Drivers act like “squares” to please corporate F1 – Hamilton

2015 F1 season

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Lewis Hamilton says it would be better for Formula One if more drivers would reveal their true personalities instead of acting like “squares”.

“I think Formula One needs personality and I think everyone has a personality,” said Hamilton in an interview with TV3 earlier this month. “They’re just too afraid, they’ve been led to believe they have to be this square and I’m sure when they get home they’re not.”

“The more and more us as individuals come out of our shells the better it will be for the sport.”

Hamilton has been criticised by some for his lifestyle away from the track. But he believes he has been performing better because he is more at ease with himself.

“I definitely think being myself has helped me be more successful,” said Hamilton. “Unfortunately in Formula One growing up it’s a very corporate sport, it’s very much been the same for a long, long time. The racing part’s exciting but everything outside is stale.”

“It’s like as a driver you have to be a square to fit in to the sport. That’s what I was led to believe, that you have to be a square to fit in to the sport.”

“I think once I finally got here and I was fully implanted by roots – so you can’t pull this tree out the ground it’s stuck in it for as long as I generally want to go – then I could start to be myself. It’s getting to a point where I don’t really care what people say. This is who I am and if you don’t accept it it doesn’t matter because I’m going to get in the car and I’m going to win.”

“And that’s so empowering to be able to do that. Being denied of who you are is the biggest crime you can do to yourself.”

“I sacrificed my childhood”

Hamilton described his introduction to F1 as “traumatising”
McLaren chief Ron Dennis recently said Hamilton would not be allowed the kind of freedoms he enjoys at Mercedes if he was still with his old team. But Hamilton said his first two years with the team in F1 weren’t positive experiences – despite winning the title in his season season.

“2007 and 2008 were two traumatising years,” he said. “It wasn’t good.”

“It sounds amazing winning the championship, which it is. But 2007 I lost it in my first year by one point which was painful in a way that I can’t really explain. And I didn’t know how to deal with it. So you box it up, and you hold it.”

“And then the next year I had it, and I lost it, I had it, and I lost it. And then I came across the line thinking I’d lost it and ten seconds later they told me I’d won it. It was not good. Whilst afterwards you’re smiling a little bit and you go home as the champion it eats so much, it takes so much out of you. And I wasn’t really able to fully embrace it.”

“I think also I was young, I wasn’t prepared to be in front of all those cameras. I was prepared to race and that’s why I was able to do as well as I did but I wasn’t prepared for the surroundings of Formula One. They didn’t put me through a school to learn how to deal with things and say the right things and not be affected by all the negativity that can be surrounded in sport. So it was really hard to deal with.”

“But then over the years there was the ups and downs, growing as a character that helped me. And then when I won last year I was finally able to really enjoy what I had worked for. I was like finally I’m grown inside because I sacrificed all my childhood years racing go-karts so I wasn’t doing the kid stuff normal kids were doing, I was growing in a different way. So I missed that childhood and so maybe I matured later, who knows. But I was able to finally enjoy and this year enjoy it even more.”

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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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103 comments on “Drivers act like “squares” to please corporate F1 – Hamilton”

  1. It’s like Max, I sense a certain amount of determined Dad behind it all. But he’s right anyway. You could max n match the interview answers from pretty much all the drivers and never notice. They all know the media will pounce on the slightest thing and upset the team / sponsors / Bernie.

    1. @lockup It’s a huge problem, the media. Felipe Massa is a classic character who will make a minor comment of his opinion or thoughts to the media and get ruined in return.

      1. Yep @strontium they all learn to say nothing. I think it gets a bit easier for them as they get to 30 or so as Lewis says, but still there are articles about the most obvious, things, like “Vettel wants a better 2016”, so if they say something that ‘s actually interesting well…!!!!

        And we all read them, of course.

        Trouble is IMO there’s too little genuine information around, it’s all shrouded in secrecy.

  2. I personally think that that isn’t all. Nowadays, whenever F1 drivers joke about something or say something mildly controversial, the media tends to twist their words out of context and paint them in a light they think is undesirable. I would speak just like the drivers do even without the need to please sponsors etc. (If I was a driver) knowing full well that I could say something like “I don’t see women in F1 anytime soon” and the next day have 1000 questions about why I said it, could I comment on it etc. I don’t blame the drivers.

