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Hamilton needs to ride out the storm
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Hamilton needs to ride out the storm
Posted By: James Allen  |  13 Jun 2011   |  11:01 am GMT  |  296 comments

As the rain lashed the Montreal circuit yesterday, forcing the race to be stopped, all of the leading drivers knew that this day was an opportunity. Canada often presents them.

Admittedly Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel, who has dominated the season so far, was in the driving seat at that stage, but with constantly changing conditions, safety cars and chaos, there was a chance to make something happen. As Jenson Button did.

Hamilton: Difficult period (Darren Heath)

But by that stage Lewis Hamilton already had no chance to affect the outcome, having had another messy race in which Emerson Fittipaldi’s verdict that he is “too aggressive when he tries to overtake, he needs to respect the other drivers,” will have been ringing in his ears.

Hamilton was surrounded this weekend by a glamorous crowd in the McLaren hospitality area. Pop stars like Rihanna and Ice T, NBA basketball players towering over other guests, this was like a night at the MTV Awards, more than a race meeting. Ron Dennis looked on quizzically at all the bling.

“That’s where Lewis’ head is at right now,” said one seasoned F1 insider as we stood together surveying the scene.

Who knows where his head is. Certainly he seems to be going about his business in a different way from before, no less intense, but somehow desperate at times, impatient and clearly frustrated. He’s a brilliant entertainer, but he’s fluffing his lines at the moment, unlike the 2009 and 2010 seasons where he took every half chance that was going.

Vettel, having set himself up with for the win with pole positions and then measured performances, has found himself under intense pressure at the end of each of the last four Grands Prix. And yet he’s only won two of them; he is beatable. Hamilton got him in China, Button got him spectacularly yesterday and in Spain Hamilton almost had him in the closing stages, while we were robbed of the attacks of Alonso and Button in Monaco by a red flag.

Vettel has ridden his luck, but has made things happen for himself, as did Button yesterday.

I think Niki Lauda goes too far when he says of Hamilton, “You cannot drive like this any more, someone is going to get killed.” At a time when the poignant movie about Ayrton Senna plays to huge audiences in Europe, that comment seems out of joint, inflammatory, tabloid.

But Hamilton knows that he had the equipment to win three of the last four races; he was clearly the fastest man on the track in the brief period at the start before he crashed out.

He said he had calmed down after the clamour of Monaco. If anything he was even more hyped up in Montreal.

The outcome is he falls to fourth in the championship. Talk is one thing, actions another.

But in the end all that counts is results.

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Lewis doesn't need to ride out the storm, he needs to take stock and realise that chasing glory is costing him too many solid points for 2nd to 4th place finishes. you can't win a WDC these days with a clutch of DNFs.

He's as quick as anybody. He's the potential to be remembered as one of the true greats, but the way he's going he's on track to shone only as brightly as JV or JPM.


Vettel is way more mentally focused right now and that deserves credit. It's one thing to win an occasional race as it takes lots of concentration, but to do what Vettel is now doing takes so much more.

Hamilton was gifted his championship, one that Massa deserved in 08, as Massa was outfront and winning on a day when it counted, much like Vettel in 10.


Many have argued that Massa was gifted the Spa win, which ultimately made the difference in points in Brasil as close as it was. Even if you chose to believe that Hamilton did nor return the position to Raikkonen after cutting the chicance, and I don't, then Massa wasn't involved but then was the beneficiary when Hamilton was penalized. If you're going to say Hamilton was gifted a championship, at least consider all that happened that season.


It's the old balance of talent and temperament. Hamilton has the first. He's been dipped in

magic waters. But being able to handle all that talent is what makes the greats. That is what he's lost. I'd love to see him and his dad

make up. I think that would go a long way in getting his head back to where it used to be.


Talking of making up with his father, there is a shot during the BBC's coverage on Saturday of Lewis, his father Anthony and two others in the shadows of the McLaren garage. As the director cuts to the scene we see Lewis walking off, and the camera follows him.

I wonder if that was just after the Christian Horner meeting, and if Anthony had been called to help with damage limitation.


Despite the rough spots, Lewis is going to be one of the sport's greats. Simply put, he can drive very very fast and that's really the primary trait that's needed. He's what 26? That's a young man and like many 26 y/o successful professional athletes the feeling of entitlement is a given especially as LH has never had the chastening experience that Alonso had driving bad cars, or even that Vettel had starting on a Torro Rosso. People in his situation are always going to end up emotionally immature. That won't prevent him from getting more WDCs in the future as long as he has the right car. Put Alonso or Hamilton in a Red Bull and I wager they are WDC this year. Cars account for a much higher proportion of success than drivers in this sport and probably have been since the 1960s. I can't even think of a WDC that had an inferior car since the 50s. Even Stirling Moss never won it.


Probably quite a few actually. due to age I can not recall pre 1985ish but Schumachers Bennetton in 1995 was not the best car on the grid, same engine as Willaims but the chassis was knife edge and not as good as the Williams and he dominated. He drove that car to the WDC.


The real question is...

Will we look at Lewis as "flash in the pan" or a "legend" of the sport.

He certainly doesn't deserve the legend tag, we can only grant that in about 15 years. He's not doing himself favors by the way he's driving and acting lately.

I think some of the comments about intelligence are valid. You have to question how much the fame and money are getting to his head. It's almost as if he is a kid trying to impress other kids with his toys. Too many distractions, too much hype and effort trying to prove something to those he should know are not the ones he needs to impress.

I think of great F1 sportsmen who have not allowed fortune and fame to change them. He should take a cue from Mika or Schumi, not from his fictional comic idol Ali G when he says "big up yourself".


I'm not sure if it is a question of intelligence, or a question of becoming a legend, as I feel his latest lamentable errors have been a further indication of a flaw in his character which has been evident since the outset of his career.

Yes, he has superb talent as a driver, but in my opinion, his achilles heel is his sense of entitlement.

In Canada he felt that he was quicker than Button and was entitled to get past. He forgot that in order to overtake you need to get by cleanly, fairly and with respect for the other drivers. Button didn't see him coming, but I don't think any other driver would have put themselves in that position of being in Button's blind spot in the torrential rain, knowing that the normal racing line by the leading driver would run him into the pit wall.

This sense of entitlement and the "get outta my way!" attitude was also the case earlier in the race with Webber, and similarly with Massa and Maldonado in Monaco.

His (retracted via twitter) comments that they were "frickin ridiculous" and "stupid' only consolidates his view that he is entitled to overtake them, they were to blame for any incidents, and they were "turning in early" when in fact he was launching a late move from too far back. He seems to see other drivers as obstacles rather than equals, and this entitlement arrogance has, and will continue to, cost him dearly.

This is the same sense of entitlement which came to a head in the fractious season as teammate to Alonso. Hamilton was the quick rookie, but he had no respect for the two time world champion alongside him. (Arguably, if Ron Dennis had backed Alonso that season, they would have had a world champion)

Any great sporting hero needs self-belief, and the steely determination of Senna is a great example, but when this self-belief becomes arrogance, entitlement and bravado, this can become counter productive.

Surely his switch to a "celebrity manager" rather than a racing manager has helped encourage this idea of Hamilton as a brand/legend/hero and done little to nurture the humility, respect and dignity which the true greats possess.

As the saying goes, power is nothing without control. Without gaining control of his tempestuous emotions, his sense of entitlement, and his attraction to the glitz of the sport, rather than focussing his attention solely on the top step of the podium, his chances of eclipsing Senna, Schumacher, Prost et al seem unlikely. This season his hopes of even eclipsing Vettel are fading fast following these woeful races where Hamilton was tipped as a favourite and should have taken victory. I wonder whether he will ever go on to dominate the sport in the way he hopes without a major change to his way of thinking...



Sometimes we do color things with emotions and interpretations of what we see and the way we choose to see it. None of us have known Lewis since youth.

I am not a Hamilton hater at all. True, I don't wear Lewis shirts either. I simply don't think he's as fantastic as he claims to be or as some believe he is. That's just me. Can he deliver brilliance? Absolutely! Consistency? No way! But F1 has something for everyone. Experienced hands, talent without the tools, young hot-shots, multiple champions, hot heads, etc.

Perhaps what we wish of him is to be a man. And too often he acts like a spoiled kid - and that really comes across. He frustrates us because we see the potential, but it's not fully realized.


Sebee, you make some really good points and then you spoil it with some utter nonsense. I do get the feeling that a great many people dislike Hamilton regardless and are all too ready to jump on the bandwagon at the earliest opportunity. We all know that he screwed up in both Monaco and Montreal, himself included. On the other hand, I believe that Coulthard said of all the overtakes this season, 1 in 10 have been from Hamilton. I prefer somebody who has the balls to take risks, like Hamilton, Schumacher or Senna, I'm afraid. As for being a Ron Dennis pet project, I think you really need to go off and check your facts before you spout off, as Hamilton had already been a success in karting and won his second British Championship before he was even signed up the the McLaren Driver Development programme. However talented one is, you either need a hell of a lot of money through sponsorship or a patron. It's always been the same for anybody. Hamilton's path has been no different from Vettel, via the Red Bull driver programme, but I don't think I've ever heard anybody complain about him. I wonder why? Even though he actually finished second to Di Resta in the junior formula, but got an F1 drive a long time ahead of him. It's always about who your patron is.


I remember Martin Brundle a year or so ago giving an interview on Top Gear about Senna and saying that Senna would go for a gap with an uncompromising attitude - either let me through or we'll crash.

"That was the great paradox that was Ayrton – he’d be the first man to run you off the road and the first man running back to check you were OK.”

not sure if Lewis would be the first to check if someone was OK but the first part certainly fits.

check out Youtube Top Gear Senna tribute from six minutes (don't know why but it seems to be a mirror image - weird)




the sense of entitlement is something i also saw in his racing and his attitude to what happened. It only became apparent after he joined the pop idols crew. He needs some guidance from strong individuals unfortunately his dad and Ron are not around as much as they used to be.


Well said.

A few points. Lewis was Ron's project - and he was hardly going to go against his project. Lewis' sense of entitlement comes from that support which McLaren and Ron Dennis have given him. I think it was visible from the start, it's just been a while and perhaps we forgot.

We know enough about Ron to know he has integrity and intelligence in this industry. He knows how to market, and with what driver.

I feel like after Alonso he calmed things down with a quiet #2 to Lewis, and then his thought was for an articulate mature marketable driver to have as equal and possible #1 replacement if his Lewis project falls apart. And along came Button with his coming of age 2009 to show what he can do and how composed and mature he is. We've seen this repeatedly - quiet, controlled. Would probably be super successful if he was declared clear #1.

I'm not sure we know 1/2 of what went on in that team when Alonso was there - and I hardly think that either one of these drivers didn't feel some type of entitlement - Lewis because he was Ron's boy, and Fernando because he did have 2 of those little FIA WDC things - one on each night stand. And as you know - they were both won the hard way - earned. His McLaren car also did have a number on it that clearly pronounced him as "1".

The debate will go on on Lewis. Personally, I have doubts that Lewis will hold the WDC crown again. I said it before - I think he lucked into the one he has because of Ron's support. He may have a championship mathematically, but not praise worthy by any means in my view. Let's not forget how close he came to being the biggest double choke in F1 history. Saved only by a questionable final few turns by a Toyota. We can't just write off someone like Lewis - because he can come back, just like he went on tilt, he can turn hot again. Anything can happen. I simply don't think that it will.

McLaren has a record of putting a championship together once in the past 11 seasons. I agree with you that Alonso would have won in 07 if they supported him as they should have. I also believe Lewis can't make it anywhere else. His though process will take him away from McLaren. He's been Ron's boy and wants to break away from that and make it on his own, be his own man. But it will be his biggest mistake if he leaves McLaren.


I've said it before and I'll say it again...Lewis has the pace to be an F1 great, but he doesn't have the intelligence.

And bringing a whole entourage to the race? What's that all about? I can only imagine how embarassed he must have felt greeting them in defeat...and then feeling ever more sick as his less talented but mentally superior teammate carved his way through the field.


I agree. Hamilton either doesn't have the intelligence, or if he does, vastly underrates its importance. Which is ironic since his idol Senna was as intelligent a human as he was aggressive as a driver, a philosopher who often talked not only of the thrill and passion of racing but of the deeper mystical elements of racing cars and exploring one's own depths of character. I don't recall Senna ever having an entourage of pop-stars and other sycophants in the garage when he raced, because racing and racing well was what was most important to him, not the trappings of success. Unfortunately, all of this may have been lost on Lewis since unlike Senna, he has been on the fast track to F1 since the age of ten, and it would appear since then his adult handlers did most of the hard thinking for him. If so they have done him an injustice.


they take my kindness for weakness
they take my silence for speechless
they consider my uniqueness strange
they call my language slang
they see my confidence as conceit
they see my mistake as defeat
they consider my success accidental
they minimize my intelligence to potential
my questions means i am unaware
my advancement is somehow unfair
to voice concern is discontentment
if i stand up for my self i am too defensive
if i don't trust them i am too apprehensive
i am defiant if i separate
i am fake if i assimilate
my character is constantly under attack
pride for my race makes me too black
and with that said if you know any thing about racing
you know he had the momentum coming out of the last chicane
making the pass on outside lines him up for the final move at the
next turn and so did jenson and that why jenson force him off the track.


+1 for the poem should f1 have a poet like Wimbledon 🙂


i kind of get your speech/poem because some of the comments and the focus on "guests" in Mclaren "hospitality" has been uncalled for.


I think that's a very pejorative view. Or perhaps it needs clarification.

One's greatest strength is also one's greatest weakness. I think in the case of Hamilton, it's his racer's heart and instinct. It's a double edged sword, the other side of which becomes impatience.

Hamilton sees Vettel running away with the championship and the competitor in him wants to do all he can to stop that from happening and so he pushes and pushes. And the more he pushes and the more risks he takes, the wider the gap becomes, making him push even more.

Perhaps the "intelligence" isn't seeing the battle from the war? That he doesn't have to win to score points? Does that mean that other drivers who don't push as hard are more intelligent? Or is it really about one's make up?

How can we be sure that when we see a driver being cautious that it's intelligence and not merely that the driver is satisfied to be holding his position?

Senna also was a very hard charging driver, unwilling to settle for a result rather for the win. I don't think anyone ever accused Senna of not being intelligent.


Lewis, when he has an "on" day with few distractions, is very good. Drivers like Prost understood it was possible to win the war even though you had to give away a battle. Maybe there is too much time and attention being lavished on the "guests" that is impacting the necessary "clear thinking".


Nice post...and there's a lot of truth in what you say.

But for me Hamilton just doesn't have the mental capabilities, like Senna, Schumacher or Prost had.

