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Hamilton centre of attention as Montreal weekend kicks off
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Hamilton centre of attention as Montreal weekend kicks off
Posted By: James Allen  |  09 Jun 2011   |  4:55 pm GMT  |  230 comments

Lewis Hamilton was right at the centre of things in the early stages of the Montreal race weekend. He took part in the FIA press conference and was obliged to explain his behaviour in Monaco, where he criticised the FIA stewards and fellow drivers and what he had done about it afterwards.


Hamilton said that he had been home and had a rest and time to reflect on his words and actions last week. He wrote a letter to FIA president Jean Todt apologising for his words about the stewarding, and accusations that the FIA stewards pick on him.

It was suggested to him that Todt was considering a six race ban had he not received some kind of letter from Hamilton, but the 2008 champion denied that this had been the motivating factor behind him writing,
” It was not in my mind,” he said. “I had time to reflect on the weekend. We all know what it’s like to be under pressure and it’s easy to say the wrong thing in the heat of the moment. Afterwards I accepted that I was not in a position to make the move and I apologised.

“You have good and bad days and that was one of my worst days at the office. What’s important is that you learn from situations like this. Overtaking is hard in F1 and every move is questionable. Sometimes you get it right sometimes I don’t. I would prefer not to be in the stewards office but I’m trying to learn.”

Hamilton revealed the he had called Felipe Massa and talked through their collision, “I have a good relationship with Felipe,” he said. “I gave him a call and he’d calmed down and understood the position. With Pastor, I’ve known him and his family a long time. He was very quick that weekend and I do not want to put anyone out of the Grand Prix. ”

Hamilton was very interesting on the subject of comparison with other drivers. He was asked if his “behaviour was comparable with a young Schumacher?”

“I would hope not,” he said pointedly. He went on to talk of himself as a “passionate racer” and evoked some names he would prefer to be compared to, “Gilles Villeneuve, Ayrton, passionate drivers I hope one day to be referred to as something similar to them.”

Other matters arising in the morning conference were Sergio Perez confirming that he will race this weekend after being cleared by FIA doctors following his crash in Monaco.

Renault have a raft of updates on their car this weekend including a new rear wing and DRS which is designed to shed more drag than before as well as a new front wing to counterbalance it.

The drivers talked around the subject of racing in Bahrain, but not had anything interesting or firm to say about it, Most were concerned only with whether they would personally be safe there.

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230 Comments
  1. Jey says:

    James,

    My intent is not to start a debate here.But IMHO,I believe Senna and Schumacher both had the win at any cost attitude.It made them ruthless.It made them push more and more when needed.

    Senna hasnt been without his share of controversies too.He collided with Prost to stop him winning just like Michael did to just name a instance.

    It was Hamilton’s answer that got me write this.Do you think,had Senna been alive,his reputation would have been similar to that of Schumacher now?

    1. Goku says:

      I think all the truly great drivers have a bit of the devil inside them. After all, thats what sets them apart from the rest.

      1. ian says:

        Not true.

      2. well rounded argument, well done

      3. TM says:

        I completely agree.
        Just look at Alonso as well, he’s a great driver and controversy is never far away!

    2. Stephen says:

      You conveniently forgot to mention Prost colliding with Senna to stop Senna winning!

      1. RichardB says:

        well reminded

      2. Jey says:

        I didnt forget that Stephen.I was only trying to understand if opinion on Senna would have been different had he survived that crash and lived long.

      3. Rafael L says:

        Probably

      4. Stephen says:

        The trouble with Schumacher is that he was still pulling those stunts right towards the end of his career. Think back to Monaco when he parked his Ferrari in the barrier to stop Alonso from getting pole. I can’t imagine any other driver I’ve ever seen trying such a thing!
        When it comes to Japan 1990, at least with Senna I know why he did it. It doesn’t make it right of course but I can understand why.

    3. Paul says:

      I have to agree with you Jey. I dont see any difference in the behaviour of Schumacher and Senna. I would put Alonso in a similar mould also.

      1. Michael says:

        Hamilton’s moves remind me most of Montoya, not of Senna, Schumacher or Alonso. The latter three usually pull of their move, or they deliberately perform a nasty move. Montaya usually just bulldozered his way through, with a Nascarike grace mostly.

    4. AndyFov says:

      What amazes me is how little respect Lewis is showing Michael. Schu may have had his fair share of controversies but Hamilton wants to be flattered the comparison has been made. He ought to instead be compared to early Montoya or Hakkinen.

      Anyway, had Senna survived I think he’d be seen differently, less deified, perhaps he’d just be another great former driver, like Jackie Stewart or Lauda? A similar thing happened to John Lennon, his misdemeanors have mostly been forgotten.

      1. Dave C says:

        Schumacher in his prime was so far ahead of Hamilton as Hamilton was ahead of Kovalainen, when Hamilton gets to his 7th title then he can compare now he’s just got a small dog syndrome.

  2. Is it just me that thinks a six-race ban would not only have been excessive, but would also underline the very point Lewis was making about being picked on by the officials!?

    1. Goku says:

      They tend to use Lewis by way of setting an exapmle to the rest of the field. IMO I think Spa ’08 was a disgrace.

      1. Rafael L says:

        Spa 08 was completely called for. Lewis hardly gave that position back.

      2. newton says:

        he completely gave the position back.
        then repassed straight away.

    2. veeru says:

      yeah…it is just you

      1. ian says:

        No it is not.

      2. colwal says:

        It is not just you, as I feel that would have been overly excessive and way out of the guidance of the FIA’s allowed penalty system.

        I have been following F1 since I was four years old, since 1966 and can never remember such a harsh penalty as that since the corruptly bias Jean-Marie Balestre suspended Senna’s Super License in 1989.
        Jean Todt is ex Ferrari, “Déjà vu” anyone?

      3. Rich says:

        Nope it’s me too. Spa 08 was an almighty stitch-up, although i think that was more to do with the politics at the time than any personal thing against Hamilton, or an attempt to make an example of him.

        Hamilton always tests the limits of what is fair, he hasnt torpedoes anyone off yet though.

      4. Dave C says:

        What was it that he done to Maldanardo then? A racing incident?

    3. eish says:

      yes its only you.

      1. Well done, very droll. Thanks for sharing your rapier wit with us all.

        So let’s put it like this:

        Monaco 2006
        Michael Schumacher disrupts qualifying by deliberately stopping his car on the racing line.
        Penalty – demoted to the back of the grid.

        Hungary 2006
        Fernando Alonso brake tests Robert Doornbos in Free Practice, an action described by stewards as “unnecessary, unacceptable and dangerous”
        Penalty – Two second penalty for qualifying

        Monaco 2011
        Lewis Hamilton disrespectfully runs his mouth off post-race, insulting both the stewards and fellow drivers (who had done nothing wrong).
        Penalty – Six race ban!?

        If any of you think that would’ve been fair then seriously, you need your heads examining. I mean honestly. Hamilton didn’t cheat, he didn’t endanger anyone’s safety as in the other two examples and you think a penalty that’s what, 5000% more severe is warranted? Get real, son.

        I find the mere possibility that Todt was considering this deeply concerning. I’ve been full of praise for his Presidency so far, but this just smacks of Ferrari International Assistance all over.

      2. jls says:

        Most sports consider mouthing off at/about the officals a rather serious offence, no reason F1 should be any diffrent.

      3. James D says:

        Ferrari International Assistance? Why would they be hampering Hamilton rather than Vettel and Red Bull?

      4. eish says:

        5000% more… really. and you came up with this number how? lol
        If you cant distinguish the differences between what hamilton did and your examples then you should not comment. Can i ask you something. How do you logically compare those incidents to Hamilton making disparaging remarks about the FIA and his fellow competitors. The FIA can’t allow a spoilt brat to bring the sport as a whole into disrepute because he thinks he has the right to through a tantrum.
        If he was doing a 9-5 job and he spoke about his colleagues and the company he works for like that he would have been fired.

    4. mad max says:

      I agree, was extremely excessive. Find it hard to believe Todt was actually considering it.
      Real great idea, ban probably the most exciting driver for six races because off a bad joke in the heat of the moment! Six races, you’d think he made a death threat or something.
      With Todt’s handling of that, of Bahrain, and not to mention wanting the tiny ‘green’ engines I have lost alot of respect for him.

      1. Mike Monji says:

        +1

      2. leslexx says:

        @eish
        Let me refresh your memory. In the 2006 Italian Grand Prix, after stewards ruled Alonso had blocked Felipe Massa in Saturday qualifying and relegated him five places on the grid, Alonso stated “I love the sport, love the fans coming here — a lot of them from Spain but I don’t consider Formula One like a sport any more”. Do you think Alonso should have been purnished for bringing the sport into disrepute with this statement?

      3. eish says:

        thats 50-50. but whats your point?
        you do realise once again there is a huge difference between “i dont consider this a sport” and Hamilton directly speak out against the stewards. you need to give your examples a bit more thought…. if i was you i would have used the incident where alonso directly criticised the stewards and then had to apologise the next day. lets try an experiment i want you to go on national tv and then crit the company you work for and also you colleagues and see how long you keep your job for. you not going to be banned for 6 weeks. your ass will be fired.

    5. Steven says:

      No, its not only you. Banning him for 6 races would not only ruin his season, but also that of McLaren, and who would benefit the most if McLaren was not 2nd on WCC? Oh yeah, that red team Mr.todt use to work for ;)

      I honestly dont believe that Todt would try anything to hurt one team to only help Ferrari, but some of his decisions of late have been rather bad, and Ive lost some respect for him.

      1. Bill Day says:

        Wouldn’t necessarily benefit Ferrari to take McLaren out. McLaren can help Ferrari by taking points off Red Bull.

    6. Charlie says:

      I don’t think Todt meant it seriously. The implication to me was that was what Lewis’s critics would have wanted:

      “Maybe it would have been a better decision to put him to the court. To ban him for six grands prix. But he wrote to me and I wrote to him and the thing is over.”

      I.e. he wasn’t actually considering it. That’s my reading of it anyway.