    1. I definitely think being myself has helped me be more successful…

      Oh right, nothing to do with the most dominant car in F1 history then?

      1. No, nothing. Read the quote again.
        “…..more successful”
        Would have been true if he were driving a Manor.

    2. That’s what happened with Perez’s ‘misogynistic’ joke a year of two ago.

  3. petebaldwin (@)
    22nd December 2015, 13:13

    Ok so I’m not criticising Hamilton here but it’s like he forgets what he has already said and then contradicts everything.

    In 2013, he said about Vettel:
    I tried to imagine what it would be like if I was winning races the way he is winning races. Me, I don’t want to be able to be that far ahead, I want to be able to fight with him or whoever.

    When you have that much in hand sometimes it makes it so much easier.

    In the article above, he says about his first WDC in 2008:
    …I had it, and I lost it, I had it, and I lost it. And then I came across the line thinking I’d lost it and ten seconds later they told me I’d won it. It was not good. Whilst afterwards you’re smiling a little bit and you go home as the champion it eats so much, it takes so much out of you. And I wasn’t really able to fully embrace it.

    Before adding that this year:
    …I was able to finally enjoy and this year enjoy it even more.

    Hang on then… So you enjoyed 2015 more than 2008 because in 2008 you had to fight which took a lot out of you so you couldn’t sit back and enjoy it. At the same time, you don’t want to be able to sit back and enjoy it because you want to be in a fight….? Huh?

    1. Yes, because he’s a human being not a robot, and as such is driven by emotions not logic

    2. “Ok so I’m not criticising Hamilton”….

      Then proceeds to criticise Hamilton. I’m so confused right now.

      1. He’s not criticizing…merely pointing out Hamilton made statements that conflict with each other.

        1. Which is a critism.

      2. Richard Cantelo
        26th December 2015, 15:19

        So true

    3. So you enjoyed 2015 more than 2008 because in 2008 you had to fight which took a lot out of you so you couldn’t sit back and enjoy it.

      It’s like you didn’t even read the article; he explains the reasoning in full in those last four paragraphs.

    4. Lol @petebaldwin, I knew the second I read

      I’m not criticising Hamilton here

      that’s exactly what you’d be doing.

      It’s a curio of F1 life that Hamilton’s serial critics so often have the traits they claim to see and object to in him.

    5. The thing he enjoyed last year was that he felt in control of his own life, deciding for himself instead of being thrown around by the form of the car, scorching innner team battles, his dad, Ron, the media, his management etc.

    6. Maybe LH considers – with some justification – the last 2 years to be hard fought titles – last year went to the wire and even this year things could have been so much closer if LH’s car had failed at Sochi instead of NR

    7. In 2013, he said about Vettel:
      I tried to imagine what it would be like if I was winning races the way he is winning races. Me, I don’t want to be able to be that far ahead, I want to be able to fight with him or whoever.

      I love how this quote is misinterpreted. He clearly says he doesn’t WANT to be that far ahead. He is basically saying if he’s going to win races he’d rather it be in a fair fight with other drivers than the way he has over the last two seasons.

      1. @alilane4

        you mean he’d prefer to be closer at a place like Monaco? Or how about Spa where he had time in hand and was just in the groove? Monza also comes to mind. Or how about Hungary, where he’s in 4th by T3? It didn’t seem he was to all psyched for the battle.

        In 2013, LH was trying to diminish Vettel’s accomplishments. It’s easy on the outside to say how easy it is, but then be in that position and understand what goes into achieving those victories. It was a shallow and predictable comment in 2013, and I’d hope he’d have a different opinion now and understand how hard Vettel worked to get the car set up and then the focus to go and drive at the level he did.

        But unfortunately, I don’t think Hamilton has it in him. He’ll think “I had Rosberg to battle, not some over the hill guy like Webber”. Maybe instead of downplaying others, he should be thinking “Vettel won the WDC and then just rolled on. Why couldn’t I do that? Why did I think ‘I wish I could have a vacation’ instead.”

