Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Shanghai International Circuit, 2016

Hamilton: I do more to promote F1 than any driver

2016 F1 season

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Lewis Hamilton says he does more to promote Formula One than his rivals do – and doesn’t feel he owes the sport anything.

In an interview with CNN (see video) Hamilton said he has “very little” say on the decisions taken about the sport but is “not really” interested in having a greater say.

Asked if he felt any responsibility towards the sport Hamilton said: “No.”

“Responsibility in what state? I come to the races, I actually probably promote the sport more than any other driver ever has. I’m at more events talking about Formula One more than any driver ever has. Probably all the other drivers put together and more.”

“So I don’t feel like I have any more responsibility. I’ve got some incredible fans and I give as much time as I can to motivate them and energise those who do follow me. So I don’t know what else I have to give to it. I’ve been there for ten years, love the sport, given my blood, sweat and tears for the sport. So no, I don’t feel like I owe it anything.”

Hamilton lags 36 points behind team mate Nico Rosberg in the championship but says he is reassured by how well he has been able to recover in the first three races.

“People make things look at lot worse than they are,” he said. “Of course I’m 36 points behind so that number in itself is quite big, that’s not a positive.”

“But if you look at Melbourne, the things that we learnt in Melbourne, the way I came back from seventh back to second. And still even in Bahrain drove from the issue I had back up to third. And in the last one it’s even worse again but still I had 18, 19 overtakes which is more than most and hopefully still showed that fighting spirit that I’ve always had since I was a kid.”

“Another 18 races to go, still got a great car, still got a great team, it’s important that none of us change anything.”

Hamilton said Rosberg has “done a great job” to win the opening three rounds of the championship.

“I’ve not been there to really be in the fight. So he’s had pretty much a breeze for the last three races. Good for him, enjoy it while it lasts because you never know how long it’s going to last.”

2016 Chinese Grand Prix

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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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138 comments on “Hamilton: I do more to promote F1 than any driver”

  1. ColdFly F1 (@)
    19th April 2016, 13:05

    if ‘promote HAM’ = ‘promote F1 => HAM = True

    1. It kind of is.
      He is the world champion.. He is the face of F1 at this moment.
      So everywhere he just shows his face.. He promotes F1.

      I’m a big fan of his racing, not the biggest fan of all the jetset, but he does
      put F1 in the picture day in day out.

    2. That is sort of how it works, isn’t it. Schumacher got huge popularity in China, and the fans that still visit are largely fans of Ferrari (and probably Schumi) even now as a result.

      Hamilton is often seen at events where other popular people are seen so that brings him and F1 some headlines.

      Where I think the answer goes a bit off the rails, is where Hamilton lets his competative nature shine through and wants to say that he does more than others / more than others together or even more than anyone has done before. I guess beating the others is just too much in him to just be happy about what HE does regardless of the comparison :-)

      1. To be fair, I believe he is right even when he says that he is bigger than all the other combined. If you look outside of F1 media and into mainstream media, there is no match.

        1. He probably pays his Public Relations people more than all the drivers put together as well.

          1. Isn’t it more a case of: If you like him then the promotion he does is positive, and if you don’t then you find it off putting? Then the argument becomes, do more people like him than the opposite? Personally, to me he is off putting so the sport is not richer to -me- for his presence, but I acknowledge that since he is British, he is probably seen in a positive light in a big country, so that adds overall relative value to the sport, regardless of personal preference.

          2. As always with Hamliton, just like your use of ”probably”, a lot of the things read or said about him is speculation. Yet such is made to be believed as fact. I don’t think he pays more than anyone or any person for publicity as you suggest. He doesn’t need it. Didn’t he fire the one he had before? He is reported on 24/7 so that is enough publicity.
            His tweets to HIS FANS are immediately reported as news on so many blogs and news sites.
            So the man is absolutely right when he says he promotes the sport more than all the drivers.
            If one digs through reports on this generation of drivers published on this website and other F1 media I can almost guarantee that Hamilton reports are more in number and most likely generate more traffic and comments than others as this particular article may possibly show.

