When did the Hamilton backlash start?

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Lewis Hamilton is now looking at a serious chance to win the championship in the next two races.

Although he’s been hailed for bringing a new generation of fans to the sport (particularly in Britain), there’s growing criticism of the McLaren driver in some quarters.

Here’s a sample of some of the remarks made about Hamilton on this blog – what do you think of them, and what do you think of Hamilton?

Hamilton has been spoon fed with McLaren’s silver spoon ever since he first sat in a go-kart. No other driver EVER has had the personalized training Hammy has got, most have to fend for themselves, some even have to bring MONEY, most start in a Minardi like team ?�?�?����?�?�?�.. and oddly there are times when one can see Hamilton doesn’t fully appreciate what McLaren have done for him. He’s a good driver as he’s been well trained, but deep INSIDE he’s still a ?�?�?����?�?��ǣsnotty kid?�?�?����?�?�?�.

Number 38 Click link to view full original comment in context

I find it hard to believe that there are so many people who think that Lewis is one of the best drivers ever – he isn’t even the best driver on the grid. I can think of at least 4 or 5 current drivers who are more talented than he is.


Hamilton has turned into a similar brat.


Hamilton is a snotty geek


LH now seems to be the only man to have messed up in Hungarian Qualifying, and Alonso has bore the brunt of that in the British press.
Hamiltons credibility is the only thing in question.For example – he apologised to Alonso for qualifying, and Alonso says he had nothing to apologise for, (LH gained from his own wrong doing)
He is not happy living in Britain with the high taxation, and is gonna move outta the country, and he is blaming it on the press for making accusations regarding his love life.
He is at all costs trying to preserve his ‘image’.
There is certainly nothing worse in this life than a liar. If you are in the wrong LH, be a man and say so?�?�?����?�?�?�.a quality of Alonso..say it like it is.

Alonso at least can say it like it is?�?�?����?�?�?�.maybe LH should learn from him.

LH does not deserve to be World Champion?�?�?����?�?�?�


I realise debates of this sort can get a little heated (see the comment policy for terms and restrictions and contact me in the event of any objections), so let me make a few qualifying remarks.

Firstly, I’m not at all interested in trying to persuade people to like Hamilton. I just want to know who out there has decided they do like Hamilton, and who’s come to the opposite conclusion, and why. For instance, does the enormous amount of media coverage he gets turn people against him?

I’m also interested to know when. For example, a fair few people were put off by what he did at the Hungaroring (refusing to let Alonso past at the start of qualifying), and I must admit he went down in my estimations then too.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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69 comments on “When did the Hamilton backlash start?”

  1. I like him. He’s slightly cocky at times (but in a good way I think) he’s sort of saying “come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough”. He seems to be a “character” which is refreshing too.

    Not letting Alonso past on the track (despite some team orders) is fine in my book. There shouldn’t be team orders apparently, and Q3 is basically the first part of the race as far as I can tell.

    But yes I too felt he’d been a bit silly. But when he sang “rise above it” from the movie cool runnings in an interview with Steve Rider I immediately liked him for it. It was a very cheesy thing to say but it reminded me that he’s young and inexperienced and also quite a funny guy.

    I would trade his pre-race comments for most others. I’ve never seen another driver say to Martin “I’m going try and take them on the first corner, but if I can’t do that there’s a good chance into turns 4 and 5.” Most other drivers would keep that to themselves. He doesn’t care, he wants the rest – the establishment – to know he’s coming for them.

  2. for me it was back in May this year, post monaco.

    it was about that time that i realised the persona presented to the media wasn’t the true character of the guy. i quickly got sick of silly comments like:

    “I’ve got number two on my car. I am the number two driver.”

    you could argue that drivers should be different animals when inside the car, but as you mentioned above, my initial concerns were bore out during hungary qualifying and everything that followed – like the way he tried to backtrack on swearing at ron (just be a man and admit you’re not perfect, sheesh), he’s so concerned about his perceived image it’s pathetic.

    i think sunday’s antics behind safety cars (dangerous driving, then complaining to race control that cars behind were too close), is further evidence of the hypocrisy of the man.

    i don’t think he’ll be a “great british champion”, in the mould of someone like mansell. rather a “selfish champion” in the mould of schumi.

    i’m not questioning his driving ability. i just don’t have any desire to support him.

  3. Hamilton fan
    2nd October 2007, 8:37

    i think he a fantastic driver and a supreme talent whos come under alot of pressure this year because he;s come in and made the establised drivers look silly!

    deserves the tittle this year!

  4. I like Lewis, too. Yes, he’s had his silly moments (like that at the Hungaroring), but they are nothing compared to what Alonso has done (mostly his Stepneygate activities, but also his actions at the Hungaroring, and to a lesser extent, Nurburgring post-podium and Spa start).

    Why do I like Lewis? Maybe it’s because he reminds me so much of Michael Schumacher. He’s insanely talented, insanely quick, and someone who has full respect for everyone in the team. He doesn’t like them all, for sure, but he has respect for what they do. With all due respect to Number 38, I do think Lewis appreciates what McLaren has done for him (ever since he was 6!), and that’s why he’s said on a number of occasions that he doesn’t want to leave McLaren. We don’t know yet if he will indeed stay, but if he does, there is true loyalty.

    I think the Lewis backlash began at Monaco, when he complained against the use of team orders. I think that wasn’t particularly wise (considering he could’ve voiced that out internally), but it shows that he is a racer, and he has that urge to win.

    KB, we can’t assume that Lewis will leave Britain because of taxes. The paparazzi there are indeed a mess – ask Kate Middleton. In fact, his father said they’ll probably stay there for the time being. And if there’s one thing I hate about Alonso, it’s that he’s paranoid about what’s going on around him. And he talks too much about it. He isn’t saying it like it is, he’s just – whining. He’s a very, very good driver, make no mistake – but I just don’t like him off-track.