  3. Jesus says:

    Hamilton is a great driver, but he shouldn´t compare his Monaco weekend with Ayrton/Gilles, it was more Yuji Ide-like.
    That said, he´s gonna have a great weekend in Canada, he always come back strongly after a dismal race

    1. veeru says:

      well said…he always…i mean always compares or want people to compare him with Ayrton…he is and will be one of the greats but to compare pre-maturely to the all time greats is foolish…

      1. Charlie says:

        That’s why he said: “I hope ONE DAY to be referred to as something similar to them” (my caps, to prove the bleedin obvious point).

        So not premature at all.

        Try reading the quote in full.

    2. Come on. I’m not a fan of Hamilton either, but with the exception of the pass on Massa (which was a little too ambitious), he had a pretty good drive with some great passes.

      Had it been Kobayashi pulling off those moves, everyone on here would be cheering his gusto, but since it’s Hamilton, they say he is over-aggressive and should tone it down a notch or two.

      Just like Kobayashi, I think Hamilton should stay as is, if at least to prevent F1 from being stale. Just look at DC getting stuck behind Bernoldi… DC was being VERY conservative with his passing “attempts”, and paid for it by getting lapped. Had he asserted himself, maybe he would have ended up with a much better position. Of course, he could have crashed… but as Hamilton said, any pass has the chance of ending up as a crash.

      1. Dave C says:

        Yeah but when Vettel attempt these failed moves he gets labeled ‘crash kid’, please show some consistency!

      2. Chapor says:

        The thing is with Vettel at the time, EVERY attempted overtaking move he made turned into a crash… Or almost every move anyway. He has come a long way since then, but he was dismal at attempting overtakes.

      3. I never called him a crash kid. I still think that Spa last year was a by-product of his flexible front wing shifting from side-to-side, causing the car to lose balance and step out on him… Not to mention the McLaren ahead of him wasn’t exactly the easiest to predict with multiple little movements each way.

      4. Alias J says:

        erm. i don’t think its the MOVES that Hamilton does that angers anyone in particular (besides the drivers involved i guess), i think its the ATTITUDE and calling the other drivers ‘stupid’ which is unacceptable.

        not only it shows a lack of respect, but it also shows a lack of maturity and intelligence.

      5. When you compare someone to Ide, you are essentially referring to their lack of performance.

        I’ll agree, his attitude leaves much to be desired, but at the same time, he’s a great talent and while admittedly aggressive, I don’t think his race was that bad. Apart from being a little ambitious with Massa, his moves would right on point.

    3. I do wish he wouldn’t compare himself to drivers like Senna and Villeneuve. For starters, it’s just not becoming to suggest such things yourself, whoever you are.

      He’s not a million miles away from them in terms of actual talent, but to my mind he lacks the special characteristics that made them legendary. Senna had an incredible intensity in everything he did. Just watching him sit and think would send shivers down your spine (on a side note, I find an angry Sebastian Vettel gives off that same vibe). Villeneuve was different again, he had a warmth and infectious charm to him, and what I can only describe as audacity behind the wheel.

      Lewis needs to forget about other drivers and concentrate on being Lewis Hamilton, make a legacy that’s all his own. I get the impression that he’s not really found himself yet, that he’s not quite his own man. If he stopped judging himself by everybody else’s standards and drove for himself I think he’d be much happier for it and maybe more expressive in his driving.

      1. vannman says:

        Hamilton is not asking to be compared to Senna or Villeneuve, the article states that he hopes that one day he would be compared to the two, one would assume once his career is over.

      2. Chapor says:

        I quote from a recent interview with Barichello.

        “In the past, Ayrton Senna was criticised for having been very dangerous on the track and you could see he calmed down as the years progressed and the same thing will happen to Lewis.”

        I think that is a comparison to Senna made by a fellow driver… Not by Hamilton himself.

  4. Chris Bird says:

    What a good read and very unbiased.

    1. Stephen says:

      My thoughts entirely

  5. CJM says:

    Passionate drivers (and team members) will always throw their toys out of the pram – it’s a major part of what makes them great.

    I’m not a Hamilton or Alonso fan but I’d hate for either of them to be anything other than what they are. Imagine F1 with no passion, no temper-tantrums and no mad overtakes around the outside.

    You don’t have to like raw, unconsidered, emotion – just don’t get rid of it.

  6. Sergio says:

    Always in the centre of attention. Don’t forget one year ago Mr. Hamilton obtained pole position with less fuel than the rest of drivers and those “unfair” stewarts allowed that lap as a valid one. You know, F1 is a question of good or bad “luck”. Everything but reason.

    1. Steven says:

      The rule is that it has to have fuel in the tank for the stewards to test, and it did have fuel in the tank, thats why they shut off the engine and coasted into the pits, haha!

      1. mvi says:

        But the FIA did change/clarify the rule so that the car can no longer be helped to the pits with the engine off like that.

      2. F1_Badger says:

        Yes they had to change the rule which a) proves Hamilton’s actions were within the regulations dictating competition at that time and b) proves the point that Hamilton is used by the (Highly Ferrari bi-ased) FIA to be made an example of…that is to say its acceptable for Alonso and Massa to openly flout the team orders regulation with no championship altering penalty…

      3. Steven says:

        Thank you Badger!

      4. Sergio says:

        What you say plus the Charlie Whiting’s “friendly” interpretation gives us:”fair & square” pole. There are still many unwritten rules in the regulations that Lewis could infringe with zero cost. Lots of entertaining maneouvres denied to the rest so that their fans can say: ha, ha, he got it again. Enjoy, you can.

      5. Steven says:

        Hmmm… Sergio, spanish name, I wonder who he is a fan of LOL You conviniently forget Germany last year? Alonso broke the BIGGEST rule there is, NO TEAM ORDERS! Stop bashing Hamilton and go tell Ferrari to build a better car, Sir.

      6. I still don’t think there is a specific rule against running out of fuel in qualifying. It’s very much frowned upon though and any team doing it more than once in a blue moon will soon find themselves on the receiving end of reprimands and penalties. IIRC they would be penalised for knowingly fielding a car incapable of completing the session, or something like that.

        We’re talking about a sport where just about everything is engineered to be on the very margin of viability. Sometimes miscalculations will be made and I think (and the race director seems to agree) that you have to give the teams the benefit of the doubt. The fact that this doesn’t crop up more often suggests to me that it wasn’t intentional, otherwise we’d see a team try it in at least one key qualifying session every year.

        What I did find strange was McLaren’s instruction to stop the engine to preserve a fuel sample. Only a tiny amount of fuel would be needed for a sample and I don’t think the engine could possibly draw out every last drop and all the vapour from the tank. And even if it came to that, they could dive into the engine to get some. Very strange.

      7. Dave C says:

        Yeah haha imagine if Vettel or Alonso tried that this weekend! There’ll be an outcry from Hamilton ‘followers’.

      8. Sergio says:

        Steven, if I get your argument about my nationality, Hamilton loses. Try to think about it. It is foolish to think that Tony Scott Andrews, Charlie Whiting, Max Mosley, Ron Dennis, James Allen and many more may be biased because of their nationality. Isn’t it?

      9. Damian J says:

        Sergio ,

        Ron Dennis is McLaren!!!

        You forget that Max Mosley was no friend of McLaren…and there are plenty of examples where Charlie Whiting has made decisions which would NOT have been popular with McLaren such as Spa 2008.

        I am surprsed that you think James is biased?
        Why do you read this website?

    2. Damian J says:

      So Todt was thinking of giving Hamilton a 6 race ban for speaking his mind. More FIA stupidity and so soon after the Bahrain fiasco.

      Bizarre that FIA will consider 6 race bans for free speaking when FIA will happily give immunity from prosecution to driver actions that are considerably more reprehensible. Thinking of a Crashgate and Spygate!

      1. Galapago555 says:

        Obviously you’re not thinking of Liegate…

      2. Jo Torrent says:

        lol

      3. smellystudent says:

        The “six race ban” comment was throwaway rather than serious.

        I can’t believe the number of people taking it at face value.

      4. mtb says:

        I am all for drivers speaking their minds, but I would rather listen to intelligent, informed and factually-correct comments.

    3. Sergio says:

      The problem here is that you have a BIG list of Hamilton ilegalities or questionable actions with zero cost or really cheap since he entered in F1. This is a fact. Remember Germany 2010 team orders? For sure, all day long the “magicians” were “so worried” about sport. 3 months in what you had headlines, articles and press conference “questions” about “undeserved” champ. Even Max Mosley (this man so worried about the defense of human rights in the world)said he prefered Alonso losing World title. The facts show us a man with “special pass” to commit irregularities that will be banned from this moment. A man who can be rescued by a crane; a man who can be protected from his teammates; a man who can criticize his team in a press conference without be called a whiner; a man who can do agressive waving on a straight line; a man who can pass a SC without serious consequences; a man who can qualify with less fuel than the others; a man who can disrespect to pilots and stewards. You can do everything man: FIA is telling you: “From Now”…

      1. adam says:

        I think what you say is incorrect. Take the crane incident for example. Hamilton restarted because the race had been stopped. Hamilton’s car was the only one at the crash site with the ability to idle for long periods because it had the ability to run on half it’s cylinders. No rules, as they had then been written, had been broken.
        The other cars that had gone off had either been damaged,were overheating or the drivers and teams didn’t know the rules.
        Talking of rules, I’ve noticed Antonio Lobato on Spanish TV has repeatedly,in past years, assumed the the safety line is the start finish line.In fact the safety car line was half way round the last corner.Drivers like Hamilton were free to start racing from that point on.
        The point I’m making is there is a valid counter argument to everything you say.

  7. Jo Torrent says:

    Hamilton apologies
    ***************

    Hamilton did what he had to do. The question is was he convinced of what he said, or did he say it to avoid further punishment ?
    We will know the answer pretty soon, by his behavior on and off the track.

    But his answer on Schumacher let slip a hint on what is going to happen “I would hope not”. A complete lack of respect for the most successful driver in F1 history.
    How much respect do you want someone who doesn’t respect Schumacher to grant the likes of Massa or Maldonado ?

    TODT mercy !!!
    ***********

    Todt was happy to emphasize that he avoided to hand Hamilton a possible 6 race ban to advertise his merciful behavior.

    It’s completely rubbish because Hamilton is the only one having a little hope of challenging Vettel and the FIA won’t take the risk of ruining that. Bernie won’t allow it anyway.

    Maybe that TODT wants people to be as merciful with his handling of the Bahrain GP as he was with Hamilton.