        As Vettel said to Rosberg in Australia “wait, you really wish we were closer?” Yeah, Hamilton really doesn’t want to be that far ahead…

        1. What about all the comments Hamilton made this year, hoping Ferrari catch up and give Mercedes competition next year? Did you forget about those?

          1. No – we put them in the ‘actions speak louder than words basket. Don’t you see the irony, he’s even talking above about drivers just saying ‘the right thing’ & not really meaning it & he’s probably the worst offender, lol what a hypocrite. Here’s another ‘If I can do it,so can you!’. Erm yes Lewis, sounds great, but they can’t if you have, so again really like everything he says its just hot air spoken to sound good(to infuence popularity on social media with poor sheep that know no better and truly believe all the drivel), might as well say bling blah blah it would be as meaningful.

          2. RaceProUK (@)
            23rd December 2015, 0:12

            I didn’t know Hamilton was responsible for Ferrari not being quick enou- oh, wait, you just hate the guy, and will look for the tiniest excuse to dump all over him.

            It’s pathetic.

          3. @raceprouk

            What about all the comments Hamilton made this year, hoping Ferrari catch up and give Mercedes competition next year? Did you forget about those?

            Do you really think he hopes that? As Vettel indicated in Australia, it’s not genuine. No driver would want to give away the advantage they have. I’m sure what he meant was for Mercedes to have an advantage that can’t be overcome, but looks much closer from the outside.

            Here’s the thing, inside he knows the quips, because he’s used them himself “it’s the car not the driver.” He’s used that toward Vettel for 4 years. Suddenly he’s in a car much much more dominant than the Red Bull ever was and he suspects it taints his WDCs. Say what you will, Rosberg’s a very good driver, but he’s not Alain Prost to Hamilton’s Senna, and he knows that. He also knows that in retrospect, Vettel did go head to head with Alonso twice and came out ahead, and it wasn’t all down to the car.

            Last year was a great championship for Lewis, being out qualified by Nico, with lots of reliability issues and getting punted off by Rosberg. But he held tough and came back. This year, meh. Having a car with close to a 1 second a lap advantage and a teammate no one rates as a world beater does not a legacy leave.

            I can’t speak for others, and while Hamilton’s not my favorite driver, I like the way he races and I’m all for him living his rock ‘n roll/hip hop lifestyle. He’s very deserving of being a 3x WDC and his move to Mercedes was inspired. Just he does say things sometimes that comes across flat and disingenuous. Nothing wrong with pointing those things out.

          4. Ah, now you’re sounding much more reasonable there @uan. And I’m sure he still wants an advantage; every racer does. But I think you’ll agree it’s boring lapping by yourself, 20 seconds clear of the field. It’s much more fun if you have a few people on your tail; it gives you that little extra boost.

          5. What about all the comments Hamilton made this year, hoping Ferrari catch up and give Mercedes competition next year? Did you forget about those?

            Until it came to offering Redbull a Mercedes engine and then he soon changed his tune!

          6. @raceprouk

            Ah, now you’re sounding much more reasonable there @uan.

            I’m an F1 fan — I’m not sure if “reasonable” and “F1 fan” go together lol :)

          7. Until it came to offering Redbull a Mercedes engine and then he soon changed his tune!

            Hamilton’s in charge of who gets Merc engines now, @asanator? Because I thought that was still Toto Wolff. Also, what does his opinion on Red Bull getting Merc engines have to do with Ferrari catching up?

          8. @raceprouk

            Hamilton’s in charge of who gets Merc engines now?

            Not at all and as you well know that is not what I was saying, Hamilton has been quoted as saying he wants more competition in his championship and yet as soon as there was talk of Redbull getting the Merc PU he starts telling the media that it isn’t a good idea, “Not if Mercedes are serious about winning the championship”.

            It shows a lack of faith in his own teams abilities to fight for a competitive championship. It has nothing to do with Ferrari catching up, it is about his contrary statements regarding wanting another team to be competitive and then showing the fear when the possibility arises.