I see this not so much in his 'go for broke' attitude on the track but his seemingly inability to strategise a race from inside the cockpit.

Take Schumacher in his prime, for example. He would know where his rivals were on the track and would be able to plan his way through a race. More often than not, he made the right choice. Even on Sunday, his success was largely based on being on the right tyres at the right time.

Vettel, in Monaco, made a big call to stay on his tyres when Red Bull suggested he come in.

Hamilton, on the other hand, seems to follow his team's instructions implicitly, without, perhaps, trusting his instincts.

You will have noticed that, quite frequently, he also blames his team a lot for bad strategies. But you don't hear other drivers do that and the reason, I believe, is that they give more input.

I feel he uses passion as an excuse...every one of those drivers on the grid has passion.

Maybe its just a case of immaturity instead of mental awareness...but he has yet to convince me that, despite his obvious speed, he has the overall game to be a great.


I think you are right, Talent... You can have all the talent in the world but you need to have it mentally too, to get the job done. Which makes me wonder about the role of management in a driver's performance.

Paul DiResta is getting his head down and putting in some solid races (the tangle with Heidfeld aside). Meanwhile, Lewis is struggling to keep a calm head.

Don't get me wrong, Lewis is one of my favourite drivers because he has the desire, the skill and the 'huevos' to pull off some of the best passing in the business (Schumacher at Monaco, for example), but I have to wonder whether XIX Entertainment is the right kind of management for him.

Simon Fuller is clearly a very talented man, but he has made his name in the entertainment industry, a world where elevating your client's profile with the media is the recipe for success. Is this right approach to managing a racing driver's career? Part of what makes Jenson a mentally strong driver is that he has fallen foul of the 'distractions' in the past, and can now see through all the B.S., and get on and drive.

I bumped into Anthony Hamilton in Montreal a couple of years ago, and he just seemed so calm and focused. Is that influence something that is missing from Lewis recently? Is he getting too distracted by the glitz, when he needs somebody that understands him completely and can manage his mind?

That said, six hours after I chatted with his father, Lewis drove up the back of Kimi's Ferrari in the pit lane... So what do I know? But I do wonder...


I'm glad you picked up on Lauda's comment, I thought the same about them being headline grabbing. Disappointing as I've often thought he's talked a lot of sense with his comments.

I can't help but think that Vettel would probably be making the same kind of mistakes if he was in the same position as Hamilton. As much as Vettel is clearly a great driver, he's yet to be tested in the same manner as Hamilton is currently being.


On what basis do you believe Vettel would be making the same errors in Lewis's position?

As far as I recall Vettel did make a couple of errors last season, like dropping it under braking in damp conditions at Spa, and hitting Webber. However what people seem to forget is that having a spark plug issue in Bahrain cost him a win, as did the brake problem in Oz, and the engine going pop in Korea and what about Hamilton slicing through his rear tyre at Silverstone. None of those incidents were his fault. In fact I'd go as far to say that Hamilton has had more comings together in the last two races than I can recall in Vettels last two seasons.

Seriously son, wake up.


It's a theory, an opinion, different to yours, but not necessarily wrong. And get some ..[mod] manners.


I think you are right about Vettel


You must have missed the 2010 season where Vettel was falling over himself mid season (exactly like Hamilton is now), then brilliantly grabbed the chmapionship with the strongest run of half a dozen final races.

Let's see if Hamilton can do the same. He clearly has the dominant car in race pace, with the McLaren, as has been shown in the last 3 races.

Vettel's RBR is only fastest in qualifying, in the race, 2nd fastest after the McLaren.


I don't recall seeing the same criticism on Lauda when he said Alonso was "a dog" some years ago. He's been talking nonsense for a while now.

Gareth Chambers

Lauda called Alonso's Renault a dog, not Alonso himself.


I think its a fair comment. I want him to do well, and that always means over taking. But he should look at sundays result and realise that if he had bided his time behind button he would have possibly won and definately taken a podium. MB and DC talked about his management team in the BBC commentary, do you think that could be an issue James? Or is it just down to the indiviual this time?


what about turkey and malaysia. he was stuck behind slower cars and was out of contention as a result together with worn tyres. biding his time would not have worked without the safety car and with no way of knowing if/when it would come i for one don't blame him for going for the overtake.


That is rather shallow / mediocre thinking at best. A wet Canadian GP lined with walls, and no safety cars ? double DRS zones and no overtaking possibility? Biding his time was the right thing to do at the situation. Like James said, nobody knows where his head was at the moment, but he was not using it.


"Nobody knows where his head was at the moment" are you sure? Any number of posters here have told you and they all know. By the way Michael passed Lewis at one of the spots where it was "Impossible" to pass. Please explain that. Then explain Lewis' passing Michael at another of the "impossible to pass spots.I haven't the IQ to figure it out for myself, so would be happy to accept your explanation.


I think Lewis has said in the past that if he's not going to win a race he doesn't really care where he finishes. He really is all or nothing. Something that makes him both fasciniating and frustrating in equal measures. It really is the most stressful experince supporting him!!


thats the best comment yet and its exactly the feeling I have. Ive supported many drivers over the years, but Lewis is stressing me out, even how he won his championship added a few grey hairs. But im a big fan and just hope he will take onboard the advice and look at the bigger picture.


He did win that championship mathematically.

But was justice done that year?

I'd say many F1 fans have a few of these little * marks next to that championship. I'd say - he has not won a championship in the way Schumi or Alonso, or Mika have won it. When Alonso beat Schumi (twice) you could be an unhappy Schumi fan as I was, but you could hardly say it was undeserved. Personally I feel like there is a bit of undeserved in that championship Lewis claimed.


That is pure rubbish, Lewis was immense under pressure in china 08 and deserved the title more than Massa.

He could have easily have been a double world champion if it wasnt for spygate


That's a load of rubbish! I'm not a big fan of Hamilton at all and think that he deserves a lot of the stick he is currently getting but he thoroughly deserved to win the championship the year he did and he did so despite being robbed of the win in Spa!


Sebee your posts are spot on.


Yes, I tend to agree. Ferrari lost Massa the 2008 championship @ Singapore.... Lewis stumbled over the line in Brazil but Massa produced the champions drive under pressure.


but you could easily say that for Vettel....

I think Lewis is currently in a place where this will change him to become one of the greats, or a JPM...

I can see now understand when people were saying it probably wasn't healthy for a rookie to come straight into F1 into a top team like Mclaren to be battling for a WDC right in the first year, I think Jenson is a prime example of someone who has slowly matured over the years, served out the apprenticeship so to speak and has a lot of experience now, and it's paying off very nicely. Im a BIG Lewis fan and desperately want to see him do well, I just hope he gets managed well now.

Im sure he will, he is the most entertaining driver, He now needs to step it up a bit more, or at least not let this bad run ruin his confidence and dampen his spirit.


You are so right! I've felt a bit grumpy all day because of his performance yesterday!

I defended him on here tooth and nail after Monaco, but yesterday I can't defend at all. What happened was his own making.

But picking your guy and supporting him means doing so through thick and thin. So he still has my backing. His post race interview was much more considered, without being too corporate and for once he did show his face in the pits rather than just run to his trailer.

I hope he finds his mojo again soon.


I agree.


Ron Denis should be proud of his decision of leting Alonso go and keep Hammy.


That was exactly my though yesterday after seeing Ron's expression.


Deflecting all Hamilton's faults to Alonso's time at McLaren 4 years ago, isn't going to get Hamilton points... something I am sure Ron misses from Alonso, consistency... like it or not!


I don't buy the line 'this is where his head is now' it is cheap and lazy. Can anyone doubt that his focus in on the race when in the car? That is preparation isn't all it should be? I don't.

He has had some bad luck and made some rash decisions. He is under pressure trying his best to provide us all with a WDC.

If he doesn't win the WDC this year he will be second. Would anyone doubt that?



I don't much recall celebrity hangers on being such a concern for "F1 paddock insiders" when they were dessicated old rock stars.

Clapton and Jagger versus Rihanna and Ice-T, if there were only some way we could compare them to try to discern what is so concerning for the insider.

I do recall the great Hank Kingsley on being introduced to the Wu-Tang Clan on Larry Sanders Show, "they look like car-jackers".

Me, personally, seeing characters like George Lucas being given free run of a McLaren pit garage was far more disturbing, he should have long been shunned by decent, civil society.

As for Lauda, I never trust the noisy announcements of anyone that sells their forehead for advertising space.


What's George Lucas done.? I'm not a Star Wars fan, so don't know a lot about the guy.



I am not a LH fan, but I sure like the fact that he tries to pass the slower car. Anyway, my gut feeling is that LH is concerned about something. Could it be his RB contract? Who knows?


I agree, the assumption his mind is on the showbiz lifestyle is a lazy one at best.


He signed to XIX - a company with NO history or relationships in F1. I'm sorry, but that speaks volumes.


Not quite true, they did the Earth car concept for Honda..



It gives me immense pleasure to say this, it's been difficult to say over the last few years because the real talent is often cloaked by the smooth and intelligent approach that he takes to racing, but finally,

'Welcome back Jenson Button - Balls Out Racer'.

(I'm sure that it never really went away!).

Canada really lifted my heart though.

Right, ref Lew. Can you answer me this.

I remember a rule in overtaking that said if your front wheel was alongside the cockpit of the person you're trying to overtake, its your corner.

Obviously it didn't stop accidents and to be honest it was not super-rigorously applied, but it did make it clearer as to who was (technically) in the right or wrong.

Does this rule still apply, or is it more empirical now and everything is left to the stewards.

If it does still apply I feel it clarifies some of the overtaking moves we've seen recently.

I am a Lew fan by the way and not just having a go.



Jenson got lucky with the weather. just like he did last year when he won a whole 2 races. both because of rain.


Perhaps we should pay the reverse complement that he is learning from Lewis

on a more serious note, Button had to win this race. after the incident with Lewis anything less would have resulted in a more in-depth debrief and some hard rules being imposed on both drivers.


I think it's the driver whose front wheels are ahead who 'has' the corner and is entitled to make a defensive move to position his car how he wants. You used to be able to run the other car right off the track (Martin Brundle recalls hanging Mark Blundell right out to dry in that fashion when they were teammates at Ligier), but nowadays you have to leave a car's width for your opponent to drive in.

I think we have to be wary of introducing too many rules as we want the drivers to be quite clear about what is and isn't deemed fair. They only have a split second to react and they don't have time to work out all the permutations.

Even the front wheels rule isn't always that helpful. Button's tangle with Alonso yesterday was a good example. The footage from behind makes it look like Alonso was well ahead at the chicane, but on Alonso's rear cam you can see that Button gets right up alongside, possibly even fractionally ahead, as they approach the chicane. You'd need a clear overhead shot or maybe Button's on-board to then judge their positions at the start of the corner, and it highlights just how difficult the stewards' job is.

One thing I think people forget is that stewards don't see everything in black and white and they do give drivers some leeway. A lot of people yesterday felt that because Button had taken Alonso off then he a penalty should be mandatory, but the stewards don't look at incidents quite like that. They'll ask themselves questions like "could a passing move have realistically been made there?" "was the car under control in the approach to the corner?" and "could the other driver have left more room without overly compromising his position?"

Ultimately they will have weighed all that up and decided that Button had a good run at Alonso, it was marginal as to who led into the corner and Button was well in control of the car until some possible contact with the kerb or Ferrari at the apex. It was one of those 50/50 corners where you both grit your teeth, turn the wheel and hope you exit the corner in the right direction. Fernando was unlucky yesterday, but Button, both or neither of them could just as easily have gone off instead. I think F1 has little to gain and much to lose by trying to sterilise passes like that.


Spot on Mr Carwash 🙂


He really need to see the bigger picture on race days. He takes too many risks before better chances come along. Button winning from 21st with around 21 laps to shows the difference mindset makes.

Damon Over the Hill

First of all congrats to Button, he had the wife and I leaping out of our seats last night! Awesome drive mate, truly exceptional!

Hamiltion was unlucky, if Jense had seen him it would be a different story. Alass it was not to be.

It's now he needs to accept that he's just having a bad run, luck evens itself out but you still need to make the best of it when it goes in your favour.. much like vettel has.

He needs to wind down, relax and then bounce back in style - i think he'll win at silverstone, then lets see what the headlines say about him.


I agree. He's going through a bad run of luck. He didn't do anything wrong in crash with Button, it was just one of those things. Everything he has tried has gone wrong for the past two races; he just needs to keep plugging and he'll get past the problems.


What is luck?


There are random elements in Formula 1. When this comes out in your favour, we refer to this as 'good luck'. When it comes out against you, we refer to this as 'bad luck'.

For the past two races, LH has had a lot of unpredictable events coming out against him. In Monaco, several tight overtaking moves didn't quite work out and he got penalised.

In Montreal, Jenson didn't see Lewis coming alongside and sideswiped him halfway down a straight.

In both cases, on another day those moves could have worked out fine and we wouldn't be having this discussion. This time they didn't.

PS: You can make cracks about the existance or otherwise of 'luck' if you want, but sometimes randomness dictates that any driver will hit a run of bad races. That is what mean by it.


Luck is preperation waiting for an opportunity.


Mark Webber's team mate is luck personified..!!


Personally I think Lewis Hamilton thinks the other drivers should just move over and get out of his way when he's overtaking. There is an arrogance about him, perhaps this is driven by his new management team.

It's not making him any friends, and if he continues in this vein of form, then he won't be winning a title anytime soon.


Arrogance you say? Hmm... Reminds me of a certain MSC. ANd look where he got. I think Lewis has the chance to have the same impact that MSC had, maybe not as many WCs, but he needs to calm down a bit. But it took him 4 years between his 2nd and 3rd WDC, Lewis just needs to relax.


When Schumacher dived down the inside on lap 1 at Monaco, Lewis gave him room.

I think he would just like the same respect from the other drivers.


It is not about "respect" it is just about racing cars cleanly, allowing people who have beaten you to pass or to try and defend your image by blocking and crashing.

Some drivers play a fair game, others [mod] play dirty.

Have a look at how Alonso runs Lewis off the road at Eau Rouge, [mod]

As DC reminded us, Lewis has provided 10% of the overtakes this year, he is simply far better than any of his peers, already one of the greats.

Loosing a few of the halfwit Rap star entourage would be a good idea though.


I think the fact that Lewis has done more overtaking than anyone else actually says a lot about where he his head is, or isn't. He has the 2nd fastest car (in quali trim) and potentially the fastest car in race trim, not to mention the fact that Webber isn't nearly as fast in the Red Bull as Vettel. There really shouldn't be that many people in front of Hamilton for him to overtake, and yet he's often finding himself behind slower cars through mistakes and poor strategic decisions. He needs to cut out the mistakes so he can maximise the potential of the McLaren package, and unless it rains at every race, Button will not be able to match him. I think Hamilton has the best chance of taking the fight to Vettel, but he needs to have a good think about what's going wrong, and get back to racing, not worrying about his rapper friends.


