F1 Winter Break
Hamilton in a twist over Twitter
McLaren Honda
Posted By: James Allen  |  01 Sep 2012   |  10:52 pm GMT  |  128 comments

[Updated] Lewis Hamilton didn’t have a great day on Saturday in Spa.

First he went the wrong way on aerodynamic set up, selecting the higher downforce option and ending up well behind team mate Jenson Button, then he got into a twist with his Twitter feed, using the expression “WTF” to highlight his frustration with the decision, before swiftly deleting the tweet and rephrasing it. On Sunday morning he did the same with a photo of his telemetry printout out, compared to Button’s.

“Jenson has the new rear wing on, I have the old. We voted to change, didn’t work out. I lose 0.4 tenths (of a second) just on the straight” was the body of the tweet, but later version substituted “damn” for “WTF”.

“I’d just like to rephrase some things I said..” he later tweeted by way of explanation, but not before the tweet had been read from Sydenham to Sydney and been retweeted. The genie is always out of the bottle, however fast you try to pull it back in.

Social media and the direct contact with fans is a great and powerful tool, but it can also catch you out.

Hamilton has been using increasingly colourful language in his tweets, using the term “mofo” the other day and talking about his “homies”.

Many fans think that this is a very good thing as the drivers’ Twitter feed sits outside of team control and thus has a chance to be the less corporate side of their self-expression. It is considered to be closer to the drivers’ true feelings.

McLaren are one of the most advanced teams when it comes to social media and it’s given them a fresher image as a result, but clearly their intervention today to tone down Hamilton’s tweets was considered necessary, given the blue chip sponsors attached to the team.

* Curiously on Sunday he tweeted a photo of his telemetry showing his loss of straight line speed compared to Button’s.

Its shows him losing 0.5s in both the high speed sectors 1&2 but what it does not show is that the idea with running a higher downforce wing is that you make up a second in Sector 2. So the lap times end up more or less the same.

This is what happened with Kobayashi and Raikkonen, both of whom are running similar levels to Hamilton.

But mid way through Sunday morning, Hamilton deleted that tweet as well…

Team boss Martin Whitmarsh called it an “error of judgement and confirmed that the team had asked for it to be deleted, while pointing out that he had deleted the Saturday one himself.

“The tweets over the weekend (yesterday) he took down of his own volition. No one spoke to him about it,” said Whitmarsh. “This morning he made an error of judgment and we asked him to take that one down, and he did.”

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This silly microscope is what makes the drivers so stale these days.... Disappointing that he felt the need to censor himself.


Could not agree more. The 'WTF' thing is a total non issue, anyone offended by something like that needs to reconsider their sensibilities.

What is an issue, is that Lewis decided to go against what almost the entire field was doing with the set-up of his car. It's gaulling, and it's not the first time. I am a ten year fan of Lewis, but this sort of thing is why he is not on Alonso's level - Lewis is blisteringly quick (possibly the quickest driver in the world) but I doubt his ability to support the development of a car, to set it up and to generally make decisions on things like tyres etc.

It's also an issue that he felt the need to offer an excuse for his performance at all, it's like he's saying the only reason Jenson is faster than me is because of the equipment! Smacks of insecurity to me.

On a sepertae note, anyone with a shred of sense can see that JB needs to support LH on his title charge, JB is out of it - McLaren are mad for throwing away another opportunity this year. Mad. (not made any easier by Lewis' qualy of course).


I think that events on Sunday have shown your last paragraph to be erroneous.



I think that is fantastic.

I like drivers who tells us what they feel and not a corporate bullshit PR answer to everything. Sport is feelings. If you do not feel anything watching F1 I suggest you change for some other hobby.

Should we not let the drivers feel or express themselves?

If someone standardised PR stoneface feels their brand will get a 0.1% decrease in liking they need to get off their university course literature manuals and enter real life.

People is attracted to characters and real figures. Not PR trained robots that half the grid currently is.

I hope Lewis will continue to be himself. If he goes over the limit he will owe up to that and admit he was wrong and 95% of the time it is just fine with whatever he says.

Personally I cannot stand those who says some thing but it shines right through them they do not beleive it themselves.

What do you care what other people think of you anyway? Would you change and be something you are not then you will be in deep trouble and inherently compromise your wellbeing.

Who disliked Prosts and Sennas temper?

What has changed since then?


Yes, sweeping statements often come back to haunt you.

A long way to go yet.

A shred of sense.......!!!


For years drivers have become corporate robots on TV with little or no personality, which is understandable considering the money involved. I like seeing a driver's personality on social media. I'd only say to them, remember children read your posts as well so be mindful


Hardly news commenting on Twitter.

If Mclaren were to change Hamiltons rear wing and use Buttons set-up, would the penalty be less than the gain in time over the race on a fast track with hard tyres.