    Rohan, Lewis isn’t one of the best ever – yet. Give him 5 years (and 3 titles) to get there. Best on the grid? He’s on the same level now as Kimi and Alonso, but it will take a season or two more to surpass them.

  5. I like Lewis, always have done. I like his confidence (which some people percieve as a very unBritish “cockiness” – something our sportsmen should NEVER have – they’ve got to be humble and rubbish), I like his enthusiasm, I like his positive attitude. I like the fact that, on his qualifying lap at Fuji, you could see his helmet bobbing forward on the pit straight as he seemed to be willing his car to go faster. I like the fact he started playing the old mind games with Alonso before the Japanese Grand Prix.
    I guess that there are a lot of noses that have been put out of joint by the fact he’s been on McLaren’s payroll since he was an embryo, that some people operating out of the back of a Ford Mondeo estate have been karting against the seemingly bottomless pockets of Ron Dennis. (Having said that, as a karter Button was always regarded with jealousy/contempt for the fact he always seemed to have the best equipment and the most financial backing).
    The plain fact of the matter is, if Lewis Hamilton was an average driver he wouldn’t be leading the driver’s championship. If he was an average driver he wouldn’t have shown Alonso the way home in North America. Kovaleinen showed how a rookie “should” behave in his first year in a top-level team – overdriving, throwing it off the track, making mistakes, but he has learned and improved as the year has gone on. Lewis has been on it from the first race.
    As for Mansell being a “great British Champion” – he was a constant pain in the backside with his incessant whingeing and whining when everything wasn’t perfect. Even when he was in the most dominant car in 1992 and had lapped the whole field up to his team-mate he would still moan that his race was difficult. I’d argue that we haven’t had a great British Champion since Jackie Stewart.
    It’s about time that Britain had a winning F1 driver with the sort of confidence-bordering-on-arrogance, steel, nerve and outright single-minded determination of Senna & Schumacher. (I often wonder how British sports fans – & the media in particular – would regard Senna & Schumacher if they were British – would they applaud their efforts or deride them because the way they behaved on track just wasn’t cricket, old boy). Lewis fits the bill in my book.
    If he were Italian, German or Brazilian we wouldn’t even be having this discussion.

  6. sidepodcast, just saw your post now. Indeed, he’s not the friendly boy next door. But I don’t really mind. Everyone wants to have a good image, he just hasn’t been particularly good in managing it. But he’s just a kid, and that will come in time.

    I respect your dislike of him, it’s just that I don’t think any driver is that much better than Lewis in this area.

  7. I’m biased, since I’m have been an Alonso fan since he started at Minardi, and right now it looks like the little brat will keep him from his third title. Fair enough, because LH has been the most consistent driver in the field, with the ever important margins on his side.

    The media has played it’s role in my dislike for him. I subscribe to F1 Racing, and when you always get his face on the cover you get tired of him. It’s very impressive to win in your rookie year, but not everybody gets to drive the best car in the field, while being the team bosses golden child.

    I also think his comments are bade. He wasn’t even close to winning in Monaco, but still he whined about being denied the victory because of strategy. But lately he has become a lot worse. His comments about his team mate has been a lot worse than vice versa.

  8. Their comments really remind me a lot of Prost and Senna. That started in 1989. The feud didn’t end until 1993! In those days, it’s either you go for Prost or Senna, no 2 ways about it.

    20 years later, history is about to repeat itself.

  9. I rate him as a driver and the point is it’s not HIM I don’t like as such its the enormous amount of media coverage that he DOES get that riles me.

    I’ve watched F1 since 1994 and never have I seen such bias in ITV’s coverage when it came to a British driver.. Murray was NEVER that bad when it came to Damon. Okay so Hill didn’t win his first title in his first year as it now appears that Lewis will but even so..

    The thing about Lewis is, to me, he comes across as being fake.. a machine. almost too perfect for his own good that he can’t do no wrong. Instances like calling backmarkers “monkeys” and continually griping about the Spa incident (what incident ?) and the fact that he instigated the whole Hungary qualifying saga and no one but Alonso gets the blame, well…

    I think he’s had it easy in F1 ..coming to the best team on the grid where others have to languish in Minardi-type teams for sometimes years before they get a break well he has had it easy hasn’t he ?

    I just cant warm to the guy no matter how I try. And the British medias coverage and hype surrounding him is sometimes nauseating especially ITV’s coverage…I almost now look forward to the Winter break so I wont have to hear the waffle coming from James Allen or see the twinkle in Steve Riders eye get bigger every time he mentions “Bri’ains Lewis ‘amilton”.
    In 2007 its not been about F1 its all been about Lewis and if he’s staying at McLaren for another 5 years as rumours suggest then I may have to stop watching F1 altogether…

  10. F1 is not a popularity contest, it is one of the most fiercely competitive sports today. In a season dogged by controversy the performance of Hamilton has shone through. He has shown consummate driving skill and been prepared to make manouevres and race which few others on the grid ever contemplate. A grid made up of Coulthard, Raikkonen, Ralf, Fisichella race-alikes, gimme a break.

    So we now not only expect him to be a great racer but also completely user friendly for the press no doubt performing photo stunts and recording anodyne interviews. Leave Hamilton alone – cheer him as a star or boo him as a 220mph panto villain, you pays your money….

    For me – one of the best things to come into F1 for years.

  11. A lot of these comments pretty much sum up how I feel. I don’t hate the guy, he’s a fantastic driver, but he’s massively hyped, and honestly I’m kind of weary of it, and it’s only going to get even worse if he takes the title.

  12. I am one of those who dislike Hamilton, and it’s for a number of reasons.

    The dislike started at the second or third race when ITV devoted their whole pre-race show to Lewis. This for a driver who had yet to win a race. I guess my initial dislike was tus driven by a sort of rebellion against ITV’s unjustified devotion to Hamilon.