Making 10% of the passes this season sounded impressive to me as well until I did the math and realized that if every driver on the grid raced every race (24 drivers)and they all made the same amount of passes that would still amount to over 4% of the passes each. Factor out the drivers from the bottom three teams that are likely doing far less (if any) passing and that figure goes up to 5.5% Since it is also unlikely the passing is not being done equally among the other drivers, there are more guys out there doing a high percentage of passing too, perhaps as much or even more than Lewis. (I wouldn't know where to find that data). Part of Lewis' problem is that he is hyped as the best passer in F1 so he likely feels pressure to prove it, but these days he is only proving he TRIES the most passes.


Lewis was asleep at that point, he believed that nobody could overtake him, especially at the hairpin. That's why there was room, not because he had respect for anyone else.


Lewis didn't much like being mugged at the hairpin so he tried it on someone else as soon as he could. Not thinking straight. Huge ego.


As a big big Hamilton fan, I completely agree with you James.

He is making himself into a joke.

He SAYS he wants to win more championships. but he won't win ANYTHING if he just drives like this!

I am not sure he really understands what it takes to win any more. I think he is in a weird place in his head and he believes that he can do things that are just not possible.

He is a self-confessed big video-gamer.

I think he plays too many online games and believes that he can bounce his way through an F1 race.

Sounds silly, but there must be underlying reasons why he believes, incorrectly, that he is invincible.

He has clearly and simply thrown away points in the last 2 weeks. There's nothing 'entertaining', unique, interesting or special about doing that.


I totally disagree with you Lewis Hamilton is a natural born winner. The Mclaren team need to buck up and give a car lewis wants otherwise he will leave the team at the end of the season. By the way Jesson Button new lewis was there.


So what if Jenson DID know he was there? He would still be innocent of any wrongdoing. He did not weave, he did not turn over quickly, and he did not drive on an unusual line. As an F1 pilot who is expected to be able to react with lightning-fast reflexes, how could Lewis not know that wedge was closing soon since Button had been going that direction for (in F1 terms) a long time, so I howled with laughter when Jenson said on the radio incredulously "WHAT is he DOING??", because those were my thoughts exactly. Lewis is a damn good driver but he is not Harry Potter.


So is Button,the difference is Button thinks and Hamilton doesn,t.


"By the way Jesson Button [k]new lewis was there."

Are you seriously suggesting that Button deliberately caused a high-speed accident hard against the pitwall with the potential to hurt a lot of people, not least himself, which was in any event quite likely to put him out of the race, in order to avoid being passed early on in a wide-open race with complex strategic decisions and in which passing was proving very easy? And, to enhance the experience, did so in order to take his team-mate off?

Conversely, there's no doubt that Hamilton knew Button was there. And yet he drove straight into him.


Yeah, but he had the car to win. Jenson did use the chance.....no problems.


re,TheBestPoint.The posting of a real F1 fan. Others here should cut and paste, then study his post in this case.Thanks.


Brian how can you be so sure Jenson knew?

And do you think that Mclaren gave jenson a different car? Because he won in a car given to him by Mclaren.

James stated yesterday that Jenson took exactly the same racing line that all the other drivers took, and there was even a photo of Lewis's front wheel touching the rear of Jenson's and JB is looking in his right mirror while Lewis is on his left.


re: your last point because he saw Button check is mirrors and assumed he would give him space as a result committed.

re: steward's report - check it again. Lewis' account of events was used by the stewards to exonerate Button.

If they were not teammates Lewis would probably have made the point that Button saw him to the stewards and together with button's head movement evidence Button may have found himself on the wrong end of the steward's decision( i say may because mitigating circumstances can be found with the conditions)

the point however, if you choose to claim the stewards report as evidence that Button was in the right you have to acknowledge Hamilton's role in ensuring the stewards came to this conclusion.

report also states that the overtake was on - i.e it made sense to overtake at that time. so again all those claiming Hamilton impetuousness on the one hand (stewards say NO)but Button was not at fault on the other hand (stewards say Hamilton confirms NO)should be more fair minded.

again: piling all the blame on Hamilton is what i currently have a problem with. the excuse in monaco was that massa and maldonado retired. now that he has also retired the bile still continues. for me its akin to kicking someone already down and while it generates immense responses and counter-responses it reminds one of how mean and unpleasant people can be.

ps: don't get me wrong - i understand the rival fan based gloating and bashing but what we have here is a lot more frenzied than that.


Response to Matt B - so you're contradicting what the stewards of the race said in their statement? Because they said that Jenson was actually not as far left as other drivers, including Michael Schumacher, or as he had been on previous laps. They also said that it was unlikely, given the conditions, that Jenson would have been able to see Lewis in his mirrors.

What I don't understand is why Lewis, knowing that Jenson was moving left, didn't try to pass on the right, take the outside line around turn 1 and then have the inside for turn 2.


There is photo evidence that proves Button was further left than others at that time. Plus he looked in his mirrors when you normally wouldnt if you thought you were on your own.


totally agree with u mate...Button definitely knew Lewis was there...I mean where else could he have been.

Soon Lewis will remind all you people who jump on the lewis-criticism bandwagon of what an AWESOME talent he is!! Watch this space


And that was why he risked putting them both out of the race was it?

Nobody questions whether Lewis (and I'm a McLaren fan is talented). Its whether he would be even more successful if he learned to measure his racing.

I think his pace is right up there, but I question whether he has the racecraft of Alonso of picking when to overtake. Same could be said of Seb Vettel.


He already has the fastest car in race pace, what more can McLaren give him?


So in your view he had to let him past, right?


A part of me believes Lewis has been swayed by all the glamour and bling and his new management team has probably played their part in this. Undoubtedly the racing pedigree is still there but he needs to step back from all the hype and get his thinking and concentrating back to the job at hand.

Which reminds me I'm at work and better get back to it!


His management team is new, the prevailing attitude started before.


He is a glamour and bling kind of superstar isn't he?


Since changing his manager from his father to someone more used to dealing with bling pop stars Hamilton has suffered from an overdose of star dust. Ditch the bling manager and get 'the old man' back who can deal with the pressure and calm his son down when needed. Ditch the girlfriend - the pop world is miles away from motor racing and will drain him of his energy.

A great pity that we could see a brilliant star burn itself out very quickly.


Rupert I agree 100%

At least Anthony is a racer. Fuller might be the top man for maxamising the £ return and supplying the bling but I don't know of his racing pedigree. Lewis keeps banging on about being remembered as another Senna. I have watched Senna all his career and it seems to me that Lewis is about as far removed from Sennas focus and racing application as it's possible to get.

I see other contributors asking McLaren to give him a better car so he can beat all. This is just plain stupid, Buttons car was good enough to win.

I have watched Lewis from his Karting days and he always had the best equiptment and often much better to produce the results he did and fair play to his dad to put him in this position.

He joined F1 in a top car and has a lot to prove in F1 to be considered a legend. His Monaco comment about Schumacher was pathetic and arrogant in the extreme. He really needs to come down from the clouds and apply himself to the racing otherwise a supreme talent is in danger of being extinguished.


I agree entirely. Simon Fuller will elevate Hamilton's status among the stars, develop him as a 'brand' and make him a lot richer, but what he needs now is a stabilising, grounding influence.

Anthony would provide that, but I could understand Lewis not wanting to be seen admitting a mistake and going back, cap in hand, to his father. Someone like Steve Robertson or Richard Goddard would be a good choice, though. They've been effective managers for Kimi and Jenson whilst staying out of the limelight and Button has had some great endorsements and exposure under Goddard's guidance. I'm sure Fuller will have made sure Lewis can't dispose of his services easily though. Or cheaply.


Perhaps, but maybe he should keep Fuller at arms length and only let him deal with his endorsements etc and bring in someone else to manage his professional matters.


good point


I usually entirely agree with you Kenny, but on this occasion not 😉

Remember just how caught up in the glamour of F1 Jenson was at the same age. Some of Lewis balance will come over time.

On the grounding part, I'm sure that Anthony still provides Lewis with support. What he needs to do is measure his racing.

My perception is that he goes all guns blazing and sometimes just doesnt really consider things properly.


Ah, but Button was managed by John Byfield until the end of 2004, when he sacked him after the Williams/BAR contract debacle. Goddard took over in 2005 and this coincided with an improvement in Jenson's professionalism and a much more serious approach to training. How much of that was down to the manager and how much was Jenson outgrowing the playboy thing and discovering triathlon I can't guess, but he's certainly been better advised since.

Seeing Anthony back in the McLaren garage and not in Force India's looking after Paul di Resta (who I daresay needed an arm around his shoulder!) was interesting and I wonder if they're getting back to a natural balance in their relationship.

I think you're spot on that a more measured approach is needed. It's all well and good saying if a gap's there and you don't go for it you're not a racing driver, but if Damon Hill had taken a moment to weigh up the situation in Adelaide he'd be a double World Champion! Lewis seems determined to race in his own way, but that's not often a recipe for lasting success. Just look at the way Alonso has evolved from an aggressive, almost wild driver (just look back to his steering inputs in 2004 & 2005) to someone who'll mercilessly apply pressure and then pick his moment to strike. It's commendable that Lewis wants to stay true to his passion, but if wants to leave a lasting mark on the sport he needs to adapt a little.


I don't think so. I question the Mclaren team. They should have a car that really sastifies lewis Hamilton. A car he can win races with.


not the car mate.

its the decision making and strategies of his team that he is trying (sometimes too hard)to compensate for.


the McLaren was the fastest car in the race, what more does he need? perhaps to stop going for unrealistic gaps?


The car did win the race.


Good point Martin..


See now I totally disagree.

"But Hamilton knows that he had the equipment to win three of the last four races" - JA

Mclaren have been spectacular in race trim, at high and low downforce circuits for the last 3 races. Jenson showed it yesterday that Mclaren have a car capable to challenge in the race, so it was a squandered podium finish for Lewis had he kept a cool head and realised that victory isn't won on lap 3.


How could he know that there was going to be 5 safety car periods? At that point in the race what he knew was that the longer he got stuck behind cars the bigger a gap Vettel would pull out at the front.

With hindsight yeah you can say he should've been more patient and would have maybe got a podium or even won but the normal way to win is to catch up to Vettel asap before he bolts.


Yes, he needs a car just like Jenson's!


A car like Jenson had yesterday you mean?


This year besides Vetal, only Mclaren have won a gp. Button won this race. You saying that Button can get more out of the car than Hamilton is?


What he is saying is that McLaren needs to give Lewis a car that can fly when trying to overtake someone. This way Lewis cannot hit anyone and maybe win some races.

Or something like that...


McLaren are a team, with 2 drivers the last time I looked. They shouldn't and probably won't build a car that just suits Lewis Hamilton. They have 2 world champion drivers, and need to provide a race winning car they can both drive.


If you ask me this is more about Vettel taking away his unofficial 'best young driver' crown - he feels Vettel is only ahead because of the faster RB car and he can't stand it, so he's sticking his McLaren up the inside at every opportunity.

It's pure desperation and he just needs a reality check, to take a step back and look at his performances.

He's got the speed. He needs to get a brain and work out how to use it.


James, what do you reckon is Mclaren's view of their once-adored pupil?


Hamilton needs to forget about the bling bling and worry about racing, he needs to forget about his girlfriend, Mr Fuller and worry more on Vettel.

When he won the 2008 title everyone came out and said he would be dominate and unstoppable (I agreed) and when Vettel came along at Monza 2008 that was the sign.

Not a big supporter of Hamilton (far from it) but i agree he's a great driver and with the correct discipline he would be amazing to watch. I think he should get back to family (his father) take his guidance and support just like the successful years of 07 and 08.

Its a sad sight to see a driver of his calibre walk away from the values and worry about other things. Its obvious he wants to be the best, its obvious his craving another title but as stated before he has no chance with all the pitiful things around him.


Personally i dont think its the "bling" or the characters he brings to the race thats affecting him, he is a world champion after all and its something hes being doing since his first year

I think the no.1 reason he is making silly mistakes is Vettel, the manor in which he is dominating the racing and the championship is getting inside hamiltons head and he cant really cope.


Thankyou for this.

I enjoy your reporting of major news, but I find articles which are more specifically 'insight and observation' very, very interesting. Ultimately you are far more in the know than we are!



Lewis is certainly not winning any friends at the moment with the way he is driving. It's as though any time he gets the slightest run on somebody, he sticks his nose cone where it shouldn't be.

Rightly, today, he paid the price for that. Let's hope he finally learns his lesson. The problem is, if he doesn't he's going to keep stuffing it up for others out there.

And those drivers are no less motivated than he is, but rarely do they make the types of repeated errors of judgement that Hamilton seems to be making week in and week out at the moment.


Hi James,

On an earlier post you put Vettel, Alonso and Hamilton ´head and shoulders´ above the rest. I think you need to re-evaluate your thinking. I would put Jenson above Hamilton right now. He´s a better alround package. Yes, Lewis maybe 2/10s quicker over a single lap but Jenson is more of a complete driver. It amazes me that people still underate Jenson, despite becoming world champion. People say, `oh, he had the best car`. Hmm, it usually is the best car that wins. Senna, Prost, Mansell, Schumacher, Hakkinen, all had dominant machinery. Nobody does what Jenson did in qualy at Spa and Suzuka in his first season without being a cut above the average. And as soon as he gets a winning car, what does he do, he goes and wins the Championship - can´t ask for more than that. Yesterday´s drive was a champions drive, much like Hamilton or Alonso might have done, in fact. So credit where credits due.


That's why Kimi is the best - he won the title in a rubbish car...


I think the big shame of the 2011 championship is that despite the races being, frankly, amazing, the Championship is all but over. Button is a massive 60 odd points off of Vettel isn't he?

It is also a big shame for Vettel. If he was pushed close for the title this year he could at least feel tested and vindicated as a champion but this is too easy. I can see him being a double champion but still relatively unproven which is a shame.


So, even if Vettel wins one championship that's really close and one that's really "easy", he will still not be a worthy champion? What does he have to do then?

Lewis is panicking as he can see another championship disappearing. He needs to chill out and re-focus, like Vettel did after Spa last year.