I think I would prefer to start 24th with a 0.5 sec per lap advantage than 8th without a show of beating Kimi especially since pushing and overtaking should be possible.


I guess it depends if Hamilton can be comfortable on Button's setup and that wing, cos there was clearly a reason he didn't go with it in the beginning.

I expect he'll be stronger in the race anyway... until he reaches Pastor...




This sounds a great idea. James or anybody would that work?


this guy is a liability!


i agree completely with kp, and the crash was his fault....


What? Because sometimes he lets his emotions get the better of him? People complain about the drivers being robots, and when they actually don't act like robots, they get criticised as well.

I'm not a huge Hamilton fan, but he's the most exciting, daredevil driver out there. He's blindingly fast and the best overtaker on the grid. Sometimes he does lose the plot, or make stupid mistakes, but he's nowhere near being a liability.

Maldonado, on the other hand...


No Hamilton was actually being an [mod] there posting sensative material like that, he needs to grow up and realise he can't win them all and that Vettel and Alonso will be hard nuts to crack in the remaining races this season, in fairness Mclaren this season for most part has had a quicker car than the Redbull and definitely quicker than Ferrari all season and yet the only way to stop Fernando is to ram him off the track, it shows with all these outbursts that Hamilton is rattled big time, and serves him right, he isn't the smartest and to be honest he isn't faster than Vettel or Alonso either.


I agree with you "Dave C" and "kp", it really shows how much of a sulk he is if he posts this when any other driver wouldn't dream of it. During the last few races bar Spa, Button has had a torrid time in qualifying yet you don't see him tweeting these sort of immature things. Hamilton needs to grow up, stop sulking and accept that at certain times, other drivers are faster than he is. His attitude is all wrong and his reputation is faltering... especially overseas... He should really be setting an example for future generations and should learn from his more sensible, mature teammate. Until he actually uses his brain he will keep loosing the respect of the masses.


I loved H.A.M.ilton's later Tweet about how he'll tackle the race.


If that's the way Hamilton speaks then it should be fine. A lot of his fans will appreciate what is, in most cases, rather tame compared to the average first minute of a football match. I couldn't care less if Hamilton says WTF since about 95% of people in his age group use it as well. I don't consider 'homies' colorful language either - unless you're suggesting that he can't say anything from black culture to remind us he isn't white?

The concern should be that he sounds like a whining poor loser, not the 'colorful' language he uses. If jenson had complained about set up in reverse positions he'd be slammed as being a poor driver making excuses against Lewis superior talent.

I like Lewis a lot. I think he should use the most colorful language he knows if he wants but I also think he should try shutting up occasionally when he feels an excuse coming on (I'd probably suggest that to a few drivers actually).


Since when is "homies" just black culture? I've heard it used by Latinos in the U.S., and also by "white" folks.

It's ghetto talk, not related to any ethnicity.


This was my point actually. It originated in black culture but I took some minor offense to 'homies' being described as colorful language (which in English usually means swearing or controversial language). There's nothing remotely controversial about ANYBODY using homies and I found it's inclusion quite strange. My point was perhaps if sponsors are upset by using 'homies' they'd rather Lewis doesn't use a term that originated in black street culture. Of course Latinos and whites use these terms. If you read my post I was saying Lewis Hamilton talking like a 28 year old is not remotely anything to be ashamed of. The only thing he should be ashamed of is blaming a team

When a decision was made jointly by him.


I disagree about your thoughts on 95%. I don't think that he should do what others do. I don't think that some others should be used as an example here.

I think that sometimes it is normal that feeling get out of control and some emotions are expressed. He is just a human after all. No wonder that sometimes a sportsman can say something that does not sound too good. But it absolutely should not be a norm or common practice.

Somebody else said that some children might read his tweets. It does not matter if they know this or that word/expression. The fact that their hero uses those kinds of words could lead them to think that it is normal practice which it should not be.

Of course, as I said, you can't control yourself always and everytime and not everything is black and white. I recently saw a good programme on television where it was said that twitter has both negative and positive things.


This is exactly the way I feel AuraF1.

Your last paragraph is spot-on too. No-one likes whining excuses. Shrug your shoulders, admit you went the wrong way with set-up and get on with it. It is what it is.


As much as I understand that McLaren is a very controlling team in terms of how drivers handle press calls and dealings with sponsors [to the point where Ron Dennis supplied drivers with special jackets for press conferences to ensure that sponsors' logos were displayed as neatly as they could be], I think they should step away from controlling the drivers' twitter feeds.

At the end of the day, it's twitter. There's no need to use formal English, and as long as the drivers don't go too far out of line [e.g shaming a sponsor by name], teams should just let drivers say what they want.