    However, the reasons for this dislike changed at Monaco when Lewis smugly described the drivers at the back of the grid as monkeys. Note he has still not apologised for this.

    Furthermore, I cannot see why people are so eager to bracket him with the likes of Senna, Schumi and Clark. He is not that good. Don’t get me wrong, I think he is a good driver, but then so is amost everyone who has ever driven an F1 car. He just isn’t the driver with the most ability in F1 atm (imo Kimi, Alonso, Nico, Massa and Heidfeld are all better than him at this point in time).

    Also, his comments about Webber getting his comeuppance were in incredibly bad taste – Webber was going faster than Hamilton before the safety car came out and could have been on for his first win. Indeed, it seems that Hamilton himself may have been a major cause of that incident as he braked dramatically, causing Vettel to divert his attention towards Hamilton and away from Webber.

    I would like to end by saying that if Hamilton continues to drive exceptionally, and perhaps win races in cars that would otherwise not be capable of winning (just as Senna and Schumi did; hell, even Trulli came close to winning in an underperforming Prost, and no-one is describing him as a great), then I would be more than willing to change my opinion of him.

  13. You cannot fairly say that Alonso whinges but not Hamilton. True, Alonso has been very abrupt sometimes (e.g. saying he had nobody to thank when he was in Renault), but McLaren’s troubles started at Monaco because of Hamilton’s complaints. (Alonso in fact is disliked A LOT in Spain because of such statements).

    Hungary was not good for Hamilton’s case, as Daveo points out.

    Spa too was a non-issue, Hamilton knows it and he comes off as hypocritical when he complains about it.

    Playing the team (and the media) against your teammate isn’t nice. There’s something more disturbing about the way Hamilton talked in Japan than either have talked before. I clearly remember Alonso complaining that he never got the best car when he was with Trulli, but that was an issue he had with Briatore. There was whinging and it was all out in the open, but there was no assault directly on the teammate.

    Slightly off-topic, but you have to admit that Hungary was THE coolest for a driver to say “Don’t f**k with me” on the track (that is, if it was all Alonso’s doing…), EVEN if it meant being put back on the grid. Watching it live and seeing the clock ticking was one of the most exciting moments in F1 I can remember.

  14. ade, i’ll give you mansell was a whinger. although according to Max, Jackie is a “halfwit”, so maybe i’ll go with Hunt instead?

    reading the comments above, i’d like to throw my hat into the ring for – “ITV’s obsession with Hamilton has ruined my enjoyment of the sport”. nowadays i skip the race build up and listen to commentary from FiveLive.

  15. sidepodcast – I’m reluctant to listen to anything that comes out of Mad Max’s gob (and I suspect his poor “halfwit” jibe is aimed at JYS’s dyslexia more than anything else), but I reckon you’re on the money with James Hunt – what a guy!

  16. I would agree that in their enthusiasm to promote him (and increase viewing figures), ITV have done the opposite in my eyes and actually put me off him.

    As far as the racing goes, there can’t really be many complaints about his driving – yes he has been lucky enough to have probably the most reliable McLaren ever, and a car which is usually the fastest on track but he has also driven it very well.

    Out of the car though, he comes across as being a right numpty. My other half who doesn’t follow F1 very closely heard his post-race interview on the radio on Sunday and immediately tutted and called him a big-headed so-and-so. Putting himself up there with Senna and Prost was a stupid thing to do.

    Comparisons should be done by other people, you certainly shouldn’t do it yourself!

    So really, in the car I think he’s a good driver but as a complete package I’m afraid I’ll never be a fan.

  17. I am not sure if any of you actually met Hamilton. I was lucky enough to have met him earlier this year. I could see his out-of-the-car side, and the guy really impressed me … Then Hungary came, and the picture was not that rosy any more… So now, while I do not dislike Hamilton at all, I am not exactly his fan. If I should choose from 2 McLaren drivers, I would prefer Hamilton to win the title, but Kimi would be the one I would choose from all 3 still in the game for the title.

    To be fair to Hamilton – there is no way to survive in F1 without being selfish and arrogant at least a bit. All depends how far are you ready to take it. Even if he drives for McLaren for years to come and there is no guarantee, he will have chance to fight for the title again… Look how many seasons Kimi stayed in McLaren without title. Check when was the last time McLaren actually won the title … This was his chance, he decided to grab it and go for it…

  18. the little boy only wants to win, i dont have a problem with that, and it should be admired unlike a few drivers who are happy to play number two or assistant, he is willing to work hard and be successful.

    the incident in hungary was just unfortunate, if u notice hamiltons drive throughout the season, he always is first to set a time in Q2 so he can get back to the pits and be ready for Q3, thats why he ends up at the front of the qualifying order when leaving the pits, yes he did wrong at the time, but his explanation was logical..a ferrari was right behind and he didnt want to lose a position to a ferrari.

    some people say he should first have driven a minardi or an uncompetitive car first. and i ask to prove what? people start at the back so they will be discovered, he was discovered at the age of 10, he was already committed at the age of 10, so why should he go back and drive a minardi when he is ready for the real thing.

    despite the backing of ron dennis, it wasnt all smooth sailing, he had to work hard make sacrifices, and his family too, it wasnt all free stuff, he had to deliver, even micheal shumacher was developed by mecedes too only not from so early an age, i dont see people complaining about that.

    the biggest problem hamilton has really, is the press, the british press are monsters, they are often not in touch with reality and its damaging this little boys image, they did it when irvan was at ferrari, did the same thing when sato was with button, and so many other times u had a british driver paired with someone else, the only thing then was that their drivers werent so good, but this time they really have a top driver so u can understand their madness, and i think it comes from and inferiority complex…i so wish hamilton wasnt british

    the british press are great at inventing stuff and scenarios, and they damage frienships and morale in a team, i doubt u will see and english driver at ferrari any time soon.