          3. Forgive me, I am more jaded in the morning before the coffee kicks in.

        2. HAM promotes F1 the way Kardashian promotes fat asses.

          1. That is a “low blow”

        3. Senna and Schumacher are arguably the two biggest ambassadors the sport has had. Senna, unfortunately, got notice to the sport when he became a martyr. Schumacher got the sport noticed due to his pure dominance of a sport, similar to what Roger has done for tennis, Valentino has done for Moto GP and what Phelps did for Swimming. Lewis’ approach is to cut a music album, mingle with celebrities and enter the global socialite circle. It might work for him or it might not. But I think he would be better going the Schumacher route by just being a dominating force in his sport, instead of going the new age social media and entertainment star route.

          1. Great comment, wholeheartedly agree

  2. Disagree! I think all the drivers do a good job. Hamilton just happens to be the current world champion, so he’s a lot more “relevant” in the world media.

    But I think Seb Vettel is the driver more willing to have a say on the issues of the sport. His comments in the qualy saga for instance. He cares about the sport, I feel, more than others. Not a complain towards the others, but it’s how I feel.

    I do think that Hamilton’s appearance in social media is very important but that guides me to a problem: how can f1 drivers promote the sport if they are not even allowed to record videos in the paddock? Or teams not able to show their own cars racing? All because of FOM rules…

    1. A big question most top drivers start to question. On top of my head : HAM, GRO, ROS, VET, RIC…

    2. @fer-no65 “how can f1 drivers promote the sport if they are not even allowed to record videos in the paddock? Or teams not able to show their own cars racing?”

      One of the answer is do what Hamilton is doing. His appearances on many events and his social media postings is promoting F1 in indirect way. Regardless of the event or the content of his posting, people will always talk about “that’s Lewis Hamilton, the F1 driver/World Champion”. Whatever the talk is, the word F1 will be spoken.

      Vettel may talk for the established fans, but Hamilton is spreading F1 to general masses. They both do something positive to the sport in their own way.

  3. I know he is ‘just’ answering a question, but at first blush I’m really turned off right now. To me he actually owes McLaren and the sport everything. And nobody has put a gun to his head. So, thanks LH but you are not F1. It will go on without you and your massive promotion above and beyond all others combined still sees F1 in trouble so….just saying…at this moment I could do without you, thanks…not that you care.

    1. Do you owe your job? Or do they (assuming you work for a company) expect you to work your life around the hours they want you there, force you to ask them when you’re allowed to go on vacation, and demand that they are your first priority, over everything else, including family? Can you really blame someone for not feeling obligated to a sport or team that see them as a resource, and will toss them aside when they stop being a financial asset?

      1. I simply disagree with your last sentence particularly. I highly doubt Merc sees him merely as a resource that they will toss aside when done with him. I prefer people in the unique position such as LH is in, where they are set for life, doing what they love, to think of themselves as lucky and blessed and grateful compared to 99% of the rest of the world. It is not like he is a clerk in a store. He is in a privileged position and should acknowledge that, which he doesn’t, at least in this interview anyway.

        1. Have you never heard LH on team radio after winning or when on the podium or the press conference or the press area? In short he begins by thanking the team for giving him a fantastic car and gushes about how he did it for the team who put so much effort into getting the car and him ready for the race and how he is so grateful for the opportunity he has had. He always thanks everyone for getting him there.
          a quote from Keith’s article above:

          “I’ve got some incredible fans and I give as much time as I can to motivate them and energise those who do follow me.”

          Name another driver that puts as much effort into their fans as Lewis does?

          Maybe you should listen to the interview in entirety before moaning that LH doesn’t acknowledge he is in a privileged position.

          1. As I said, he doesn’t acknowledge that in this interview. Maybe you should have read what I said in it’s entirety and then you will see I was reacting to this article. It’s just too much I, I, I, me, me, and I don’t particularly care for this kind of patting oneself on the back to this degree. He is saying he is better than all the other drivers combined at something and I just think that is a bit much to take, for my taste anyway.

          2. @Robbie Do you prefer he gossiping about other driver? In an one on one interview about yourself of course the every answer is about I, I, I, me, me, and I. And he saying he is better than other drivers combined at (pardon the caps) PROMOTING F1, not SOMETHING, which is hard to argue against when other drivers only get talked by people on race weekend and silly season while Hamilton makes F1 get talked about with his every appearances.