He also mentions that he will drive tomorrow H.A.M. (you can find that acronym on google under "urban dictionary"). I think that is a poor use of language and he's really putting himself into a corner with regards to stereotyping. Of course his comments about what Ali G. said fits now just like a glove.


Well whether you think its a poor use of language or not he is still perfectly entitled to use it. And if anybody truly feels offended by this kind of language then the rest of us will feel very strongly that they can 'Foxtrot Oscar'.. if you catch my drift.


How old is Lewis - 27? His comments are like those of a childish brat. He needs to remember he is part of a very professional business - one that has made him a very wealthy man. He needs to start acting like a professional and forget the "gangsta/ bad boy/ bling" image.

He says he is "chillin with his homies" - really? I didnt know there were so many rap stars in Stevenage....


The problem is the humourless oldies who fail to understand the tone of his tweets...

Anyone under 30 would get exactly what he was saying...it's all very tame and trivial!


Na actually I'm 27 and I think his attitude stinks to be honest, he had the wrong setup and was slower this weekend anyway, just get over it instead of this immature nature always coming out when things don't go right.


I suppose the key is whether you think Hamilton was trying to blame anyone or not?

He was just venting his frustration, but wasn't blaming anyone....so I feel it's ok for him to get that off his chest.

I guess people have made their own minds about up what they think of all the drivers by now: us punters will never know fully what the whole picture is, even with twitter 'outbursts'.


No, everyone (over 30 and under) understands his language perfectly.

What is embarassing is that Lewis still acts like a little boy.

He needs to grow up and fast. I'd suggest that to do that he should leave his comfort zone and go to a new team. Sadly I don't think he has the balls to do it.

It's a sad indictment of our society that the world has become full of male primadonnas.

Lewis, son, MAN UP!


Thank you, Rodger! Well said, regarding not just Hamilton, but our society's acceptance of juvenile (not childlike) behavior.


I find it irritating that the drivers actions are so closely influenced by the sponsors.

I would love there to be some form of survey to see if people actually view the drivers actions as influencing their purchasing. I know that drivers opinions make no difference to what i buy and dont buy.

All this lack of real life does is seperate the fans from the sport more and more.


Well, when the sponsors pay the drivers millions of pounds..they have a say in it and Lewis agreed to that when contracts were signed.


“Jenson has the new rear wing on, I have the old. We voted to change, didn’t work out. I lose 0.4 tenths just on the straight. WTF”

Yeah, but Lewis isn't playing the long game here: he doesn't have a great qualifying car, but it should be better in the race with more downforce meaning he can get close enough exiting La Source to other cars, and then take advantage of his top notch DRS system on the run after Eau rouge. Lewis is too obsessed with the "here and now" to think about the future or the repurcussions of his current actions; that was why he tried to fight with Maldonado in the closing stages of Valencia, and came off very badly. Had he let him through he would probably still be ahead of at least the Red Bulls in the title fight.

However, I appreciate that Lewis is still a relatively young bloke who occasionally needs to do his growing up in public. But he can still have a great race tommorrow; there is no need for him to get into such a strop.

As for Twitter, I don't think it's anybody's place to say what specific terms and phrases he can and can't use. Infact, if I were him I wouldn't bother using rubbish like Twitter to moan about everything, but then again, there are a lot of other things I'd do different to Lewis...

Mike from Colombia

WTF is the problem with Hamilton expressing himself.

People laud Kimi Raikkonen for having character. Seems like everyone is hell bent on stifling Hamilton. No wonder he would probably like out from the McLaren straight jacket.

Leave him be. This should be a non story.


Yeah I think most of us agree!!


"The genii is out of the bottle"... is that a hint that Lewis is moving to Lotus next year?



I really don't understand this problem with "cursing". Why is this a bad word? Does it insult? No! Does is inflict harm to anyone? No! WTF is such a common expression. I really don't understand why people make such a big deal out if it in the Englisch language.


Because the image and reputation in the world of business is very important. Most (if not all) sponsors would not associate with someone using that language. The sponsors want to make sure that whatever a driver says is not damaging the reputation and their image. There will be people which might think that language is not appropriate and sponsors might fear that future clients will be driven away.

I think some of us, the fans of true racing, forget this sport is driven by alot of money, which not dictates almost every aspect of it. Sadly even the tweets and post race interviews.


A very similar occurrance to Monza 2010 qual.


My thought as well... again, Hamilton making a bad call on wing choice, then suffering because of it. Perhaps the engineer is to blame as well, but with Spa being 75% WOT, what did they think was going to happen?


Driver in "being human" shocker!


OMG the sky's falling.


Formula 1 is embracing social media more than ever this year. Yet the tone of much of their content feels corporate and contrived. These mediums began as the domain of the technological youth and have now spread to wider society.

