Lewis Hamilton matches Jenson Button on Top Gear

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Lewis Hamilton made a hotly-anticipated appearance on BBC TV’s Top Gear tonight – no doubt part of a smartly choreographed PR offensive ahead of next Sunday’s Sports Personality of the Year Award.

His performance in the celebrated ‘Star in a Reasonably Priced Car’ spot will have done his chances no harm. Set the task of lapping the Top Gear circuit in the venerable Suzuki Liani Hamilton matched Jenson Button’s time of 1m 44.7s – on a wet track, where Button had had a dry lap.

Both were behind Nigel Mansell (1’44.6) and the anonymous Stig (1’44.4) who drives the track every week. But Hamilton vowed to return on a dry day…

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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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36 comments on “Lewis Hamilton matches Jenson Button on Top Gear”

  1. So Kimi is the Stig? I knew it!

  2. Did you have to mention the result in the post title?????

    There are some people in this world who haven’t yet seen the episode and would rather not have any spoilers.

  3. I think if people don’t want to find out the results of such things then they should take care what forms of media they read.

  4. A wet and oily track. That’s more than 0.3s the difference. Let’s just hope for him he can repeat the performance on the dry track to make it official :).

  5. Hmmm… That’s not a good sign for Button, is it? He and Lewis having the same time, when Jenson had a much, much better track than Lewis. Then again, the fact that Jense was slower than ‘Our Nige’ isn’t a good sign either.

    Well done, Lewis. I’m guessing he will return again this time next year – world champion or not.

    Lewis is surely going to win 2007 SP of the Year, right?

  6. I just watched the interview (thank you, Final Gear) – Clarkson asks Hamilton if he has pubes yet… that must’ve been popular with the sponsors!

  7. I think Lewis is the only one who did it in the new car though, which they mentioned when they first got it was about 2-3 seconds than the old Suzuki.

    So not as impressive if that is the case.

  8. No, Hamilton’s lap was in the old car, like all the other F1 drivers.

  9. Let’s face it – he is going to wipe the floor with all of them on a dry day. 0.3 sec off the fastest dry lap in wet oily conditions – it’s all I would have expected to be honest!

    I guess even this wouldn’t make the Hamilton haters shut up!

  10. Not that people hate him cos he is fast(all the good for him), he is hated in ROW(But Britain, cos he has such endearing qualities.

    Sorry, now he is also hated in Britain(aww, come on, time to grow up) for moving to Switzerland as he primarily seeks piece and quiet(well most believe it has nothing to do with taxes).

    Also, he said he knew nothing of Ferrari information which was freely available to all sundy at Macca(what a laugh!). So ROW see’s him as a lying, scheming so and so.

    Need i say more?

  11. Where’s ROW?

  12. ROW = Rest of World?

    I couldn’t believe it, I’m somewhat sceptical, but good on him for doing so well in what looked like such a rubbish lap!

  13. Oh! Could you just stop it? They were not driving a F1 car. Who cares if he is faster with a Suzuki? What do you mean with this that this anonius Stig would be a better F1 driver.
    This Hamiton thing is going to far, he didn’t even won a single championship.
    More humility from his fans and from himself, he thinks now in breakin MS records and still have to start winning the first… COME ONE, GROW UP KID!
    Am I the only one who thinks this way?

  14. Dave… he has won championships, and BIG ONES!! Euroseries F3 and GP2..that big.
    And he nearly missed out on the F1 titel this year already… so pls be fair and see that hate or love him, he’s good.
    Ppl that follow him for some years already knew this.
    And he didn’t say he thinks he will break them…He said he is young and has time on his side…and if he sees he can break the record he will..he would love to be the best ever.. and who wouldn’t be. A real winner has to be a bit cocky and believe in himself!
    It’s not because he’s hyped, he aint that good.plz

  15. Solid… As many others Lewis did win F3, GP2 or also in karting. I was just trying to be realistic in front of so much hysteria. As an example, read above “I guess even this wouldn’t make the Hamilton haters shut up”. I don’t hate him at all, I think he is one of the best drivers in F1, but let’s face it: everything that comes from LW is not that IMPRESSIVE, even if he matches Jenson’s lap what does this have to do with racing in a F1 car? We could say Nigel or Stig are better drivers than Lewis? NO

  16. @Dave

    It seems to me that there is more negative comments about Hamilton than positive these days.

    I don’t care about the top gear thing – as you say, it means nothing in F1 terms – except that if he had come bottom of the list a load of people would be on this very comments page stating that it just goes to show that it’s the McLaren masking his lack of talent!