          3. @sonicslv No I would just prefer he didn’t claim he promotes F1 more than all the other drivers combined which to me sounds like an unnecessary, big headed thing to say.

          4. @Robbie Well if you watch the interview you should see it for yourself he not trying to brag about promoting F1 more than other drivers, he just said what have he give back to the sport and why he doesn’t feel need to owe something to the sport. It’s fair answer from him and it’s most likely true that he promotes F1 more than any drivers combined.

          5. @robbie
            If you bothered to spend 4 minutes listening to the interview you would know he acknowledges his privileged position.
            That’s why I wrote you should listen to the interview before moaning instead you reacted to an article written deliberately to attract attention regardless of the original intent and context of the interview. Be angry at the writer of the article for misleading you instead.

      2. If you have a job that let’s you do what you love and rewards you with riches and fame beyond most people’s dreams, then YES, you owe your job.

        1. The relationship is symbiotic/interdependent. He owes the sport nothing so long as the sport owes him nothing. So it does not go one-way for Hamilton.

          1. The complexities of the situation are almost beyond the scope of an internet debate ;)
            Chicken before egg problems and questions of scale will arise.
            That being said, Hamilton came into F1 as a rookie, into a sport that was established long before he was born.

        2. @ferrox-glideh
          “The complexities of the situation are almost beyond the scope of an internet debate ;)”

          Knowing that, it is disingenuous therefore to trot out such statements as Hamilton owes F1 or Mclaren and let it fester as fact.

          1. I never wrote a word about Mclaren. I just said that Hamilton owes F1 respect for giving him a venue to prove his talents, at the very least.

    2. -So, thanks LH but you are not F1

      Well, he never said he is F1, did he? You actually do prove him right. He owes the sport nothing yet he encourages his millions of fans to participate in F1 weekends and such. If out of the millions, a few hundreds decide and afford to turn up, that’s something.
      On the issue of social media, the he is vilified for, and which some drivers are admired for not having, the millions he announces upcoming F1 events to is an added source of revenue for the sport.
      He can as well decide to close all accounts, go into his ”private life” and then turn up like some drivers during race weekends, just to drive and go home not caring whether any one turns up to watch or not.

      1. Point by point:
        So are you are saying that a Lewis fan doesn’t necessarily have to be an F1 fan? I thought that I was being jaded.
        By turn up, do you me physically, at the track? This seems to be an inconsequential number in the grand scheme of promotions.
        If he decided not to comment, and just let his driving speak for him, then Lewis would have as many fans as Kimi. Kimi is popular for what he leaves unsaid. This is an efficient use of social media.

        1. “..then Lewis would have as many fans as Kimi”

          For someone who has no social media presence at all, one wonders who these “fans” are. Mind you, I am not saying Hamilton or anyone has more simply because I am not bothered by such fickle comparisons, I just don’t believe the hype or chatter about the so-called Kimi fanfare without any concrete backing. You may need more than one poll to back up your claim.

          Regarding the other things you said, I don’t think there is much to say in reply.

          1. Look at the fan poll on this website for confirmation of RAI fanbase. It has been like that every year since about 2012 when I started following it, and I suspect before then as well. There are lots of Kimi fans. He is a straight-forward former world champ who brooks no nonsense. Laconic guy.

            http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/120142 Has Hamilton beating Raikonnen 19.9% to 18.3% in a July 2015 survey, which is interesting for many reasons.

          2. @ferrox-glideh Kimi fans is from people who already following F1. Hamilton fans is from people who not really following F1 yet. They’re different. Your poll is result is from sport centric website, I bet if the poll is from general website, Hamilton will win it.

  4. Yeah one of the greatest promoters of the sport.
    Drink and Drive ,Selfie videos on a bike,Mid night accident in Monaco,Hotel room saga during British GP 2011,McLaren telemetry on Twitter etc etc etc.

    What a spoilt Brat…….

    1. Lol yeah well put. I’d also like to know if he thinks that just by being seen around the world he is promoting F1, or is he actually talking up the sport? Actually promoting it? It feels like he thinks he is ‘all that’, and his mere presence is enough. Well I’ve heard enough that’s for sure.

      1. The hate is real and Deep!

        1. No not hate. Just a little disrespect at the moment.

    2. @harsharip

      Drink and drive? When was that?