    Something is sure though, Mercy was never a quality of TODT

    1. **Paul** says:

      As per usual Jo I agree. Schumacher is a great of the sport and deserves respect, rumours of a 6 ran ban for Lewis were just that and proved sufficient to get him to buckle down to driving and stopping whining!

      1. Damian J says:

        What about Massa’s performance? A DNF for going wide on the marbles in the tunnel but he tries to win sympathy based on Hamilton’s driving although his contact with Hamilton was unrelated to his DNF. Whinging?

        Massa only got away with that because Hamilton attracts media attention.

      2. F1_Dave says:

        actually massas crash was related to the contact as he only ran wide in the tunnel because he had a damaged front wing as a result of the contact.

      3. Dave C says:

        I think you’ll find Massa’s accident had everything to do with Lewis failed attempt at the hairpin, did you not see the damage caused to the ferrari?

      4. Chapor says:

        Dave C and F1_Dave, Massa damaged his wing colliding with Webber, not Hamilton. Check the replays…

      5. ian says:

        You earn respect in time, and lose it in an instant.

      6. Dave Myers says:

        With respect, Schumacher may have more wins and championships than anyone else. However, his reputation is far too tarnished by his on- and off-track behaviour, which is why Hamilton doesn’t with to have that comparison. Hamilton has always seemed a bit obsessed with being compared with Senna, but he is deluded if he thinks there is any comparison.

      7. Dave C says:

        Hamilton is deluded, Senna and Schumacher when at their best is just a level too far above Hamilton, on today’s grid only Vettel has the potential to be as good as those 2, Alonso and Hamilton can only achieve the status of Prost, Gille Villeneuve and Hakkinen.

      8. For sure says:

        The thing is that both Senna and Schumacher kinda falls in the same category. In fact Senna was largely responsible for introducing the dirty driving which massively influenced MS behavior. And I am not criticizing Senna, but its a bit ironic to say that Senna was a “passionate” racer where as Schumacher was a “dirty” driver.

    2. Damian J says:

      A load of Hogwash from Todt. As an ex Ferrari team principal, I would n’t expect anything less from him. PR was never one his strongest qualities.

      I sincerely hope Lewis starts speaking more than ever like a corporate robot at those the FIA compulsory press conferences to undeline the lack of free speech!

      1. Galapago555 says:

        Here I fully agree with you, Damian J.

        It’s easy to do it as well, he can learn from Fernando’s answers to the Brit journalists last year after German GP.

      2. Jo Torrent says:

        what you don’t get mate is that there is a difference between speaking up his mind and insulting his colleagues and the institution.

        The most courageous and non corporate comment was the one Webber made about Bahrain before any team or the FIA took a stance. That required guts and brains.

        To street-talk the way Hamilton did using “freaking” on every sentence like others use “F**k” is not the appropriate way to speak up his mind.

        On the other hand I agree with you on TODT lack of PR skills.

      3. Damian J says:

        It was obvious to everyone that Lewis was joking when he made that comment (although ill timed) but that will not some from faking their offense simply because thay have an allegiance to another racing team!

      4. colin says:

        I’m with you on this, I don’t understand how an ex team pricipal can be alowed to become topdog of the FIA. Just proves the fact that the F stands for Farrari!!!!
        I beleive a british team has shot itself in the foot by employing two british drivers, it’s all politics and money these days.

        I missed the end of the race, wedding commitments, why was Vittel alowed to change his tyres on the grid, surely it was just tough luck.

        Also why wasn’t qualifying finished in the morning, like in previous seasons when an issue arised?

      5. chrisnz says:

        the whole grid was allowed to change tyres, not just seb.

      6. mtb says:

        I prefer someone showing no regard for PR to the pretentious, self-aggrandising, factually-questionable twaddle that some teams try to insult our intelligence with.

        It was right for Hamilton to retract the Ali G remark, as there are journalists who will intentionally misrepresent the manner in which it was made in order to create a story.

        With his other remarks both during and after the race, he reinforced the opinions that both his fans and his detractors have of him.

        Personally, if I wanted to listen to solipsistic, juvenile rants then I would switch on a teen drama, however there seem to be a few people who want to witness such behaviour in an F1 broadcast.

      7. For sure says:

        From what I have read some where on this site, there has been a major fall out between Todt and Luca. And it makes sense. Luca and he never went to see Massa at the hospital at the same time.
        So there’s noway. Todt will favor Ferrari if my assumptions are correct.

  8. Komieko says:

    Jean Todt’s thought of banning Lewis for 6 races would have killed this sport. It has become increasingly apparent that the stewards look for Lewis to do something worthy of a penalty, however fail to punish others who do similar questionable moves. Anyone remember Webber in Australia trying to overtake Lewis and Alonso and crashed into Lewis. No punishment no foul. As a matter of fact no mention at all. What about the puncture caused by the same individual on Lewis into the first corner at another race weekend.

    My point is not to consider punishing Webber or another driver. This is racing. With racing there will be questionable moves and reactions. I for one love a little passion in a driver, which is why I support Lewis. I like Alonso’s passion as well. Anyone consider his comments at the end of the Monaco race. Had the race not been stopped, he would have had no other choice but to pressure Vettle into a mistake which could have compromised the race for both of them. What I am getting at is the fans watch the sport for racing. The American analogy is “Rubbing is Racing”. There will be contact and sometimes involving the racer I support. Take the result on the chin and move on to the next week. The over-stewarding has become problamatic for me. So many weekends ruined with after race decisions and false penalties.

    But this is just my opinion.

    1. Tim Parry says:

      We all love passion. But what happened at Monaco was a temper tantrum, first on, then off the track. I think (and hope) Hamilton learned from this like he said he has because F1 needs a healthy mix of ‘hot’ heads as well as ‘level’ heads.

      1. Brent McMaster says:

        He actually preceeded Monaco with rants about Schumacher and the Toro Rosso pilots ruining his race in Spain. He started the weekend with a chip on his shoulder and it grew, with his foul ups, all weekend until his brain finally fell out Sunday afternoon.

    2. Steve says:

      Have you ever considered that it’s actually that the stewards look at the drivers and if they see one transgressing, they give them a penalty… Those who transgress more will get more penalties!

      Hamilton has always been much closer to the edge of what’s legal than some of his competitors – and for every incident that is punished, there’s one or two that weren’t! (For instance pushing Trulli right off the road at Monza 2008)….

  9. Nathan says:

    “Renault have a raft of updates on their car this weekend including a new rear wing and DRS which is designed to shed more drag than before as well as a new front wing to counterbalance it.”

    - Wouldn’t all the teams have an update like that for Canada? It’s the first real circuit where you need huge top speed, so surely it makes sense for everyone to do the same?

    It seems a bit odd if that’s the case you singled out Renault, but I could be wrong, after all you are the man in the know here, some clarification please?

    Thanks

    1. James Allen says:

      No, of course they all have updates, but this is just a first bulletin from the weekend. More to follow as details come to light.

      1. Nathan says:

        Ah okay. Thanks :)

  10. The Talent says:

    It’s easy to blame outbursts, tantrums and silly manouevres on passion Lewis…
    A lack of skill and intelligence (and perhaps the realisation that you might not become the legend you thought you would) are, at the moment, seeming more likely reasons.

    1. eish says:

      +10
      i always thought it was a case of him having the balls to do what the other drivers wont risk, but the more i see him race, its looking like he isn’t brave but just too dumb to know the difference between what will and wont work.

      1. F1Fan says:

        Speaking of intelligence, those both sound like rather unintelligent comments. Hamilton has a history of winning championships at every level of the sport, competing against drivers that you seem to think are more intelligent. Seriously, you really think it comes down to intelligence huh?

      2. eish says:

        clearly you don’t need intelligences, but it does help. the drivers who win multiple F1 championships seem to have something between there ears. Look at his history in F1 and all the [mod] things he has done. you cant argue with that.

  11. I think when we all look back in 10 years time when Lewis has retired, he will be remembered like many other drivers for showing emotions…. Like Ayrton for example. I’m sure It’s not great for him now, but he’ll be remembered for these emotions later, better that than having no personality and being forgotten….he’s bound to go down as one of the greatest WITH a personality to talk about…

    I hope Lewis has a great weekend!

    1. **Paul** says:

      He’ll have to start winning more to go down as one of the greatest. So far I see a good driver who has always had a very good car in the sport, something very few people can claim, and yet he only has 1 WDC. It’s a poor rate of return IMO given the machinery he has. A great of the sport (Senna/Schumacher in his prime) would have given a better return on that I feel sure. As things stand he’s just above Montoya in my view of F1 drivers, but Alonso, Schumacher and perhaps after this season Vettel will all be above him. He’s really got to prove himself to get up that list!

      1. veeru says:

        perfectly said…

      2. nando says:

        Poor rate of return? First year was his rookie year and he had a double world champion team-mate, second year he won the title, third year he a midfield car for the first half of the season, fourth year the Red Bull was racing to a different formula.
        Obviously he’ll to win a few more world championships to be considered a great.

      3. adam says:

        Eh ? He had a good car in 2007 and lost the WDC by a point. In 2008 he won it and in 2009 and the first half of 2010 the car was way off the pace.

  12. Sergio says:

    Do it again Lewis, you can.
    You can turn your head back and see how it costs your actions :almost nothing. Many points free of charges and the privilege to be the only one, the original making ilegalities with 0 cost. Respect the rules is for loosers, you and the “magicians” showed us the lesson of “luck”. C’mon do it again, something brand new to be prohibited for the rest, whatever for the entertaining, for your fans, for the team, for your country.

    1. Peter C says:

      Give us a break, Sergio!

  13. Steven says:

    A 6 race ban??!! A bit too harsh if you ask me, as he didnt break any rules. Much harsher than shumi’s 2 race ban for breaking the rules and neing caught cheating with electronics. It makes seem even more like the FIA does have it out for Lewis.

    1. Steven says:

      Before I forget, anybody remember Webbers banzai t-boning of Hamilton in Singapore last year? You could compare Lewis’s move into Maldonado to that one, yet the FIA didnt do anything to penalize Webber, he got away scot free. The more I think about it, the more I agree with Lewis that the FIA is picking on him…

      1. James b says:

        Or how about in Suzuka where kobayashi overtook a Torro Rosso at the hairpin. Everyone lauged and thought it was great kobaybashi they all said!!! But if that was Hamilton……..