      2. @alilane4

        He clearly says he doesn’t WANT to be that far ahead

        But he was so far ahead, in fact more far ahead than Vettel

        1. What someone wants doesn’t have to match what they have or get.

        2. The Blade Runner (@)
          7th March 2016, 9:48

          I have no issue with what Hamilton is saying. He’s also doing what all sportspeople do which is to say that their most recent accomplishment is the most rewarding. I guess if they didn’t say (even feel) this then they might lose their whole purpose for competing.

          With regard to “Corporate F1”, this is obviously a swipe at McLaren (my team) but is probably justified. You only needed to see Eric Bouillier’s “written” articles last season and compare them to his television interviews to see the Corporate mentality at play! I would add though that McLaren’s sponsors may dictate certain standards and behaviour. Indeed, it may well be that it was McLaren’s conservative approach which attracted them in the first place.

          The good news with being allowed to be yourself is that us fans can also do likewise. Putting Lewis’ racing to one side, and it’s a huge talent that I can barely lift, I am really not keen on the “real” Hamilton. A shame as he was one of my favourites many years ago. An opinion I’m entitled to of course but not one that I feel will keep Lewis awake at night!

    8. i love this kind of blind agony. Lewis was not the number 1 at Mercedes that year. Lewis Hamilton’s car broke down numerous times that year leading to lower point scores than what he would have liked. Vettel had no interference from his teammate, his car was almost bullet proof and he won with very little difficulty from the front, something Lewis would have done had his car not broke down left and right.

      Lewis championship in 2014 was much more difficult than it needed to be due to the reliability of his car. 2015 could have been more difficult had the ‘tire issues’ been forced earlier in the season, and Mercedes ‘changed’ the balance of their car, something which ended up suiting Nico Rosberg.

      Lewis has never had it as good as Vettel, and you know what, he never will. Mark my words.

    9. @petebaldwin I think you’ve read too much into it from what you want to see. It doesn’t strike me that way at all. People hail Lewis at times for how quickly he came to speed and winning a championship and many would think he’d be happy about that. However, he tells it a different way, the high expectation the let down of the prior year and the media also made him not enjoy the fight as well as the stress taking it out of him. He’s not saying that lack of the outright dominant car was a factor, and this is more readily seen when he talks about how in 2014 he was for once able to actually enjoy his success at the top and in general. And while he did have the top car, his team mate and reliability made it a fight to the bitter end and thus could have been as stressful to a 23 year old as 2008 was.

      The point being he’s had challenges and while 2015 has been his most easy year by far like many other greats have had, his other two championships were more of a fight. He’s simply saying that he is at a point in life where he can enjoy what he does despite how the media and people reading the media might paint him. Nothing to do with the dominant factor of the car he drives.

      Also it’s worth noting he has said several times throughout the year that he hopes Ferrari and Vettel are able to bring more of a fight next year so he can enjoy the fray for the championship. That doesn’t seem like what you’ve come up with in your quick read of the same article.

  4. I’m not all that convinced that drivers act like squares, nor are afraid of corporate and BE backlash, nor that LH has been all that ‘anti-corporate’ with anything he has said. He seems pretty corporate conscious too. At some point you only make a fool of yourself so I think most drivers simply police themselves. And there’s millions at stake, so yes some degree of corporate decorum is necessary.

    When I think of LH and his behavior I think more of his giving up after he won the WDC this year in favour of partying. I have no problem with his socializing and his social media attention and his music career…until it interferes with his job and his contract. He let it interfere this year as he did in 2011. What I find funny is that RD has said he would not have ‘allowed’ this on his team, but in fact he did just that in 2011 when LH admitted to off-track distractions costing him on Sundays, and that was the year Button bested him.

    I don’t know…it’s an age old argument…BE has said the same things as LH is now…eg. When JV left F1 BE said they needed more personalities like him…yet when JV was himself it just opened up the field for him to be criticized…not that he cared one iota about that…he had to be himself too. JV was far more ‘controversial’ than LH has ever been imho, and still is, but would never have given up like LH has a few times, which I think is far more damaging to F1 or the corporations that support you than being politically correct or square.

    1. @robbie “When I think of LH and his behavior I think more of his giving up after he won the WDC this year in favour of partying. I have no problem with his socializing and his social media attention and his music career…until it interferes with his job and his contract.”