    hamiltons consistency frightens lot of people, and when did he ever behave selfishly, we are all outsiders we dont know what goes on inside the teams, so it would be stupid to come to a conclusion based on what we hear from someone else(press), cause u never know the motives of the press,

    hamilton got on well with alonso at the beginning, it was alonso who started all this he is being favoured nonsense, and thats where everything collapsed. i like alonso but he has not acted properly but his problems didnt start from inside the team, it started from the press

  19. i wonder why people hold on to the swearing comment supposedly made by hamilton, to be honest, i think it was invented by a journalist, it wont be the first time and it wont be the last time it happens, especially in this age of online news papers and garage journalism, rumours spread like wild fires and soon become fact, just because u see it in a lot of headlines. and believe me, ron dennis i know, would have kicked him out of that car if he ever said something like that, trust me

  20. LH is the F1 golden kid and is definitely favorised in his team and by FIA on track, what is of course irritating, but the question is what will happen in the next few seasons. He may become a podium resident/winner/champ or share the fate of JV or likes. After falling from such a high stool he may not return to the top. Cuts both ways as life:-)

  21. i agree with daveo, the itv coverage is bordering on obsession the only 1 who doesnt seen biased towards lewis is martin brundle, he calls everything down the middle and im a big fan of his. itv’s coverage i think is the main reason for peoples dislike of lewis. the problem with the british press is they celebrate mediocrity, e.g. tim henman. i think leweis is the best british driver for years i just really hope the hype doesnt get to him. hes going to win this years tittle and i look forward to another battle with alonso next year. an lets all hope that the fia drop this stupid race fuel qualifying so the races dont get nearly ertainly dec ided after qualifying!

    also james allen compared his drive sunday toi that of senna donnington 93, schumacher barcelona 96, no way, james allen is a terrible commentator!

    go lewis

  22. Regarding the swearing comment, the Daily Mail and Times were the first to run the story – the other papers covered it after they did. McLaren later strongly denied that Hamilton had used any swear words – they didn’t say that anyone else hadn’t.

    Read into that what you will…

  23. not quite true keith. mclaren later strongly denied that Hamilton had used *one* particular swear word. the press release read:

    “The team have investigated this claim and reviewed the radio transmissions and we can categorically confirm that Lewis did not use the ‘F word’ at any time during any conversation with the team.”

    they never, for one second, claimed that he didn’t swear at all.

  24. On Race day Lewis is clearly the best. His accuracy and diligence is what makes him Championship worthy. But if you ask me who worked for the championship harder between the two Mc Laren drivers, I would have to go for Alonso.

    Hiekki in a recent newspaper column wrote that Lewis deserves the WDC but he must also realize that it was possible mostly coz of Alonso’s presence in the team.

    I personally feel the biggest rookie mistake he has done this year has been “asking the team to get rid of Alonso” in the Japanese race weekend.

    Next year without the Spaniard, Lewis will surely have some hard lessons on the way.

  25. Yes, Hamilton has had major backing from McLaren since he was 8. And Hamilton may have the most reliable (and in most cases) fastest car on the grid. But he’s beaten Massa already, Raikkonen and Alonso may go the same way too.
    His talent behind the wheel cannot be questioned, its amazing.
    He does come off as abit arrogant like Schumi, but I see that as a good quality, its good to have a mean strike, makes it more interesting.

    The only thing that annoys me is ITV obsession with Lewis. As many have said, Martin Brundle is the saving grace in that program, as he is the only one that doesn’t have any bias towards the guy, and sees Lewis for what he really is.
    An example of this was at Fuji, when Hamilton was leading behind the safety car and playing around with the field abit too much. James Allen immediately leapt up commenting on Lewis’ supreme race-craft and tactics. Martin Brundle stayed silent, presumably unimpressed, seeing the behaviour (considering the torrid conditions) as dangerous, as many others did.

    But as nausating as ITVs obsession is, considering the following: Britain haven’t had a champion since 1996, and the hopes for another champion since then have hinged on Jenson Button and David Coulthard, who haven’t delivered. You can’t really blame ITV for milking Hamilton’s success.

  26. I’m really impressed with all your complains about ITV’s coverage… It couldn’t be more natural, as you in Britain are waiting for a great driver for so long, since, as you said, Hill was fine, Mansell was a fighter, but none of them were Senna or Schumacher or Prost likes…
    Here in Brazil Globo TV was betting Alonso would take the tittle, until the DNF in Fuji. Up to there, they were all saying “Hamilton is a rookie and one day he’ll make a mistake”. When he had that huge crash at Nurburgring, Galvao Bueno started saying, before knowing the cause, that “one day that would end up happening”, and the accident wasn’t his fault anyway!

    The point is, you shouldn’t mind what the press says, one way or another… For example, brazilian press destroyed Rubens’ self-esteem, because he himself thought he could fill the void left by Senna…

    We are a fortunate generation, since we have the internet and many foreign televisions to watch anything we want, so we’re not hostages of the mainstream TV channels anymore…

    By the way, even if it is in Portuguese, you should take a look at Globo International, since it has no advert breaks during the race, in fact they have some adverts every 15 minutes, on the top of the screen, but they doesn’t interrupt the transmission…

  27. I have a couple problems with The Ham that I didn’t have with The Shu, although there are a lot of things that make them similar. My first problem is all the snobby comments that he makes and then tries to back out of, if you said it you said it, theres nothing wrong with not getting along with someone, but using the press is the wrong way of doing it.

    Secondly, Shu worked his way through the ranks, he was ruthless and uncompromising, but he had this fire about him, Lewis seems to be expecting things to go his way, and when they don’t he gets childish. The Shu’s attitude didn’t change on the podium, he didn’t give these cryptic insults.