    My point is that he can’t do anything right in the eyes of some people – if he is fast in a little fun thing like a top Gear lap, or wins a clutch of F1 races in his first year, or comes within 1 point of taking the title in his rookie season – there is always someone who has to have a downer on him because of some perceived cockiness or lack of humility.

    Don’t judge Lewis Hamilton on the quantity of over-excited press he has received, judge him on his fantastic debut season, his amazing driving, his brilliant start to what is hopefully a long career.

  17. He’s good, but not proven (as an F1 driver).

    I don’t doubt he’ll win a championship, I wouldn’t bet against it thats for sure, but he could just be another British hopeful that fades into oblivion.

    It makes me wonder what is Damon Hill doing with a World Championship under his belt.

  18. How exactly does an F1 driver prove himself if not by winning races, boldly overtaking, and taming a double world champion? I think he has more than proved himself as a driver, what he needs now is a bit of seasoning.

    Damon should have had at least another one (given that Schumi stole one from him!), and could probably have had three if he hadn’t fallen out with Williams.

  19. I agree that being first on the Top Gear F1 drivers chart isn’t the be all for a racing driver but as a public relations stunt? – it was good fun especially the way he was doing it like a kid having fun!!
    also Clarkson was taking the whatsit out of him as well – all good Sunday tv – better than soaps or another beeb doc about us killing the planet.
    He has done more in his first year of F1 than anyone I can remember and it does sicken even his best fans all the crawling that itv does about him – turn the sound done at times – give youre ears a break from the commentators and lets see how he gets on this year as most drivers will not be making it easy for him you can bet on that – roll on 2008

  20. I’m curious, what is a proven F1 driver? How many titles must he have? or are there other conditions?

    LH has only 1 season in F1 so far, but in that season LH’s beaten FA in equal machinary, fair and sqare, that’s sure something? FA himself has 2 titles.

    (BTW LH bests FA fair and squre that’s in my eyes, Ferrari fans and others can say what ever they want, that McLaren favor him, back to the MonacoGP, they were saying TO is used against the rookie……)

    Any good F1 drivers would perform like LH give the MP4-22, just like what Nelson Piquet Jr, PDLR or other people believe, I for one don’t blieve it for a second.
    I’m neither british nor do I like LH, just want to be fair.

    (And BTW what if LH indeed lied/didn’t say the truth about the infos from Ferrari? I really did not know that the ROW is so full of honest people, if anyone of them were LH they’d admit their wrong doing and wait for Mosley to kick him out of the championship, if that’s the case, the ROW will make me laugh.)

  21. Sorry, I didn’t read what nellyweb said, otherwise I would have shut up. I agree with nellyweb.

  22. Maybe an f1 driver proves himself by winning races without extra help, overtaking in a intelligent way, and supporting and collaborating, not taming nor racing, his teammate.

    The rest of the drivers have a thought about what have LH proved to be in this season.

    He can be a great driver in the future, I agree he does need just a bit of seasoning, a year as rookie in a great team would be good for him, surely…

  23. “The rest of the drivers have a thought about what have LH proved to be in this season.”

    What Carlos has said is applied to what I said – “proven” is subjective in the context I said (sorry, I didn’t make that clear).

    In many views I’ve encountered, there’s no need to say anymore, the results speak for themselves.

    In my own view, I’ve not seen him on the F1 circuit long enough to make any judgement, or to say any better or worse – I’ve been impressed by his performance this year…I’ve not met anyone IRL (even Spanish) who doesn’t doubt that regardless of team/driver bias, and I’m not going to bet against him winning a championship in the future (except I have for 2008).

    It usually takes me quite a while to make a solid stance on F1 drivers – I HATED Schumacher to begin with, even when he was driving for Ferrari, I was apprehensive about Alonso driving for Renault where he won 2 WDCs back to back, and I was literally screaming at Raikonnen, wishing he were fired for the first half of 2007 – I’d much rather be proved wrong than be smug. But it’s down to the driver to prove me wrong.

    In my view, Lewis Hamilton needs to live not just up to the hype he talks and walk, he has to go beyond that to impress me. Only from what I’ve read and heard in his own words, that is going to be one hell of a journey. Then, to me, I think it’s worth to, as the The Prodigy would say, pay close attention to those drivers. I reserve very little in what I like in a driver, and far too much about what I do not like – and it needn’t be results alone which do it for me.

    I welcome that challenge, it gives me something to look forward to, lets see what he does.