I really feel it is time for Lewis Hamilton to look for another team.That is my opinion. Mclaren have to realize that they do have a champion racer here and always looks to win races. For me MClaren are not acheiving this so Lewis Hamilton should quit and say thanks for everthing.It does look like that what ever Lewis does on the race track,Lewis gets peniliased for it and to me thats an easy target for the formula 1 stewards. Lewis Hamilton in my opinion is the best racer and deserves a better car Because it seems to me that MClaren are not acheving what Lewis Hamilton is trying to achevie and be a champion driver everytime. So what Lewis has to do is say sort the car out and make it terrific or leave. I feel lewis needs a new challenge with another team. Also that ex grand prix driver is way out of line saying lewis Hamilton will kill someone. He should be banned from Formula one for saying that. All i can say is LEWIS HAMILTON YOU ARE THE BEST.


I loled.

Are you serious?

How is McLaren's fault that Lewis in the same car that Button won the race..is not able to finish races? How is that McLaren's fault?

Like I said in a comment above, maybe McLaren should build Lewis a car that can fly when he tries to overtake. This way he can't hit anyone.



F1 insider cheap shot and very small minded of media and forumers turning the screw on Lewis considering he was put out of the race by his own teammate albeit racing incident.

Lewis would not have invited the bling. The bling probably asked to see Lewis/Mclaren as the person closet to them culturally. Ron Dennis may look on quizzically but if the bling end up buying his Mclaren Super cars he will be a very happy CEO.

I do feel for him. Everyone has advise ranging from “calm down” to “race not won in first few laps” and this from the more moderate forumers. You need to remember that

1. Lewis tries to overcompensate when an error has occurred – pitstop error, strategy error – eg Monaco; gear ratio error-Canada and ultimately car not fast enough but even then, I don’t think he would have been trying that hard if Vettel had not been amassing points left right and centre.

2. Race may not be won in first few laps but it is lost if you get stuck behind slower car and wear out tyres trying to overtake – happened Malaysia and Turkey with heidfeld and button.

On a separate note i think it is time to start scrutinising Lewis engineering team. We know that his race engineer is relatively inexperienced but what about Philip Prew’s overarching role? Doesn’t appear to be working so far. This year alone we have-

1. Monaco strategy error

2. Canada gear ratio error

3. Malaysia tyre request ignored

4. Even in China, Lewis was ignoring engineer advise do his overtakes later on. I think the win camouflaged the fact that there was a problem there too.

Add up the issues that are being made public –he did not used to be vocal about problems before. There is a serious problem on his side of the garage, even if only communication based, so why isn’t Mclaren taken steps to fix it?

The other factor with Mclaren (and if sorted perhaps it will allow a positive to be taken from the DNF), There was potential for 1-2. At the end of the day Red bull still pulled a gap in the constructors. TEAM ORDERS ARE ALLOWED. If they don’t sort agreed overtaking procedure between the drivers then they can kiss goodbye to winning the WCC.


Maybe Lewis (and you) should look at Alonso's season last year. Rarely did he have the car to win races yet he kept racking up points and when he had the chance to win races he took it and almost won the title in the 3rd best car. Thats why Alonso is the best driver on the grid.


oh yee of short memories.

Alonso had a year of two halves - and made many uncharacteristic errors in the first half when the car was 3rd best and he was trying too hard (ring any bells?).

the second half of the year the ferrari was the 2nd best car.

second best car+ self imploding best car team + no 1 status in your own team = race wins in any money.


I think he was refering that Alonso's Ferrari was 3rd behind Vettel's and Mark Webber's Redbull..and still managing to beat those 2 and get lots of points.


haha, i'll pay that, well played. But i think my point still stands. Alonso did make some great rookie mistakes last season but he still salvaged important points and didn't take anyone out or upset anyone (except Massa). I'm not a Lewis hater either. Became a fan of his over the last 2 seasons. I'm a big F1 fan and realistically he is the best person to mount some sort of challenge to Vettel this season but the cap is getting way too big now.


Undeniably Alonso is the best driver and Vetel mind you has been a revelation. I can't wait Ferrari to snap up Vetel. My God... it'd be twice as exciting as Sheuy's Ferrari era, for Ferrari will have two complete drivers.


Why would Ferrari get Vettel? and why would Vettel go to any team with an already WC as their #1? SMH



The car is easily better than the red bull in race trim. With the banning of Hot and Cold blowing exhausts it might even be better in qualifying trim.

Regardless of what car you have whether it be the best or the worst. Finishing the race and not having a handful of penalties is the only way you can be even half way to winning the championship.

With the damage he caused to Massa's car at monaco he could arguably be blamed for the crash Massa had in the tunnel which could of been alot worse. He also owes Williams a handful of much needed championship points that his stupid overtaking move caused maldonado to lose.

He says he is currently victimised by the race stewards but it wont be long before he is marginlised by his fellow drivers and I shudder to think what lewis would do if someone drove into him like he has done so many times in the last few races.


It was very cringey to see his pals in the garage post-crash. Its just hugely innapropriate post crash to go and have a cheeky chat with rhianna. Debrief? Team feedback? Talent alone cannot win titles, he needs discipline. This is racing, not hollywood


I didn't think he did anything wrong. Would you refuse to chat with rihanna? No me neither.

This is actually part of being an f1 driver and Mclaren is very pr savvy. Always got pitlane celebs.


why exactly?

this is what i don't get.

he is trying to put a brave/social face for himself and the team but is classified as cringey.

was he meant to stay out of sight in the debrief room talking to himself until the engineers arrived some 4 hours later?

and perhaps you could explain also who "fits your profile" and has the right to attend Mclaren hospitality suite and who doesn't? i am sure Ron Dennis and the team are keen to hear your ideas on who they should sell their cars to and who does not fit their brand too.


It's like Kimi and the choc-ice incident all over again.


Doesn't seem anything like it to me???


Well, it's not. That race wasn't going to continue. Sepang is not Canada where you have hours to continue the race. Kimi didn't crash into his team mate either.


+ 1


In my opinion Hamilton is out of control, driving recklessly, moaning about his team, accusing the FIA of having a agenda agaist him and seemingly more intrested in hanging around various pop stars and celebrities.

I dont doubt Ron Dennis is not impressed at the route Hamilton seems to be heading.

Will Ron soon come to the same conclusions that Sir Alex Ferguson did with David Beckham at Manchester United and allow Hamilton to move to another team?


That's a great write up, condensing the latest buzz around Lewis. It sums up my thoughts too.

I wonder how true the assertion that Hamilton is caught up in the glamour of being a sports superstar, rather than being the best racer on track, is. If that is where his head is at right now, it's a big shame and I hope he can get back on the racer track soon.



Ref your comments on Lew.

Although there's nothing 'in your face' about his change in attitude over the last 18 months, I have had some disquiet watching him evolve from a (maybe too - for his years) restrained and controlled individual - but a fierce fast and focused driver, through a more measured and relaxed phase (that arguably yielded his happiest period yet and with the best reults), through to earlier this year when he sort of became 'the dude'.

Live your life and love it is my message, but am I detecting a recent desire to perform for his friends and guests on race-day rather than drive in a strategic way. Maybe not, maybe I'm imagining it, but there does seem to be a newly arrived degree of frustrated desperation that sort of says - 'hey I want to get on with this and you guys are all in my way'.

Well OK, but - - er - - that is their job !

I guess 'think your way through over 70 laps rather than 70 corners' applies.

Not as gung ho spectacular, but certainly more effective.

But then again who am I to tell him how to drive - but then again I don't think the driving is at fault.



It was a disappointing race for Hamilton. The last thing he needed was a race like that.

He will come back much stronger from this current turmoil. It's difficult to know when but he will do.

Most drivers made mistakes yesterday, certainly everyone in the top 7 with exception of Petrov although I stand to be corrected on this one.

It's only Hamilton's fifth season. He has plenty of time to add a second WDC.

James, a lot of speculation on Hamilton's meeting with Horner. What's your take on this one? Surely worth an article? Webber's one year contract extension looks very convenient....


knee jerk reactions of judging lewis after 2 bad AND unlucky races...short memories you lot!!! Not to worry though, you shall all soon be reminded of the living, walking and racing LEGEND that is Lewis Hamilton...MARK MY WORDS!!!!!


Is that you Lewis?

Michael Grievson

I love watcing Lewis race. I think at the moment though he can see the championship slipping away and is pulling off desperate moves.


I agree that Niki Lauda's comments took things rather too far. Perhaps this is a reflection of the era he drove through and just barely survived.

I think the next couple of races will make or break Lewis's season. I think it might be time for him to retreat into himself a little, dial back his media engagement, cut out the celebrity hob-nobbing and focus squarely on his racing. Basically be the reserved, restrained and intensely focused young man he was in 2007 and 2008. Once he's got his groove back, he can come out of his shell again but he's a racing driver first and foremost and if he addresses his problems on the track, everything else should fall back into place.

Unfortunately, what Lewis really needs is for Canada to be the next race, too. A track he thrives on and where McLaren can take the fight to Red Bull. He really needs to stamp his authority on a race and remind everyone, and himself, just how good he is.

Unfortunately, around a dry Valencia the best he can probably hope for is to qualify third and finish third after a processional race, and even then I expect a resurgent Ferrari to have something to say about that. Maybe Pirelli and DRS will transform Valencia into a spectacle worth watching, but I'm not confident. I'd bet watching Lewis wring the MP4-26's neck in qualifying will be the highlight of the weekend.


I wouldn't bet against either McLaren beating the Red Bulls on race pace in Valencia.

As for Ferrari, what tyres are Pirelli taking, because it remains to be seen whether Ferrari have solved their hard tyre woes as the last 2 races have both been soft & super-soft...


Lauda is well known for making what can only be termed inflammatory comments. He always communicates the most extreme sentiment on subject matter, and he does so simply because he can.

Lauda is an ex-world champion, and he has a ready-made podium from which to expound his theories. I highly doubt even he truly believes what he is saying most of the time.

However, Lauda hardly ever makes comment without some basis of sentiment amongst the paddock. My guess is there are many drivers who are fed-up with the hoopla surrounding Hamilton.

Most, if not all drivers, will harbour at least a small grudge against him simply because he was birthed into F1 from McLaren, rather than having to prove himself like everyone else. They probably feel they would have shone just as brightly had they been afforded the same opportunities.

Add to that Hamilton's media pull, lifestyle and various on and off-track antics and you can imagine why some grow tired of it all.


not the only driver to birthed into F1, i think you will find that it is the same story for Vettel,


Get your facts straight Dan. Hamilton's entire F1 career has been conducted in McLaren. As Rodger has pointed out, Vettel was a reserve driver for several years before gaining entry to the formula, then proved his potential in a thoroughly midfield team.

Moreover, even if you had found another driver who experienced similar privileges to Hamilton, which you haven't, it wouldn't invalidate my point.

I stated that 'most' drivers, not every single one to a man, would feel some resentment of his opportunities.


Your right. Two years as the reserve/test driver for a mid-field team (BMW), followed by another 2 years in a race seat with a mid-field team (Toro Rosso) is the same as going straight to a race seat at MaLaren.


"respect", that's the answer. Lewis needs to regroup and start considering the other competitors, who believe it or not, want to do the best they can too. I think Freddie Mercury once wrote, "I want it all and I want it now". Seems to sum up Lewis' attitude right now. Remember how fast, exciting and humble he was when he joined McLaren? Maybe he experienced the joys of success too soon without having to work his way up through the F1 ranks. Not his fault though. Make no mistake, Lewis has a wonderful career in front of him, he just needs to press his respect reset button every now and then and understand that you can't win 'em all.


actually Brian May wrote that song... ha, sorry 🙂

Totally agree though, Hamilton does need to learn to have more respect for the other drivers, the other teams, his team and everyone else in the sport. His talent alone does not guarantee him success - he'll learn that sooner or later

The weird thing is that an F1 without Hamilton in it would be at least a couple of notches less exciting...


er, hate to disagree.. that was one of the most exciting races I've seen in ages and Hamilton wasn't in it for the most part..


er, yeah, but it would still have been better had Hamilton not crashed out and been chasing the others down alongside Button - providing he wasn't spinning out anyone in his path


James, Whilst I agree Lewis is probably frustrated in some way, I've watched his race 'incidents' again a few times and really don't see an over aggressive, desperate driver. His move on Webber was fair, Webber left room, but still cut in more than any other driver other at that corner yesterday. Schumacher stuck him on the grass after making a second 'move' in the braking zone and whilst I know Button didn't squeeze him intentionally, he knew he was under his wing and would attempt a pass.

None of these were illustrations of dangerous or desperate driving from Lewis in my view. He's out of luck at the moment, so if something can go wrong it will it seems, but I'm starting to feel his 'reputation' is getting him a harsh time. How can he be criticized for attempting a pass in the normal passing area and getting squeezed into the wall by the other driver? If it was the other way round everyone would be instantly blaming Lewis. "I didn't see him", wouldn't be enough, but we give Button the benefit of the doubt.

Is that a back-handed compliment to Lewis, to assume he is in complete control of every situation, even that of the other driver's actions?


I thought Schumacher turned left again after already establishing his racing line. Lewis seems to give him a bit more room than others so a collision was avoided..


Yep, I'd agree with that, although I wouldn't give Sch a penalty either.

Ultimately I have a sneaky feeling that if Hamilton was driving the No.4 McLaren and drove the race exactly the same as Button, with inquiries for 3 incidents he would've been stripped of the win. Not that Button should've been, but I fear Hamilton would've have.

And now the drivers know that if they have contact with Hamilton, everyone (Race Stewards at the top of the list) will unfairly assume it's his fault.


I fully agree with all three of the above comments - Hamilton will shine again this season, in all likelihood very, very soon, and will make a number of posters on here (and other websites) look very stupid and kneejerk in the process!


Lewis needs to make the choice... To be an f1 driver with the same dedication and discipline that has produced great champions..

Or to go into history as the i-threw-it-all-away-champ...

I fear he will move further into isolation... Leave a great team that is mclaren and go further down from there...


The drivers I am put in mind of are Jaques Villeneuve and Juan Pablo Montoya. On their day, blindingly fast. On their day, superb racers. But too easily distracted by fame, too ready to make the desperate fifth lap lunge, too ready to blame everyone else when it goes wrong. Bad management? Bad coaching? Who knows. But JPM will be a minor footnote in F1, and although JV did win a world championship, as Patrick Head says he made incredibly heavy weather of it in what was a completely dominant car. His subsequent career was, of course, a disaster.

Hamilton is blindingly fast. He won a championship, although again it has to be said he made pretty heavy weather of it in a dominant car. But now...he's spending too much time being Lewis Hamilton The Brand, and not enough time Lewis Hamilton The Driver, he's making a ludicrous number of mistakes and he's throwing points away. All the excuses (it's because he's so passionate, it's because they can't give him a car that's fast enough, it's because he is a true racer) are tired: three serious incidents culminating in a DNF in a race that was wide open and where over-taking is very simple was just amateur hour. Fast, high-quality amateur hour, but amateur hour.