    Finally, he only began to get cocky after winning a couple of races, its like he was very humbled at first and then as soon as he started winning he got a huge head and thinks hes the best. Get over yourself, go drive a crappy car for a couple of years like Button and realize what its like to struggle for every point. Its true that people are making a huge deal out of his championship run, if you put any other promising driver in the best car on the grid and he would be in breaking records.

  28. On the swearing thing, I thought it was interesting the natural way that Lewis said, “oh shoot” in the post race interview.

    Maybe he’s one of those people who substitutes for swear words with similar sounding other words. Perhaps he said something that sounded like the “F”-word on the radio, some people thought it was the “F”-word and it ended up in the press, but after they checked back he didn’t swear.

    Just a thought, seems unlikely, but it might have happened.

  29. When asked who do I want to win the championship Alonso or Hamilton I say McLaren because its the most reliable car on the grid this year (esp. compared to last years car) and the irony is they wont be winning the WCC this year anyway.. so who should win the title? I think whoever designed the car should!

  30. I am one who doesn’t like Lewis Hamilton because I don’t like his attitude towards racing. I find him a bit dull tbh, don’t know why, but I find him dull.

    I don’t think he deserves he championship tbh. Kimi deserves it the most.

  31. Why on earth do people find it acceptable to refer to lewis Hamilton as “the little brat” or “spoilt”? There is a reason he is in that McLaren, there is a reason he is leading the World Championship (and has been for most of the season). He has had a lot of money spent on him, but then so have many of the drivers. Alonso, Webber, and Fisi all had a slice of Flavio’s billions, and many drivers have benefited from the Red Bull money pot.

    Sure, other drivers have started in more junior teams, but they would have all jumped into that McLaren if they had the chance, and furthermore, Hamilton is outperforming most of these more experienced drivers (most of whom are only in their early to mid-twenties anyway so perhaps they are all spoilt little brats?)

    Lewis has simply been the best racer this year. Some of you folks should just get over yourselves and realize that pretty much nothing that comes out of the mouths of any of them means a thing because it’s mostly all PR driven drivel. I would argue that Lewis is simply breaking free from some of those PR constraints and being far more honest than we’ve seen from a McLaren driver for years. I want my first British champion in 11 years to be a bad ass, double-world-champion stomping, ferrari bad-mouthing, petulant, cocky, SUPERSTAR!

    There isn’t a driver in the field who has done a better job behind the wheel this year, and I look forward to the Lewis and Fernando show with nearly as much relish as I watched the Senna and Prost show back in the day.

    My advice to anyone is to switch on the TV 2 minutes before the start so you miss the ITV drivel (why an hours build up and only 2 minutes analysis at the end?), don’t bother reading any of the British newspapers (none of which seem to have attended an F1 race), and try to remember that the most important stuff happens on the track.

  32. Obviously, being groomed by McLaren he’s been taught the words to use and speak, but whenever I hear him talk I get the feeling he’s not sincere. Every driver pays tribute to their team for winning, and for someone who’s spent so long in a team he does, but his “I’m happy for the team” and “the team did a fantastic job today” always seem to hit me as empty.

    I do not like his “I’m not thinking about the championship” remarks, amongst others, when he so obviously is. Just bloody say it, you always refer to the points difference, you’re hardly thinking about coconuts are you. Any driver in F1 worth his pedals would be.

    Like James B, I find him dull – I can’t really, concretely, substatiate it. It’s just the feeling I get from him. McLaren seem to be good at introducing real boring drivers these days. I guess on track he’s more exciting, which is what counts…

    I don’t dismiss his talents whatsoever, but I’m already bored of the Lewis Hamilton story. It actually makes me want Alonso to win it just to shut people up. Then again, the amount of moaning that would bring from the LH camp would be equally insufferable to the current hype.

    Everything about Hamilton – the driver, the hype, the ITV coverage is here to stay for a while….possibly longer. And I will still keep watching – I’m more interested to see how he will develop because this is how people will learn to love drivers. Not based on solely accomplishments, but how they’ve gone around doing it. So far, it’s been dull.

  33. Tiger Woods had to put up with the same rhetoric.

    Yes, Lewis Hamilton was raised to race Formula 1. Yes, that brings with it an attitude that won’t sit well with everyone. Yes, Lewis Hamilton used foul language on the radio. I saw an exhibition male/female partners golf match where the competitors were wearing microphones, Tiger was not having a good day, and his words were absolutely not fit for television. (That’s what they get for not airing it on delay.)

    Lewis Hamilton really is that good. It bothers me that it seems he goes straight to his father every time he does something, but then again, Tiger Woods was like that too.

    I wish the Japanese rain hadn’t made the championship such an anticlimax, but as Speed TV in USA’s prerace montage put it, Japan is good for an awkward twist. Furthermore, however unlikely it sounds, there is still quite a chance that Hamilton’s car might break while in China and keep things interesting. Then again, maybe not.

  34. It’s not LH himself, it’s the mad intolerant rampant hype that’s followed him around and produced mad intolerant rampant fans who don’t get the idea of racing and F1.

  35. Mostly, everyone seems to agree that McLaren are fair to their drivers. Monaco was absolutely fine, you don’t race your team-mate after the second pitstop in Monaco. I started disliking Hamilton with his accusations that the team was favouring Alonso.

    Two, Hungaroring. He was the one who messed up the team strategy there – and Alonso took the flak and lost the points. I am not a McLaren fan, but I believe that Ron Dennis is fair to the drivers as much as they can. And Hamilton screwed with the team strategy. Alonso’s reaction is a separate issue. For me, Hamilton started this entire dirty fighting with his refusal to move over for Alonso which was the agreed upon team strategy. I could forgive the whining at Monaco, I could not tolerate the way his actions led to Mclaren and Alonso losing points.

    I have strong dislike for Alonso too for his whining – but that’s not what this post is about…

  36. I suspect that the people who say that any driver would have won the WC in a McLaren this years are the same ones who gives excuses such as “oh he is a rookie, he is only learning” whenever Heiki or Vettel makes a mistake. Come on that’s plain double standard.