  24. I’m not sure Hamilton quite lives up to the hype yet – but what gets me is that the hype this year hasn’t just been about Hamilton.

    The number of F1 commentators at the end of the year who were going on about what a vintage season it was astonished me. There were some great races, yes, but only when it rained. A lot of the season was very dull. I wonder if the reason Hamilton gets such a positive press is because most of the time it was him that made F1 exciting this year?

    (And it was Ultramagnetic MC’s who said “pay close attention” – Prodigy just sampled it. Do like a nice bit of Prodigy though.)

  25. People are fussing that Button and Hamilton got the same time, even though Hamilton was on a damp track

    But isn’t it more of a concern that Hamilton was more than 2 seconds faster than Webber on a wet track?

    But they are just racing a small Suzuki, it’s not that much of a comparison to the F1 cars…

  26. How can he live up to the hype, especially when it’s the British media that’s creating it??!! He’s a bloody good driver whatever car he drives (God, he was impressive in Top Gear!) and he’s coping with it better than any of you miserable lot could ever do. Give him several years in F1, and I’m sure he’ll be one of the greats of our time.. And to all you people who continually knock him, I send you a Sid James style rasberry..

  27. Andy, I sincerely hope you are right. Lewis looks awesomely quick. But then we thought the same of Montoya and JV, and they ended up achieving relatively little. No need to rip other posters here, though, Andy.

  28. Only the moaners, Journeyer, only the moaners…. You’re not one, are you?

  29. I must say I agree with Keith about hype and this so-called classic season. However, I thought Lewis went too far with some of his comments early in the season, and admittedly developed somewhat of a set against him from that point on. Awful of me, I know.

    But in the same way that alot of people only found enjoyment in the Schumacher/Ferrari years by wishing Schumi ill, I found myself riveted by the war between Alonso, Hamilton, Dennis, Mclaren, Ferrari and Mad Max. With a few Bernesque (TM) spanners thrown in. Just think what would have happened if Mclaren weren’t so confident in the pace of their car (ala ’06) and opted not to run Hamilton at all! I might have fallen asleep many a time, what with the late viewing times here in Oz! As a Hamilton cynic, I have to say – Thank God For Lewis!!!

    BTW – Webber’s TG lap was in EXTREME wet conditions….oi,oi,oi.

  30. I must admit that hamiltons rookie year in Formula 1 has been an amazing achievement from maybe one of the most talented young drivers I have seen in a long time..However am I the only one that challenges the credibility of the alleged time he posted in Top Gears WET track 2 weeks ago?? I have been racing cars all my life, and everyone else that has ever done the same will agree that when a car is pushed to the limit there is going to be, inevitably, a significant lap time difference between the perfect wet lap and the perfect dry lap. One might argue that the less power a car has the less pronounce this decrease in grip will be, and therefore the closer the lap times will be,
    but still even in top gears reasonably priced car the wet track should account for at least 2 seconds. (as seen clearly from Mark Webbers performance). To admit that Hamilton indeed achieved this laptime is to admit that the other guys (all F1 drivers remember) where not able to push a Suzuki Leana to the limit (while they can push 800BHP F1 cars). So the only conclusion that can be drawn from this is that either the car specification was altered (better tyres,engine etc), or that hamilton took a shortcut somewhere, or (even worse)that clarksons top gear team interfeared with the timing device for reasons that i really find hard to justify or explain…

  31. No, not at all, Andy. :)

    Hi Toby! Bernesque (TM)… Wow, nice word tere!

    Nice theory there, jim… But we won’t see any proof of it now, will we?

  32. We won’t see any proof, no, but it would not be good for Lewis Hamilton Ltd. Inc. Corp. if he didn’t do well at Top Gear. Still, it’s not worth getting riled about, it’s only Top Gear and we all know that James May could go faster than anyone round the Top Gear track if he was given a chance(!)

  33. hamilton cheats on his lap. if you look carefully he cuts the corner at hammerhead, which would save travelling distance and give him better momentum all the way down the following straight.


  35. Hi to everyone.

    How is it possible that hamilton on a wet track, beatted other F1 players in a dry track!!

    No way!!

    Even in a normal race, the time difference between cars is minimal and they race in the same conditions.

    PAY OFF!!!

  36. CAN WAit to see the famous "DRY LAP" i dont know,,,,if this time it’s real its amazing for sure,
    my brain says me that this time is a fake
    i would like to see the top gear the lap OF ALL F1 DRIVERS!!!!
    20 minutes each for example and lets see the table
    would be great,
    i dont think he will do the dry lap….but i hope
    : )

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