      As I’ve said before, NR is no pushover and once the championship was won that little edge did disappear from Lewis in Q3. But… he finished the season with a trio of second places instead of banzai attempts to win that could easily have failed and taken both Mercedes cars out of the race. He did his job by avoiding that scenario and going for either alternate strategy or holding back for the team 1-2. As an employer this is exactly what M-B wants.

      1. blah blah, thanks for telling us exactly what MB wants from a driver, are you on their board? Last few races I only recall him whining & blaming the team for him not winning, is that what MB wants too??

  5. You know, I’ve always hated the way there is always a team person with a recorder next to the drivers as they are being interviewed after each section of qualifying. It almost seems as though the drivers are not being trusted, or that their replies to the camera are going to be analysed by some PR/Media supremo back at base.

    1. The recorder is there moreso to protect the driver/team.

      If a driver gives an answer in an interview which then gets taken out of context and placed in a damaging news article, the team can look back on what was actually said and clarify the matter.

      1. Well of course it is, @pjtierney. Doesn’t mean I have to like it.

    2. It happens in things much, much more mundane than F1 believe me, the only thing that surprises me is there is only one obvious PR person in many of these things. I’m a trade reporter on the shipping industry (yes super sexy just like F1…) and if I’m interviewing a CEO of a major global company in the industry they’ll be one if not two people with recorders there and taking notes into the bargain. Just how it works, and remember Kimi isn’t the only driver who probably enjoys talking to reporters about as much as root canal he just makes it more obvious!

  6. Ricciardo, Alonso, Vettel get by just fine. Pushback from Hamilton, Raikkonen, etc. helps establish some boundaries. It should also help fans filter out the suitable media.

  7. I agree with Lewis. I’ve never bought the argument that all F1 drivers have no personality. They will do behind closed doors and some show it on camera like Vettel and Button. Although I’m sure some are proper boring.

    1. Who cares, I want to watch F1, not Big Brother…..

  8. LH has been guilty of acting like a corporate square many times over- but it is great that the world champion himself is speaking out about that. The last time F1 had true characters (with the exception of a few) was back in the Senna/Prost era.

    1. Maybe they could be characters then because the risk was a bit higher then; and pre-1995 danger was part of F1’s glamour; even if F1 was reasonably from 88-94.

      1. There was also less pressure from manufacturers and sponsors using F1 as a global marketing programme.

      2. Maybe it was because there was just less Media, and what there was wasn’t as sensationalist as it has now become, questions were asked by serious motorsport Journalists who wanted to know about the race/qualy/whatever and not by a media house flunky just after the next click bait headline.

  9. Why is Hamilton talking for other drivers with whom he doesn’t even have a relationship?
    “They’re just too afraid, they’ve been led to believe they have to be this square and I’m sure when they get home they’re not.”

    Also, it’s a bit funny to hear Hamilton talking about drivers being corporate PR people… And not showing their personalities.

    1. Have you considered that he might have, y’know, maybe possibly talked to the other drivers about this? Or that he’s speaking of his own experiences with McLaren? Or both?

      1. @Racepro- have you considered he is just talking out of his hynie again????

        1. RaceProUK (@)
          23rd December 2015, 0:13

          Have you considered not hating someone?

  10. Out of all the things that I have criticized Hamilton about on this site (and there are plenty), his personality has never bothered me.

    For instance, there was a huge dilemma when Hamilton said that Vettel “has never been tested” (2015) or “makes the sport boring” (2013). Although I don’t necessarily agree with what he said, I really don’t understand the drama. A forum member on this site could say those exact words and nobody would bat an eye, so why are F1 drivers not supposed to say what they want?

    Anyone who gets offended by what Hamilton says is just a drama queen looking for things to be outraged about.

    1. I thought it was Alonso that said Vettel has never been tested? or perhaps both Alonso and Hamilton said similar things.

  11. Today on f1fanatic:
    Lewis Hamilton opens his mouth again. Stuff comes out.

    1. Lol. Good one

  12. This reminds me of the Russian GP post race top 3 driver’s press conference:

    There Seb, HAM and Sergio were having a little fan with the grid girls then the FIA/F1 supervisor stepped in to tell them to cut it off. Why? Let them be for Christ’s sake.