    There are so many good drivers who have failed to capitalize on their chances in a top team: Rubens, Coulthard, Fisichella, Ralf, Button, Kimi and Massa springs to mind, some of them still have a second chance, for others time is running out. Obviously not anyone can do it, no matter if they are experienced or not. Let’s put it like this: if anyone else drove for McLaren this year alongside Alonso, the only one who I’d give a 50-50 chance to beat him is Kimi.

  37. fans seem pretty upset about Hungary on the above comments. i myself have a hard time sympathising with FA, a guy who won his first championship when MS had crap tyres, and Kimi blew up in first place however many times, then jumps out of his quick, reliable Renault and exclaims “I do it myself!” This rookie class, and the one taking his crown, is just what the ‘sport’ needed.

    ps. Bernie, good luck with your 2 Spanish GPs next year!

  38. Jian:

    Rubens, Coulthard, Fisichella, and Massa were all #2 drivers and accepted that role, thats why I have respect for them, they got paid to do a job and they did it. Lets face it, Buttons BAR was never going to compete for a championship. Kimi just doesn’t have the luck of The Ham (AKA a pigs ass) or he would have won at least one title. F1 is about skill and luck, one Lewis gained through hard work the other one he gained well, by being lucky….

    And then theres Ralph….. hes just Ralph

  39. just to add fuel to the fire, love to hear your thoughts on Hamilton after watching this YouTube clip:


  40. Ali AydoÄŸan
    2nd October 2007, 22:59

    I did not like Lewis from the beginning. Yes he is very talented, ultra-educated and deserves the title if he wins it.

    But I feel he is playing the nice guy (my possibly biassed opinion), his words in Monaco were the moment where his relationship cracked with Alonso, not a perfect teamplayer blaming his own TEAM in press conference!!And that brought McLaren an investigation.

    He said he “tricked Massa out” in Sepang, which was not kind at least, but he still plays a nice guy, smiles the other podium finishers, hits them on shoulder..Maybe he can say “I fooled him” next time.

    He was the one who fired the Hungaroring incident, by violating the agreement within TEAM about extra lap, when it was Alonso’s turn. Then going to stewards and complaining about the Alonso’s action, which costed his TEAM a possible 18 points after a second investigation in the season!!An interesting TEAMplayer!!!

    After Alonso had better performances in the second half of the season, and especially after Spa incident, he spoke several times about his teammate, complained about Alonso’s move, similar to which himself previously delivered to other drivers especially in starts.

    He spoke much about Alonso being involved in Stepney-gate, but did not say a word about his benefits of that data by the share of telemetry and set-up.

    He was just another person in McLaren, who wanted us to believe it was Alonso-DeLaRosa-Coughlan who did it all. Alonso and DeLaRosa are so gifted that they can design and produce a brake system like Ferrari’s???If so, why didnt McLaren appeal?I just dont believe it.

    I pretty much believe(biassed again) Hamilton pretends to be a teamplayer and wants people to think so. Alonso was at least honest, when he said WDC meant more to him than WCC, whereas Hamilton succeeded to say Team, Team, Team…

    I simply cannot like him, maybe because of Bernie enjoying the money he makes, maybe because of exagerrating British press, maybe because of my biassed observations on Hamilton, maybe because of my friends who watched a total of 5 GPs and claim “Hamilton is the best!!”….

  41. Regarding Sidepodcast’s comment on the video, here’s how Hamilton explained the crash in the post-race press conference:

    When we were behind the second safety car, I was constantly on the radio to my engineers to tell the Red Bull team to get Mark (Webber) to make a little more of a gap because I couldn’t go any faster because the pace car was in front of me, so I was trying to keep the distance with him and then I’d move over because I couldn’t see Mark and then he’d just appear alongside me, so he kept out-braking himself.

    I felt something was going to happen, and I guess my instincts told me right.

  42. here’s a quote from the official Renault blog:

    “Heikki was even asked to drop back from Lewis by race control. It seemed to me that LH was driving pretty erratically behind the Safety Car…”

    do you think the FIA asked every single driver in the train to drop back?

    i guess those ‘other’ drivers instincts told them to trust their fellow man. unlike Mr. Hamilton who clearly thinks every other driver on the track is an incompetent muppet.

  43. It looks like all the hype make some ppl dislike him.
    Some hippies here maybe? :)
    Anyway if you can’t see his talent as a driver, you don’t know anything about f1.
    So he got Mclaren backing for years … you still have to do it.
    He won the F3 euroseries and GP2 and very impressive!!
    And now he comes in F1 and beats the 2time reigning champion … and not with a better car … with the SAME car. That must count for something right? :)

    And sure he is slightly cocky… you have to believe in yourself and it’s part of the mind games, wich you just have to play in f1 these days.

    But don’t hate the boy cause he is ‘hyped’, cause let me tell you, the hype is true :)

  44. I like him as a driver. Not knowing or meeting I have no idea of who he really is. He is a gifted and talented driver. Today there are many such drivers on the grid 5 or six really stand out. I also feel that if those other drivers where at McLaren they would be going for the championship as well. He is like all driver headstrong. An “A” personality who sees things very Machiavellian, where the ends justify the means. We saw an example of that in Hungary. Why does the press dislike him? Well winners always have people that love them or hate them. For instance in the US we have the New York Yankees (baseball team) I don’t know anyone who just likes them or can say they or OK. It is either “I love the Yankees” of “I really hate those — Yankees. It is also becoming the same way for Tiger Woods. Winners, who show class, and do not appear to be conceeded, but time and again prove that they excell in their sport are always loved or hated no middle ground. By the way I HATE THE ======= yANKEES. I do like Hamilton and I think that he has a solid future ahead of him.

