Hamilton hampered by eye irritation in closing laps

2014 Monaco Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton has described how he was forced to run the closing stages of the Monaco Grand Prix with reduced vision following a speck of dirt causing irritation in his left eye.

Despite running within a two second gap of his team mate for the majority of the race, Hamilton fell back into the clutches of Daniel Ricciardo with just under ten laps remaining.

But despite intense pressure from the Red Bull, Hamilton was able to hold off the Australian to secure second place.

“It’s fine, I can see,” said Hamilton. “I just got a bit of dirt in it. Fortunately it cleared up.”

While the irritation appeared to prevent Hamilton for offering a challenge to Nico Rosberg for the win, Hamilton himself admits that it was not the deciding factor.

“I don’t think it made any difference to the outcome,” said Hamilton. “While Ricciardo was closing the gap, it was a serious concern. I was driving with one eye, basically. I knew that he would get me unless it cleaned up.

“It eventually cleaned up with about three or four laps to go, so I was then able to position myself in the best way to stay ahead.”

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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99 comments on “Hamilton hampered by eye irritation in closing laps”

  1. GeordieRacer
    25th May 2014, 17:00

    No he wasn’t.

    1. Thanks for that Hamiltons eye.

      1. Hahaha, +1

    2. So why should he fake it?

      1. He thought a few years ago that the FIA was harsh on him because of his skin colour. Anything is possible with that kid.

        1. Although, I do believe he had a problem with his eye. He did still act as immature as ever. It makes one wonder why anyone would like him. If you see a child kicking and screaming in the supermarket, you would think that is an undisciplined child. There doesn’t seem to be any difference between a child in the supermarket being a brat and Lewis’ current attitude and demeaned.

          1. Riiight … because having something temporarily blind you in one eye, removing your depth perception while you’re driving a car at up to 150mph around the tightest, twistiest, most difficult to drive circuit on the calendar is an attitude problem. :(

    3. So you think he would make it up to explain his tyres going off I assume? So you think he would avoid telling his team information which they could then try to find a solution to? Why exactly?

    4. He had something in his eyes TEARS!!!

    5. Just like the wheel came out of Senna’s hand in Monaco. Hamilton is way too contrived and it’s rediculous how he attempts to emulate Ayrton. Senna was not flashy, was intelligent and loved by many around the world. He is a hero of mine who’s now dead, and it pains me to see how he attempts to copy him. I remember Imola like it was yesterday. Senna had political aspirations after racing. Perhaps Hamiltom does to and we can short sell the UK.

  2. It was Toto Wolff’s pigeon holding the piece of wood that would get into Hamilton’s helmet and hurt his eye.. : https://scontent-a-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc3/t31.0-8/1658732_715478305177124_1771053772446750885_o.png

    1. “the heck with F1, I got my piece of wood”.

      1. “It’s amazing how these cars sound not nearly as loud now. I should have started smoking tree’s yéars earlier!!”

  3. Taking the phrase “He could do this circuit with my eyes closed” to a whole new level! Probably masked his pace a little but well done to all three on the podium.

  4. Good that Lewis managed p2 in the end . But I am a little disappointed with his demeanor after the race . A small handshake or a pat on the back of Nico would have been enough .Instead he just walked off even before :DR finished his interview . Bad manners Lewis , whatever your background :(.

    And what is that about an engine setting that Nico used in Bahrain and Lewis used in Spain ? Can anyone shed light on this ?

    I find Lewis has to sort out his manners off-track a little bit . He can learn from :DR .

    1. Dean Reynolds
      25th May 2014, 20:11

      Youre holding up ricciardo as a shining beacon of sportsmanship? A man that has won squat since coming to f1, a man that is currently driving the best car he has ever had without any pressure or expectation on him! Lets review mr ricciardos sportsmanship when/IF hes competing for a wdc. Show me a good looser and ill show you a looser

      1. you have shown me a loser.. thanks
        Riccardo and Alonzo would mop the floor with those 2 babies if they had the same car.

    2. When he talked about taking a page out of Senna’s book he took the drama queen opera. I would’ve respected Hamilton more if he had gone for the banzai.