      2. Dave C says:

        Not really both moves initiated by Hamilton and was his own fault, he’s basically saying: either you let me through or we crash, I don’t blame drivers for not letting him have his own way, Kobayashi’s moves are better than Hamiltons because he doesn’t give the other drivers the choice of a crash or move out the way, he surprises them and even when they turn in or out on him they just get a nudge, true overtakers like Kobayashi and Montoya are better than Hamilton.

      3. adam says:

        In Monaco Kobayashi drove into the back of another car puncturing it’s tyre.You need to go back and look at the on-board footage.

    2. mvi says:

      Steven, you’re getting outraged at something that didn’t happen! Todt just gave an example of the other side of the scale.

  14. Iain Mellows says:

    James,

    Looking at F1 tweets it says that since buying the teem they have spent 345 million can of red bull. Just wondering if anyone knows how many days of consumption of cans of red bull that might be?

    All the best!!
    Iain

    1. Seán Craddock says:

      2,397 Days since purchase of Jaguar Racing

      15/11/2004 – 09/06/2011

    2. LT says:

      1 can of RB makes me sick let alone 345 million!!! ugh!

  15. AlexD says:

    This is a typical wording that a guilty person is using – it is always like this:
    HAMILTON:”I have a good relationship with Felipe,” he said. “I gave him a call and he’d calmed down and understood the position. With Pastor, I’ve known him and his family a long time. He was very quick that weekend and I do not want to put anyone out of the Grand Prix.”

    Why would we start a sentence stating that Massa is his friend and Pastor was always close to him? This is to say – I love them, I would never do any damage to them.

    In reality – he only loves himself and actions speak louder than words – he took both guys out. Period.

    The very plain reason why he was accusing everybody is exactly this – his EGO was damaged. The bigger the ego, the louder the accusations.

    1. veeru says:

      exactly. he always thinks he is the best

      1. Steven says:

        Every driver thinks they are the best, if it werent for that non of would have made F1.

    2. Take another look at the replays. He was quite far up alongside Maldonado and was a little ambitious when overtaking Massa; however, both incidents would have been completely avoided had the other drivers not turned in early on him (remember, the “one move” rule only applies when the car is behind them, not alongside). If you look at their lines compared with the normal lines, you’ll see that they both squeezed Hamilton and didn’t leave him much of an option other than contact.

      1. Stevie P says:

        I have a lot of respect for your posts malcolm (especially that piece on braking etc :-))… so what would you have done if you were Massa or Maldonado? Let Hamilton by or fight for your position?

        Schumi let Hamilton by at Ste Devote, he’s wise (knowing at Monaco contact will end in a 99% chance of both retiring) and has nothing to prove.

        Massa and Maldonado (I feel) are both under pressure in their seats, the former to retain a drive (almost) and the latter to prove himself in F1. I’m not absolving them of blame here either.

        Then you have Hamilton coming up behind them, who’s driving somewhat on anger (which began in Q3), who feels he should be winning this race, seeing his WDC hopes fade away, etc, etc.

        Watching that race, I just felt Lewis was going to come a cropper in some way (ie, hit something)… because he was pushing too hard, too keen to make places. I’ve gotta say though that paradoxically I loved seeing that!!

        I still find it ironic that the first thing out of his mouth in his interview with Lee McKenzie (on the BBC) was “you can’t overtake around here”… he then goes on to blame everyone else for the incidents, without acknowledging that it takes two to tango.

      2. Peter C says:

        Spot on, Stevie P.

        You would think we’d all be bored with this by now, but every time James writes something about Hamilton, the posts go ballistic!

        It just shows,he’s like Marmite (love him or loathe him) but you can’t ignore him.

        Good, this F1, isn’t it?

      3. Thanks. :-)

        What would I have done? Given him a car width, and pinched him a bit on the exit so we could drag race to the next corner where I’d have the inside (I’d try for that, anyway; likely would still result in losing the place).

        Hamilton’s already committed to coming up the inside, so giving him anything less than a car-width will certainly result in contact. It’s not like he can magically brake at 120% and slow down more. I would rather finish one place down that get punted into the wall because I closed the door on someone that had already committed to coming through anyway.

        If you are at risk of losing your seat, should you be overly aggressive and close the door on someone that already has their nose through it? No, that’ll just make you look stupid and increase your chances of getting sacked. It makes far more sense to cede one position, especially if you are outside the last 5-10 laps, as you may lose less time overall, and could potentially make up positions later in the race.

        Remember where DC ended up behind Bernoldi for most of the race a few years ago? He didn’t dare show his nose for the entire race, got lapped, but still ended up fifth. Moral of the story? Not pulling off stupid moves (whether as an overtaker or a defender) can yield strong finishes at Monaco.

    3. Brent McMaster says:

      And that ego is taking a bigger beating with Vettel establishing himself as the Golden Boy of F1.

    4. Dave C says:

      Yeah the 2 differences between Senna and Hamilton is that 1. Senna was a better driver, faster, more consistent. 2. Senna had more class, true he use to lose his rag quite quick and didn’t hide it but he had ethics and truly cared about other people including his competitors.
      Hamilton is a mega selfish brat that is actually becoming sickening with his actions, he wants to be compared with ayrton but in reality he can barely beat Button even with the team built around him, Senna was so much faster than Prost it was unreal, and I rate Prost a level above Jenson, in fact I doubt Hamilton would even be quicker than Prost or Mansell, the 2 true greats of this generation is Vettel and maybe Alonso.

  16. Jo Torrent says:

    Off topic : FOTA & FIA letters
    ************************

    It is obvious some teams didn’t want to go to Bahrain but didn’t want to take the decision for the race removal.

    As well, it is obvious Bernie & TODT wanted to go there, Bernie because he wants the money and TODT because he owes them so much.

    Bernie :

    Bernie made the hard-work to make the race possible by tweaking the calendar and defended it in the media for months before changing his mind 24hours after the vote. The FOTA letter made it obvious the race won’t go on and Bernie took the opportunity to isolate TODT and weaken him.
    By doing so, Bernie avoided the blame the powerful British media pointed to the FIA & TODT. By weakening TODT, Bernie is trying to seize further control of the FIA. The FIA control is vital to him because of the veto the FIA has when CVC decides to sell F1. Bernie can this way prevent NewsCorp from buying the sport and that is priceless for him.
    A bigger control of the FIA allows Bernie to challenge the teams desire of a bigger share of the cake as well as the FIA wanting more money.

    So Bernie pulled a nice move by adding inconsistency to immorality.

    FOTA :

    All the teams didn’t want to go to the race because there was not even a single argument for the race. Even if the teams didn’t care about human rights, there were enough arguments for them to avoid the race :

    - safety concerns
    - pressure on the crews due to a longer calendar
    - sponsors don’t want to associate their image to the race

    When the FIA gathered to vote, the teams representative Mr. Dominicali voted for the race to be put back in the calendar.
    So why the FOTA teams didn’t discuss the matter earlier and decide for a united position.

    Instead the FOTA sent a letter to the FIA a full 5 days after the FIA unanimous vote. What is clear then is that the FOTA position was a consequence of the fans reaction rather than a genuine belief that the race shouldn’t go on.

    They certainly knew what the FIA vote would be and they monitored the situation in a very cynical way. Once it was clear what damage the race might bring, they wrote a letter trying not to humiliate the Bahrain authorities.

    On the other hand they showed TODT as an amateur reminding him that for the schedule to change, a unanimous team vote was necessary. They made sure he understands that most of the teams will vote against.
    The FOTA letter was an humiliating one for TODT, which is strange given how nicely he treated them compared to his predecessor.
    In politics, no matter how nice you are, don’t expect nothing in return.

    TODT :

    There is one thing sure about him. He is not an amateur.

    Given that the FIA votes are decided longer before the actual vote goes on, I think that TODT made sure the teams knew the FIA position and what would go on. Ecclestone was as keen if not keener than TODT for the race to go on.

    Teams went against the vote a long long time after the vote and TODT found himself trapped. His answer to the FOTA was a very good one.
    He reminded that Bernie was the one who put the race back and reminded the teams that among them some voted for the race back (Dominicali, Mallaya) implicitly accusing them of hypocrisy.

    The damage is done though. He is the FIA boss and he is the main responsible. It was one of those situations where no matter the decision you take, you will make enemies. TODT communications skills didn’t help either.

    What will be the consequences for him remains to be seen.

    1. Peter C says:

      Thanks, Jo. That was really good. Bernie comes out of this still looking like a slippery skate, but we all knew that anyway.

      He’s playing a very long game, perhaps he thinks he’s immortal. If not, then he’s found a way of taking the $ with him.

  17. jonrob says:

    I am maybe one of the few who think that Hamilton had a right to be a bit peeved after Monaco. Photos and in-car footage have since shown that Massa did turn in early as did Maldonaldo.
    Hamilton is now in a position where every time he tries to overtake he knows that if someone turns in on him he will get the blame. Some teams may take advantage of this.
    Still hopefully McLaren will not leave him without a decent attempt in Q3 in future and so he will be out in front.

    1. veeru says:

      Nope. Massa turned in on early to avoid having to meet webbers rear end…not because he want to hit hamilton and make believe it was hamiltons fault…

    2. eish says:

      you are seeing what you want to see.

    3. Steven says:

      Massa DID turn in early, not only did he turn in early, but once he saw Lewis he turned in sharper, its easy to see.

      Whats bad too is that Hamilton could have done the same to Schimy in the same spot earlier on the race, yet like a corteous driver, he saw that he was beat, and he let Michael go.

      On the Maldonado incident, I think Lewis was a bit too optimistic, he was too far back, and thats coming from a Lewis fan.

      1. DC says:

        Massa and Maldonado lacked something called situational awareness and ended their own races because of it. I’m just glad justice was done and Hamilton maintained his position to get 6th. He deserved it.

        Maldonado was stupid turning in without checking Hamilton’s position. That was bad driving.

      2. eish says:

        oh right so now you can tell what Massa did or didn’t see. what camera view did you watch to see that? it must be those HD features. there’s a camera in the drivers helmet. i want to watch what you watching man. it looks awesome.

    4. Stevie P says:

      So jonrob (as I’ve asked Mr Strachan, I’ll ask you too), what should Massa and Maldonado have done? Just moved aside and said “after you Lewis?”. C’mon, these guys are racers… they don’t want to let anyone past!!!