WTF, LMAO, MOFO, OMG and many other acronyms are part of the parlance. Twitter has accentuated the need for coded language due to the restrictions placed on the number of characters permitted in a tweet.

When used in full, many of these acronyms appear offensive to the older generations. Yet the question is whether they have the right to dictate the grammar of this youthful medium.

The potential hypocrisy appears to lie in what my generation accepts as publicaly acceptable, whilst in private and known company we/they are comfortable with using verbally similar language. But that debate is for another day.

We love the post race - pre presentation honesty of the podium drivers chats whilst they towel down and adorn themselves with the sponsors caps and watches. Jenson telling Vettel he's under investigation and Vettels response was engaging TV. Sometimes the drivers say naughty words too.

But we are unimpressed by the corporate answers drivers give in the post race interviews. So how do we square the circle?

I know people who would never use the full version of WTF, yet they tweet this as a form of exclamation. When restricted to 140 characters we don't have time for "I was extremely surprised at ..." and would IWESA gain a place in common soicial media parlance?

This issue may simply be an English/American conservative objection and further the corporate brands are protected by those who are older in years.

Give me Lewis tweeting WTF rather than a sterile corporate clone response anyday. If your sensibilities are offended by this, the quill and parchment are still for you.


It's not the langauage that he uses that bothers me at all - it's that he feels the need to whing and sulk like a teenager, when he's a mid-20's millionaire employed by one of the best teams in the world.

It smacks of immaturity yet he can talk forever in his "corporate interviews" about how he's grown up since last year etc etc.

If he wants to be "real", then actually grow up and show as much, not just in the corporate responses, but personal as well.

Youi can't have it both ways.


Excellent post!


Couldn't agree more.


+1. You put that very eloquently!


It does indeed make Hamilton more fan friendly.

I notice a typo with 'genii' instead of 'genie'. Was there a thought that had he been a Lotus driver, no one have even raised an eyebrow in the team? =)


At the start of Qualifying, our Australian commentators raised my eyebrows when they happily told us that Lewis' choice of the higher downforce wing was because he was shooting for pole, which is doubly ironic in light of the final outcome. On a circuit renowned for its long straights and sweeping curves, with so much full throttle driving and so little braking, more downforce could only yield an advantage in particular climatic circumstances.

Lewis's decision represents a gamble on the likelihood of cold and or wet conditions for the race - it will be interesting to watch his progress if these factors occur.


Sky were reporting the same thing, though- lower wing, Hamilton shooting for pole...

Didn't make sense to me, but you don't know how much input the driver gets, I suppose? Could be a lot, but then they collaborate with their engineers, so it's always a team decision.......


Our Aussie commentators are a challenge to watch. They get bikes and V8 super cars, but it's really quite painful when then try and talk F1.


James should consider hosting the whole thing! #LachlanMurdochShouldListenToThis


"At the start of Qualifying, our Australian commentators"...

I can't stand the Australian commentators Mikey. They only repeat what they've already heard the BBC (or whoever) say. Craig Baird is OK but the other 2 should be commentating tennis or something else. Do you remember when Darrel Eastlake & Alan Jones did the commentary? It was at least tolerable.


A lot of Hamilton fans are young kids and no doubt they do follow him on twitter so for him to say things like "mofo" isn't setting the best example. It is cringeworthy though how he acts like some sort of rapper from the ghetto, when in reality he's a dork reading engine telemetry and downforce data.


What is the big deal? There is nothing wrong with swearing really.


Truly, there's nothing as anti-social as social media. I love 'The genii is always out of the bottle' - a subtle reference to the enhanced prospects at Lotus, or force of habit for James checking the spelling on a silly brand name every time he types it?


Also, there is nothing as narcissistic as social media.

It is like, "Look at me, I just had chips and salad for lunch"...and here is a photo of it...can everyone who doesn't have a life "Like" it.

Who bleedin' cares?!

With the exception of Fernando of course. I actually care what he has for his dinners 🙂


To get into the spirit of things... LOL unless blue chip doesn't mean coke-and-"escorts"-after-board-meetings chip.


LH is losing four-tenths to Button in the first sector, four-tenths in the last sector, gaining only a half-tenth on him in the middle sector. That is a horrific return for such a change, and how McLaren could've got that one so wrong, believing that the lap times could be comparable with either wing, is stunning. And that's considering LH and JB as equally fast in the same car, same set-up. Most I think would say LH is at least two-tenths faster than JB, on a long lap like Spa that could be three-tenths. So effectively Hamilton is leaving a second a lap on the table. I am simply gobsmacked that they could've got it so wrong. The only scenario where it would prove beneficial is if there's a rain shower in the race.


One part that I found interesting was all the ground he made up under braking. Most of the cornering speeds are the same for both cars, but it's under braking where Lewis makes up the most time.