      1. So? Your respect doesn’t make any difference to anybody…does it?

  5. Macam-macam… Bengang jugak aku ngan hamilton ni… Ish!

    1. English website. Come on man.

  6. He brushed off the point suspiciously quickly in the post-race interviews.

    1. And if he hadn’t people would be saying “he’s whining”.

      Nothing suspicious about him not making a big deal out of something like this.

      1. Excactly

      2. Chris (@tophercheese21)
        26th May 2014, 2:36


  7. @KeithCollantine You should’ve mentioned the other part of interview, where Hamilton says that Mclaren had made better strategy calls for him, because Mclaren had two strategists, while Mercedes has only one, which serves both drivers.

    1. Agree, that was a actually helpful comment.He said the merc guy does a great job but they dont have their own person like they did at Mclaren, therefore he knew he wouldn’t be pitted because there’s no strategy guy looking out for just him. The guy on strategy is there to secure the best result for the team and not one driver. To be fair he wasn’t ranting about this. I initially thought his radio comment was a bit harsh, but that really cleared things up, so im glad he said it. No doubt some will take it as a dig at Mercedes tho…

      1. But to be honest, I have seen McLaren doing stupid things on strategy for Hamilton far more often in the last years than what he got at Mercedes.

      2. Wolff explained that they would not have allowed Hamilton to pit anyway since it was Rosberg’s call first since he was in the lead.

        Besides, the guy on the radio to the driver sure makes it sound like he’s urging the drivers on to beat the other. Even giving tips on how or when to do it. Like now with fuel saving tip off about Rosberg being low on fuel for a while. Are you sure that’s only one guy?

        1. @patrickl The race engineer is not the strategist.

        2. They each have their own race engineer, who is usually the one talking to them. Mercedes apparently only has one strategist, which is a different position.

        3. @patrickl That’s the driver’s engineer sharing data.

    2. It’s a fair point, no? I mean a single strategist is great from a team perspective, but given that this is going to be a close championship battle I think it will cause problems in future. How does Mercedes handle this? Do you always give preference to the driver in front? Or do you give it to the championship leader? How does this serve the aim of letting both drivers battle fairly if a driver can’t use all of the resources (including strategy) at his disposal?

      1. I fully agree. I hope they get their own as with just one we effectively have team orders.

      2. I think this year its just going to be between LH & NR for WDC, so may be just for this year they will continue doing what they have been doing since the first race i.e. giving leading driver the opportunity to pit first.

      3. So if there was a strategist for Hamilton and one for Rosberg, who would have priority? Hamilton is just a sore loser and if i was part of the team that gave him the best car by far in 2014 and 4 wins in a row i would be pretty upset about those comments.

        1. You’ve misunderstood the comment. It wasn’t a dig at Mercedes. He was asked a question about his radio comment regarding the “I knew you wouldn’t pit me” comment. He gave an answer which cleared everything up really well.I fail to see why you’d be upset if you worked there ?

          I guess the leader would still get the first strategy pick, but having someone purely focused on one driver rather than the team would obviously result in different outcomes.

    3. The article wasn’t written by Keith Collantine.

      1. Oh, I didn’t notice. Anyway, it was an important point from Lewis.

    4. @osvaldas31 I believe Toto Wolff had clear it up earlier in SkySport. He said to pit Lewis before SC they need new tool. Crystal Ball!

      1. Also, They would not have serviced Lewis if he had just pitted anyway, ala what Button would have done, and did.

    5. That is rubbish. Strategy is two separate trees or two streams which end at each cars strategist, those will usually be fed to a ‘team strategist’. It’s important to remember strategy takes into account other cars/teams and what those will possibly do. On occasion with a number one driver the strategy favours that driver.

      BTW, Lewis’s tyres were shot because he stayed too close to Nico’s car in turbulent air.

  8. The sight of Nico’s exhaust pipe made his eyes water.

    1. Driving behind another car does tend to cause a lot of stuff to hit the car behind.

      Although I haven’t seen them look as dirty as they were like a decade ago. In those days cars were all black in the front from driving behind someone for a lot of laps.