    3. When did he drink and drive? Stop making up nonsense.

    4. Hamilton the “person” Is a DREADFUL promotion of F1.

    5. @harsharip

      Since you, predictably, have not been back to let us all know from where you have information that Hamilton has had a “drink and drive’ incident, I used the trusty Google and found as far as I can ascertain, no such incident exists.

      That is slanderous accusation, and this seems to be a great example of the kind of behaviour generated by Hamilton hating.

      However, I await with interest the source of your story if it exists and is not just your fictional creation.

      1. +1 @paulguitar You are a legend.

      2. Of course, there was no drinking involved. Hamilton only fell asleep at the wheel…

        1. @ferrox-glideh

          If you are referring to his early morning Monaco Zonda prang, he was specifically found by the police NOT to have been drinking.

          It is simply not on to make up accusations about stuff as serious as this, unless @harsharip has some information we don’t know about.

          Let’s wait to hear……..

          1. As a multi-decade long driver, I was more than half serious about the Falling Asleep jab. Under the law in Canada, the only country that I profess to now anything about the law in, the driver must not be impaired. Impairment can mean tired, as much as it can mean drunk. Many people involved with racing have driven “dead tired” before, and will hopefully never do so again. I am sure that it wasn’t just Hamilton who learned his lesson after that debacle. “Wake up call”.
            Of course, I don’t profess to know what happened to Lewis driving his lovely super-car home that night, but as an experienced World Champion, he must have known that his mistakes would be measured to a much finer degree than his successes. In my imagination, he swerved to avoid hitting a beautiful pregnant cat that has since supplied the royal family with kittens.

          2. @ferrox-glideh

            Well, let’s hope so……..:)

  5. I sense a massive ego-drive implosion coming soon. But you never know right? MSC had that ego and a great career, right up until he thought he could go off-piste safely.

    And I just clicked that video, and listened to what he actually said. And boy is this headline very particular…

    How about “HAM: The sport is a business” or “HAM: Money is power”?

    The messages he is giving across in this video are doing good for the sport. But nobody’s choosing to listen.

    1. ColdFly F1 (@)
      19th April 2016, 14:23

      MSC had that ego and a great career, right up until he thought he could go off-piste safely.

      Hope you didn’t mean it the way it reads to me, Tristan!

      1. Probably not, I mean he’s a great man, who achieved incredible things, and will always be remembered as such. Much as I believe HAM will.

        But it’s just part and parcel right? The ego required to take those risks, to feel invincible, to do the incredible things these men do, can also have disastrous consequences. Ham thinking he’s promoted F1 more than any man on the grid, is a great indicator of such an ego.

    2. That’s a very distateful comment about Schumacher.

      1. I agree, I apologise, would edit it if I could. Was not intended to be so… Thoughtless.

    3. Poor form mate. Poor form.

    4. yup, Lewis clearly defines the sport with in the context of the money making and the check signers, yet most people who do not want to address the realities of the business, who wish to detract, will choose the ad hominem approach vs actually addressing what is said.

      Does Lewis spend more time than any other driver currently, or past driver, at present time, promoting F1, I would say that’s hard to argue against. I feel Hamilton’s frustrations, the sport is more about money than legitimate racing and real racing spirit. Does he owe the guys cutting checks anything more than what he has already given, or will give, till he fulfills his contract, I say a definitive NO.

      Now, should people keep calling F1 a sport, that is something more fascinating to talk about, but most will continue to ignore that particular question.

  6. Stil Kimi has more fans :P

    1. Katy Perry has more more fans :)

    2. Kimi has more fans when measured by polls on F1 centric websites.* which driver has more fans in total from a general perspective is something that’s not been quantified.

  7. He came 2nd in Bahrain? I thought he was 3rd?

  8. I think it’s a tad presumptuous to say he does more than any other driver. If anything I think he self-promotes more than any other driver than promotes Formula One. I suppose you could say that increases the visibility of F1 in social media but considering F1’s social media coverage is pretty terrible anyway that’s not saying much.

    1. I was thinking the same, it’s self promotion not promotion of F1. Most of the times when he his out mixing with celebrities he’s talking about playing music or his dog, no mention of F1.