Given Button's six trips to the pitlane as against Vettel's three, the car was more than fast enough, and Hamilton could certainly have won the race. Instead he gets zero. He gets a hug from some B-List singer, though. Well done, Lewis.


Your comments followed by your reference to Rihanna as "Some B-list singer" really shows which era you represent. The world is changing even if you think it shouldn't.


So does it matter which era somebody is from, make their comments on motor racing any less valid?

This thread has been discussing LHs 'Lack of respect' for his Team,other drivers,officials, etc.

Perhaps some respect should be offered to other peoples' opinions? Espcially when a passing reference to a singer is made. How long will she be popular?

I don't know, but I looked up Rihanna's total record sales. Definitely 'B' list!


People seem besotted with the idea that Rihanna is the very personification of the A List. Ah well, I'll defer to your judgement, although I'd point out that she's sold fewer records than Kenny Rogers or The Scorpions which makes your definition of "The A List" a bit flexible. Whatever: let's recast that as "he got a hug from an A List singer and no points". He still got no points. The silence when Brundle asked Coulthard if he would swap WDC points for a hug from her was telling.

"The world is changing even if you think it shouldn’t."

In what way? I think focussed, controlled drivers for whom winning races is their main motivation and becoming a celebrity is entirely a by-product are what F1 is about. And that's why two-time world chamption Seb Vettel --- I say two-time, because does anyone seriously believe he's not going to be within a few races, short of a career-ending accident? --- is winning races, while Hamilton is picking up scraps and, all too often, picking up scrap from the back of the car.

The endless "ah well, McLaren should give him a race-winning car" is nonsense: it's quite clearly at least as fast as the Red Bull in race trim, and with DRS and KERS qualifying is less important this season than it has been in living memory. Button, let's not forget, was dead last at points on Sunday, and yet passed the field to win. Hamilton could have won. He got nothing, because he appears to have a lap counter that only goes up to ten. But he got a hug from an A List singer.

And while we're at it, heavily implying that the stewards are racist at Monaco and peppering speeches to camera with "fricking" this and "fricking" that was just inane, and made him look like a man who is not in control. He's a one-time world champion who might, if he's lucky, win again, but at the moment he's a PR liability and erratic on the track. He might be blindingly fast on a lap, but he's throwing away winnable races in an effort to appear "a racer". He's Jacques Villeneuve. How did that end?


Rhianna was made an "A" lister in her field much the same way as the other artists,being nominated for and winning awards. Whether you like her, her style of music or her style of attire is irrelevant. The music industry picked her and to just dismiss her as some "B" lister is at best arrogant.That comment drew my attention and suggested to me that there was more to your criticism than met the eye. I'm not a rap/hip-hop fan but I'd wouldn't rag their "Stars"


Lol - spot on Edward!


Rihanna is hardly B-list!


I was a Montoya fan,but god it was frustrating.

For every brilliant performance that left you on the edge of your seat,he would do something bone headed the next.

But saying that he was unlucky to be racing Schuey in that dominant and bomb-proof Ferrari.

Also the one time he had a real shot at the championship('03),the FIA dropped the whole late season rules re-interpret thing.


The 2008 Mclaren was fast, but hardly dominant, that's misrepresenting the situation fairly significantly. Lewis did make a meal of it, there' no doubt there. But the ridiculous penalties at Spa and in Fuji didn't help him either.


Hamilton is just getting a bit hot headed, at the moment, as Senna did at times, Remember the run ins Senna and prost had, and the Senna / Mansel battles,Senna so many times took rivals and team mates off, its like history more or less repeating itself, Hamilton should not have gone for a gap, that was forever closing, it was early in the Grand Prix, and he needed to settle into the car, and the track conditions,(especially after clipping Webber), before making any move, Hamilton may have a go about being up in front of the stewards, but he wants to man up, take a step back, and realise the consequences of his actions, he needs to get his head back into the groove, like it was when he was always cool, calm, and collected...the Hamilton of old needs to return if he is to get back on track to winning again....


What you're missing though is Hamilton doesn't seem to have the racing brain that the likes of Senna, Prost, Schumacher & Alonso possessed. That's why he is at risk of becoming more of a JPM than a Senna.


I think Montoyas Latin Temperament got the better of him, and he thought for the moment, not laps ahead, as those mentioned did/do, Hamilton was doing that, but as James mentioned, his head seems to be elsewhere at the moment, and he needs his father to reign him back in, but his father can only do that as a parent, not as his manager....


He is a relatively young driver learning, the hard way, how to go about racing without his father's guidance. I think it was brave of him to go it alone but the road to success and more championships will be difficult to find. Especially in the glitzy, bling-blibg world that he seems to inhabit these days. Lets wait and see if/how he learns from mistakes.


at 26 Alonso and Schumacher were double world champions and Vetel is on his way. According to Gary Anderson in F1 26 is no longer considered young.


James, the "insider" is right when he mentioned where Hamilton's head is. Unfortunately lewis is getting into this RAP racer image and that will de-tune the hardcore racer approach he has. It just doesn't fit. He needs his dad back.


If Hamilton hadn't hit Button he probably would've gone on to collide with someone else with a gung ho move up the inside. The chap really needs play the long game.


The race shouldn't have started under safety car. If it started under normal starting conditions, I believe Lewis would have won this race by a country mile. I think we will see something special in Valencia. Trust me.OK.


It seems unlikely that Lewis would have won this race under any circumstances. Great driver, but he is currently in the "crash zone." You can dissect each incident individually and assign blame one way or the other, but that pattern is he (currently) lacks overall judgement. The results of his incidents are very clear- DNF. Even if all the incidents were another drivers fault, Lewis still DNF'd. 0 points for him. Perhaps, upon mature consideration, he may want to dial it back a notch or two.


I think Hamilton hasn't adapted to the new F1 regulations with no refuelling, new tyres etc. and is still treating races like a series of short sprints. He doesn't seem to be able to approach a race in its entirety and seems to make the same decision (and therefore take the same risk) whether there are 70 laps to go or 2 laps to go.

When he manages to adapt his racecraft and decision making to fit in with today's F1 I think he will see marked improvements.

We all know there have been great drivers who used their emotion and channelled it to produce spectacular results,but at the moment Hamilton seems to be a man controlled by his emotion, allowing it to push him into making ill judged decisions. Whether that is a decision to attempt a passing move or just ill judged comments to the media after the event.

Anyway, I hope he takes stock and gets back to what he does best.

Remember Lewis, K.I.T.!



Is it possible that this is the first time that Hamilton has had a teammate that the team truly likes and respects, and this is now starting to unnerve him?

Whilst Alonso was respected, and I believe Kovalainen was liked if frustrated that the team couldn't get the best out of him, both times Hamilton had all of the "love" of the team behind him. Now, whilst i"m sure the team can see Lewis's strengths over Jenson (quicker unless the car is set up to perfection), the admiration of the team is almost split, which for Lewis is a hard pill to swallow.


where does all this stuff come from?

initially there were warnings about how Lewis would explode if Button got the better of him. it happened last year and is happening now - what is Lewis reaction to date? so why can't those insinuators at least acknowledge their error on that one before looking for the next mischief point?

in my opinion lewis is struggling with his immediate team and as another poster said, if the car was poor he would be less worked up about it but knowing what he can do in the car he has he is finding issues like malaysia tyregate/monaco qualigate/canada gearratiogate/ turkey Team overtakegate frustrating.

mclaren also need to decide what procedure to put in place for team mate overtaking especially if the one behind is faster (not to take away from Buttons's victory but in those conditions they should not have been racing each other. MEMO TO MCLAREN TEAM ORDERS ARE LEGAL) and if they continue to deceive themselves that they are doing the right thing then lo and behold a whole chunk of WCC money is not coming their way anytime soon - and you better believe they need it.

the media may choose not to report on this but i won't be surprised if they are a bit of a laughing stock (minus the envy of the win of course). how they go about managing two world class drivers is rearing its ugly head - even Lewis vs Alonso did not commit the cardinal sin of team mate race extinguishing, lol, i for one wish them luck in figuring that out.


You may be right, Phil, but I have the impression that Lewis genuinely likes Jenson, as do all on the team, and they also recognize that Jenson has helped "cleared the air" at McLaren, showing by example how it can be done in a more relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

How the incident in Canada affects the relationship remains to be seen.


I think there is a lot in the fact that with Lewis often referencing Senna for both his desires and how he wants to go about his racing that he feels that in some way he IS him. Back in the day the site of the yellow Senna helmet told the driver in front 'I'm coming through it's down to you if we have a collision'. Lewis seems to be following this mantra with the obvious expectation that if he's anywhere near another car they will just jump out of the way. Clearly there are not doing so and he needs to press the reset button in his head that not every move he makes is a guaranteed pass. He's still great entertainment though!

Oh, and was it just me up until gone midnight to make sure Button's win stood? I remember Lewis' 'win' at Spa in 2008 and how that changed when I turned my back!


Interesting that noone is really picking up the fact that McLaren told Lewis to retire due to a puncture.


McLaren thought there was suspension damage, Hamilton thought it was only a puncture. McLaren said it turned out to be damage to the driveshaft and two wheels.


Thats a fair point. If he had have gone around to the pits he would have been no worse off than Button after his puncture from the Alonso incident.


I thought it was a driveshaft that had gone?


Even if it was, surely it wouldn't have hurt for Hamilton to trundle back to the pits as he was doing and the team have a closer look. Clearly they told him to retire the car because of "damaged suspension" which was not the case. Besides, yes hindsight does come into play, but they would have had 2 hours to fix it if indeed it was the driveshaft as you alledge.

Poor race stragety/management by McLaren yet again.


"He said he had calmed down after the clamour of Monaco. If anything he was even more hyped up in Montreal."

He didn't look that hyped up to me. He simply made 2 attempts at passes that didn't come off as planned. The first one Webber gave him room to complete the overtake and he's touched a wet kerb and slid wide, the second the stewards (including Fittipaldi) said he had a right to go for and that Jenson came across early to defend but didn't realise Hamilton was already pulling alongside. Neither can really be classed as stupid moves.

If anything this race showed that you still have to be brave, have to be lucky in 50/50 overtake situations and have a never say die attitude if you're going to win a race. We're sat here celebrating Button doing that and lamenting Hamilton for trying to do the same thing but failing. I can't help but feel if either of Buttons incidents had sent him out of the race he would have got sympathy or even respect for trying, rather than criticism.


Lewis is just having a bad run of luck at the moment. I doubt that anyone was talking negatively about celebrity hangers-on, after China.

Like Wayne Rooney fluffing golden chances in front of goal, the real form will return.

It's less then a year ago, when everyone was quick to jump on Vettel for being a 'crash kid'. If he was having to come from the pack all the time, I'm sure he'd get into more scrapes too.

It's far to easy to bash Lewis at the moment, when Jenson's 'pass' on Alonso was just as reckless.


When Lewis first entered F1, it was clear that he had been schooled in the McLaren school of press conferences- his comments seemed honest, but always professional. As time has gone on his management has changed, his racing whilst still exciting has become rash at times and the pitlane entourage is embarassing. Compare this with 'Boring Button' who now seems really at home at McLaren, is fantastic in press conferences and now a real credit to the sport. How things change.........


He's had his meeting with Red Bull, swift 15 minute chat.

I'm sure he's broke some kind of PR clause in his contract & he's off to RB next year.


I am not sure how much to buy into the reports, however I would be very surprised if Lewis remains at McLaren beyond his current contract.

McLaren need to look for a long term replacement, and they shouldn't look past a quick young Scotsman. Showing immense pace and a maturity far beyond his F1 experience who seems wholly focussed on the task at hand. di Resta's dedication and continued drive for improvement shine through in every interview he gives. In a competitive car he will turn heads.


And interesting who the manager is of this level-headed scotsman...

James, do you think RB were just taking an opportunity to rattle McLaren by talking with LH, or do you believe they'd actually want Lewis as a 'teammate' to Sebastian? Wondering how Lewis would behave if Seb had the better performance...


I'm pretty sure Hamilton is "brave" enough to go up against Seb in equal machinery, provided Newey is still around and he believes Red Bull will still be "the" team in one or two years time. I don't think it would matter that Red Bull may initially line up behind Vettel. I'm sure Hamilton with his natural ability could pretty quickly turn that situation around.

I'm pretty certain Vettel wouldn't fancy it, and some would say, why should he, all drivers want the very best opportunity of prevailing, but does that not take away the whole concept of truly being the very best?

James, what do you think the possibilities are that Hamilton could even try to jump ship for next season, or as Eddie Jordan alluded to, even decide to take a year out?

I get the impression Hamilton is getting ever more frustrated at McLaren and whilst many would say jumping ship in 2013 would be a very risky move with the huge changes in regulations, when one takes into account that Mclaren will no longer have use of the superb Mercedes engine, maybe it's not as big a gamble as many would have you believe!


Can't see Vettel fancying it much. Would be very brave of Hamilton, given how the team lines up behind Vettel


Lewis is putting the nose of his car in all the wrong places these days. To me watching it was quite simple. As soon as Jenson was closing him on the inside he should of back off and tucked back inside Jenson and done him into Turn 1.

Regarding the Webber incident he was given well enough room yet he still touched him. You could clearly see a very angry Ron Dennis prowling in the McLaren garage and i cant help but feel Lewis is coming to the end of his McLaren love in.

There is great immaturity at times in Hamiltons driving and it seems a wiser head is needed to make the moves up the grid. He clearly had great pace in the wet and surely would have been in contention towards the end of the race.


It would be interesting to see exactly how many times in his career in F1, Lewis has collided with another driver. From what I'm reading it seems as if thats all he does.

I for one will not forget his breathtaking passes over the years.

He has had two bad races, against how many fantastic ones and all and sundry are ready to throw him to the wolves. Its laughable that some former driver is calling his overtakes " dangerous".

I am a fan of Lewis. I do believe that Lewis really drives his heart out. He wants to win, he wants to do well.

Now people are saying he should get his dad back as manager. How quickly we forget how Lewis and his dad was mocked almost every race because Anthony supported his son. Funny how I have yet to see one comment on any forum asking why Jenson's father is seen at every race? I do agree though that Anthony had a very firm hand on Lewis.

I am so afraid that all this criticism by the media, ex and co-drivers will dull Lewis' passion. Wanna bet that in the next race we will be seeing a subdued version of Hami?

He needs to relax and stop trying so hard. And every one of us really need to give him a break.