      He may feel that the stewards are picking upon him – I don’t have an issue with that, that’s his perception. The Ali G gag was slightly dodgy, especially if you’ve never seen Ali G and don’t understand the irony – it could be misconstrued. My only issue with his comments were that (in the heat of the moment) he absolved himself of any blame, which is simply not true.

      A little bit of humility goes a long, long way.

      1. Peter C says:

        +1

  18. Natalie says:

    He probably wouldn’t like to hear this, but Lewis puts me more in mind of Villeneuve than Senna. There’s that same air of innocence and slight naivety.
    Lewis, like Gilles, is more about racing at all costs than winning at all costs.

  19. Dale says:

    If Senna was racing in today’s F1 he’d simply not be allowed to shine.
    I am 1000000000000000000% certain if Senna were a Steward we’d (as fans) see proper, real, aggressive and exciting RACING as it should be and unlike today’s, so called racers and rule makers he understood what racing was and should be all about.

    Hamilton and Montoya before him are both in the Senna mould and we should embrace them and let them flourish……………

    1. Monkey Nutter says:

      And if Senna were driving today he’d get three or four drive-throughs per race.

      Real racing is dead. If Lewis were really to get a ban (any ban) for the type of incidents in Monaco, F1 might as well close the shop.

      1. Dale says:

        Well said and sadly so true.

      2. DC says:

        Unfortunately I think you’re right.

        This is the bigger issue, not Hamilton, but what is going to happen to the racing spirit.

        it’s all DRS and push to pass from now on….

        How sad….

    2. Alias J says:

      oh no, no, no, no. totally disagree.

      if senna were here today and a young boy in his prime, then i bet you he would be more popular than barack obama and justin beiber combined, he would be highest paid driver in the best car, and he would simply just be MILES ahead from everybody else every race. and wouldn’t need to ever get into those sticky situations in the first place.

      just like schumacher was, early 2000s.

      1. Dale says:

        Well as a man who saw all of Senna’s races I can tell that is not how he was viewed by his peers and it too some time before his was in one of the best cars!

        As for Schumacher, one day a story will be told……………..good he was but he was never a Senna (I don’t think the younger fans get it or see it) or a Clark, in my view the two best drivers ever in F1 by some margin. Clark was supreme, frightened of nobody and the same for Senna and neither had to be number one they just were.

      2. Peter C says:

        Excellent post, thanks.

        It’s good that some people have a view of history, rather than what happened in the last 1/2 season.

        My kids were told in a histoy lesson, ‘There was a war between 1939 & 1945, but we won’t go into that as it might upset the children who come from a European background’

        OMG

  20. Goku says:

    Hi James,

    I think I speak on behalf of the readership when I say that I do miss your wonderful race commentaries!

    However, I would like to express that I was deeply disappointed that the [mod] campaign, of which I’m sure you were aware of, seemed to target you for no apparent reason and I would sincerely hope that this hate campaign did not lead to the premature conclusion of your blossoming cammentary role!

    On a positive note, out of curiosity,is it your voice we all hear on the international feed of the top three drivers conference?

    And have you actually hung up the mic for good?

    I for one think you are a much better lead commentator than Brundle could ever be ;)

    1. James Allen says:

      Thanks. I’m very happy with what I’m doing now in the digital/ online world, which includes those official driver TV interviews, as you say, plus presenting from site for Australian TV.

      1. Galapago555 says:

        Do you have any plans about taking part again in Andy Goldstein’s show at talkSPORT like last season?

      2. DH says:

        James, is that Australian TV available live on the internet? For a fee? Would very much like to hear you.

      3. Goku says:

        Wow those Aussies are a lucky bunch! I thought i recognised your voice in the conferences. Keep up the great work, much appreciated.

  21. Danny says:

    For heavens sake can everyone stop using Schumacher as some sort of benchmark for wreckless driving, he is DEFINATELY NOT!, Schumacher drives with his head not his heart Senna drove with his heart and for want of a better word was ‘Wreckless’, I don’t think Hamilton can point the finger and try and distance himself from a wreckless driver image as that would be rather hypocritical after all his indiscretions.

    1. Steven says:

      Adelaide, Jerez, parking the car in Monaco. ANd those are the most obvious…

    2. For sure says:

      To me its become very clear that some journos are using Lewis as a platform to launch an anti-Schumacher campaign. Yes he made mistakes but most of the great ones did too, well we all do mistakes really. Its sad that they always pick on Michael.

      And its a misconception really. The thing is MS doesn’t drive THAT recklessly.If you remember 2005 Japan where Alonso overtook him at 180R, he made sure they both didnt touch, same as the ones Lewis did in Monaco.

      1. Dave C says:

        Yes even James will defend Hamilton no matter what, but let’s face it Hamilton is not an all time great, in fact he’s not even the best driver on the grid, Vettel is the best followed by Alonso.

  22. Dryden Lewis says:

    As I make way to Montreal I’ve just taken the time to watch the Senna movie and I found that both he and Lewis are very similar. They both got called into question often and were very outspoken in their belief that if there is an opening they will take the opportunity to pass.

    Lewis in my opinion understands that racing is about passing and if he has a faster car and a gap then he should be able to fit his car in there.

    Are his comments worthy of a 6 race ban? No I say. Not just because I’m a supporter but I don’t believe that racing should be a procession.

    See you at the F1 fan forum.

    1. Dave C says:

      No Hamilton is trying to copy Senna, and it’s not pretty.

  23. Kyle says:

    Hamiltons twitter apologies came across as disingenuous and repugnant in my opinion but his comments here are much more attentive and serve him well.

    Seems genuine and considerate and in this case respectful of his fellow competitors which is nice to see.

    He certainly is a passionate racer as he mentions, always wearing his heart on his sleeve which in many respects is admirable but not when it results in the kind of antics we saw from him after the race in Monaco.

    It’s about time that we drop this subject and move on though I feel.

    Following his outburst I had absolutely zero sympathy for him and particupated in the public outlash it caused but now I’m finally beginning to feel sorry for him.

    Not for his actions which can’t be condoned in my opinion but for the sheer amount of emotional stress the aftermath of this must be causing him and those close to him.

    Excellent coverage as always James.

  24. irish con says:

    if it was max he wouldnt have got off as handy as that. but as much as i despise the man i want to watch him. he is entertainment. i just wish he wasnt such a [mod] annoying man.

  25. Lalit says:

    James -

    I am getting really p****d off with Hamilton’s arrogance.

    His response abuot Schumi just tipped me over.. who does he think he is?

    And its not the first time…

    However, the question I have for you is, which team would really want to hire him?

    Surely there is no dearth of talent for teams to chose from..

    I really hope he gets shown his place..

    On a more balanced note, what harm do you think he is doing himself, by his ridiculous outbursts at his own team, at fellow dirvers, at stewards, by demeaning greats like Schumi, by demeaning World Champions by calling them a ‘just a Drinks company’.. Surely he is doing himself harm, isn’t he?

    1. James Allen says:

      Not helping certainly

      1. CH1UNDA says:

        Lewis still remains the only driver who has won a championship for McLaren in over a decade – if the team would rather pay attention to petty politics by detractors than give him the support he needs, its more their loss really and just shows the depth of Martin’s professionalism – which wouldnt be much if that is how he chooses to play it. Lewis would be well advised to consider switching teams right about now – this will not be the first time it has been suggested to him in the last two years since FIA kicked Ron Dennis out of McLaren.

    2. Damian J says:

      Hamilton’s comment about Redbull being ‘just a drinks company’ was a brilliant riposte to Christian Horner who was trying to make trouble for Hamilton by sugesting that his racing career was going nowhere while at McLaren.

      Fair enough I would say.

    3. Monkey Nutter says:

      No. His ‘I hope not’ comment was referring to Schuey’s early reckless and ruthless driving, almost certainly the 94 Hill Adelaide incident in particular. I’m certain he respects Schuey’s record and his driving skills in general. I doubt Hamilton would deliberately ram a title contender in the last race of the year to keep the title for himself – he’s aggressive, overly optimistic sometimes, but clean. Personally, I wish he would be a bit more ruthless – with a bit more of Schuey’s underhand antics in his armoury. That way lie titles. Or maybe not with the stewards nowadays…

      1. For sure says:

        “I doubt Hamilton would deliberately ram a title contender in the last race of the year to keep the title for himself – he’s aggressive”

        If Lewis started his career as early or earlier than MS, he certainly would. Senna massively influenced drivers’ behavior and to MS, it’s almost as if taking out rivals was what REAL racers do as his idol demonstrated him.

        Of course, after seeing MS heavily being criticized, nobody wants to do that anymore.

        But that doesn’t change the fact that what MS did was wrong.

    4. Somewhat akin to calling Lamborghini “just a tractor company”.

      I think Red Bull have earned a better reputation over the last few years than what Hamilton is trying to claim.

      1. Alias J says:

        oh if you get into detail, RED BULL have done GREAT in a huge many forms of sporting related competitions. RED BULL air race, RED BULL in rallying, RED BULL adventure sports such as motocross, x-games, RED BULL triathlon series, RED BULL rookies cup (motogp) and so on.

        they’re obviously much more than just a drinks company.

    5. DC says:

      You know he never said “just” a drinks company.

      The quote was “They are a drinks company” the “just” was added by the media…which to me changes the whole sentence!

      Here is the actual quote:

      “Red Bull are not a manufacturer, they are a drinks company. It’s a drinks company versus McLaren/Ferrari history. I don’t know what their plan is. Our team is building to become a bigger manufacturer, like Ferrari, and I can only see our team being there for a ridiculous amount of time. It is a pure-bred racing team.”

      So sometimes the media just stick the needle in and then they all jump on the bandwagon.

      I don’t think there is anything wrong with that quote, he’s stating fact for goodness sake!

      1. chrisnz says:

        Can you explain how it changes the whole sentence? Because either way, to me it has a “what are they doing here then?” undertone to it.
        I don’t think the media have to stick the needle in, 99% of the time Lewis does a pretty good job of that by himself.

      2. DC says:

        Because the “just” implies that’s all they are!

        But he didn’t say that, yet it now gets quoted as if he did.

        If you see an undertone then that’s an opinion, but he didn’t refer to them as just a drinks company which would leave no room for interpretations.