  9. Oh come on Lewis, give it a break. It wasnt dirt in your eyes- you were in another world like senna was in monaco 1988. (Cue – You vowed to emulate Senna in Rosberg’s rivalry :P) The only difference in yours and Senna’s approach was – he was going amazingly fast around the track while you slowed down a bit when you went into the another world. :P

    P.S.- this post is made just for fun sake. :)

    1. You know its an unfunny comment when you have to explain its a funny comment…

      1. The way people are over reacting on small things, I wanted to clear it out at first itself.

  10. How the Dirt went inside his Visor is surprising me

    1. Darn — sorry Sri,
      my first attempt hit “report user” when I meant reply. Hope this has no effect.
      I wanted to comment:

      It does happen and when it does it is a real pain. You should have Darth Vader squeal and cry on set when they were making Episode IV…

      Wasn’t even that funny I guess…

      1. @boylep6 Nothing happened here,
        @omarr-pepper I dont think so mate there will be lot of dust fly all the time what ever track it would be and they always keep it closed , So that leaves the question still why he opened the visor as he never pitted after 1st pit and didn’t get the SC to have a break , or Do the Helmet has a problem?

    2. Baffles me too…

    3. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      25th May 2014, 21:04

      @harsha) Because drivers never close that visor completely. They usually leave a space open, I think it’s to avoid moisture.

      1. I think they do that only when they’re stopped. Otherwise, it’s just bad helmet design.

        1. DC commented that he used to leave a small gap to help with cooling.

      2. I’m a driver and I *usually* do not open my visor. There are a number of filtered vents that do what they are designed to do.

        1. I should add that I have had a bee in my helmet so I do not discount that something got inside the helmet.

    4. I would consider it if he had one of those cheap helmets on, but who knowa. Arai should give it a look.

      1. Wasn’t that after the SC/Pitstop? Maybe when the SC was out he opened it slightly to get some air and it happened. I recon it’s not fault of the helmet at all.

  11. I do have to say I question if we would have heard as much from Hamilton if A. we had the usual FOM director and B. if there wasn’t some pre-race drama. Basically things like these have happened before I’d imagine, but with modern team radios we actually get to hear about them.

    1. The radio exchanges were focused a lot on Hamilton …

  12. It wasn’t dirt in his eye, it was tears of child. Does merc have someone to collect Lewis’s dummy from track side. Looseing friends doesn’t bother Lewis, ask Sutil. Meltdown beginning me thinks.

    1. Don’t take your desires as certain…

  13. Neil (@neilosjames)
    25th May 2014, 19:07

    At least we learned he does actually have eyes under those permanent sunglasses.

  14. What a cry baby!!!!!!!, I was poor, Nico was rich, McLaren has better strategy, just shut up and drive the car, some guys are just ingrates, looks like no amount of money can buy class.

      1. after winning 4 strait races in what is obviously a vastly superior car, he acts like a grade school child. man up and show some class when your team mate wins, as Nico did for Lewis. that’s my point. Read between the lines!!

        1. Hamilton has showed class in the past in just in this case he feels screwed over by what nico may or may not have done in qualifying

          1. Nico was cleared, Lewis was beat fair and square. instead of dealing with like a man, he starts his tirade, starting with the Senna comment, ending with the pit stop comment. When has he shown class when losing? he’s an excellent driver but he needs to grow up. He likes to dish it out but he cant take it. Childish!

        2. @canadianjoe lol at Ros showing class yeah have ypu been watching Ham dominance? Ros said i will win in Spain on the China podium he guaranteed it lol.

          1. Nico was cleared yes, but he didn’t really beat him fair and square. In my opinion it would be fair if Hamilton had the chance to put his second lap in. As it happens Nicos mistake cost Hamilton much more than it cost Nico. For that reason alone, no it wasnt really fair and square.

            for something to be truly fair both drivers would have to have exactly the same opportunities. In this case that didn’t happen.

          2. + 1
            Besides, Lewis should question why his pits always lasts long…

    1. Where did he say Mclaren had better strategy… ?

        1. When we saw sutil on the barrier, all I could think off was pit now and endure 50 laps on the soft. Martin Brundle thought the same and so did Hamilton but no one had the courage to make the logical move, RBR or Ferrari could have easily spoiled their only real chance to win a race dnf’s and penaltys apart.