      I don’t think he the best ambassador of the sport on the grid, he’s not very charismatic and comes across as a bit shy and disinterested in interviews. Not that there is anything wrong with that, he does his talking on the track. Jensen Button and Daniel Ricciardo are great examples of ambassadors of the sport.

      1. Agree totally. Hamilton seems to beleive his own press these last few years and its a shame, because at one stage I really think he was genuine. I can’t see at all that he engages in anything other than self hype and trying to perpetuate his own myth. His ego seems to be bigger than even Schumacher’s but the thing is, off the track Schumacher did a lot for the sport. He was IIRC the President of the GPDA for quite some time and quite instrumental in a lot of the ‘behind the scenes’ politicking and changes. He also did a lot of road safety campaigns etc after he retired in addition to his quasi-Ambassador role. And we didn’t hear endless stories of hi-jinks in the media about him.

  9. I’m a huge Hamilton fan, I’ve never invested as much emotionally in a driver as I did Ham in 2007 and 2008, not many grown men have made me cry! But I’m a fan of his F1 activities and not interested in the slightest about his girlfriend or budding musical career. Hamilton does promote the sport, but mainly as a result of his self-promotion as he increases his own celebrity ‘brand’. He is a fantastic F1 driver, few would argue that he isn’t in the top 3 and his main contribution to promoting the sport is by performing on track – nobody is bigger than the sport and there are bigger personalities than Hamilton (Ricciardo for instance) and lots of temperaments to entertain (Verstappen is yet to mature and his outbursts are incredibly entertaining!).

    At the moment the best way a driver can promote the sport (in my mind) is to give it everything on track and to use their influence for the good of the sport (like Vettel being critical of the dire qualifying).

    1. I’m breathlessly awaiting the release of his album. Watching Charlie Rose pretend to bop around to R&B was priceless.
      http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/hear-lewis-hamiltons-first-songs/

    2. Even now, with all the promotion that Hamilton does, I bet Hamilton the musical is getting more attention than him.

      To each his own, but I dislike Hamilton´s social media persona, I will give everything not to be forced (because of all the RTs from F1 journalist) of his post. I just don´t care, if he goes to dance with Rihana! (To be honest I don´t follow any driver on twitter or facebook, only past drivers).

  10. Come to think of it, there’s a good chance he’s been hanging with Kanye West, no? Nuff said.

    1. +1…

      Personally I feel he is about 40 years behind the times… I reckon he would have got in really well with James Hunt, another F1 playboy…

      1. James Hunt was a true playboy, not an atention seeker like Hamilton!

  11. I’ve never been a big fan of Hamilton, to be honest, but… why would he owe F1 anything? He’s one of the drivers who earned his seat, instead of being a product of huge sponsorship or nepotism, so he wasn’t ‘given’ anything. They pay him, he shows up and drives. Good enough. It’s just a job. Personally, I find it refreshing that Hamilton seems to be realizing that there are other things in life besides just F1.

    1. No actually he was brought into the McLaren family at a young age and brought up that way, so I think he was given a great chance and owes them a great deal and could at least at a bare minimum sound grateful for that resulting in his ultimate fame and fortune. Sure he had to have the talent and he’s also earned his way, but come on, he wasn’t Mac’s nor F1’s saviour. They both would have survived without him and simply found someone else.

      1. So he was was brought into the McLaren family out of the blues? Do you realize how much work and effort went into getting to that point? Also McLaren brings lots of kids into the fold. Most clearly don’t make it. The relationship was symbiotic. Neither owes the other.

      2. He is always saying he is blessed and greatful. I do believe he repayed his “debt” if ever there was one with Mc Laren by delivering the title. I would hate to believe i owe my future to my company just because they employed me ahead of their competitors and invested in me to get higher returns.

      3. RaceProUK (@)
        19th April 2016, 15:33

        He gave them a world championship; that’s hardly insignificant. Not to mention how you’re conveniently forgetting how, when he moved from McLaren to Mercedes, he was full of praise for McLaren in giving him the chance in F1 and for giving him the car with which he won a world championship.

        1. Agreed which is why I am surprised and turned off at his comments for now.

          1. RaceProUK (@)
            19th April 2016, 19:38

            But his comments aren’t about McLaren, they’re about the sport itself

      4. @robbie I think the least he could do was do a good job of driving his car.