        He was misquoted. And the media have a lot to answer for!

    6. Martin P says:

      Very true.

      His arrogance could well be his downfall over time. That said, it could well have sealed his fate early in his career when you reflect on the loss of what appeared to be his strongest influences – Ron Dennis and his father.

      I wonder now what part Lewis’s ego played in those failed relationships.

    7. Patrick Byrne says:

      Hamilton seems desperate to compare himself to Senna. He even calls him by his first name ‘Ayrton’ like he feels a personal connection.

      I do think he’s very gifted as a racer but I don’t see him having the cerebral qualities of the great Brazilian. He’s more in the Mansell or Montoya mould IMO. He also seems to have less spare capacity to contribute to strategy during races – compared to Button or Alonso for example.

      1. paul3 says:

        I agree-Hamilton is arrogance personified.
        “im the only one that can challenge Vettel”, I hope Im not like Schumi etc.

        His waving at every driver he overtook, even the clean ones he was waving his hand as though he owned the track-just who does he think he is?

        Interesting to draw the comparison with Di Resta who claimed fair play, he was over ambitious, and showed some humility. And Remember DiResta used to absolutely spank Hamilton in wheel to wheel racing

  26. SupaSix-1 says:

    I hope all those involved in F1 inc the FIA acknowledge that Lewis’ style has reinvigorated F1.

    Whether you like him or not – Lewis is pure entertainment. He on his own with his daring drives & sheer skill has breathed plenty of life into F1. Hes not one to sit back like the rest and follow each other & play safe.

    He instead always wants to push the bounderies and fight for his results.

    IMO the FIA and all the media should give him a medal and encourage all the other drivers to push themselves.

    Regardless of DRS, KERS and the Pirellis – Its drivers like Lewis Hamilton who make F1 more exciting, if more drivers were like him then we wouldnt need to desperately think up different new gimmicks for every season in order to make racing more exciting.

    The FIA should be grateful for drivers like Hamilton – This guy is truely a phenomenal talent.

    1. Lol says:

      If watching a frustrated egiomaniac driving around like an amateur, taking out people left and right, then after the race whining like a kid is entertainment for you, great.

      Not my cup of tea.

    2. eish says:

      ok so you clearly work for his PR company. this type of rubbish is the reason he has an over inflated ego. soon he will be just another well marketed british sportman that wins nothing but has great PR….lol i cant wait to see his fall from grace complete. “the greatest driver who won one whole title and then entertained us with his reckless driving and his even worst attempts at humor” he should focus on his racing otherwise he will become another has-been.

    3. Brent McMaster says:

      There have always been drivers like Hamilton in F1. Hamilton should try being grateful he gets to race great equipment against great drivers at the pinnacle of motorsport. F1 wouldn’t skip a beat if Hamilton left and it was just as good before he got there.

  27. Ron sAx says:

    Desire to maximize ability leads to frustration if for any reason this is not realised. Increased frustration leads to an increase in the taking of risk. Lewis will not be happy unless he is seen as the best of his generation, this same motivation fueled Senna and Villeneuve. Comparisons with the latter two are therefore worrying, as I believe this frustration played a significant part in Zolder ’82 and Imola ’94. Prost recounts the high emotional state Villeneuve was in the week before Zolder, believing that his teammate Pironi had committed an act of treachery on the last lap of San Marino, so was attempting to put the record straight during qualifying at Zolder to re-assert his No1 status at Ferrari. Notwithstanding that he should be at least a 2x WDC, I trust Lewis will learn the lessons behind the tragedies of the past and not let the frustrations of team strategy or uncompetitive equipment lead to severe over-stepping of the mark.

    sAx

  28. J says:

    I still dont understand why Hamilton should be penalized for the Massa crash on the video you can see clearly Hamilton on the inside of the tunel, the right line, and Massa outside so he is the only one to blame for that i remember Ralf Shumacher having the same accident for the same reason, if they wanted to penalize Hamilton for the turn 6 incident, thats other story but nothing to do with Massa crashing into the wall in the tunel; also Hamilton is not my driver number 1, but i like fairness.

  29. EM says:

    You can’t win. Rubens gets slammed for his Blah Blah Blah, Lewis gets it in the neck for saying he feels persecuted by the stewards, Webber draws some criticism for saying F1 should not go to Bahrain.

    They get pounded for voicing an opinion by people who are… erm… voicing an opinion.

    Not wanting to be like Schumaker doesn’t make you arrogant. Unlike some here I can’t read Hamilton’s mind but I don’t want to be the guy who pushes Rubens towards the pit wall or the guy who tried to take JV out or won races because his teammate was paid to let him pass.

    Michael has many admirable qualities, talent, determination, discipline, confidence, optimism etc that I’d like to have. I don’t want to be exactly like him though

    1. nando says:

      Very true. Hamilton should pull a Sir Alex and not speak to media without it going through a filter first.
      The FIA couldn’t complain as the result would just by the same PR friendly nothing comments trotted out by 90% of the field.

  30. Oliver says:

    As much as i think Hamilton pretty much had to apologise, i dont think his critisicm wasa that far adrift.

    I have a page saved on my favourites on my computer, that shows a sequence of images with hammys pass on schumacher, next to the sequence of images of him passing Maldonado

    From this sequence of images it is quite clear that the pass on schumacher ( which everyone praised him no end for ), hammy is i think, further back than at the same points on the Maldonado sequence.

    This makes you think did Maldonado actually turn in early, or did schumacher do the right thing and give him the correct space, i dont think Hamilton is in the wrong as much as people think.

    I dont want to post the link as i viewed it when it was posted as a link from twitter on another website, so i cant claim the image as my own.

    However James, if you want to look out of interest ill be happy enough to send you the link.

    1. StefMeister says:

      Something to remember about Schumacher is that he was on worn tyres & it was fairly early in the race. Knowing he had a lot less grip & there was a long way to go, Schumi likely would have been willing to be less agressive in defending.

      With Maldonardo it was later in the race & they were all on fresh tyres so the grip levels been Lewis & pastor were likely fairly similar which would have already made the pass less straght forward.

      The other thing to consider about St.devote is that the inside kurb moves inward which makes passing more difficult as the entry gets tighter.

      I’ve seen many passes attempted at St.devote in many different categories & most the time it results in the sort of contact we saw between Lewis & Pastor.

  31. Robert McKay says:

    Where on earth would the 6 race ban figure have come from? 6 race ban for some heat-of-the-moment moans about stewards? Get out. That would have been a complete joke. Is that one direct from the school of Max Mosely “one hundred meeeellion dollars!” arbitrary penalty decisions?

  32. Pete says:

    Lewis Hamilton, wants to be compared to the likes of Gilles and Senna, one day! think he must of damaged some cells aswell as other cars during the Monaco GP. Hamilton has good race craft but his way of thinking and outspoken comments are childish to say the least. Senna and Schumacher, I’ve been lucky to watch them both. They all had to be on the limit and more, pushing the boundaries and each other and to beat everyone and to win no matter what!! Lewis please do yourself a favour put your head down get 2-3 more WDC then talk about Schumacher, remember the legend has got MORE race wins than your race starts…. Oh and 7 WDC.

  33. TG says:

    Wow, Lewis really does wind some people up!
    I imagine if Senna raced in the internet age, we’d have all these Prost fans up in arms, filling up the forums with ‘wah, wah, wah, Senna’s Wreckless (its actually spelt “reckless” BTW, unless you mean “wreck less”, which I’m pretty sure you don’t).

    And finding Lewis’s comments “repugnant”, as someone posted above, is just ridiculous. Racing in Bahrain, now that’s repugnant, not what some driver says in a press conference.

    In fact, the one interesting point which no one has picked up on from the press conference is the complete lack of concern by drivers for anything but their own personal safety when it comes to Bahrain.
    What about the political and human rights ramifications? What about the impact on the sport itself? Aren’t you worried the FIA will soon be seen as corrupt as FIFA? What, you don’t have an opinion?
    Obviously not, let’s not upset anyone.

    Props to Webber for having a consciensce.

    1. Phil says:

      One good post in a sea of bilious diatribes.

      You’d think Lewis was the Antichrist. All because of him stupidly mouthing off one time.

      How many of these moralizers, have never done something stupid? At work? At home? Never had to say ‘sorry.. I was an ass’.

      People need to get a grip.

  34. Seán Craddock says:

    Lewis said in his interview after Monaco “if I really feel I’ve gone in too late and hit someone, I’ll put my hand up”

    He seems to be taking blame for the Maldonado and Massa incidents, but quite reluctantly. I don’t see any hands up…

    1. F1a says:

      That’s because he is apologising for his words, not his racing, AND as shown with the pictures clearly, Mald did turn in 1 car too early, as did Massa.

      1. eish says:

        i dont get the rubbish of Maldenado and Massa turning in too early. What are you hamilton fans on about its like you found one thing to push your non-existant point and everyone latches onto it. Who are the racing drives here? You or the guys that were behind the wheel on sunday? I would like to have that answered… Then you have people saying that they know that massa saw hamilton but still turned “early”, how the hell did you see that?

      2. adam says:

        From on board footage like this. Notice how Maldonado does a double move to block Hamilton on the straight.He has seen exactly where The McLaren is.The resulting collision is a racing incident at a known overtaking point.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppjrZmK4eak

      3. eish says:

        @Adam
        thanks you just helped my argument…ok so he sees hamilton on the straight. now what? go watch the video and take a look at where hamilton is when they finally collides with maldonado.. look where his car is, look at where maldonado is, look at where the corner is then look at the space between the corner and maldonado. now the key here is the space and the fact that maldonado had the racing line and he has no obligation to give it up to anyone else.if the collision did not occur he would have had to cut the corner to make it stick.. do you understand the concept of space? big objects cant fit into small objects or small spaces. BUT WAIT… you want maldonoda to just jump out of hamiltons way right. you want maldonado to get out of hamiltons way because hamilton tries some reckless move up the inside. YES that is what a racing drivers do he just jumps out of the way of other drivers who dont have the racing line and just dives up the inside… the same applied to the massa incident. massa had the racing line and has no obligation to give it up to anyone else. that is the key he has no obligation to give it up. NONE, zero. hamilton on the other hand does have an obligation to not try and pull half witted moves.

    2. DC says:

      He only needs to apologise for his post race comments. There was nothing wrong with his driving.