        2. Dont believe the hype mate. The media love to blow stories up as much as possible. How can he be critical of someone he calls amazing ?

          He was simply answering a question. He didnt criticise Mercedes at all. He said he would have been called in at Mclaren because he had his own strategic planner whos sole job was to look after just him. He was asked to clear something up and thats exactly what he did… he didn’t criticise anyone.

          1. @f190

            for something to be truly fair both drivers would have to have exactly the same opportunities. In this case that didn’t happen.

            Ummm…they both only completed 1 lap in Q3, so actually it was fair and square. They each had the same number of laps to set a time.

            He said he would have been called in at Mclaren because he had his own strategic planner whos sole job was to look after just him

            Sorry, wrong again. McLaren always give preference to the lead car if they are both on the same strategy.

  15. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    25th May 2014, 20:56

    Now Hamilton can justify to declare to the press: “I see red”

  16. Yes of course LH must be lying i mean 0.9, 1.3 then bang 4 seconds and a radio from team what is up mate. I would understand if he said after my eye hurt but no you lot think it is an excuse haha.

  17. they say that 2 negatives don’t make a positive. In Scotland the expression is eye right! He is a great racer but today he showed he’s nothing more than a petulant child. You were beaten fair and square

    1. What like Ros has been doing these past races. Dude know’s he is up against it he as double the results of his teammate’s wins yet he is behind. End of day the reversing part was wrong i don’t believe he did it on purpose and i am biggest Ham fan. I agree he should have shook his hand but then same could be said of Nico last race. What about Nico’s celebration yesterday, god help if it was LH who did that?.

      1. The reversing part was wrong? Really? You know something the stewards don’t?

  18. As a Hamilton fan, I actually think that his eye problems were tears and not dirt.

  19. Try as he might Lewis is unable to get past Nico. The fake eye issue allows him to save face without any verification. Let the head games begin. I love it! What a season…

  20. It’s amusing that the most common criticism of Hamilton that’s bandied around by his numerous, very vocal detractors is that he behaves petulantly when beaten. And yet, the majority of his critics disparage him in extremely childish manners.

    Case in point is those who have rubbished the notion that something did genuinely get in his eye and hinder him from lap 56 onwards. If not, how else do you explain the sudden drop in pace towards the end of the race? Up until that point, he’d generally been matching Nico all race long. He didn’t make any mistakes (the cameras would have replayed any error that cost him those two seconds), and he clearly hadn’t run into obscene tyre troubles, otherwise he would have reported as such over the radio. What benefit would it reap him to lie about something in his eye, whilst presumably (because it would the only viable explanation) deliberately dropping pace with an already significantly quicker Ric catching him up? As usual, those who dislike Hamilton will clutch at any straws, however small, to discredit him.

    Oh, and for those who criticised his demeanour during the podium ceremony, bear in mind that he is convinced of Rosberg’s guilt over qualifying. If you believe otherwise, fair enough, but just as the stewards are better equipped to judge what Rosberg did, don’t you think Lewis, who is more familiar with this car’s characteristics than anyone else not in the Mercedes team, is also better placed to judge the situation than anyone here. He is convinced that Rosberg’s “error” was deliberate, and knows that the pole it enabled him to clinch also paved the way for his win. I think I’d be pretty bad tempered in his position with that in mind, and I’m sure most others here would be too.

    1. @heisenberg Actually , I am convinced he knows more about it than the stewards and the public . For instance , he may know specific characteristics of the car .All the stewards can examine are the brake pressures , steering angle etc etc , what if he had intentionally locked up and done it perfectly ? they wouldn’t be able to tell . Nico could have pulled this off deliberately .
      But , yes , Hamilton should not sulk like this . He should put it behind him . One thing is for sure , he knows more than what the public knows . Take a look at this video at around 0:51 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvzrPs5fegU. He thinks hard whether to tell something or not and then decides not to .