        Which he did, so….I don’t think he really owes anything now, even if he decides right now he’s tired of driving decently.

        (well of course it was still a good thing that he did praise McLaren, etc. But I don’t presonally think he really needed to)

      5. He earned his seat at McLaren. Ron took him under his wing because of his speed.

      6. Hamilton owes Mclaren as much as Mclaren owes him. They invested in him and he returned on their investment by delivering a championship vicotry to them. In fact, he would have done that on the first year he was promoted to F1 if the team had not messed up. In 2012, yet again, he was on course to return on their investment, yet they failed him again.
        So without looking at his Mclaren sojourn with bias, one would say Mclaren actually owe him, if there is any need to talk about such things in the first place.
        If there is anyone that owes Mclaren anything, it certainly has to be JB since he is yet to return on the millions of pounds received by winning them a championship and he’s been with the F1 team as long or longer than Lewis was.

        1. +1 and let us not forget how Martin W kept saying how sublime JB’s driving was and made every attempt to undermine Lewis’ self confidence, and yet Lewis delivered.
          If I have a grouse its that RD did not intervene to curb MW’s bias toward JB at the expense of LH and the team as a whole. I fell so strongly about it that I can only say riddance to MW.
          Lewis paid every penny to McL by delivering on RD’s belief in LH.
          Finally and this will start another furore, if McL had delivered the goods at the right moment in Lewis’s career , he would now be a 5 times DWC.

  12. I reckon the post count in this thread is gonna prove him right :)

    1. Haha… Exactly mate!

    2. This post. Game over

  13. For me Rosberg is doing the most, his live feeds on Facebook are great! On the plane after races, in the office, at training, even live from the red carpet at the Laureas sport awards. Grosjean has been doing that too.

    note I said “for me”.

    1. For me too. Rosberg comes across as smart and sincere, and even humorous when the situation calls for it.

      1. You sir and those agreeing clearly have either not watched the races or for sure, the post race reactions either in the cool down room or on the podium!

        Austin was a frankly disgusting spectacle! Not one of calm reserved wonderfulness. People paid to watch that petulant child stiff them on the podium and ignore everyone. After giving him a chance for the Monaco gift or even the LH must make my life easier and drive faster China rant.

        What kind of people suddenly rewrite history when their boy acts in a way that is almost unspeakably petulant yet choose to suggest the victor who has not once ever shown such disrespect to competitors is somehow, the ‘bad’ guy?

        Never mind – any chance to have a go eh lads?

        Honestly grow up.

  14. It is pretty ironic that despite being in the media spotlight since 2015, he wasn’t even in the top three favourite drivers. He is definitely different to the likes of Vettel, Alonso, Webber or Button. Their life appear to be centered around racing or similar competitions, while Hamilton prefers more of a celebrity or show-bussiness environment. I don’t really care about their private lives, but must say I am getting tired of all the noise around Hamilton.

    1. What is ‘the value’ of PR if it comes from a person not well-liked?
      And/or, if the contents is not centered around F1?

  15. I would have to disagree with Hamilton, and say that he owes Formula One his fame and his fortune. Without F1, he would be just another racer. He earned his right to call himself WC, but without F1 there wouldn’t be a championship to win. In the last few years he seems to speak without really thinking, and even if much of what we hear is out of context, one part of his character does shine through… petulant entitlement. I wish he would just let his (fine) driving do the talking, and stop with all of the self-aggrandizing.

    1. It’s like saying that without the music industry Michael Jackson would not have been king of pop, and that he owed his fame and fortune to said industry.

      1. Yes, my point exactly.

      2. Epic/Sony were very much the market leaders in the early 1980’s, and their claim to also be a world-leading marketing engine (and therefor a world leading brand),is at the very least metaphorically linked to the position that F1 holds in viewer numbers in a very competitive action sports model. Little Michael Jackson was born into an family that was closely tied to his chosen field, and he received lots of money and fame for his artistic input from the Epic/Sony imputus. Both parties used each other, and those with the better lawyers made out better that the other in the end.