  35. David Goss says:

    Whoa, everyone. When Lewis said “I would hope not” to the question about Schumacher, he may very well have meant that he would hope not to be seen as someone who “plays dirty” for want of a better word – e.g. driving other people off the circuit on purpose, parking during qualifying, etc. Also Schumacher is regarded as being very cold and calculating whereas Lewis wants to be seen as a true racer with a passion for the sport. Maybe Lewis is saying he doesn’t want to be like Schumacher in terms of personality. That’s how I interpreted it anyway.

    Once again he has put his foot in it, but people are very quick to jump to conclusions.

  36. Malcolm says:

    Why wasn’t Fernando as you say, obliged to explain his behavior when he criticized FIA stewards, because he felt that the FIA manipulated the race in 2010 at Valencia, by only giving Lewis a drive through penalty.

    Why the double standard when it only comes to Lewis?

    1. mvi says:

      Alonso did speak to the stewards and apologize after that.

  37. jonnyd says:

    the young schumacher of course, being no different from the young senna in terms of driving standards.
    its nice to see that this is still differentiated as senna being ‘passionate’ whereas schumacher is ‘dirty’.
    i think the fact that schumacher has come back speaks volumes for his passion for racing…..

    1. For sure says:

      I take it you are being sarcastic. Its quite ironic isn’t it.

  38. Martin Horton says:

    OK, full disclosure. I’m English, but I live in the US, so I admit to supporting McLaren. I see Ferrari as mortal enemies. But having said that, I like to see the best person win. I like to see good spirited racing. But there does seem to be a serious lack of objectivity among many F1 followers when you read fan comments. I think the stewards interfere far too much in today’s racing. Last year was a big improvement when they started having a driver steward. A lot of the absurd penalties stopped. The notion of “causing an avoidable collision” is absurd. Clearly all collisions are avoidable, if people just follow each other around, leaving 10 car lengths between them and the person in front. Of course, that wouldn’t lead to very interesting racing. Now, I’m not a Vettel fan, (I do, however, admire his talent), but when he hit Button at Spa last year, he didn’t intend it, he just lost control of the car in the wet and hit Jenson amidships, damaging his radiator. It’s all very well saying that people should never lose control of a car, but when people are close to the limit, they will occasionally step over it.
    So I make two observations. Firstly, Hamilton was very upset after Monaco having been deprived by Sergio’s accident of a chance for pole, and then to be almost taken out by JA running into the back of him. I will raise my hand and admit that when things go wrong I have been known to get annoyed and say things I didn’t mean. Secondly, Hamilton does have a point. The stewards do seem to pick on him rather a lot. No one ever gets penalized for hitting Hamilton, but he gets told off all the time. And for what? Trying to win, and caring enough to want to win? Are we going to make that a crime in F1 now?
    Max Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone, in my view, constantly brought the sport into disrepute. The FIA’s constant support of Ferrari over McLaren has been a joke. I was unhappy when I saw Todt was elected FIA president, but it appears, for the most part my fears were unfounded. The FIA hasn’t been blatantly pro Ferrari since he took over. There was the incidence of Ferrari not getting a significant penalty for their cheating with Team Orders. But they got their comeuppance when they lost the championship. They also destroyed the morale of one of their drivers in the process, which has hurt them. But Todt’s comments about banning Hamilton for 6 races was just entirely too childish for a grown man to make. It is a FACT that stewarding in F1 is not constant, and generally pretty poor. After all, what can guys in blazers really be expected to know about it. I think it’s time F1 considered full time stewards who move from circuit to circuit, rather like Charlie Whiting does.
    The FIA isn’t the only screwed up organization – just look at FIFA. But it’s about time people like Todt, Bernie etc. realized that the paying fans don’t give a damn about them, they care about the drivers and the cars.
    This post hasn’t been as coherent as I would have liked, but I’m not going to go over and redo it. But the bottom line is that races should be decided on the race track by drivers and their crews and officials should, for the most part, be nameless and stay out of the way.
    In case anyone cares, I started watching F1 back in the 60s as an avid Jim Clark fan. After Clark and numerous others died, culminating in Rindt in 1970, I gave up following it so avidly, but since 2000 I have gotten into it again. I sure am glad people don’t die like they used to, but I think some of the fans have gone soft and want it all too tightly controlled.

  39. F1_Dave says:

    something to think about for all those saying the stewards all look to jump to blame lewis is that we have had hundreds of different race stewards from many different country’s over the years hamiltons been in f1.

    you must also remember that the last 2 years we have had a driver advising the race stewards so you would then also have to believe that all the ex/current drivers who have taken the role also want to have a go at lewis.

    a few years ago everyone complained we needed an ex-driver on the stewards board to advise on incidents, we have that now & people still complain when a penalty is handed out.

    allan mcnish was the driver steward at mmonaco & agreed with the penaltys hamilton recieved so are you going to say that mcnish doesn’t understand racing or is biased against hamilton?

    1. nando says:

      I thought the stewards were the same for each race apart from the driver steward?
      Was fascinating to see in the Senna movie that the FIA president Ballastre seemed to be deciding what the punishments were.

      1. F1_Dave says:

        no, its 3 different stewards for each race weekend.

  40. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

    WTF! Six race ban…ludicrous.

    Put someone’s life in danger and you get a stop-go penalty. Criticize the stewards in jest and you get a six race ban……

    Oh well, this comes from the same organisation that fines McLaren $100m and slaps Briatore on the wrist.

  41. AdrianP says:

    I was extremely critical of Hamilton after the last race, but he seems since to have got his head together and has done exactly the right thing – i.e. belatedly but candidly admitted that he was the party at fault in both incidents, that his post-race comments were out of order, and has apologised to both the stewards and the drivers.

    I don’t understand the views of some people here that Hamilton was unfairly penalised or is somehow being victimised, given that Hamilton has now agreed that he was at fault.

    If Hamilton gets a good result in Canada, which is likely given that it’s a favourite track for both Maclaren and Hamilton, he’ll get some positive momentum back. But if he stuffs up this race, things probably won’t be all that pretty. So a little bit of pressure, but that sometimes seems to work OK for Hamilton.

  42. Paul Kirk says:

    A six race ban????? For being a racing driver???? What utter B/S!!!!! If the other drivers had been aware of what was hapening around them, Hamilton’s incidents wouldn’t have happened!!!! If they were driving saloons the passes would have been ok! (If the overtaking driver is up to the “B” pillar it is his corner and the overtaken driver is guilty if he turns in.)
    I’m no Hamilton fan, but I feel there’s been a big hue and cry about nothing, and some blame should be apportioned on the other two as well!!
    PK.

    1. DC says:

      Quite right!

      There is a bigger issue here that worries me. What are the stewards doing to the racing?

      Drivers are going to think twice and stop going for gaps on marginal tracks and we are going to rely more on gimmicks like DRS.

  43. Scotto says:

    Hamilton had a terrible drive in Monaco. While he is undoubtedly one of the most exciting driver in F1, his attempted overtakes showed frustration and impatience.

    I hope his comments were more a reflection of this same frustration, rather than his true feelings.

  44. Ahmed says:

    What is wrong with Hamiltons PR!
    Hamilton tries and repair damaged ego and gain public sympathy after he realised that he was too hot headed and too dangerous on the track at Monaco, yet you show no respect for one of the all time greats???
    Its obvious you rate Senna as your idol, but like him or loathe him, Schumacher’s record will remain at the top of F1′s history for a very long time. We are not talking about a couple of lucky WDC titles.
    The only current driver that might challenge is Vettel, he needs 6 more WDC titles in possibly 12 years of peak racing. Hamilton would need 6 more titles in 10 years, and Alonso would need 5 titles in 7 years (based on age of 35). Sure they might race beyond 35, however chances of winning WDC will be very low.
    Hamilton, you can be a tenacious driver with some respect, just learn from Alonso. And how about trying to be your own man, instead of continuously trying to be someone else…
    Its up to the fans and the media to compare drivers and rank them according to all time greats, it has a lot less value when its you trying to compare yourself…

  45. nick says:

    For all his talent, I actually think Lewis is quite an insecure character. He talks about hoping to be compared to drivers like Senna, but the funny thing is I can’t imagine these great drivers ever saying something similar. For example, Schumacher was renowned for having very little knowledge of F1 history, he just got in his car and did his thing. Just seems as if Lewis is trying a bit too hard.

    1. Soubert says:

      Totally agree.

  46. ACB says:

    I think this story has been drug on long enough. As I said on another thread, I’ll allow a driver to still have a bit of the red mist in his eyes after the race and cut him some slack. Lewis immediately retracted his statment and apologized to the stewards. His twitter apology was lame, but he has since spoken to Felipe and Pastor directly. That’s enough.

  47. zombie says:

    Although its a good thing he apologized and did so officially through a letter, he surely could have been wiser about his answer regarding Schumacher. Schumacher has achieved more in his life that few sportmen in any form of sports can only dream of. To say something like “I hope i’m not being compared to a young Schumacher” is condescending and demeaning to one of F1′s greats. He could’ve simply said ” I don’t like being compared to anybody, i have my own identity” .

    Hamilton increasingly reminds me of Villeneuve, not Gilles but Jacques.Someone who was talented,walked straight into the best team,won a title in his 2nd season and never said anything intelligent after that.

    1. ACB says:

      Jacques has always been the word’s expert on his own opinion.

  48. Douglas says:

    A six race ban would be unimaginable.
    Good for him for his calming words and God Bless. (or whatever is your …)

  49. F1a says:

    Bit of a *sigh* here…

    There was no 6 race ban possibility.

    Todt said that CLEARLy tongue in cheek in one interview.

    Bit disappointed in James not to either notice that, or, to stir up a little controversy in this thread.

    He said “maybe I should have given him a 6 race ban”, then something like ‘but we chose to close the matter’.

    James, please clarify if possible, because hundreds of commentors here are not understanding the reality of what happened.

    1. Dale says:

      Having been a follower of F1 since the late 60′s, most acknowledge and accept that Senna was the best of all (to which I certainly agree).
      If today’s rules had been in place and reporters reported as they do today during his time Senna would just have been another driver as he was a racer of the type today’s F1 just doesn’t seem to want.