    2. don’t you think Lewis, who is more familiar with this car’s characteristics than anyone else not in the Mercedes team, is also better placed to judge the situation than anyone here

      Yes and no. He’s better placed to judge the situation than us but is not better placed than the stewards.

    3. @heisenberg You make a valid point, but if a driver gave up or had spat the dummy he would need a excuse to make it look justified right? Bring on the “something is in my eye line”. Sounds far fetched yeah? Well he knew his car had enough power on the straights and tunnel to hold Ric at bay, he knew he wasn’t going to pass Nico so he just switched off and rode it home even playing up to the team, media and public regarding not caring about the gap to Nico when he knew that he was no longer up his behind and had no chance of catching him with so few laps remaining. That was a totally pointless and invalid statement/question in my opinion. Conspiracy theories can run all year round, but his attitude was a statement that can’t be denied.

      1. @funkyf1 Why would he risk dropping back 8 seconds just for an excuse ? If you think he could not keep up with Rosberg all of a sudden , then you are deluded. Lewis may be emotional but he isn’t a guy who will drop back just for an excuse .

        1. @hamilfan Nothing is beyond this guy of late, anyway I was just adding speculation like yourself and personally considering Hamiltons behaviour lately I don’t think it’s to far fetched. Only Lewis knows the real story

  21. So by bashing someone you don’t like or come to dislike cuz other people do, many souls seem to get surrogate satisfaction. Have thought about the so called maturity of them and it’s hard to think of any better than the one whom they gleefully bashing and dissing. Ask yourself, “am I happy by deriding and ridiculing him with every bits he speaks?”
    Read Niki scolded HAM for not shaking hands with Nico on post race podium ceremony. Well, being a big man and pretending to be a big man is different but if he indeed saw something from the data as he implied on the Q3 event, I bet none can be so much like act as an actor in front of public.
    Ironically, his emotional weakness and inability to fake something different from his mind is evidence of his naive and rather pure mentality, which is also called as immaturity of course. Anyway, most of the people over here seem no less childish and petulant than HAM.

    Nonetheless, I don’t want to take part with HAM esp when he said of the strategy comparison between McLaren and Merc. Guess he’s being fed more than his fair dose of criticism and hence feel to compensate by saying what he knows which most of the public don’t know by nature.
    BTW, this approach always backfires… what a situation!

    1. Well said!!!

  22. So some thik Lewis spat his dummy out over the weekend, what we haven’t heard is how Rosberg reacted to Lewis winning. Two sides to every story. And since when did team mates have to be best mates?

    1. Well, of course Nico wasn’t thrilled with the fact that Lewis went on a win-streak, but he never sunk to the childish level of Hamilton. Nico wants to win too of course! I actually agree with you though, I don’t want them to be friends, they can be pals once they retire. Right now I want them to hate each other just like Prost and Senna used to. Rivalries are the best!

  23. In the week that ‘Black Jack’ Brabham died, the contrast between a real tough as nails driver who won everything there was to win and was highly respected by friends and rivals alike for the man and sportsman he was, and the petulant sulking and whining of Hamilton couldn’t be stronger. Hamilton is a great racer and perhaps one of the fastest F1 drivers ever but he’s a pitiful example of a sportsman. He says he’s grown up since his clash with Alonso at Maclaren. Really ? Why’s he still acting like such a child then ? Sadly, I can’t see him ever growing into a man that we can respect as his upbringing isolated him from the real world and he simply never got the chance to have a proper childhood and to mature into an adult. As great a talent as Senna was, many would agree that he was flawed emotionally and it so it’s ironic that Hamilton is following in his hero’s footsteps off the track as well as on it.

  24. ianchesterton
    26th May 2014, 13:32

    Didn’t Hamilton recently talk some smack about how Nico Grew up privileged and he himself grew up in just the opposite way? Hamilton was the mclaren poster boy for years. Meh, he’s not worth the admiration or disdain.

  25. Lewis, needs to lose, it will do him good and maybe he will learn how to act like an adult member of our culture. But on the other hand it’s quite entertaining seeing someone so adolescent in mind; I wonder how he would act if Roseburg went on to win all the time?

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