However, into the last chicane, he makes up a ton of time, but loses it on the exit - I wonder if he braked too late and killed the exit.


Hence WTF. LOL!


It is surprising how they collectively managed to get it so badly wrong.


This alone is what makes me so angry! The journos are not asking theee questions that really matter. Jenson Button is constantly being made to look very good on the back of Lewis Hamilton at a very high cost to Lewis and as always with the help of deceit. This in-house political gamesmanship is being played out in front of the media since 2011 and really comes across as a protracted 2007 Alonso qualifying hold-up - if you get my jest. Yet, not one Journo steps up and simply asks what is going on. In a year where Jenson has been made to look pretty much mediocre this situation is not down to luck especially not if Lewis is correct when he implies that he was given the wrong information upon which he then made his decision. Something Jaime Alguesuari already discovered and outed on his BBC Podcast after the Australian GP. So, what is really going on between the Media, McLaren' Whitmarsh and Hamilton? ahh, who cares... This relationship is in tatters and I sense Lewis is trully off and away next year. McLaren' fav son is Jenson Button Lewis just happens to be too bloody fast. And on that I would want to just put focus to the same thoughts on Mark Webber over at Red Bull WTF man!?


Yes, because McLaren would *really* want their two drivers to line up 1 & 7 rather than 1 & 2, wouldn't they?

I don't think McLaren particularly prefer either driver, but even if they did, the thing that teams are most concerned about is the Constructors Championship, because that's what determines how much money they are paid at the end of the season. So to hobble either driver deliberately to that extent would just make absolutely no sense whatsoever.

I'm sorry if that ruins your paranoid conspiracy theory.


To be fair, they weren't mega-happy with the feel and pace of the car with the new wing in FP3, had a very long and detailed engineering discussion about the pros and cons of changing it, and all on Lewis's side of the garage (including the Great Man himself) decided it was the best way to go. If it had worked out the other way (ie, if the higher downforce spec gave Lewis eight tenths over JB) I wonder if you would be quite so flabbergasted, and if you would consider that the gap would have had anything to do with the wing or was simply down to the driver?

Besides, it might absolutely hoon it down today and Lewis would have the downforce and grip to lap the entire field.

But, in that scenario, I'd bet that would have nothing to do with his set up and everything to do with either...


I dont care about the 'way' Lewis express himself in Twitter. For me, the great point in his tweets was his great feedback right after the FP3 & quali.

When everybody was guessing about McLaren´s poor form in FP3, he came and honestly said that the team was in trouble and made great changes in set up.

After the quali, none knew what happened with his car until he came to feed us with trully and valuable infos in first hand.

Thats the point in Tweeter and we should thanksLewis for that.

Considering the fuss around his tweets yesterday, I bet we will find a very introvert Lewis in Tweeter again.


Your right and it's a real shame because following Hamilton on twitter the last few weeks I've begin to understand him better.

I really hope he carries on but fear he will be sanitised.


For me it's unbelievable that people and fans are getting bent out of shape because he used the words mofo and homies. You even have people mocking him for his twitter profile pic which is simply him wearing a cap and shades, apparantly dressing the same as many black people do is cringeworthy ???

Things like this only serve as a reminder that nerdy white middle class men make up the core demographic of f1 fans, at least in the UK.


Agree 100%. Think this is a SIATC (Storm in a Tea-Cup).


It's crazy, isn't it? Happily, I do think that this ingrained intolerance for all things different seems to be dying out with each new generation - I'm only in my thirties but I shudder to remember the sort of attitudes that were acceptable during my formative years (in other words: thinly veiled racism), and they don't seem to be anywhere near as prevalent in my teenage kid's world.

I think it must be frustrating for Lewis, but I hope he reads forums like this occasionally and understands that we fans, on the whole, really don't mind if our drivers want to be colourful, funny, gallant, daft, professional, ill-advised, mono-syllabic, outrageous, controversial. If we had 24 Kimis, 24 Alonsos, 24 JBs or 24 Lewises we would get very bored I think.

Vive la Difference!

Sorry, that last bit was my nerdy white middle class manliness coming out...:0)


Good point, the Paralympics are another good example of how that is changing

Tom Haythornthwaite

It's a pity drivers cannot just be themselves these days.

Could anybody have censored James Hunt?


James Hunt would have been too cool to use Twitter. Better things to do. Same with Barry Sheene.


There's no doubting Lewis's talent, sadly though, it's situations like this that make him come across as an immature, spoilt brat. Focus on the driving Lewis and quit trying to behave like Kanye...


Seriously? So Kimi saying on live TV that he was "taking a sh*t" is fine (remember: Kimi is cool, doesn't give a d*mn about anything, eats Magnums during races, etc.) but Lewis using acronyms is not?

