Hamilton loses qualifying time and criticises team tactics
Hamilton loses qualifying time and criticises team tactics
Posted By: James Allen  |  28 May 2011   |  6:11 pm GMT  |  157 comments

Hamilton: A long way from pole (McLaren)

Lewis Hamilton has had his time from Q3 deleted by the stewards in Monaco as he missed the chicane. And speaking to TV reporters after the session he appeared to criticise his engineers for putting him in a vulnerable position, only doing one run at the end.

Other teams have expressed surprise at McLaren’s tactics, as Monaco is famous for throwing up incidents. For that reason most teams planned two Q3 runs of two laps each in case a run or a first lap was compromised.

The Englishman had been in the hunt for pole position, having set the fastest time in both the Q1 and Q2 sessions ahead of eventual pole sitter Sebastian Vettel.

But McLaren took the gamble on only sending him out only once on what was to be a three lap run. The first lap he came across Felipe Massa and the second was ongoing when Sergio Perez crashed.

With two and half minutes on the clock at the end, he went out to try to set a time but having sat at the end of the pit lane for a while his brakes and tyres had lost temperature and then like all drivers he found that the track had lost grip. He made a mistake at the braking point for the chicane, where Perez had crashed, and missed the chicane out.

A stewards’ statement this evening reads, “Deletion of the lap time 1:15.280 set at 15.37:44 in Q3, for “cutting a chicane.”

Hamilton looked very down when he came to speak to us in the TV pen after qualifying. His voice was quiet as he said, “The engineers advised we should do one stint at the end of Q3.

“I didn’t contest it, I think you always have to have a balanced view with the engineers, but I didn’t take into account – and I know the engineers didn’t – that in Monaco you can’t take risks and leave it right to the end, you have to get out and get a banker [lap] in, like everyone else did. With racing experience, you would assume most people would have that, but other things were going on and we didn’t have that.

“After the restart in Q3, I had no temperature in my tyres or my brakes, so I didn’t manage to pull a great lap together, “he added. “With hindsight, we probably should have put a banker in.

“I felt I’d been driving well all weekend and I had the pace to be on pole – I’m certain of that, in fact.”

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Phillip Mullings

Mr. Allen:
Since you have interview access to Lewis can you please remind him to put his brain in gear before opening his mouth?? Yes he is a talent and a very exciting driver and as much as I admire his skill and tenacity, he drove yesterday’s race like a wild GP2 rookie! He tried impossible moves at the hairpin with Massa and again with Maldonado [mod] In my opinion a F1 champion should drive like a champion all the time. Just look at the controlled drives by Button, Vettel and Alonso.
At this stage of Hamilton’s career he should be driving better not worse.


Shocking race by McLaren strategy.

“Box to overtake Lewis”

and they are not there….LoL!

Cost Button the win also.

And the only reason Lewis makes his comments public is because Whitmarsh does the same and criticises Lewis in public. Things like “Lewis was an experiment that went horrible wrong” etc….


Tensions will inevitably rise when Lewis continually watches Vettel pole it with considerable ease. He knows mistakes like this are pretty much handing Vettel the championship. Only perfection is needed by Mclaren to stop Seb walking away with the title.

Monaco was the turning point for the championship and it’s gone massively in Vettel’s favour.

If it were me that had blown it in quali, that lovely diamond encrusted helmet would have made a very close friend in the shape of the pit floor 🙂


From Monaco GP Press Conference 2007 Lewis is the same. You can name his outbursts like “justice” or “for the team” measures or maybe just say complaints. The sad question here is the effects to be a whiner so many years just because one “Empire” needs desesperately an Sport Icon.


As someone who has always had Hamilton as my favourite driver I must say he does seem to have changed for the worse lately.

His true character for an F1 driver is borderline sweet and he is essentially a very nice guy.

I think something has happened to him beyond the car perhaps the stuff with his dad and Jenson joining the team and I think he’s kind of lost his identity.


On one hand, people complain that drivers are ‘corporate robots’ who only chant the party line and never have opinions of their own. On the other, last year, everybody said “How refreshing” when Mark Webber spoke his mind about his concerns.

So I ask you, what do you want from Lewis? Robot or human? Yes, he might get it wrong sometimes, humans do that. Haven’t you?