Every driver in F1 wants to win. Every driver in F1 is putting their 100% and more. The Antics of Lewis is no measure of his determination, if he, like every driver out there is not determined beyond 100% then, they will be spotted by their own teams and sacked. So every driver in F1 is giving beyond their 100%. Cos' in F1 nobody rides for free, for the F1 game has changed since Giles and Senna era.

So, I think its time to stop using these antics by Lewis as an excuse for his determination.


Im not making excuses for Lewis. This whole issue is being blown completely out of proportion. I am appalled at the remarks being made. He has had two bad races, all I'm asking that we keep perspective. Its starting to feel like a witch hunt.

Do we honestly want him to now be so wary of trying to overtake someone for fear of having a knock, and then be labelled " dangerous" and "mad"? I would be if I was in his shoes.

Gove the guy a break, he is a fantastic driver, who is trying too hard at the moment. He will get past this, if people allow him to.


I think criticism of Lewis is a bit over the top at this stage.

His Monaco race was untidy, for sure. Can't hide from that.

He had three incidents at the race yesterday, but only one (the one with Webber) was his fault, and it was hardly a huge mistake. He just outbraked himself by about a metre on a wet track.

I don't think this is really cause for alarm, although he does seem to be getting a bit frustrated by his lack of success. Maybe he is frustrated because he didn't think Button would be as good as he is (makes two of us), but Jenson has been pretty darn impressive, especially in Canada.

By the way, does anybody know if Vettel and Webber get investigated by the stewards when they collided at Turkey?


Schumacher did well as far as he went, but he must be puzzled at the "health and safety" element which now dominates on track behaviour. He comes from the era overlapping with when Senna raced. Senna would have been banned by now several times over, he would not believe the restrictions that are imposed nowadays and find the continual campaign against Hamilton incomprehensible, he would most likely quit in disgust. If the FIA and it's marshals make it any more like a church outing I shall quit following it and turn my time to proper racing.

Lewis now needs a proper manager, not a bunch of experts in bling, lunching and styling.


This is going to be quite long.. But I like to watch Hamilton, he is a guy that is always pushing 100%, driving hard he is a pure racer and there is only a couple of other drivers on the grid at the moment that would be comparable to him. He also knows that he has the ability to to go beyond the cars perceieved limits. But like anything there is also a limit to how far you can push. So for me while what he does or says off track is not so important overall, it would help explain his mindsight when he gets in a car.

I think this season the line has been crossed in pushing too hard. Then there is the question of respect for other drivers as well. He has developed a bad habit of putting his car in places where there is a good chance of a collision, while expecting the other driver to yield. In this day and age of safety its unlikey the other driver is not going to give up without a fight. You yield once and you know for the future you are an easy target. Its time he sits down and evaluates whats his philosphy and attitude are towards racing. There will be times in his career where he will have the best car and will be untouchable. There will be times like where he is placed now, in that he has a resaonable car and if he uses his racecraft to its maximum ability he will acheive a result better than what is expected.

Hamilton should of won this race, he would know this. He needs to take more responsibilty for himself and what he does out on track. Too many times he has been caught in this situation of making contact or making a bad pit call which has hampered his race. It can not always be everyone elses fault.

Finally I think he has a lot of growing up to do to for far too long he has relied heavily on the people around him to take him to the next level of succesful racing. Now he is in the situation where its now solely upon him to makes these descisons and he seems confused. Then to top it off a guy named Vettel comes along and starts challenging your status as no.1. I feel the answers to many of Hamiltons own questions can be solved from learning about how his own teammate goes racing.


Hamilton was surrounded this weekend by a glamorous crowd in the McLaren hospitality area. Pop stars like Rihanna and Ice T, NBA basketball players towering over other guests, this was like a night at the MTV[mod] Awards, more than a race meeting. Ron Dennis looked on quizzically at all the bling.
>> I saw that scene and reminded me of days when McLaren Boss had complained about JPM bringing his father, wife and newborn to race meetings in 05-06. Lewis surrounded by celebrity bling in not 2011, it has been a permanent fixture of Lewis' entourage since 2008 (during Ron's tenure).

McLaren made all sorts of exceptions for Lewis including "personal endorsements deal". But if Lewis continues on the path he has chose with his entertainment management team. I see acrimonious split between two parties. As it is it was Whitmarsh who chose Button over Raikkonen right?


Ron Dennis has always had double standards. Thats why they lost Alonso. JPM any many exciting drivers. I think Martin is doing a far straighter job than Ron ever could. I mean how ridiculous is it when Ron comes on the radio and says "we are not racing raikkonnen, we are racing alonso (when he was racing for Mclaren)". And then he comes and makes statements like "only Mclaren can manage top two drivers". Trust me, Ron and now Lewis are defamations to Brand Mclaren.


Alright, heres my theory on this matter, that I've been mulling over since Monaco.

Hamilton has said repeatedly that he wants to be remembered like some of the greats that he admires, Senna et al, and they all generally won 2 or more championships. I sense with Hamilton that he wants another one now, like his time is slipping away in a sense. So this is what I can see happening.

Those comments he made after the Monaco GP were very intriguing, they alsmot felt staged like he wanted to make a Senna-esque commenet that captures Hamilton's fighting spirit. Maybe that doesn't sit well with Mclaren. He clealry wants to be in SV shoes in that RBR, and knows that Mark Webber comes of contract this year. Thats where I can see Hamilton going to.

He has a new management team, who may be prepared, as might he, to leave behing Mclaren and all they have done for him and move on to the championship winning team of the present. He could compete at the very top of the F1 field, and face a fierce rival in a young brash team, quite suited to the way he appearts at the moment.

Mclaren might say oh well we tried to keep him, and then promote PDR as Buttons team mate for next year.

Maybe something like that may happen, maybe not, but for whatever it's worth I see it as a distinct possibilty for the 2012.


Promoting PDR? I am spanish, but not blind. PDR is 40 and have an average profile, not a bad one but certainly not enough to drive in one of the top teams. I doubt RB will contract Hamilton, but it is a possibility (they are only BS Hamilton, with quite sucess). In that case Kobayashi, Rosberg or even Kubica,if his recovering goes as well as planned, are (IMHO) the most probable partners of Button.

P.D. Just want to give my best wishes to Kubica. We miss you.


I can see how this could be misinterpreted! I was thinking of Paul DiResta not Delarosa lol.


DelaRosa is the practice driver so the "promoting" word mislead me. In anycase I hear a lot of people talk about DiResta but I dont see any particular about him (except is british) maybe Im looking in the wrong direction (Im more centered in the top teams and the Virgin-HRT fight) but for me Kobayashi is head and shoulder better than any "rookie" (nor DiRe nor Koba are rookies anymore). Ill try to be more on the look out for DiResta in the future.


Hilarious! Or as the 'street' people say, LOL.

Alex off of Leeds

I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to raise this point.

Everyone criticising Lewis for his driving needs to take a step back and realise that before Monaco (just two races ago!), Lewis couldn't put a foot wrong!

Seems that people are very quick to forget the quality he has. Yes he has a mare in monaco, and yes yesterday wasnt brilliant for him (although he was the fastest man out there before his crash), but other than those two most recent races he'd been the only one who had been close to Vettel.

He needs to forget about Monaco and Canada and come back to his old self in Valencia.


Great article. Hamilton does seem at a crossroads he was clearly quick and if he could just learn to reign in his desire and be slightly more cautious then he will be what he wants to be.

I must say though I wonder if Hamilton has created a bit of a problem for himself. I think that button was miffed after china and felt lewis's move into t1 was too far back for a teammate? I wonder then if he had a bit of a Prost moment and said to himself next time Lewis we crash? If so button has gone up in my estimation as I always have felt button has been easily bullied on track.


i cant believe i am going to defend lewis hamilton but i am. and for me to defned the person i cant stand most in the world is a big thing. for me yesterday button decisions in wheel to wheel contact was worse than hamilton. button made contatc with 3 cars yesterday. lewis, fernando and pedro. i didnt see the the pedro incident which i dont think many did so i cant comment on it but the lewis incident for me was 70 percent buttons fault. he was moving to the extreme left of the circuit when he very soon after that would have to move to the extreme right of the circuit for turn 1. the rear view camera on alonso shows when he comes out of the pits he is infront of button and on the racing line for that next chicane. button dived down the inside. alonso couldnt give him anymore room and in my mind button had to get a penalty for that. the same as lewis on maldanado at monaco which i still think was a penalty for lewis. but when lewis makes a mistake i have came to realise he gets hammered for it but when button done it nothing is said. i am starting to think lewis is being made an example of and i much prefer his driving style than buttons. i still dislike lewis's arroagance an personality but i am not on for blaming him everytime he does something wrong, and i think that if he would of stayed in the race yesterday he would of got a drive through for tagging webber. i still cant believe jenson got away with that yesterday tho he did drive awesomely good for thr rest of the 2nd half of the race. it just makes me angry he took alonso out and gets away with it and di resta touched the renault and got a penalty and alonso got a penalty for touching hamilton in malaysia. i think everybody has to admit button while he did drive well yesterday he was very very lucky he didnt get a penalty for alonso bulling off and that making contact with 3 cars he could still continue.


I agree and disagree with you on different aspects.

I agree that Button did wrong on the Alonso incident. For me it seemed Alonso gave him plenty of room, but button still hit him.

I disagree that button was at fault on the Hamilton incident. If you watch button coming out of the last turn, he is not making any moves, but drives in straight line towards the left of the track (to get position for the 1st turn). You can see MS just ahead of him taking the same line, even more to the left I might say.

To me it seems Lewis was an amator driver on that one. I don't understand why he waited until he touched with Button and the wall before braking. I don't understand how he couldn't see he was going to colide. Complete drivers know when to stop..seems Lewis is not there yet.


Yes, if Hamilton got the Penalties for Massa and Maldanado but should get it too. It was rather inconsistent on Race Stewarts. Just don't understand these double standards. And yes on this count I completely agree with Lewis being picked on by FIA wrongly.


They are 'double standards' (IYO) because the LH/Maldonado & the FA/JB incidents are not at all alike.

You see what you prefer to see, as a sofa driver.

Steven Pritchard

"Hamilton needs to ride out the storm"? James you make it sound like the world is REALLY against Lewis. Clearly it isn't. The Storm is of Lewis' own making.

Lewis is probably the fastest driver on the grid, has developed some excellent racecraft, but has yet to manage his frustrations (which manifest into gung-ho overtaking moves).

Everybody expected Lewis to walk over Button (including Lewis himself). Yes you can dazzle everyone with one lap pace, but a race is more than one lap. Button is still miles ahead in overall racecraft.

I agree with many of the comments above, Lewis is starting to think he is Lewis the brand, rather than Lewis the racing driver.


I really enjoyed this piece James. It's good to have something a bit more editorial like this alongside the reporting and analysis.


"but he’s fluffing his lines at the moment, unlike the 2009 and 2010 seasons where he took every half chance that was going."

you say this james but are you forgetting monza 10 and singapore 10, what s being said of hamilton now was exactly the same then, He doesnt need to change at all, we need more drivers like him. Its just not going is way at the moment.

as senna said "you no longer go for a gap that exists (which there was against button) you no longer a racing driver.

This is hamilton a driver that will go for overtakes that others dont, some will come off some wont that is racing


but Monaco and Canada is clearly established the fact nothing is coming off 🙂


it was exactly the same in the two races that I stated last year, all that is being said now was the same then.

He crashed out in monza then singapore so to say last year he took every half chance is clearly wrong.

There is nothing wrong with Hamilton, was overtaking fine in china wasnt he.

"but Monaco and Canada is clearly established the fact nothing is coming off " oooh two races it hasnt come off big deal. Plenty more races to come


Watching Lewis is one of the main reason I watch F1. His recent form though has been heartbreaking.

I understand the all or nothing approach but this season has shown that patience can win a race or give you a podium (Webber China).

I love his style I love the aggression he is to our generation undoubtably the closest driver we have to match Senna.

Senna drove the same aggressive style he was all or nothing. Let's not forget just how aggressive Schumacher was.

In rallying we had the late Colin Mcrae who was either flat out or in a tree.

This season is different though there was no need for the aggression at the start, we have seen over and over again that the positions in the first 10 laps and not going to always reflect the final podium.

After last night I actually thought who Mcclaren could poach to drive for them. That's how frustrated I was watching and I'm his fan.

I am sure he will be back stronger next race and fingers crossed he will win at Silverstone. I hope so.

My fear is though that this form started late last season, remember Singapore?

Please Lewis I love you the family loves you but please learn to be patient. Learn from Jenson.


Thats why I say, Jenson is a true Englishman, simply for the values he extrudes in and out of the car.


The thing about Lewis is that as good as he is, he is not very strong in the head like Tiger Wolf who managed to win after his dad passed away.

And he seems to adapt this Senna's attitude where he put the car inside and say "you've got two options, let's have an accident or you finish behind me."

If something is not working, you gotta change your approach.

As I said in other post, Michael overtook many cars and raced with the likes of Mark Weber without a single touch.

I think he also doesn't like the fact that Vettel has set himself as a new benchmark. But you gotta collectively take a step at a time to achieve a long term goal. That car is the work of 500 people and crashing doesn't inspire them.


He ain't a seven time world champion for nothing. Its just that he is suffering with a very inferior car and still is teaching the current bunch o' drivers especially Hamilton a thing or two about how an F1 car is suppose to be driven.

If Only Shuey had Mclaren, this year wouldn't be a one-horse race I'm sure.


Lewis and Schumacher on a few occasions made passes on or responded to passes made by each other without drama and at places where other drivers couldn't cope.How then can he be so inferior a driver as some are suggesting. If Lewis was reckless for trying the pass then Schumacher was equally as reckless at Monaco. Any comments.


I would think Schuey is also teaching a bit or two about behavior towards their own team.

He has not criticized them or said anything about the bad strategy calls or anything.

Seems like maybe Hamilton would rather start trying to be like Schumi rather than try to not as he recently suggested in monaco


Well I agree. I am a big fan of Schumi.

I was watching that "Schumacher driving style" video on YouTube and there was a move he put on Jean Alesi. It was an awesome menuever. The thing about him is that he thinks so hard while racing so hard as Massa put it.

If you watch that move, you could see that he was practicing that move for a few laps before executing it. If it was Lewis he would have done it without thinking much. That's the point. You can't always just dive in. If Lewis incorporate his driving style with many other greats instead of just one, he could achieve a lot more I think.


It seems to me that the rulers and the old men of Lauda's ilk simply don't want a Sennaesk driver in todays F1.