Double standards, much?

Seems to me like people with an itch to scratch are just taking this opportunity to gang up on Lewis.


"WTF, MOFO, hommies…come on. He’s not playing with his buddies in the back yard while still 14."

I couldn't agree with you more MISTER. I have no problem with Lewis or his use of acronymns on twitter, just wish he would check his attitude sometimes and stop acting like a pretentious twat, didn't mean to hurt any fanboy feelings Jonny, simple


But because of comments like that, reporters like Martin Brundle don't even bother going and speaking with him on the grid.

WTF, MOFO, hommies...come on. He's not playing with his buddies in the back yard while still 14.


Or kimi at the Australian GP this year, interviewed about his poor quali position 'we f**ked up' ... live on the big screens. People who are uptight about swearing need to recognise this isn't 1930 England anymore... We got over the use of bugger... WTF!


It'd be interesting to know:

1) Who's the "We" in "We voted to change.."

2) Was there only 1 new wing?

3) When was the vote decided? Before qualy or at end of Q1


1. Lewis and the engineering team on his car

2. No they both had them, Lewis' side of garage decided to use the higher downforce setup

3. Before qualification, when Q1 starts you are in park ferme conditions.


Pretty sure they decided On the set up Friday night. So all of sat he was already on the old wing


If Mclaren have a pace advantage in the race as well (with the new wing), Lewis may be better off starting from the pitlane. There is a high chance of a safety car here, and no chance of rain today I hear.

He doesn't have the straight line speed to make much progress from 7th on the grid. In fact, chances are he will be the one in trouble from those Red Bulls and Grosjean behind.

If the new wing is quicker in the race and he starts from the pits the worst he can hope for is about 7th or 8th, more or less where he will finish if he starts with that old wing, if not better, loosing almost a full second on the straights as he is doing.

If there is a safety car, he may just end up making more progress than that.


U2 have a song called MOFO. Make sure they don't hear it.

Also, how would innocent children know what MOFO is? And why would a responsible parent allow un monitered access to anything on the Internet?

That would be really irresponsible.


Very interesting point.


0.4 tenths? Well, that's only four hundredths, Lewis--a good driver should easily be able to make it up... To be fair, I'm sure McLaren didn't hire LH for his knowledge of mathematics! 😉

BTW James, your quote of the tweet is incomplete, and therefore comes across as somewhat confused. You say they substituted "damn" for "WTF", but your tweet quote doesn't contain either. W. T. F? 🙂

According to the Guardian, the full tweet contained *both* expressions, and was: "Damn, WTF!! Jenson has the new rear wing on, I have the old. We voted to change, didn't work out. I lose 0.4 tenths just on the straight. Nothing I could do. Now, it's about picking up every point I can from there. Jenson should win easy with that speed."


If you read it carefully it talks about the main body of the tweet..


Problem with texting, tweeting, emailing etc, is that it is missing the non-written expressions. Tweeting is the worst for this as we only have 140 characters to use.

I vaguely remember reading years ago that 90% of face to face communicating is not related to the actual words. Tone of voice, facial expression and other body language are a huge part of the message.

During a divorce I experienced this to the extreme, and learned certain things cannot be done by text - as they are grossly misunderstood. Lol, Lmao etc help but even so...

Having the read the full tweet - there is a possibility it was done in a wry manner?


Sometimes I wonder if Lewis is a journalist rather than a racing driver, he seems to create or try and create more stories than they do. He's a big boy now , done over 100 gp's, McLaren have come out and said Lewis agreed to the high downforce configuration, so the general tone of his twitter comments that he has been hard done by smacks of Mofoism lol.


Follow @aussiegrit (Webber) if you want colourful language. Red Bull certainly aren't censoring him.


Oh, and WTF is McLaren for 'What the Fandango?', so the original should stand.


You have to be seriously stuck up for criticising Lewis for saying what he wants on twitter. Like seriously who cares. It's his twitter his opinion. I only joined twitter 2 weeks ago and Lewis's has been the best one to follow yet. And this is coming from someone who in 2007 2008 couldn't stand him at all for the arrogance he had with some of the things he said that showed a lack of respect to others. But he has improved that and know I don't support him but I don't mind him either.


He could have meant 'World Taekwondo Federation'... maybe he was going to vent his frustration with some martial arts?


I think one of the reasons drivers have become "corporate robots" is the (lack of) professionalism in media. Not too many (light weight) journalists will take every opportunity to create a "story" of something a driver says (or does not say) if that driver expresses himself coulorfully. "Creating a story" will include missquoting, taking out a separate part of a sentence/conversation and using that to give an impression that the driver was saying something totally different than what he actually did, when you consider the context... If I was a driver, I would not say a word more than what todays drivers actually do (yes, I think I would become a Kimi) in interviews with most media.