  13. Hamilton’s the master of “square” and he may be projecting a bit as well. Yes, he has a colorful life outside of F1, but at the races he’s like “Yes. No. Work hard.” Smile and wave boys.

    Compare Hamilton with Vettel and a few others (Alonso or Button), who show their personalities even when saying the “right” thing.

  14. I would rather see the “Squares” then Hamilton’s current annoying “enlightened” “true” personality. he has no idea what he is talking about here – For starters, he was the poster boy “square” personality for years, now that he is at Mercedes he thinks he is “better” then other drivers (in mental freedom, and probably in driving), but it is all in the contracts, like when his personality was contracted at McLaren. what a bafoon he is now talking about this. Hamilton is his own worst enemy whenever he thinks he is smart, he is not smart at all, he should just keep his mouth shut.
    I really don’t understand what he thinks he is saying now…. his success and freedom at Mercedes has let him be himself, not the other way around in what he thinks – his success enabled him to have freedom – otherwise he would have realized this 10 years ago and made these comments to the media 10 years ago. he has 3 WDC championships now, so he can be as free as he wants, but drivers at Force India and Torro Rosso don’t have the freedom, no matter what Dr. Hamilton thinks.

    1. You are absolutely correct! Lewis Hamilton is the poorest example of a champion F1 has had in recent years.
      He is in the best car with the Mercedes engine; I’d like to see what he could have done at McLaren this year.
      He’s just too full of himself. He couldn’t carry Michael Schumacher’s jockstrap; Michael took a not very good car and team (at the beginning of his career there)at Ferrari and put together 5 consecutive world championships. Hamilton is reaping the rewards of Michael’s and Nico’s development work. Wish Michael had been driving for Mercedes the past couple of years; a MUCH more classy champion!

      1. Seriously?
        When was the last time someone one with an inferior car won the championship? 2008 when Lewis won? 2009 when the Braun’s dominated the first 3/4 of the season?
        It’s pathetic that people choose to hate for the sake of hating. He’s not what you want him to be and is saying to the world he doesn’t care what you want him to be like.
        Just what kind of personality do you expect him to have? Jim Clarke, James Hunt, Stirling Moss, either of the Hills?
        Why can’t he just be himself? Clearly he wins championships when he is himself, and it’s clearly a good thing. Just get over yourself and accept he is who he is.
        He and sabastien are the only 2 that are genuine in their gratitude & always the first few words out their mouths when they win is to thank their team for their hard work in getting their car to the finish line. NR & Alonso are always too full of themselves to think about those that got them there.

  15. you know, I really find it pathetic when Hamilton comments on how other people act. Like he’s one to talk. gosh forbid you look at him or the camera man films him when he finishes second. Give me a break

    1. So when he finishes second, he should act like it’s the greatest thing in the world?

      1. Read the article, he’s judging other drivers. A poor sportsman, or like Villeneuve put it “he’s like a spoiled child who lost his toy” should not be talking about how other drivers act to the media or are too “square”.

        1. Villeneuve had no right to call out Hamilton for his attitude. After all, once he won his championship in 1997, the Canadian didn’t exactly cover himself in grace for the rest of his career – he was a jackass. Most gave him a free pass for his remarks because ‘look, he’s Gille’s son’, but don’t forget he tried to torpedo Jenson Button’s career because he was being beaten by the younger Brit.

          1. @optimaximal Wish I had more time to respond but your take on JV is highly inaccurate. Wasn’t a jackass, never got nor wanted a free pass for being Gilles son, just the opposite, and never tried to torpedo JB’s career, it was Richards that tried to torpedo JV’s.

        2. RaceProUK (@)
          23rd December 2015, 0:14

          he’s judging other drivers

          By saying that away from the track they’re probably a lot more interesting? And you think that’s a bad thing?

  16. Watching the press conferences this year featuring Hamilton, Rosberg and Vettel, it was pretty clear who the “squares” were, all right.

    1. haha gold! ( no not gold chain) Herr Vettel esq FTW!