If Clark, Hunt or Senna were here now I suspect their views would be very different to those of the likes of Lauda and the constant sniping of the BBC's commentator Couthard (hardly top flight even though he had one of the best cars for most of his career)and Brundle (remind me again how many races did he win?) [mod] they both are, after all Coulthard's best mate is Button and is life style is partly funded by RedBull!!!!!

The last people these people who have influence in todays F1 think about are the fans, just look at yesterdays race, had the start been started properly then we may all have seen a driver do a Senna and everything would be rather different this morning.

I for one hope Hamilton doesn't change, in fact I'd like more of his kind, shame Montoya wasn't around at his best.


Just to remind you, Brundle has forgotten more about F1 than you'll ever know! Plus he drove in one of the most competitive era's in the sports history. Oh, plus if I remember correctly he was also World Sports Car champion at one time. So kindly remind me why you think you're more qualified than him to broadcast your opinion.


Having been a supporter of F1 since the late 60's and seen many of the greats along the way together with watching how F1 has changed over the years I believe, unlike many on this forum that I may e able to offer a perspective most younger fans simply can't.

Brundle was a star whilst racing in the British F3 championship and only pipped by Senna, however when the both moved to F1 - well just look at their records as that tells the story.

To compare todays other formulas to F1 is pointless as F1 is F1 (McNish is a great sportscar driver but who remembers him in F1? and the list goes on and on) and had no real bearing in todays racing with other formulas (unlike the days of Clark etc). It's a simple fact that within F1 Brundle was simply never a winner or looked likely to be.

When one is in it it's often difficult to see it as other do from the outside and the creep of H&S in F1 where we see races start behind a safety car that would have many of the warriors of old turning in their grave is not the F1 I want to see, to see lap after lap following a safety car until cars come in to change from wets is rubbish in my view.

I used to have the utmost respect from Brundle but hearing his almost standard likly to get a penalty for this or that' when in times past by far the majority of thee comments would come under a simple racing incident (it is racing after all).

Having seen in recent times how Montoya was all but hounded out of F1 for being a racer and more so with Hamilton, well for certain the likes of Hunt (now what was his nickname again!!!) would have been banned for life and Senna would never have starred and his skill as the ultimate rain master would never have been known.

Of course it's all opinion and everyone is entitled to there's though in my view a sense of history is not a bad thing to have, a sense of history that's correct that is and not the blinkered view some have such as Coulthard when he bleeps on about DRS being no different to the turbo boost button - Derr!!! - David needs reminding that DRS is only allowed to be used by the driver trying to overtake - anyway enjoy the racing...........


So that means that you want multi race-winners doing your commentary & nothing less will do?

How did you like Murray Walker? If you have been a 'fan' of F1 since the sixties,you will surely know that Murray's well informed enthusiasm was the thing that made him a popular commentator, now regarded by many as an icon. He didn't win loads of races though, none in F1.

But because Coulthard wasn't World Driver's Champion & Brundle drove a succession of poor cars in F1 (but WAS World Champion with Jaguar in sports prototypes) you want to criticise them.

I went to my first (Formula Libre) race at Silverstone in 1954 & 26 F1 races to now, did some racing too, but I haven't felt the need to criticise commentators who have done a lot more in motor sport than I have.


you are right... Hamilton is more in Montoya mould than Senna's


It is ironic that Lewis has been on the wrong side of such incidents since Martin Whitmarsh labeled Vettel the 'Crash Kid'.

Lewis does seem distracted. Shame we're missing out on what what could've been a very balanced title fight this year in terms of results between Seb and Lewis.


I think he also doesn’t like the fact that Vettel has set himself as a new benchmark.

Well, if the guys from Autosport is right, he is brave enough to drive alongside the "new benchmark".


In regards to Lauda... "that comment seems out of joint, inflammatory, tabloid."

When does anything Lauda has to say not come off that way, the guy never has anything positive to say. Why the media gives his sh** stirring opinions any weight is beyond me.


Maybe because he's Austrian, like Dieter RedBull!


I think FIA should make Psychiatric Evaluation and psychiatric counselling for every formula one driver Mandatory.


Nice writing.


It's too early to say Lewis Hamilton is losing the plot, given he's just had two consecutive bad races. I think his Monaco rant just blew his performance in this one out of proportion. Drivers can have off days.

I think he's still one of the greatest talents of his generation, but what he clearly lacks is the proper development of this natural talent into something consistent. What he properly needs is a real racing manager (like his Dad or even big Ron himself!), someone who'll be a firm hand on his shoulder to keep him grounded and focused. He needs to be reminded that he's in F1 to race, not to become a celebrity. I think his current manager (Simon Fuller) doesn't really care whether he becomes one of the greatest competitors to have graced motorsport, more that he achieves global superstardom - whether it be for the right reasons or the wrong one(s).


Some of the comments on this forum are simply unbelievable. I'll say it again, Lewis wants to win and he tries to do exactly that. He was CLEARLY far faster than Jenson, he had already passed him like he was standing still once, and was trying to do so again. It's not unreasonable that he thought Jenson could and would see him.

Let's also remember WHY he was behind Jenson. Schumacher had pushed him wide at the hairpin with an arguably illegal move on him on the approach to the hairpin. But Lewis stayed out of the way and didn't hit Schumacher. I repeat, Lewis stayed out of the way and didn't get hit.

What would have been the reaction if the press and Lauda and Fittipaldi, if Lewis had turned Alonso like Jenson ultimately did? People would have been screaming for Hamilton's blood.

Lewis is brilliant, he knows he is better than the others, and he doesn't expect them to dawdle around the race track. So when they are dawdling around the track, like some Sunday driver, he tries to pass them. What he does sometimes forget is that, like Sunday drivers, some of the other drivers are totally oblivious of what is going on around them. This was the case with Jenson. I don't think for a second that Jenson intentionally moved over on Lewis; he was just totally oblivious that Lewis was there.

Another aspect is Lewis had no way of knowing that Charlie Whiting was going to make a total farce of the race by running much of it behind the safety car, so Lewis probably thought that with rain on the way, he should get to the front quickly so he didn't have to handle the clowns when the rain started. After all, he won in the rain at Silverstone, in rain that was at least as heavy as yesterday. Charlie's absurdity was shown after the restart when he ran the race so long behind the safety car that people were ready for inters when the safety car pulled in. Is that a new rule now? All full wet conditions should be run behind the safety car?

When I first started watching F1 they used to race in the rain. Now people say the cars are so close to the ground that they aquaplane on the floor in the wet. Show me the rule that says a car HAS to be that low to the ground. Not allowing people to alter setup because of the conditions is part of the problem.

The race yesterday turned out to be fantastic in the end, but let's be honest, up to the point where Button started to make his charge, after the safety car came in after the restart, the race was a total bust. I was sitting there waiting and thinking F1 has become NASCAR, scared of raindrops.

Anyway, I want Hamilton to continue the way he is. I want some real racing between real men in all weathers without all the whining and without all the interventions by stewards. If memory serves, the stewards only really started to get involved because of the antics of one young Michael Schumacher.


Enjoyed reading your post. We've always had "Experts" coaching Pele,Matthews,Maradonna,Romario,Sobers,Pollock,Thomson,Ali,DrJ,Jordan,Kimi,Senna,Moss,Stuck,Martina,Venus,Serena.So glad the "Experts" were ignored. Great athletes generally take their disciplines in directions and to heights never seen before. Nothing new here, folk doing what they're good at,blind criticism.


Firstly it was one hell of race! It would have been even better if Hamilton didn't crash.

Hamilton will recover quickly and I'm sure he will come back strongly and will make a great impact this season, as he now has a good car under him.


i think lewis's goals have changed when he came into F1 there was only 1 thing on his mind which was to race ! now it looks like he is being distracted with the rnb stars at his races he should just concentrate on the racing and not worry about his profile in the USA which he is obviosly trying to raise over there. sunday i had the impression he was just trying to show off to his mates i think he is one of the best drivers in F1 but if he carries on with the attitude he has i dont think he will get the results no matter who he is driving for


"He was clearly the fastest man on the track in the brief period at the start before he crashed out."

Really? I doubt live timing will support that statement James.


I think this entry from a blog I found describes Hamilton's predicament the best: http://mccabism.blogspot.com/2011/05/lewis-hamiltons-monaco-grand-prix.html

" "For those regarded as warriors, when engaged in combat, the vanquishing of thine enemy can be the warrior's only concern." (Hattori Hanzo).

There is an abiding tension in Lewis Hamilton's racing psyche. On the one hand, he's a true warrior, and in motorsport terms, being a true warrior means that overtaking the driver ahead of you is your all-consuming concern; nothing matters as much as making that move, putting your opponent to the sword, leaving his entrails strewn upon the track.

On the other hand, Lewis has a desire to win multiple championships; an abstract task, which requires a strategic mindset, and the use of discretion in battle.

These two competing instincts remain unresolved, and Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix was perhaps a case in point. "


Then he needs to be acting in the vein of Sun Tzu instead of Hanzo.

There's a big difference between the mindset of a samurai in single combat, and a general trying to win a campaign.


Not for the first time I find myself becoming more of a grumpy old git than usual when reading some of the extreme pro and anti rants regarding Messrs Hamilton, Alonoso, Vettel et al. As a "old school" fan of 40+ years, I like to think I am able to analyse, criticise and above all enjoy racing, away from the cult of personality.

My only contribution to this particular debate is to state my increasing incredulity at the way the McLaren garage is becoming "the" place to be seen by any number of "celebrities". Have the camera hungry in your hospitality area by all means if that is what your sponsors demand...but in the garage....during a race! Madness. RD must be biting back his temper on any number of counts.

I hate to say it but I can remember watching Bruce McLaren race - please can we get back to racing?


You can't remember seeing Bruce McLaren race? Not the McL M8 with the huge rumbly V8?

You must be just a boy!


Oh, sorry, I've just noticed you CAN remember Bruce McL. Must try to find my specs.


1969 Race of Champions @ Brands. Bruce in the new M7B outqualified Denny Hulme in the older M7A but retired after a few laps. I think Denny finished 2nd or 3rd. 11 years old and already a petrolhead. Now where's my anorak!


To be fair to Lewis it appeared to me that Rhinna was persuaded to meet Lewis for the benefit of the world feed. Let's not forget that there was a two hour break in coverage.

Not all channels have presenters at the track so many channels are stuck.on that world feed for all that time with nothing to show.

The been were lucky and clearly had to negotiate with the FIA to.break into the world feed after almost 2 hours. I don't recall this.ever happening before.

As for the shots of the wives and girlfriends they are undoubtedly irritating but are the choice of the local director. Let's hope we don't see it again.


I agree. Plus the constant camera cuts to the celebrities' reactions on every overtaking move at the expense of showing the move itself! It was annoying to see Jessica jumping instead of Webber's pass on Schumacher. What use is live coverage when most of the action that counts is first seen in replays only?

James can you pass our word to the broadcasters? We want to see racing, **not** celebrities.




Hamilton is simply not driving as well as he did in 2007. If this was 2007, Alonso would be happier, and the world would be Tut-tuting at Ron Dennis for not having given the drive to De La Rosa.

You can't call this bad luck. It's methodical, if not deliberate. If Button hadn't put him off, then he would have hit someone else later on.

He said himself that after Monaco he wouldn't change his style. Well, look what happens. He does the same thing and expects a different result. You don't have to be Einstein to call that crazy.


Good point. I think part of what is happening is that the rest of the field has finally has his number now (it took them a LONG time). When they see him in their mirrors, they now go on heightened alert, knowing that this guy is going to try something somewhere between brilliant and crazy. And they're going to defend a little more accutely.


Your love of anything Lewis is showing James. Too bad. Because Nikki Lauda, one of the best drivers of any generation has it right. Lewis' driving right now is very, very dangerous. And the comments themselves are not inflammatory but cautionary. Maybe if they are used as such, they will prevent something tragic from occurring.

Look, we all recognize Lewis Hamilton's talent. He does not have to prove anything to anyone, he has already won a WDC. But if he indeed is trying to make-up for the shortcomings of the car by over-driving it, then he is doing the sport and himself harm. I don't see Jensen or Alonso doing this.


As we all did when we fled our parental homes, Hamilton is pushing the envelope of freedom and expresson. It always takes a while for the truth of our parents' wisdom to sink in.

From my limited knowledge of Simon Fuller, it seems to me that his lucrative niche is largely the management of fashionable and tinselly but minor talents in the exploitation of their probably brief celebrity, the rewards being increased celebrity and financial wealth.

F1, however, is not about tinsel and minor talents; nor is it about celebrity. It is about the intense application of major talent and any celebrity is borne out of success. Unlike the pop world, notoriety and celebrity are not good bedfellows.

Hamilton is a major talent, potentially one of the greatest, and he needs to concentrate on developing it to its best advantage. The peripherals will come later, if he still wants them.

As for the future, perhaps Red Bull could be seen as a perfect home, its Adrian Newey-designed winners and rock'n'roll image being ideal partners for the Hamilton brand of cool.

Comparisons with Senna are futile. Sure, both are linked by remarkable speed and raw talent but, as is so often the case, the eras are very different. In today's world, Senna would have been in front of the stewards possibly even more often than Hamilton has this year. His greatness, like every other drivers, derives from the rules and conventions of its time.

If Hamilton seeks true greatness, he needs the results and a mindset that thinks of little else. The seemingly unassuming, dedicated young man who took his position as a role model (not an icon of cool) se seriously needs to return.


Then maybe he should have left the nest sooner.

By the time I was 26 I had done four years in the Marines, gone back to school and had a son.

Hamilton is too old, and been in this business too long for his impetuousness to be blamed on his youth.


At last, it had to be said, thanks. A fabulous driver, quick and talented but.....so very immature and maybe a little unworldly having been bought up in a motor racing bubble.


I get the impression that Hamilton might be preoccupied with creating his own legend and also being compared favourably with the legends (& myths) - ie. 'if i go from x to x position in the first few laps they'll talk about me like they talked about Senna - rather that racing in the here and now. No point trying to stamp the mark of history on every single race.


Comment from button:

"But we spoke about it and he was very good actually. He was one of the first people to congratulate me after the race, which was really nice to see."

Hamilton was summoned to speak to the stewards but escaped punishment.

However, the 26-year-old declined to speak to the British media, not out of any anger at his collision with Button, but believing that his fellow Englishman deserved the limelight.

"He's a racer, a fighter," said Button. "For me that is the reason why I wanted to be here [at McLaren], against and with a driver that is super talented, one of the best drivers Formula 1 has ever seen.

"It's good challenging him on the circuit. We have a lot of respect for each other.

"We've raced each other a lot this year and last year, and we've never touched. We've always given each other room. For me that's a great position to be in."


I suggest it would be only fair for you to credit the BBC when you lift that much from their post!