I didn't know what H A M meant, looked it up. Made me laught out loud! Look if you don't like or want your kids to read these comments then maybe you or your kids shouldn't read or follow adult comments. Enought said


Wow again we have a discussion about absoltutely nothing!

Hamilton said or tweeted nothing wrong or conroversial. The media must have been very desperate at the time Lewis delivered them nothing to have a go at him

Where have they been as he was speaking about Shakespeare, Neruda & Elliott via Twitter?

Other drivers swerar in their interviews call collegues named make silly gestures, but Lewis once uses WTF, a very common phrase today, hell breaks loose

It's a shame how far our society came , when someone can't speak his mind and express himself in the same way we ALL do.


James, this comment is not necessarily a criticism. But your story, even by writing and posting it, is in it's own way caving into political correctness and celebrity reporting. Who cares that Lewis says WTF and talks about his homies? Although I acknowledge a journalists right to write about what they want, some sense of journalistic integrity must also play a part. Maybe next time you can leave out the twitter feed stories? Maybe that one is best left to those who choose to receive Lewis' feed, and Lewis himself? Just a thought.


Disagree completely.

I'm putting it out there with some context to see what people think. Read the comments, it's a mixed response.

I think it's great that drivers tweet and give their honest opinions. The language they choose to use reveals a lot about them. It's part of modern F1 and as a site that has done a lot on that side in the last three years (I was one of first in F1 onto Twitter at start of 2009) I think it's interesting


worrying thing for Lewis might be that while he was engaging with twitter, the other contenders for this year's title, Vettel, Alonso, Raikkonen, were all busy working on their strategy for the race ..... wtf !!


Well, as Flavio said way back in 1994 :-
"All the team owners are orientated towards the technical side rather than the entertainment side, and this is a big fault."

So, maybe Twitter will extend the life of the ossified F1 formula by enabling a paradigm-shift away from that technological focus to a personality-driven one within its fan-base, thereby increasing the latter by an order of magnitude.



Update :-

Now that's more like it, Lewis.

As an F1 fan I much prefer Telemetry Data to spurious WTF's.

Keep it up - don't let the 'suits' deter you!



[mod] !??!

Too close to the bone for you, James?


WTF - straight forward enough to my old ears. I've thought and said worse before today.

James - what about your fellow BBC commentator DC making a reference to Q2 as squeezing 17 into 10.......harder that getting three in a bed.

Now that's tacky in my view.



Do you think yesterday was more of a reflection that Mclaren keeping getting lost too many times this year on set up?

They got it incredibly right with one car but it was the one that isn't challenging for the title. It seems this inconsistency with both drivers is costing them a real shot at the championship.


Vodafone should conduct an internal survey to see how many sms messages containing 'WTF' pass across their network every hour. I'd be willing to bet its a fair amount more times than the words 'please' or 'thankyou'


He should have tweeted "WTF, why did i lose it at Rivage on my first quali lap and why did i break so late into turn 1 on my second?? I know...cos my brain was in L.A chillin with my homies.....mofo


Mofo? He's clearly a U2 fan!

I know I'm the only one saying it right now, but twitter will be dead and gone in a couple of years, just like MySpace before it. Not sure why F1 is hanging on to F/T/W (facebok/twitter/wordpress) so much - I mean, once you start using social media, you're mainly promoting Facebook and Twitter, not your own website or its wonderful features. And when Twitter is down - you're down and out too! Not very clever; I wouldn't want to be known only for tweets or facebook likes, it's pathetic. BBC and Autosport are now regularly producing articles built around a small tweet, that's lack of professionalism I think. Write a proper blog entry, playing around with words based on a couple of incoherent statements from LH, or whoever it might be, is sort of naive, dunno. Doesn't feel right.

Drivers on twitter is a sad story, wish they kept their thoughts to themselves, it's very 5-year old kid level stuff.


Lack of professionalism, yes.

Also lazy journalism. When you read these tweets, in the main they are disappointing - not giving any real information just disjointed spur-of-the-moment thoughts.

So Hamilton tweeted WTF ? You have to know what that means to be "shocked" or "upset" or even "horrified".

These people are at the least disingenuous with their mock indignation.


One thing I do not get - Why is not this guy doing what he is best at: being a hiphop star, a DJ or whatever instead of crashing out title leaders and contenders!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


After looking at replays...HAM probably was a victim himself. grojean...once again confusing real life racing with codemasters 2011...


Lewis should realize that he can't use foul language like Jenson had to the press, and not be raked over the coals.



Posting that telemetry is astonishing. I'm sure "WTF" is a pretty close approximation of what Martin Whitmarsh will have been thinking when he saw that.


