony is intending to sit back. He’s made enough money and contacts off the back of his sons success, doubt his ‘cars for newbies’ scheme is the only iron in the fire.

      Simply time to move on for Lewis. Daddy helped build the driver but he cannot build the BRAND.

  35. Nick Someone says:

    I hope he chooses his career and life over money. I’m not knowledgeable about this, but I assume a big sports management company would look to maximize revenue. My feeling is that after you have about $10 million there are diminishing returns the more you get.

    Focus on staying in a good car Lewis and having time to enjoy your life and what your doing now.

    1. Silverstoned says:

      Pardon the slight veer off topic, but this theme crops up in “Chinatown” and the character’s answer to why there’s never enough money: “The future, Mr Geddes!. The future!”

      1. Jason C says:

        I think you should win a prize for getting Chinatown into an F1 discussion.

        my sister
        my daughter
        my sister
        my daughter

  36. Yannick says:

    WOW, thats a surprise. I didn’t expect that! I thought that they always had a good relationship as you did see them quite a lot together!
    I hope that Anthony has a good future and good luck tom him.

  37. jese says:

    Good luck to both of them. They seem to be a good family especially the way the are inclusive with the boy with disability. It seems Lewis this season is more quiet than normal….don’t know why!

    1. CHIUNDA says:

      he should have been this quiet in 2007!

  38. Malcom says:

    The Hamilton’s no very well the reason why some people have a strong dislike for them, and it’s race, which they dare not mention. It sends some of their detractors over the edge, to think that a black man can do so well in a sport that is dominated by white men.

    1. A Wyatt says:

      I totally agree. That is why his father attracts so much criticism for being in the garage, but all the other dads don’t get any. It is so obvious, it is like duh! But say it and you are accused of being completely wrong. A black face in the garage that is not lifting heavy machinery is just “not right” to some people and it is pure racism. I just hope his dad hasn’t stood aside because of this type of horrendous racism.

      As for claims that the pit crew don’t like him, that is pure nonsense too. I have read reports from people who have worked in the garage at McLaren who say Anthony is well respected and liked, but it seems some people’s prejudices make up their own perceived reality.

  39. Vannman says:

    Obviously a good move PR wise, but I just can’t see Anthony Hamilton not being heavily involved behind the scenes.

  40. Femi says:

    What kind of work does an F1 manager do james??

  41. Erico says:

    What about Joe Ramirez? He spent some 30 years at McLaren and should still know a lot about the team and company. But then he’s already 69 and might enjoy being away form the circus too much by now.

    I just hope Lewis’ doesn’t end in the hands of someone who’d rather whore him out than actually lead him to the most fullfilling career possible.

  42. CHIUNDA says:

    First out; girlfriend. Now father. Could it be possible that Hamilton’s social life will have a bigger impact on his 2010 season than his skill? Its starting to look like there is too much turbulence on that side of his life!

    1. S Hughes says:

      Lewis is still with Nicole. Keep up!

    2. Vannman says:

      The girlfriend is back, can’t say I blame him!

  43. Benni says:

    Anthony himself didn’t do anything wrong in my opinion.

    The problem was that the cameramen wasted way too much time filming him during the races.

  44. Jack Torrance says:

    The Hamiltons find it hard to understand why people dislike them so much for having a goal and working hard to achieve it,””

    Hard to understand?

    How about:

    * publicly bashing teamm and teammate at Monaco 2007

    * not adhering to team agreements at hungary

    * several public statements about alonso should leaving the team

    * forcing heikki kovalainen into a 2nd driver role that makes shumis years at ferrari quite honest and equal

    * saying hes a team player

    * and then blaming that team for melbourne 2009

    * the endless ”i will only get stronger from this” excuses after a crash

    * the many, many controversial moves on track

    * the many deserved FIA penalties received by Lewis

    * on the other hand not receiving any serious penalties like a ban for his crashing into competitors at montreal, being involved in lying to get trulli disqualified, the involvement in spygate, etc, etc.

    * the huge list of degrading, arrogant, intimidating comments like:

    - i do not move to switzerland for tax reasons
    - i want to live a quiet life, and then attend mtv parties
    - i have extra brain capacity that enables me to spot red lights in pitlanes
    - i always drive with my heart out (and then ask the team to think about the gearbox at nurburgring 2009)
    - i blew alonso away
    - alonso should leave so the team can fcus on me
    - i am fitter than jenson

    and when jeson said: prove it he reluctantly agreed for a match and a bet, with proceedings going to charity.

    Ok, i admit the withdrawal from putting his actions where lewis mouth was, was caused by anothony hamilton.

    This should be a great opportunity then, to back up the big mouth and challenge Jenson in a triathlon.

    But anyway, Lewis will need to do a LOT more than splitting with his father to repair his image.

  45. Jack Torrance says:

    In addition to the growing resentment of the Hamiltons, you are also partly to blame, James Allen.

    You coverage of some F1 races throughout 2007 and 2008 Was sometimes only focussed on Lewis. The whole ITV F1 show was more of a Lewis Hamilton show. The only thing missing was a static picture of Lewis Hamilton whilst playing God save the queen in a loop for about 10 minutes. It was vulgar and totally destroyed the quality of the coverage of many races, so much i went to follow races via other networks.

    That you are capable of looking at F1 as a whole and stop your Lewis fascination on this weblog was a huge suprise for me.

    But back in da days your and ITVs, and almost all of the British press drooling over Hamilton, has played a part in the growing dislike of the Hamiltons.

    1. James Allen says:

      You should not be surprised that I am able to look at F1 as a whole on this site. I’ve been doing it for 20 years.