        1. When Muhamad Ali was asked if he was grateful to his trainer he said no.
          He said that boxing was in him and that his trainer could not teach him that.
          I agree.
          Likewise Lewis could not be taught to be great. He is great. He has the results to prove it going back 20 yrs.
          Michael Jackson would have shone no matter as would Muhamed Ali and Lewis Hamilton.
          They are gifted people with supreme talents. No one gave it to them or can take it away.
          All these kinds of individuals are who they are and you either like them or dont.
          I think Lewis is exceptional,, not sxcared to speak his mind and if he gets it wrong on occasion, so be it.
          Unless luck is totally against him as in the last race, he will deliver as he always does.
          He could have won the last GP. He was 1 min 19 sec off the winner with FIVE pit stops.
          3 pits stops is approx 70 sec

          1. Can I also just add that he does not owe the Sport ANYTHING.

            He DOES owe his dad who held down three jobs to make all this possible.

          2. I agree that all of these talented guys were great, but they all had so many people working so many angles for them, paving the way for their success (when they weren’t trying to rip them off.) I am no fan of the Marketplace, but these guys all had hard working individual talents and also whole industries behind them, making it happen, bringing in money and the publicity and fame.

  16. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
    19th April 2016, 15:50

    This is likely true, but then again Hamilton has enjoyed a greater capacity to promote the sport than any other.

    Unfortunately, mainstream media tend not to be terribly interested in monolithic sporting excellence: you can’t imagine many people were rushing to the newspaper stands to read up on Vettel’s run of nine consecutive wins in 2013. But a rookie sensation with a rags-to-riches backstory? Hamilton’s overnight rise to global acclaim is an ingrained, inspirational idyll in world sport, whether or not you believe the tabloid’s presentation of the nuances of Hamilton’s beginnings. Compare that with an academically-gifted young man who grew up in Monaco, who received an unconditional offer from UCL and has a F1 world champion for a father, and you can see why Hamilton’s relative success has had such mainstream resonance. Only really Schumacher and Alonso’s nationalistic roles in awakening German and Spanish motorsport followings are comparable modern examples.

    Hamilton is the kind of person the media dreams of: since leaving McLaren has been happy to embellish world class sporting performances with public displays of an increasingly outlandish and indulgent private life. His profile is a unique asset for a F1 driver, one he can either use to promote himself, or to change the sport for the better. I must say, I’ve liked what I’ve heard recently:

    http://www.autosport.com/premium/feature/6942/hamilton-has-emerged-as-f1-voice-of-reason (Subscription required)

    1. @william-brierty – I’m more of a Jim Clark kind of fan, guess I’m just old school, or maybe just old. ;-)

      But, even though I’m not a huge Hamilton fan I really admire what he has accomplished on and off the track in his remarkable career. Against many odds he has achieved much with his talents and hard work. This is a great story and it is even more so in the media/internet age. Who will portray him in the movie about his life story that will surely come to screen someday? He brings non-F1 fans to the sport because of who he is. He is a great driver, one of the best, an interesting personality and I think he has matured a lot in recent times, not that it really is my place to judge.

      The backlash and negativity he receives with nearly every article or report from some people is a rather fascinating experiment in sociological behavior and observation. I think the conclusion says more about those being observed than it does about Hamilton himself. If nothing else, one can wonder how boring F1 might be without him.

      1. @bullmello

        That is a very interesting comment. I think your last paragraph is fascinating and I agree with what you say.

        Jim Clark was before my time, unfortunately, but everything I have watched and read about him makes me awestruck.

        1. @paulguitar – A colleague on one of the first F1 forums log ago had the handle “Clarkwasbest”. Couldn’t argue with that. :-)

  17. For sure. He is at all kinds of events. Probably greatest F1 star since Schumacher.

    I have a rule of thumb, if my mother knows him, he is a star. And she does, and she does not know Vettel or Button, or Kimi,… Intrestingly she does know Nico Rosberg from Mercedes commercial…

    So he is as good as others put toggether.

    1. I do the same with my brothers :D They know who hamilton is and maybe could point that VET, RAI and ALO are F1 drivers but could also be footballers…

  18. Michael Brown (@)
    19th April 2016, 17:59

    I’d say that Ecclestone does a better job of promoting F1, by continually giving it a negative image.

  19. Why does it feel like Rosberg is the hero and HAM the villain when things were so much different in the past two years.