"And I beat him".

J. Button, team leader, McLaren.


Lewis is an immense talent and in Canada as always was willing him on. I don't think anyone can doubt his capabilities but seems to be making very rash decisions at the moment and does not appear to be as measured as previously seen. The loss of his dad as manager i think is still affecting him and is missing the calming influence which helped so much at the beginning of his career in F1. I don't doubt that before long Lewis will be back to his best and overall he has been a breath of fresh air since he joined F1. Slightly different subject, I don't think his chats with Red Bull can be helping and believe there is some truth in the rumours but my advise to Lewis would be to stick out for another few years with Mclaren as I am sure there are more championships to be won with them. In terms of Red Bull the day Adrian Newey leaves I cannot see things being as they are now so there you are Lewis, my probably useless bit of advise to you!


I don't think there is anything wrong with his head. He was trying to pass his team mate and he puts him into the wall. An action which Schumacher almost got black flagged for last year.


That's a nonsense comment. Watching the footage from Hamilton's on board camera, by the time Hamilton has decided to attempt the move the 2 cars are so far over to the left (pit wall) that he had to put his left wheels on the grass in order to do so. In the wet that's just stupid. All the way down the pit straight in Jenson's tow he had the box seats to see where the lead Mclaren was going and it wasn't going anywhere unusual, merely taking the racing line as is the lead cars prerogative and duty. Hamilton had ample opportunity to exercise some circumspection and lift out of the throttle momentarily and live to fight another day. This was his failure, nothing to do with Button. If you're ahead you defend your line, end of and Hamilton tried to make 2 go into one in a gap that was never going to be there in a million years.


One thing which strikes me is Hamilton appears to have some misguided belief,the recent "new" managemnent ie Fuller and co have done little to enhance his reputation,he is supposed to be a racing driver not a pop star. Hamiltons father i,m not a fan of but he seemed to keep his sons feet firmly on the ground,and his very public dismissal was in my view unforgiveable,he must have felt completely destroyed by his sons actions.


I cringed when I saw the entourage in the Mclaren garage. Lewis needs to ditch the skulking faux American ("frickin'")'gangsta' persona and focus on the racing. The guy has huge speed, but he cant RACE to save his life. A few have mentioned his problem - his sense of entitlement. I believe this has plagued him throughout his career (remember his 'monkeys at the back of the grid' jibe?)He thinks he is the new Senna. Im sorry Lewis - you are nowhere near. Classless, arrogant popstar wannabe is my summation.

Personally, I hope JB goes on to win more and lead the team through the year. That was the most self assured, consistent piece of driving Ive seen in years, and always, always he is a true gent and an exemplary team player. Mclaren must be delighted with him - he really is an asset to the team.


I can't figure out why Hamilton wasn't given a grid penalty for the accident with Button. When two cars run into each other on a straight, surely this is an "avoidable accident"?


James, I agree with your comment on Nikki Lauda, I have a high regard for his achievements in Formula One, however he never seems to let a bit of hyperbole go to waste. Yesterday's television race coverage showed Ron Dennis a few times, and his body langage said all that you needed to know about Lewis' moment with Jensen. Flubbing one's lines is a good way of putting it, unless one performs in some way at this level it is difficult to express what a fine line there is between pushing hard and pushing too hard. Lewis often speaks of passion, but in my opinion what a driver needs as much or more is cool clear headed calm, and I think that's the edge that Button had over Hamilton Sunday. Showing off his freshly broken car to the posse wasn't such a good idea, even if it was during the Red Flag when many of the drivers were getting a cup of tea anyway.


Hamilton needs to take a look in the mirror more often. He blames his team, his team mate, other drivers, stewards and is now rumoured to be in talks with Red Bull.

If McLaren is such a bad team, how come his team mate has managed to fight for and win in the last two races? Oh that's right, because he didn't lose his head and then blame his screw up's on "passion" or "entertaining his fans".

The McLaren has proven itself to be a good race car, if not over one lap. The problem is Hamilton can't manage more than a few laps in the pack before he's making contact with other cars - I don't think all the incidents are totally his fault, but no other driver has had as many collisions or visits to the stewards this year.


Nice article - I was hoping to see something on this topic.

My question: If races are started under safety car conditions in the interest of safety, at which point do those same interests reach the threshold that will see drivers removed from races? 4 incidents in 2 race weekends suggests to me there is quite a major safety risk in Hamilton. If this continues is there any chance of a ban/suspension?


Webber, Button and Alonso need to sit Hamilton down and tell him to calm down, they are all going to need each other to finish every race well, if anyone of them are going to have a chance against Vettel.


I think the point most seem to overlook is that in monaco Hamilton's 'errors' actually gained him two places - had he not made the moves he would have finished 8th. Therefore surely he has only had one bad race given results are all that matter and as such - why is everyone getting so cross?


so making up places at the expense of other drivers is something we should be happy or encourage?? I don't think so.

He got 6th place in Monaco but how many points PM and Williams lost because of that? How many points did Massa and Ferarri lost?

You should be ashamed of yourself with such a comment..


sigh - your point would be much better made without the emotive final paragraph. The comments on this site are usually more responsible and contructive leading to healthy debate.


You are right and I am sorry. At the time I wrote the comment I was furious at what Guy posted in his attempt to make Lewis look better.



I think there is definitely a bit of Senna-esque 'let me through or we both crash'. Some may not agree with that mindset. But this is F1, and when competition is this fierce you have to drive on the very edge of whats fair and whats not fair to achieve greatness. It's not a question of being great, its a question of trying to be THE greatest. Not many drivers have achieved true greatness without some controversy along the way. I feel that whether he achieves greatness or nor will be dependent on having the right car only. This is why even as a McLaren fan, i would support a move to Red Bull if they are still competitive.


As others have stated above he has this sense of entitlement about him. As for the entourage on Sunday, I can't imagine that being allowed when Ron Dennis was in charge. He's undoubtedly a great driver, but just lately his ability to race, more specifically overtake in anything other than a gung-ho "coming through!!!" fashion seems to have evapourated. Montoya-esque....and look where he is now.

As for the comments that Jenson should be penalised for running him into the wall. I don't believe he should. Hamilton was overtaking into a fast disapearing wedge of available track as Jenson stayed on the racing line. A racer would have taken Jenson down his right side. With the additional speed Hamilton had at that point he would have made it without incident.


I would wager that Hamilton's performances would improve if he stopped inviting his entourage of the beautiful people to watch him race. He must feel under pressure to impress them and it just shows his arrogance that he asks them to attend to watch him, clearly in the expectation that he will perform and then receive adulation from the people that until a few years ago were nothing more than posters on his bedroom wall.

I fear he is being sucked into that rather naff "Hippety Hop" bling culture where outward displays of wealth hold sway over ones ability to attain status amongst ones peers. Why he feels the need to show the world how famous and successful he is by wheeling out his equally famous chums for us to gasp in awe at is something of an irrelevance to the business of racing and it appears to be proving to be an unnecessary distraction to the lad.

Having Scherzinger at the races is one thing, but half of the NBA and Def Jam records is a bit OTT. Earth calling Lewis, please come back down.


The chav factor was getting a bit high. However we as observers also have to separate our opinions of his personal style from what may be actually distracting him. The Hip-Hop culture has certainly been detrimental to the NBA.


I agree in part with you guys too, but don't forget, Bernie expects each team to bring in its quota of celebrities to each race. With Lewis McLaren are now tapping a whole new social/commercial environment and a wealthy one at that - and its almost exclusively American.


I agree with you on this one. 100%


I am a big fan of Hamilton's driving and so much resembles Senna's driving style. At the moment he is driving with too much frustration and with no rhythm. He needs to get rid of this frustration and I am sure we will see the true racer.

This was the race I felt Hamilton could have shown his true talent like Senna did in Donington GP 1993. Hamilton should go back and watch this race, see how Senna executed his overtaking manoeuvres and was leading the race.

His first tangle with Webber was too deep, he needed patience and I am sure he would have got him without any contact. But he did well to overtake his team mate (Glimpse of the true Hamilton) before he messed up with Schumacher on the harpin and went too wide and hence losing a place to Button. This was the second key mistake by Hamilton trying to overtake Schumacher on the outside, he would have easily got him on the straight or on the start of the first straight before the wall of the champions. He should have waited and did the overtaking like he has done in the early part of 2010. The last mistake is shared with Button and Hamilton, Button clearly knew Hamilton was on the side, as he made a mistake on the corner towards the wall of champions, like Istanbul and like in China. But Button had to take his line and did not realise that Hmailton was there. Bad luck for Hamilton, but he and Button will learn from this.


He needs to concentrate and focus only on one thing Racing!!!


Hamilton needs to take himself back to China where he won, that was the true Hamilton for winning this year. If he follows this than more wins will come to Hamilton. He drove fantastically in Spain. The frustration spiral is from Monaco and now Canada.....lets hope he puts theses issues in the past and continue from his China GP win and win Valencia and so on.....he can get out of this situation by concentrating on the job on hand.


I've been thinking something similar for a while, where has the Hamilton that arrived in 2007 gone. That Hamilton was only interested in racing, going flat out late on the brakes making calculated ballsy overtaking. Now he has got rid of his Dad who seemed to very much keep his feet on the ground and we have this RnB style both ears pierced Mr Fuller managed person with loads of hangers on constantly publicly criticising his team. I think he needs to remember where he came from and what he is here today - drive cars fast, then hopefully we'll have the Hamilton from 2007/8 back.


Further to my last point, (sorry forgot to post it together..) I think that Hamilton is starting to get a bit chastised the sameway that Marco Simoncelli has been in MotoGP where certain people have another agenda and his reputation and the 'label of crasher' comes before what has actually happened.


Well, there is usually only one thing that gets you a reputation as a crasher and that's crashing. I think it's fair to say that Hamilton has created his own incidents this year and the sooner he realises it the better. All this talk about passion is all very nice but how long before it’s just an excuse? It's not really carrying any water these days.

Also, I think his "let me through or we're both going to crash" approach could be running out of steam. Perhaps the other drivers are on to him and why shouldn't his opponents adopt an "if you try to come through there we're both going to crash" attitude in order to disarm him of his technique?

His swashbuckling moves are very entertaining and he's produced magnificent feats of cunning and bravery thus far in his short career but perhaps the racing culture has moved on. There is no profit in wistfully persisting with a "Sennaesque" approach if that approach has become the square peg that you're trying to fit into a round hole.

You have to adapt to sustain a career through a succession of racing era's and Hamilton finds himself in a new one already. This coupled with being easily distracted by the trappings of fame and fortune is possibly conspiring to defeat Hamilton before he straps into the car.

It's an old adage but success at the top apparently requires total focus, determination and dedication to the exclusion of all other pursuits and this is currently being proven by Hamilton.


All Lewis needs to do is simply be more patient/conservative when overtaking. Just wait a lap or two longer for a better run on the car ahead doesn't seem particularly difficult to do. F1 cars are not designed to touch so you need to avoid it at almost all costs especially in a wet race like Canada where anything can happen as long as you’re actually still running!

Alonso has got the perfect balance going between aggressive overtaking and patience something Lewis needs to replicate.

It just seems he trying too hard, attempting to have a career defining performance every race. He needs to except this is F1 not touring cars. Just because he thinks constant attempts and creative attempts at overtaking should be rewarded won't make it happen. Problem with surprise moves is the other driver isn't expecting it and so collisions will happen. The championship is about risk analysis and endurance it's not a sprint. I personally dislike the fact any slight touches result in DNFs and drivers have to nurse the car around managing the tyres but these are the rules!

People love watching Lewis' overtakes etc. but ultimately he will be judged based more on how many championships he has won and not how!

People criticising Lewis' showbiz lifestyle are off the mark there’s no clear evidence to suggest it's affecting him. The pop stars/sports stars etc. probably asked to see him and he's out of the race anyway. So what is the harm? I'm sure a lot of the drivers are envious about this 'showbiz' lifestyle, 'earning potential' and attention he gets.

People need to get off his back and start achieving themselves instead of sitting at their desk criticising every public figure around. I'm sure if you were his father or mother or knew him personally you would be very proud. How many of you have reached an elite level in your field and have 50m in the bank at 26 and certainly have 100m+ by 30!



I think Niki Lauda goes too far when he says of Hamilton, “You cannot drive like this any more, someone is going to get killed.” At a time when the poignant movie about Ayrton Senna plays to huge audiences in Europe, that comment seems out of joint, inflammatory, tabloid.


Speaking about tabloid....

It´s tabloid, and just poor journalism to translate the German:

"So kann man nicht fahren, da kann es Tote geben."


“You cannot drive like this any more, someone is going to get killed.”

when even a brain dead internet translation robot is able to translate the meaning correctly.

The German "kann" is equal to the English "can"

Therefore, the correct meaning of his statement is

"You (just) can´t drive like this, someone can get killed" or as he used the plural

"You (just) can´t drive like this, people could get killed".

He (Lauda) never made the statement that, as a matter of fact, this is going to happen.

Now, you can think about this whatever you like, fair enough, but it is not such an ridiculous statement.

I think some people forget, that even considering the high safety standards of todays cars and tracks, F1 (motor racing in general) is a dangerous sport, where death is a very real possibility, if it´s not "your day".

Monaco and LeMans should remind people about this.

I find it really sad, to see that kind of journalism on this side too, and hope that some due diligence is done in the future, before quotes from other outlets get reused.

On the topic of Lewis Hamiltions current driving.

Does anyone know if he (or/and McLaren) is still working together with Dr. Kerry Spackman?

If not, it would be interesting to know, since when, this is the case.


I just wish everyone would stop scrutinizing Hamilton so much. I get that he is a easy target because he is always front page but I think its time we all rise above. Don't buy into the easy temptation of taking shots at the guys intelligence, skill, or character every moment things go wrong for him. Canada was mostly Buttons fault. Buttons instant "what is he doing?" is a classic response of someone who knows they just screwed up, yet we all jumped on Lewis because of the labels we've placed on him.

Contrary to what most think, I believe Hamilton is very intelligent, race savvy, and patient. Believe me, there are way more examples to show that Hamilton is quite brilliant instead of showing that he's too aggressive or unintelligent. However, most people don't examine him that way. What they do is focus on a few minor things and blow them out of proportion. It's so easy to focus on the negative.


A crucial attribute shared by great Formula One drivers is good judgement. From the beginning, Hamilton has displayed very poor judgement (including his denial of involvement in the spying scandal). There doesn't seem to be any strategic foundation to his actions, leaving only a gung-ho approach and desperate Hail Marys when the pressure is on. I think he learned this limited and futile approach early on in his F1 career from Alonso when they were team-mates at McLaren.

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