      James if you reported on incidents with Hamilton and put yourself back in Senna’s time you’d be cheering him from the rooftops as, from what I’ve see he’s done nothing wrong.

      The stealing of his amazing win at Spa will forever go down for me as one of the most unjust decisions of today’s F1 – is it any wonder the guy feels certain elements are out to get him?

  50. DaveF says:

    I have to confess to not being a Hamilton fan but a 6 race ban would have been ridiculous and way out of proportion.

    I do think Hamilton still has some growing up to do though. Whilst undoubtedly very talented and possibly the quickest driver out there he is far from being the complete package. Comparisons to Schumacher, Senna, Prost, etc do not stack up as they all had the ability to make their own decisions. Hamilton seems to need his team to tell him when to come in for tyres, when to slow down, etc. Then he criticizes them when the wrong decision is made. Perhaps he should take some of that responsibility for himself? All the truly great drivers were able to drive fast AND think about strategy. Yes, they had info and advice from their team but they would make the final call. To be fair Hamilton is not the only current driver lacking in that respect. As much as I like Massa as a person he is another who needs to be told what to do all the time. Maybe it is just how F1 is now?

  51. giorgio0078 says:

    James,
    just a bit of topic but,
    recently in Russian media I saw Alonso’s interview re Canada, and what frustrated me, he said: we will be in good shape here but we won’t win race.
    I’m not an Alonso fan, but earlier he never revealed such pessimism, although there was much to worry about.
    but what is the case, think in Canada they will have perhaps the best opportunity in this year to win GP.
    I think in his team would not like this statement either, so looks like he assured himself if they fail?

    1. Thebe says:

      I wouldn’t take that statement as it is if I were you. Sure he is saying that, but you can be sure he will be going all out on Sunday come race day. I really dont believe Alonso is the type of person who accepts his circumstance for what they are, if there is an opportunity to win the race he will go for it trust me.

  52. Super Fan says:

    Hamilton’s not in the fastest car and he still gets all of the hate. lol

    He’s been trolling in F1 since 2007, hasn’t he?

  53. Donald says:

    Will Lewis Hamilton ever not be the centre of attention for more than a little while?

    From 2007 to 2011, take your pick of situations and stories he’s been involved in, not necessarily on-track.

    Does even he know why?

  54. AdrianP says:

    The Schumacher comparison was just a typical trappy question. The implication of the question was that Schumacher was too forceful in his early days and that’s how Lewis understood the question. The way the question was put was that if Lewis said ‘yes’ that’s exactly how I want to be remembered, he would have been saying, ‘yes’ I want to be known as a bulldozer. Some drivers are a bit more savvy than Lewis in relation to such traps, but it was not a case of Lewis actively wanting to disrespect Schumacher’s achievements. In fact, Lewis was implicitly complementary about Schumacher’s overtake on him at Monaco and again implicitly about Schumacher giving him room when Lewis took him at St. Devote.

  55. clyde says:

    He went on to talk of himself as a “passionate racer” and evoked some names he would prefer to be compared to, “Gilles Villeneuve, Ayrton, passionate drivers I hope one day to be referred to as something similar to them………….Hes a funny one Surely hes joking :-)

  56. kirbs says:

    Does anyone else think its a great shame that the stewards feel that they have to get involved in every overtake in F1?
    Of course the stewards have to get involved when someone is completely taken off by another driver that is clearly in the wrong – examples of this include Barrichello in Austraila (I think it was this year) or Vettle on Button at Spa.
    But come on, this is racing, true fans want to turn on the TV and watch racing. We don’t want to watch cars going past each other with massive speed differentials either through DRS or one car on tyres that are shot and another on fresher rubber.
    There is only one narrow line around a race track – especially now that there are so many marbles off the racing line due to the Pirelli tyres this year – anyone venturing onto those will find themselves sideways at the least or into the barrier (Massa Monaco). Therefore unless people want to watch processional races the cars have to come very very close to each other in order to pass. There is inevitably going to be a little bit of bumping and rubbing here and there and whilst I don’t want it to be like touring cars I do find this acceptable.
    I’m sorry but if there is a car alongside you as you turn into the corner and you don’t give it any room and you crash, it is not the fault of the car behind. Hamilton found this out to his cost against Webber in Singapore. What do you expect the car behind to do? It is not a sunday afternoon drive – it is racing.

  57. vitaly says:

    they threatened him with a six race ban? that is ridiculous. in that case he should have taken a stance and not written that letter.
    so what he called other drivers ridiculous, he was upset and had a bad weekend. things happen, and if the other drivers get upset, or he later feels he went overboard, they can deal with that in private.
    as far as the whole race thing goes, the outcry does not stem from him “pulling the race card”, because he did not do that. saying “because i’m black” was a cynical quip, not a joke. it meant “you’re asking me a stupid question, how am i supposed to answer that”, the message was “i don’t know” not “because i’m black”. what got people upset was that first off, hamilton acknowledged being black, and second, acknowledged that racism exists, and that he is not exempt from it.so he should have let them go ahead and ban him for six races. so what, he is not going to win the championship this year anyway, let them ruin the show and make themselves look stupid by overreacting.

  58. CGM says:

    My opinions :
    1. Lewis Hamilton is great at handling an F1 car.
    2. Lewis Hamilton is NOT great at handling difficult questions from the media.

    Really, all he has to say in response to questions is :
    (1) “I thought that the over-taking attmempts were reasonable but I can see that it’s possible that others might think otherwise.”
    (2) “I probably shouldnt have mouthed-off after the race. I’ve talked to Felipe and Pastor and all is ok.”
    (3) NEVER try to describe himself (even when asked to do so)
    (4) NEVER try to compare himself in any way to another driver (even when asked to do so)
    (5) Generally just try to be a bit more humble !
    If he just followed those sorts of guidelines, the whole thing would go away quicksmart.

    1. ACB says:

      Not all that difficult really.

  59. Thebe says:

    James,
    My view is , what Hamilton did in Monaco is all part and parcel of competing at the highest level we all call F1. If you are as determined as Hamilton is , it may happen that you find yourself engaged in these types of altercations. When you are giving everything you have to beat your opponents there are times where you can make mistakes. It has happened to Schumacher where his competitive spirit would get the better of him at times and I think it can happen to any of the top drivers like Fernando or Vettel to name a few.

  60. Matt B says:

    To all those who have such an issue with perceived ‘arrogance’ in F1 drivers. Im afraid you may be following the wrong sport. Arrogance, whether on the surface or cleverly masked, is part and parcel of sport. Every driver thinks he’s the best. It’s part of the reason why i love the sport.

    1. eish says:

      well if thats why you like sport then you will have more fun watch a soap opera with drama queens in every scene.

      1. Matt B says:

        And who are your favourite drivers?

      2. eish says:

        Hakinin and vettal….you point been what exactly?

    2. Blundle says:

      Arrogance is not part of the sport. It is part of being weak and stupid.

      What I find interesting, is how often people say things like “a truly great driver can only be agressive/ruthless/with a giant ego…otherwise they wouldnt be successful”

      The drivers that raced back in 1960s or even 70s were done using the same technique as today. They are made out of same materials too, flesh, blood etc. But it seems to me that back then, all those Fangios, Jimclarks and Jackiestewarts were able to do both, race very hard( or even race their heart out :D), but NOT act like monsters at the same time. In my opinion, that is the greatest skill you can have as a racing driver.

      But lack of that skill is a disease of younger generation drivers in general, not only Hamiltons problem. The less we demand, the more careless driving we see. I believe, it is the result of over protecting everything, racing must be dangerous to keep away guys that are not really interested in competition.

      You cant get killed easily these days, so you need to have some other motivator(efficient penalties) to drive with your brain switched fully on. So I support harsh penalties( 6 race ban for pitlane speeding, why not), but provided the stewarding is consistent.

      But what is Hamiltons problem then?
      I have no idea why this guy thinks he should be compared with Senna or Villeneuve.

      1) even when Gilles was racing, car/team was the most important thing. To dream that you win in 2011 because you race your heart out may give you a great feeling for a second, but it doesnt work like that anymore.

      2) no reason to compare yourself with Senna or Villeneuve. Because if you look more closely, actually they were were not that great. He should try to do better, not try to be like them.

      3) most importantly, he is nothing like them anyway. He might have some of Sennas worst on-track habits and a yellow helmet, but thats it. Out of the car, Senna was somebody, but Hamilton? Moreover, comparison with G.Villeneuve is completely inappropriate. As far as I know, Villeneuve had a reputation of driving like crazy, but there were no complaints, huge respect mainly. Again, something we cant say about Lewis.

  61. Divesh says:

    I think Lewis’ comment regarding the Schumi comparison is disparaging to Schumi.

    With that being said, do we want his real opinion or a PR blurb?

    I would rather have his real opinion, many drivers give answers that come out of the PR coaching manual, which sounds nice and respectful, but hardly truthful all the time.

    After watching Senna the movie and seeing how honest and forthright he was in his views it just makes me long for the old days.

    1. ACB says:

      If we want his real opinion, then Lewis will have to have the attachments to say ‘I said it, I meant it, and that’s all I have to say.’ But Lewis also cares far more about being liked than Senna did, he cares much more about public opinion of himself than Senna did. And so he will give his opinion, then take it back. There are drivers who still do this, Mark Webber is one.

  62. mo kahn says:

    Its a shame to see such a wonderful talent like Lewis is making a clown outta’ himself. I think Vetel’s humble conduct and this year the dignity reflected (so far) by Alonso are being well received and appreciated. I think the eras of Senna-Prost and Giles-Dider were great when they existed, but now the times have changed. Its about delivering results, I think Shuey has brought this to F1. I don’t think Hamilton is even tenth as quick as Shuey in his prime, the only driver who can claim this is Alonso, who was the Giant Killer which ended Shuey’s Domination in his prime.

    Rest of Ones like Hamilton are nothing but Hot Air of Gasses.

    Vetel however, is setting wonderful standards, he quietly goes about doing his job, is humble and friendly to everyone. So, yes… While Hamilton suffers Senna-complex.. Vetel on the other hand is bringing down-to-earth-ness to F1, Like Giles brought Passion, Senna Dedication, Prost precision, Schuey Result Orientation, Kimi & Hakkinen composure and Alonso (this year revelation and I hope it stays) Dignity.

    Maybe.. Hamilton should humanize and be a little more genuine as a person :)

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