    2. Very very true.

      If that’s Hamilton’s real personality he’s showing now a days… Geez I don’t know what to tell ya. Most boring dude ever. Only thing he does lately is to crash cars and wear massive hiphop accessories to get on the paper. He shows no personality.

  17. Must admit, I am a fan of Lewis, but everything he says reads like a press release. I suppose growing up in McLaren will do that to you!

    A thought I’ve often had on this very subject though –

    What would happen if you were a championship winning driver like Lewis, but spoke your mind, ignored all the PR nonsense, and just had a laugh in the sport. Would you be pushed out? I know the guys need to keep sponsors happy as part of their contract, but what if you didn’t bother to keep your mouth in check when it came to criticising aspects of the sport you don’t agree with? Surely a top team wouldn’t boot out a winning driver simply because they didn’t toe the party line?

    What if you were critical of the FIA? I know that drivers have to avoid any criticism of the way the FIA leadership operate, but if you called them out on things you weren’t happy about, would they go over your team boss’ heads and simply kick you out of the sport by revoking your super-licence?

    On a side note – If I were a (leading) F1 driver, I’d personally make a point of referring to Jean Todt as “Mr Toad” in any media interviews. Totally straight faced and just dropped into conversation, like it’s his real name. I’d also publicly call out his treatment of Gary Hartstein, among other issues. Wonder where it would get me…

    1. I suppose growing up in McLaren will do that to you!

      I was already wondering whether I am the only one who reads this (among with his comments a few weeks ago) as Hamilton having a sort of an indirect go at Ron Dennis…

    2. No, they won’t do that but they surely can make your life in the paddock like hell. The fans might love you, but if people who actually close to your vicinity when you work hate you, it will surely have effect on your performance. Also you would have more difficulty on negotiating your contract/salary. Considering you spent a lot of money to get into F1 as paid (not paying) driver and your F1 career only last few years at best, it’s much wiser move not to cross certain line (like calling “Mr Toad” there)

  18. Pretty rich coming from Hamilton who is just another token rich celebrity, obsessed with his Instagram feed and gives these cookie-cutter post race interviews.

    Button, Alonso, Vettel and Ricciardo, now those guys have personalities. Webber was another too, who was very honest and frank which is something of a rarity.

    1. @roodda Problem with that is, Hamilton will get bashed for giving “cookie cutter post race interviews” and then slammed again as soon as he says anything that doesn’t fit inside the PR checklist book.

      Just look at how many articles are online about his “lifestyle” away from the track, how many times it was discussed on TV even when he was wiping the floor with Rosberg on the track, If he hides behind the PR he is criticised and if he is himself he is criticised, Although the people who often criticise either have an ulterior motive or are just people who like to slam Hamilton and everything he does and I really don’t think Hamilton could give a toffee what either of those people think of him.

      1. Doing the same as other rich celebs doesn’t make you a personality, it makes you boring. A great racer, but as a human being he is about as interesting as the Valencia street circuit. “A big thanks to all the fans and the team were just so great today I am so blessed better go get on my jet plane hey did you know I have a dog? God i’m relatable! BLESSED! #TeamLH”.

        1. @roodda Hmmm I think you are confusing a couple of things, just because you don’t happen to like somebodies personality doesn’t mean they don’t have one, in fact it’s by him having his own personality that drives some comments like yours, If he never had one then there would be nothing for you to criticise.

          While you call it doing the same as other celebrities, I’m sure Lewis would call it living his life the way he wants, doing the things he enjoys based upon his personality. You mock his instagram posts, his appreciation to his team and the things that he says you are just proving his has a personality. Whether you like his personality or not doesn’t really matter.

          1. It’s so predictable, which is what I am mocking. You know what he’s going to do and say and that’s really boring. We are all entitled to our opinions. Let’s not straw-man the points I made. I didn’t say he has no personality, I just said he’s boring because he acts like most other celebrities and used a bit of humour with a satiric faux tweet to show that.

          2. @roodda – We get it, you find him boring. I’m more interested in your claim that you know what he’s going to do or say. What’s the next thing that Lewis will do or say that will be reported in the news?

          3. @williamjones

            He´ll wish everyone a happy christmas.