Incidentally, I don’t see 9th on the grid as the end of the story, either. You are going to see this ‘no overtaking at Monaco’ myth exploded today.



What a shame as Hamilton could and would have given us a great show.

Let’s be honest, it’s not really a race at Monaco is it? No matter how fast Hamilton will be during the race there is simply no way he could ever win from 9th on the grid unless the 8 in front fall off the track as he just wouldn’t be able to overtake.

I so remember M

ansell chasing Senna in a much much faster Williams car but all Senna needed to do was place his car on the racing line, any other track with the two cars having the same relative form Mansell would have won as good as we all know Senna was, the Williams was just too fast for the McLaren on that day.

Yes Monaco is a great speticle but a real race it ain’t!!!


And I think we all know that if it’d been Hamilton on an out lap holding up Alonso, say, not Massa spoiling Ham’s lap, there’d have been a stewards’ enquiry at the very least, and very likely a penalty for Ham…

PS Can’t help thinking that the headline for this piece is a bit OTT, considering what Hamilton actually said (where he definitely criticised himself as much as anyone else) – James must surely know that a headline like that’s gonna bring out all the bile from the same old Hammy-haters, so I wonder why he decided to go all tabloid for the ‘story’..


Massa got of the way as soon as was possible. The TV cameras followed them the whole way, the track simply isn’t wide enough there for Massa to have moved over safely. Also, he was far enough ahead that I doubt Hamilton was truly impeded by him. As the commentators on the BBC said, he was distracted, not blocked.


Hamilton always seems a bit moany when team tactics don’t quite play out. That’s simply how it rolls sometimes, tactics worked for him in China and Spain and didn’t here. The fact he says “he didn’t contest it” suggests he still has a bit to learn – if he thinks something is wrong at the time, he should speak up!


Whitmarsh is the biggest problem. Not a true winner.


James, could Hamilton start on the soft(prime) tyre since his fastest and only time in Q3 got deleted, or would he have to start on the super soft(option) tyre?

Keith Walberg

Granted Lewis take a bit of the blame here but he still owns the lion’s share of the blame. I think both the McLaren drivers are slightly mollycoddled in that they are allowed to talk about team errors when it comes to decisions like this.

The driver should not just nod a long with this sort of thing I can think of many of the past greats who would have said no this is Monaco we will do two runs, one early.

What confuses me is that he blames engineers for the call? Engineers are the people who screw the car together not make decisions on the pit wall. So I am not sure if this is some sort of slur against the team from Hamilton trying to say he is the sporting guy and the rest just do the spanner work.


I think Lewis is an ok driver and like his hero he is out spoken and that’s a good thing. The passion and fire is what I pay to watch. These guys are not robots and like any sport, if you get tackled hard you just don’t smile and walk away. We have heard Alonso throw his toys out of his basket and so has Vettle. This is good as it draws a picture as to what’s actually going on in the drivers head and is good for tv. As a driver you have to give feedback and this should ensure they strive to give the driver the best options. For all you know Lewis and the team were out on a jolly last night having a laugh over it.like every media machine you can never get the full story…


Lewis will be racing hard, that’s what I want to watch. Just watch Hamilton go racing.


hamilton is a very quick and exiting driver and along with Alonso the only one capable of wringing that extra bit out of a bad car…..[mod] some of his statements border on delusion (Im the Senna of ths era and Alonso is my prost )…..Its time he grew up and remembers that all that is thought need no be spoken….remember Alonso still hasent told his version what happened in 2007 at mclaren….and by the way Hammy will never be Senna 🙂


Hamilton has had an interesting time since he burst onto the scene as RD’s protege, and managed by his father. Neither is currently involved (overtly, at least) in his career, and the further into the past that period recedes, the more one hears Lewis make statements that raise people’s eyebrows. In many respects, these are understandable growing pains: The guy is still very young. Less generously, and much of the criticism LH receives falls into this category, his moves are viewed as those of a spoiled brat.

That’s a harsh assessment. But…

Someone help me out here. I can think of no Ron Dennis-era McLaren protege and/or McLaren Young Driver Award Winner that has been supported from the outset of his career, bottom to top, the way Hamilton has been. More often, McLaren has (1) tossed them aside for the next big thing (Heidfeld for Raikonnen); (2) ignored them (Dario Franchitti); or (3) patted them on the head as an “also stand and wait” wingman/No. 2 (DC). In that respect, Lewis is apparently unique in post-Project 4 McLaren history, raised from the cradle to win the F1 title.