  45. Does anyone remember the ‘monkeys’ comment about the backmarkers he made earlier on in the year? That remark turned me off him, since he would be one of those ‘monkeys’ were he not gifted a start in a top car.
    Yeah, I’m put off Lewis by the silver spoon start he has had to his career. If Felipe Massa has shown us anything it is that most of the grid can be A-Grade when they are in the best car. I’m just quietly hoping that in the next few years, Heikki, Adrian, Robert and the Sebastians wipe him like a dirty bum.

  46. Considering it was almost impossible for Hamilton to win in the first few races, until he found his feet in F1, this season has ben remarkable for him.

    As for the ‘silver spoon’ – McLaren saw a talent, and neutured it. Hamilton has worked hard for ten years to get to the position he is at – he’s hardly been handed the championship lead.

    In terms of publicity (or hype) Hamilton is the best thing that has happened to the sport in years. Journalists will try and print as much as possible about the new boy, and within a couple of years will move on to someone else.

    I do agree the ‘monkeys’ comment didn’t show Hamilton in a good light. This was made when he was clearly under pressure, and I will excuse him that one mistake considering the circumstances.

  47. Can I ask, are the people unhappy with the ‘monkeys’ remark British or not? I wonder if it’s partly a cultural thing, because I am British, and I often hear the word used jokingly and not as a term of offence, which is why I didn’t think anything of it.

    I still don’t think it was meant as an insult and, as I’ve said elsewhere, it’s not as if any of the drivers concerned complained.

    One of the ‘monkeys’ would probably be Adrian Sutil, who we know Hamilton has a fair bit of respect for from their time in F3. Before this year started Hamilton warned Albers that Sutil would be a tough team mate and, lo and behold, look who got dropped halfway through the year…

  48. As a Brit, I feel the word monkeys was hardly a term of affection, although in essex we tend to use the term muppet ;-)

    In answer to the question, when did the Hamilton backlash start? I believe it was the monkeys comment, and I’m British. At best, it was an ill-advised comment.

  49. ” oooh I hate Hamilton because of his Silver Spoon to his career..”

    Oh good grief! Damn you Hamilton for having so much raw talent that someone want to support you and reap the rewards!!!

    As I’ve said before, many drivers have had the benefit of strong sponsorship, and good drives – hamilton more than most perhaps, but then we all remember Montoya, who had his career funded by Sir Frank? Alonso by Flavio, Kimi by Peter Sauber… c’mon! it happens to all of the good ones – the bad ones have to bring a sponsor!

  50. Many of you saying that Hamilton was whinging about the Monaco race. I think he was quite right in complaining because after Alonso’s pit stop, Hamilton still had 6 or more laps of fuel left to go much faster laps with a lighter fuel load. He had a real chance of overtaking Alonso by that tactic. However, McLaren put a stop to that by calling him in immediately after Alonso for refuelling because McLaren were worried that if a Safety Car came out in the next 6 laps, Hamilton would lose his safe 2nd place, and so did not want to risk him trying to gain a 1st place. They decided it was better for the Team to ahve a guaranteed 1st and 2nd rather than gamble on Hamilton getting a 1st or nothing.

    Many of you are also making a lot out of the Hungary qualifying session incident, where Hamilton disobeyed the team to let Alonso get past him in the qualifying session, first lap of Q3. I remember very clearly seeing it on TV, and it was also confirmed and explained afterwards by Hamilton, that Alonso dropped back so much that Raikonnen was closing up and would have passed Hamilton if Hamilton slowed too much to give Alonso the lead. In fact, you can check back to see that Raikonnen managed toget past Alonso in the first or 2nd lap of Q3.

  51. Oh yes, and by the way, I like Hamilton and i like most other drivers. But I do think Alonso has “something of the night” about his character.

    As for Hamilton having the best car (which Alonso has too!), the big difference is that in all the races so far, Hamilton has maybe made just one or two minor driving errors. His driving has been near perfect. And that is something you cannot say for any of the other drivers. Ferrari drivers may bave had some bad luck, but so has Hamilton. Monaco, and the his crash, and his shedded tyre, were all down to circumstances beyond Hamilton’s control.

    Best wishes to Hamilton for his future career and I hope he remembers that the British like to build up their heroes just so that they can be knocked down.

  52. Once again: to the people who say that any driver can win in a McLaren, seems (prematurely) that our two times world champion can’t, now that’s strange is’t it?

    At least Hamilton has generated a interest far beyond the usual. 50 comments already, must be some kind of record as well. I went back to read some of the posts from march/april, hardly any responses at that point of the season.

  53. I haven’t particularly cared for Hamilton since the start of the season, and I do think that this has been mainly down to ITV. Fair enough, he’s British and winning but I do think the third race of the season was too early to be predicting the championship, no? And also I would like to hear about what is happening to the other drivers during the race. Martin does his best, but he’s out numbered by all the other Hamilton worshippers there.
    I don’t hate Hamilton, or anything like that, I just haven’t really seen what there is to get so excited about – and to be honest, I feel that way about most drivers this year. In a season when (almost) every race has been won from pole position, based on a dodgy qualifying system, it’s hard to say who’s got the driving skill… I’d love to see them do something insane and for one GP a year give each of the drivers a random car from the pack..
    As for all the comments about ‘a rookie beating the champion’ – we *know* they take it in turns to have the extra lap in quali, which gives them pole, and they both have 4 wins? This tells us nothing about the drivers. But everything, unfortunately, about the system!

    BTW, I now watch ITV on mute, and listen to five live radio.. :-)

  54. Schumacher Fan
    3rd October 2007, 12:19

    i agree with kirk about the system it means that team mates are unlikley to outqualify eachother often because fo the stupid fuel burn system. although you cant knock what hamilton has done this year!