      I think you need to separate the commentary from the race build up show. I don’t disagree about the latter, but Martin and I made sure the commentary was about all the drivers. Take one at random off the shelf and watch it. Of course Lewis featured heavily because he was a contender at every race. The fact that a British driver was fighting for a world championship for the first time in 12 years made him a focus, the fact that it was a rookie doing this added to the rarity value. Do you not think Murray Walker would have got wrapped up in that? He cried when Damon won the title…

      I think I was unfairly criticised for Lewis focus by people who didn’t like him. It was the show as a whole, not the commentary which overdid it.

      1. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

        I don’t understand why there has been such a fuss about the ITV commentary and Lewis Hamilton. I think that the problems for many of those who criticise are based around their own dislike for him.

        Why was James not criticised for going bananas after Jenson Button won his first race? Where were the complaints then? On the basis of your argument, 2004 was as much the Jenson Button Show as 2007 was the Lewis Hamilton Show. For God’s sake, they even had JB’s girlfriend sing over the intro on one show.

        Why is the BBC not criticised for its pathetic Andy Murray and Tim Henman show that is otherwise known as Wimbledon. They are not berated for focusing an obscene amount of time on journeymen?

        I’m really disappointed in those who made it impossible for James to transfer over to the BBC. You crucified him and then realised that you made a huge mistake….well, because of you we now have to suffer Legard.

        James was never going to be another Murray..and why should he have been? Murray was a National Treasure. How many other National Treasures have been successfully replaced? Jay Leno left the Tonight Show and his replacement was given hell….not because he awful but because he could never have replaced a National Treasure.

        Murray was more “entertainment”, James was more “informative” and in an era when race strategy was all important he was exactly the right person for the job. He had provided us with the best information in the pitlane and still kept piping it to us when he was a commentator.

        Lewis Hamilton caused the biggest stir in Formula 1 in the 2000s. Even more so than Alonso. Why? Alonso walked the championship in 2005 with a vastly superior car and then lucked out in 2006 when Schumacher had his mechnical failure in . No-one was really sure about how good Alonso was. Then Hamilton came along as a rookie and outperformed Alonso in his first season, causing drama along the way.

      2. A Wyatt says:

        You are competely right James. The Hamilton haters (and they are a pack in their own right) are quite vocal and nasty, and I blame them for having Legard foisted on us and not you as a commentator at the BBC. I don’t hear anyone criticising Legard for going on and on and on about Button last year, because he doesn’t have as many haters. Of course a lot of it is to do with race.

        Lewis is immensely popular – more so than Button in this country and internationally especially – but he has more haters than Button unfortunately, who twist everything he says and does. He and his father, and indeed you James, cannot be blamed for people’s irrational hatreds. Jack Torrence is a fine example of this as he is extremely vocal and garrulous.

      3. James Allen says:

        OK – I don’t want to carry on this thread. Enough has been said on this now.

  46. helen says:

    i really resent the way that some people assume that if you don’t like the Hamiltons, it’s to do with the colour of their skin, i couldn’t care less about that, i dont support Lewis cos I’m a ferrari fan, and Anthony Hamilton annoyed me becase he was too vocal in critising the team and seemed to get the way far too much for my liking (i suspect a lot of that that, although a manager, he couldn’t distance his self from being a parent, so this is a good move for them both). The people who assume that the dislike is due to race, are themselves racist as always qualify Lewis in terms of colour. give it it a rest, F1 is a multi national sport, I get just as annoyed with people who wouldn’t support Schumacher because of his nationality as i do with the people who tell me that I obviously don’t support Lewis because of his colour – well, I don’t support Button either… so i’m guilty of not being patriotic when it comes to F1, but thats all!

    1. CHIUNDA says:

      if you are a ferrari fan why would you care if Anthony Hamilton was critising McLaren?

      1. helen says:

        I just dont think it’s a manager’s place to criticise a team to the press, but I think hat in the cases where that happened, his parental emotion took over.

    2. David Martins says:

      Oh, I get it you want black people to know their place and don’t open their mouth. Anthony Hamilton is self confident, ambitious and doesn’t bow down to white people to make them happy which is why you have a problem with him. It is your right to hate him for whatever reason, but it is my right to speculate on your reasons for hating him. But you will still see him on TV because he will still go to Hamilton’s races. There will never be a woman in F1 which is a pity because then you would be the women crying sexism whenever the overrated female F1 driver gets criticised and people say she is only in F1 because of her looks or sponsorhip money. But as I said there will never be a woman in F1 so you will probably never have to experience this “sexism”.

      1. andy says:

        Not sure where your coming from David you obviously didn’t read what she was saying, she doesn’t appear to have any problem with anyones colour. She does have a problem with Hamilton snr seeming to think he knows better than mclaren heirachy on how best to run the team. And I’m guessing from her article that she is annoyed when people believe she doesn’t like Hamilton simply because he’s black, when infact she’s not keen because she supports ferrari.

      2. helen says:

        whoa there David, you’ve got me completely wrong, did you not read the bit where I said I don’t care about the colour of anyone’s skin. just for your info, one of my all time sporting heros is Daley Thompson, and I loved hearing him interviewed also as he was amusing and informative. I admired him for his talent, ability and personality and thats all.

  47. K Miles says:

    I have to agree with you last bit! EXCELLENT analysis! many people forget how Alonso used the mass damper to cheat and beat Kimi and Schuey. Thats why he got a shock when Lewis wipped him in 07.
    I hope Massa puts him in his place this season aswell.

  48. Lexus says:

    If race does not play a part in it (and it does whether we want to admit it or not), then Lewis having a new manager who may not necessarily have loyalty to McLaren may pave the way to Lewis eventually driving for Ferrari. I personally would not want to see that happen, but if he had to change team where else would there be to go.

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