        2. You find him boring yet you follow him on Instagram? Here’s another Hamilton detractor who follows the best driver in the world but doesn’t like him because he’s the best.
          BTW, I rather enjoy the Valencia circuit; Valencia 2012 brings back great memories

    2. Button – personality?

      If you were looking for a stand in for Dermot O’Leary or Phillip Schofield maybe…

      1. @williamjones it’ll be something like Lewis and Rosco sitting under the christmas tree wearing santa hats.

  19. I’ve never understood the complaints about F1 drivers being too boring, outspoken, or anything in between. Their job is to race cars, not appease us by entertainment outside of the cockpit. So what if they give terse answers in interviews, or refuse to say anything that would anger the teams/sponsors? If fans or the media get annoyed at that kind of thing, that’s their problem.

  20. “They didn’t put me through a school to learn how to deal with things and say the right things and not be affected by all the negativity that can be surrounded in sport.”
    Is that not the very same school that teaches you to be a Square?

  21. I somewhat agree. And I would like to thank Petronas for this opportunity , without Petronas this comment would not have been possible.

  22. Just shutup & drive the car Lewis, I like F1 for F1, its not supposed to be some social platform where you proclaim – ‘look how individual I am, me, me, me blah blah’… & if he’s gonna act that way he shouldnt be surprised real F1 fans just don’t have time for it. Sounds more & more lost everyday – Lewis ‘who am I’ Hamilton…..

    1. RaceProUK (@)
      23rd December 2015, 0:16

      Fans: “Drivers should show personality.”
      Driver: “Drivers should show personality.”
      Fans: “Shut up and drive.”

      And you wonder why most drivers don’t speak up…

      1. @raceprouk It’s more like some people will just disagree with whatever Hamilton said. FIA should tell Hamilton to say these on interviews:
        “We need more mechanical grip, not aero”
        “V6 turbo with advanced ERS is bad for F1”
        “We need to remove DRS”
        “Bernie should retire soon”
        “Mercedes is dominating F1”

        1. +44
          He should also say:
          “I’m not the best driver in F1”
          “Kimi doesn’t deserve to be in Ferrari in 2016”
          “Maldonado is a terrible driver”

    2. He still has not grown up.

  23. I agree with Lewis that it would make it more interesting if the drivers were allowed to show more of their true emotions. The best bits of broadcasts have been Kimi’s famous “Yes yes yes…” – we love him for it, and the funny way he gives interviews. Watching Vettel’s outburst after his tyre outbursted was great, but he got his wrist slapped for it afterwards.

    I’m afraid I don’t like Hamilton’s personality, even though I think he’s the best racer ATM. His interviews are always talking about himself. If he wants to party away, fine as long as it doesn’t interfere with his driving, and I think that because he’s enjoying himself, relaxed, his driving is better than when he’s on edge.

    1. His interviews are always talking about himself.

      When you consider how often he’s asked questions about himself, it’s not that bad.

  24. Lewis is a cube.

  25. We should all be thanking Hamilton for giving us something to talk about F1 related during the break…

    1. Indeed, thus proving that he has an interesting personality.

  26. So Ron Dennis claims Hamilton would have enjoyed ‘less freedom’ at McLaren had he stayed at the team. I think Ron has been at the glue or something. What a bitter thing to say, bitter in that Hamilton has succeeded without Dennis and McLaren, without his ‘mentor’ being by his side.
    I have often wondered these past three years the response Dennis would have gave had Hamilton’s move to Mercedes been a disaster, and McLaren had dominated with say Button or Alonso winning the past two drivers championships.
    Plenty of people questioned Lewis’ judgement back in 2012. Mercedes showed promise, but know one had them down as ending Red Bull’s dominance. Hamilton has often being criticized as a playboy, an egotistical yet talented young man who finally got to conquer the sport Ron Dennis introduced him too.
    Lewis is right. It is not enough nowadays for the drivers just to show up, drive, sign a few autographs and disappear back to the nearest Lear jet. In an age when the punters expect everything yesterday, from the convenience of a smart phone in most cases, F1 cannot afford to be
    snobbish or backward. Dinosaurs such as Ron Dennis should remember that!

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