  55. Fifty-three comments and I haven’t said anything yet – now that must be a record! :D

  56. people would always demand an apology wether they deserve it or not, in this world no matter how good u are in terms of behaviour, not everyone will like u, just because they have the right not to. however it would be pretty dumb for any individual to have a great dislike for someone else based on third party comments or not researching the meaning of a particular statement.

    if u watch junior series, racing, its a jungle out there, and lewis didnt invent the term monkeys, its used in the same fashion as one would use gremlins, it doesnt reffer to an individual, but rather to a wild situation.

    and loki, every driver thinks of the championship, thats why they are there, but a few can focus on the individual races until they win the champoinship, perhaps it might be u are unable to focus on pertinent issues rather than an ultimate goal, that is why u find it difficult to believe others cant

  57. I like him lh that is but when everyone – is always looking for the persons weak link – british obsession – then anyone will have moments – like the sillyness at hungary – bring back the days of innes ireland and graham hill – when fun was still allowed – and less of this professional – boredom and back stabbing

  58. I got to say LH has become a little big headed, but wouldn’t you? he’s fending off a two time world champ, kimi and massa!! I say he’s the best thing that’s happened to F1 in a long time!

    At the end of the day their are loads of “snotty” drivers in the sport at the moment but your all just taking it out on hammy cuz he’s winning in his rooky season!

    well i say keep it up up! Good luck to button and davidson for 2008!


  59. another lewis fan
    4th October 2007, 14:34

    As for the silverspoon comment.Lewis got where he is today through hard work and determination and sheer talent nobody can deny that,hes not cocky hes just a very confident person which he has every right to be Yes hes made some silly comments in the past but i am still a huge fan of his. Britain has’nt produced a talent like lewis in f1 for years its about time we had one so lets stop bad-mouthing him and show him some loyalty!

  60. Now I know I already made this point on “Hamilton investigated over Vettel crash” but 58 comments?!? What have you guys been doing, seriously? Anyway, I liked Lewis at the start of the year, but I’m not so fond of him now, which is a shame. I think the turning point was when he started talking about collaborating musically with Pharell Williams. HE’S AN F1 DRIVER!!!

  61. Idd GO LEWIS!

  62. Next year, with no traction control, could show us a great deal about the current drivers real abilities.

    About Hamilton, only time will tell us about if he is overhyped or not. Will he be a new Villenueve or Schumacher? Nobody knows at this stage.

    I for one will support him. It seems that most people are annoyed with him because he seems to want to win over anything else, which can only be a good thing over time if complacency doesn’t set in. Of course he has been through a fair share of controversies already, but until he whines more than others or win through blatant cheating I see not reason to dislike him.

  63. Henry Hayward
    6th October 2007, 2:18

    With Hamiltons track record, how is it possible to interpret his achievement to date, as nothing else but remarkable. The rest of the HooHar has, that all to common British trait of, “if he’s that good he must be bad”. It’s Pathetic.

    He Races, He wins, He Good. End ov.

  64. Winners like him, losers don’t.

  65. I just hate all the British media coverage of him. I’ve got nothing against the guy personally. But when I read comments like “Hamilton has made F1 interesting again” I just get so angry. That makes no sense. F1 is still the same sport it’s always been. Why does a British driver need to be winning to make it interesting?

  66. Especially when the press’ obsession has arguably made F1 less interesting, because the coverage has turned one-dimensional. Lewis Hamilton himself is fine, and his performances rather more than fine. But ITV (Brundle and one or two others excepted) has become little short of atrocious this year in the wake of Lewisteria.

  67. Me personally? I started to hate LH after Monaco. The first races of the season I saw outside the UK, and like the rest of the world I was really impressed by LH’s stellar performance. His qualities as a driver are undisputed. Monaco was the first race I watched in the UK–not a coincidence.

    I hate the British press coverage, which is supremely biased. It was bad enough when they hyped Jensen Button for no apparent reason. The british press has turned me an anybody-but-Hamilton/UK driver fan. I love to hear those two iTV idiots sounding sad and disappointed. Given the cheering in the non-Brit fans and press in Shanghai when LH went off, I’d say I’m not the only one.

    I also don’t like the way that the F1 powers that be are dying to have LH become champion for their own venal ends. Alonso has not been very lucrative or good at extending F1’s market appeal, so they see LH as a golden goose.

    I ended up watching a lot of F1 because my husband is a major (Alonso) fan. I’ve even watched races from the Ferrari paddock and garage for professional reasons–watched is really not the word, as you can’t see anything from there. Any of the three contenders deserve the championship, and I don’t care really which one wins. If the driver’s championship was won by being a nice guy, Heikki Kovalainen should clinch it then.

  68. bernie's nemesis
    20th October 2007, 1:26

    Storm in a tea cup. Yes, he’s been under Mclarens wing for years, but realistically, how many of the drivers on the grid have not had fortunes lavished on them to get them to f1?
    And anybody remember the beginning of the season? How many rookies in the history of the sport have shown such composure in the start of their careers, and actually had the balls to pass into the first corner(s) from the grid? The first time Alonso tried to take a leaf from his book, this season, he went backwards.
    Yes, he made a mistake in Hungary, but was Alonso playing games already, by falling toward Kimi?
    Undoubtedly, the rest were riled by post race interviews- ‘Great race(insert name here), but what about Lewis Hamiltons performance’.
    And as far as dangerous driving goes- ‘ I was looking at Hamilton when I drove into Webber’- Vettel, try a similar explanation on your next insurance claim and see what the reaction is!
    I was a massive fan of Giles Villenuve, despite been unaware of much of the technicalities/backstabbing. The world (and my age) have changed. The media make us much more aware of the reality of running a multi-million pound interest, just don’t let it ruin your enjoyment of the pinnacle of competitive motor sport.
    Oh, Max and Bernie, buy an island and retire together.

  69. I think hamilton is probably not the best driver on the grid yet, but he will be in time. But I just love his enthusiasm and attitude towards racing, although I must say when compared to the likes of Raikkonen and Kubica, some people might say he has no enthusiasm what so ever…

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