Just to prove Lewis' complete and utter refusal to accept that he was soundly beaten in qualifying - the prize prune tweeted a photograph of a telemetry trace this morning before the race, giving a few lovely bits of sensitive data to anyone who chooses to look (ride height, for example). Mclaren told him to remove it.

That photograph, with the handwritten notes in red ink pointing out that he was losing "0.6 seconds, 6 TENTHS" tells me a few worrying things about Lewis' mental state. Tweeting that was the most stupid and poorly though through thing I've seen any professional sportsman do.


The team from Woking should either sack him immediately, or sit him down for a race. Releasing sensitive information like that is equivalent to treason. I'm not a fan of Ron Dennis's team, but this sort of breach is totally unacceptable from an employee.


I cannot help but feel sorry for the guy, as he is exposing his shortcomings (regarding strength of mental state) so damn easily and publically, I mean publishing such things at Twitter!?!?!?! This is how it gets when Brittish media lifts a man up to the sky and declare him a god, without having too much substance if any, to support it. At the end the poor man believe it himself and behaves accordingly, thinking he has to show/prove each time something does not go according to plan that "it was not my fault, I am still the wonder your are promoting me to be, see prove".

Of course, there are some other ways to see it. It could be simply his way of getting back at the team, for not yet declaring that they will start supporting him 100% from now on, even though Button is (was) some 90 points behind leader. Or, maybe he and Mclaren already know they will part ways at end of the season, and he simply does not care anymore.

Anyway, obvious question is are (the super professional) Mclaren still interested?


This incident proves once again that Lewis never doubts about himself. Instead he always tries to blame someone else.

This is typical behaviour of certified ***holes. Paddy Lowe is saying that Lewis agreed to changing wing! Big Bad Ron should intervene, fire Lewis and hire Kimi instead! (If he doesn't end up in Ferrari, i.e. ;-))


...and go to ALO and appologise for being an incompetent manager and a total noob in 2007.


Oh, dear me, finally, a human being that freely expresses his feeling.

Well done, Lewis.


While there's lots of attention centred on the 'WTF's' and 'down with the homies' isn't the real question, why the most manicured entrant to F1 failed to live up to expectations?

Hamilton entered F1 as a PR man's wet dream making an immediate impact, he also clearly demonstrated a complete lack of judgement and courted similar controversy (including the latest disclosure on Twitter) throughout his time with McLaren. To the extent Matt Bishop was brought in to keep a lid on his ill-judged remarks and behaviour.

Not a lot has really changed with Hamilton continuing to put both feet in every time he opened his mouth.

But does his lack of control matter? Well not were he delivering on race-day, but even if he were McLaren's sponsors would still require a wholesome 'image' to promote. That image carefully nurtured by Hamilton sen. evaporated years ago although McLaren have steadfastly stuck by him you have to ask for how much longer.

With Hamilton fast approaching his sell-by date and you'd have to say with little reported interest from a front running team for 2013. Wouldn't he'd be better ingratiating himself with Whitmarsh and not pissing them off especially if he still harbours ambitions of eclipsing MS's multiple WDC's, maybe it's too late and Whitmarsh has already arranged a swap for diResta


Couldn't agree more ,stop throwing the dummy about and get on with it.


Naturally the big issue, for McLaren at least, is that their driver has leaked sensitive technical details about their car. Any engineer worth their salt can extrapolate a lot of useful details from the telemetry. Media loves sensationalizing the colorful language issue whilst the other teams love Hamilton for this gift.


James, look at the throttle trace at the bottom. In every braking zone, they lift the throttle, and then go immediately to wide-open-throttle through the braking zone as they downshift. Clearly some serious exhaust blowing going on there...



is it not a civil offence to be leaking confidential information like this? I know it certainly would be and as a journalist yourself, I know you are very aware of the consequences of leaking confidential information (or in your case, disclosing contacts/sources).

There is no doubt that there is a breach of contract in his actions but McLaren could take it much further if they wanted to.

Is Hamilton does eventually get let go, I'm sure he wouldn't find it hard to get another drive because his talent is undisputed. But I feel his lack of maturity, mental toughness and possibly even intelligence will stop him from reaching the heights he so easily could.


If an engineer did it he would be sacked on the spot, I'm told.


Also, about the words he used. I don't it's actually that bad, some media sites made it seem worse than it is until I found what he actually tweeted.

So no, it's not the 'WTF' that grates with McLaren, it's the context that surrounds it. It implies a lack of self-blame and that the team and his engineers are to blame which doesn't rub well with the sponsors. Context is important in these cases and some people are missing it.


Nobody likes a whiner, especially if they are a prima donna too! Worldclass Texting Failure (WTF) Lewis! Next time use words that don't make you look like you failed your high school English class and stop complaining in a feeble or petulant way. Stupid is as stupid does.

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