In that respect, I truly feel sorry for him; it feels far too much like he’s the outcome of some coldly clinical lab experiment entitled, “Let’s Grow An F1 Champion.” Now that Prof. A. Hamilton and Dr. R. Dennis aren’t running the experiment, Lewis is out of the incubator. He’s simply being human, finding his way, probably with (McLaren Laboratories) team management now (post-successful experiment) less invested in him as THE guy, showing all his flaws and strengths as he does so. (Insert obvious Tiger Woods analogy here).

Lewis’ will be an interesting story for some time. Has he gotten frustrated (as another ex-champion – JV- apparently did), with his inability to easily dispense with JB, an “interloper” in the team formed around, and for, him? Will Lewis storm off to a new team, determined to secure undisputed No. 1 status? Will he stick it out at McLaren?

Will he win tomorrow? I may be wrong, but I doubt it. I don’t doubt that he’ll give it one helluva ride trying.


And Lewis panics into error… drive through. Ouch.


And I’d love to see him take a crack at the Indy 500 at some point. If it was worth it to Jack Brabham, Jim Clark, Graham Hill and JYS to miss Monaco, if they were willing to risk their reputations, why not?


Poor Lewis, now all we need is for Vettel to bin it and its been a great weekend. These two should be team mates next year, Helmut would love it. I don’t care how fast they drive they are bad for the sport and are just bad sports in general.


‘I didn’t contest it’ – well I’m sorry Lewis but you’ve been in F1 for five seasons now, so you really should have the confidence to dictate how you handle Q3 at Monaco and not seek to blame your engineers. Bit disappointed with his attitude to be honest.

Alex of Sydney

Noticed how its me, me, me?

-i’m the only 1 that can beat vettel in a slower car

-waves his hands at other drivers

-conspiracy by all other teams against Hamilton etc etc

How about taking some responsibility? Great drivers and leaders, overrule and question when they don’t agree with something, and lead the team with great insight. Something Hamilton obviously lacks.

Top drive by Vettel, and as well as Hamilton was driving in Q1 and Q2, he was never going to touch Vettel’s 1:13.5.


I think Hamilton needs to grow up. Monaco is famous for incidents. Sometimes things happens, sometimes it does not.

The Mclaren team took a gamble and was disrupted by Sergio’s crash. So, just suck it up. That is what I call “life”. Everyone goes through that.

By the way, I have supported Hamilton ever since he joined F1.


They simply made a mistake, a bad call. No need for a royal commission just have a glass of concrete and get on with it


a) He was “cared for” by Mclaren right from his boyhood days and never had to worry about finding sponsors.

b) Graduated to F1 and walked straight into the chambers of the 2nd most successful team in the history of F1.

c)With a billion $ facility,best engineers and best car he never had to sweat it out putting the team together and toiling from tail to front.

d)Won 2008 world championship.

e)2 newcomer teams (Brawn/RedBull) started winning everything under the sun from 2009 and things started getting a bit tough for Hamilton.

f)Toys are now flying out of the Hamilton-pram a bit too often. And when he is not busy biting the hands that fed him, you’ll find him self-aggrandizing by saying things like “I’m the only one who can challenge Vettel, and i’m in a slow car!” .

Goes to show why MS highly respected not just within Ferrari but also by rival team principals. You never wash dirty linen in public, and never ever criticize your team in any sports.


What we are seeing is the real Lewis Hamilton.

Why is anyone surprised at his whining fits of apportioning blame? A man’s true measure is what he shows when things aren’t going so well, not when he’s winning.

And I might point out that the whole idea of doing only one run in Q3 is to save a set of options for the race. I seem to recall this very tactic working quite well in China. I dare say that it was Hamilton made the final call today.

Ryan Basterfield

Sporting regulation 25.4e) states “At the start of the race each car which took part in Q3 must be fitted with the tyres with which the driver set his grid time.” Hamilton is listed in the Q3 results as setting “No time”.

I think he should be able to start on a fresh set of tyres.


I was reading the regulations not long ago and he should be able to do this.


What a spoiled little kid. Such a shame. He could become one of the greates. However it will never happen. What’s next? Try to force a move to that “drinks company”?

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