    Rosberg is getting famous elsewhere for the right reasons – saving a child from drowning, visiting charities and HAM well, bad influence for teenagers, oh boy !

    1. Rosberg was never a villain to me. He just has never been as popular as Hamilton.

      1. Yes but condering 2014 season where he was accused of cheating in qualifying or race either for blocking Hamilton or damaging his car in some way, Rosberg looked really bad once.

        1. considering*

  20. If promoting F1 really means promoting himself, then yes he’s doing a fine job at that. I think that’s what he thinks it is… but it isn’t.

    1. Well put.

  21. The dual standard that is applied makes me cringe sometimes but I reckon often people are unaware of what they’re doing. Drivers all come up with finance – they have to after all – but when was the last time a white driver was supposed to be ‘grateful’?

    And what would be happening if he’d behaved like Seb or Romain on Sunday?

    1. That is such a 20th century way of thinking.

    2. Have Vettel or Grosjean ever said that they weren’t grateful for the opportunities afforded them by F1? No. They have not. Put to this question directly, maybe Hamilton would change his contentious statement.
      Formula 1 is a measure of a team’s ability to create and compete with the best car allowed by the formula, full stop. Economic injustice is much more of an issue than racial injustice is, in this sport. Outside of this sport, of course all kinds of nefarious injustices based on gender, age, race, and ability persist, woefully so.

      1. I can’t help noticing you didn’t answer my question @ferrox-glideh :)

        1. Answer to question= Lewis has behaved like both Seb and Romain many timesover the years, and he ultimately gets treated the same as they do. Do you remember the horse pucky that Vettel had to deal with whilst defending his championships? Do you remember how Romain was grilled even on the second anniversary of his Spa incident? Lewis is under the Microscope of Success, and “dual standards” do not apply. We are talking about the High Standards of a World Champion. May he start to fulfill them to a higher standard than he has in the past.

          1. Hmmm @ferrox-glideh I don’t see any instances of white drivers being called upon to be grateful for being in a driver development programme. Nor any of Lewis having a go at a driver for accepting a massive gap he’d left, over the radio and before the podium and after, or of wild insults. If he had, then we’d remember wouldn’t we, because the internet would’ve melted. As it is, compare with the Bottas incident last time out, which ruined Lewis’ race but Lewis graciously said he didn’t even want an apology.

    3. @lockup
      – when was the last time a white driver was supposed to be ‘grateful’?

      That is a very genuine question. Pls do not mind @ferrox-glideh who is jumping all over the place.
      I cringe each time there is mention of Hamilton having to be grateful for whatever reason even when the young man has gone out of his way to mention his gratitude, even when not asked, for the opportunities given to him. It does not matter that he and his dad, like so many drivers on the grid, worked very hard to be where they are. It does not matter that his stay at Mclaren made the company even richer. It must be mentioned also that Mclaren launched their sports car division while he was there. Of course the plan was conceived before his arrival but it came to light while he was with them. It also does not matter that he won the only title the company has won in recent times, with a car that came second in the championship and it does not matter that during the disastrous 2012 season he had with them, they offered him a pay cut while massively underestimating the young man’s star power and the income associated with his affiliation. Did Vodafone not depart and not renew their contract? Where is Hugo Boss today? What of Tag Heuer? I always thought the company had fallen for the insane and unfounded negative media on Ham while probably completely ignoring their own data, and went for the hype surrounding another of their drivers.
      Apparently, Mercedes are swayed by facts not hype. And they have been proven right.
      So when you hear talks of ”gratitude” and “owe” which is hardly used with regards to any other F1 driver, it sounds like the theme of another kind of talk. I thought honestly that such level of reasoning are not fit for the 21st century but I guess a lot of people are still stuck in the past and sadly some of them are quite young.
      Having brought this topic up, don’t be surprised though with such dismissive replies as the ones coming from @ferrox-glideh. He knows what he is doing.

      1. Yep @Tata Hamilton was sensational for McLaren. And sensational for grey old Mercedes when the media scrum followed him down there.

        1. I must admit that I greatly admire Toto Wolff and the good heads at Mercedes.
          Each time Toto speaks, he comes across as someone who is very calculated and measured in his speech. He sifts through the jargon written and said about Hamilton and opts to bare his mind based on the data he has on him and his own personal experience with the young man.
          He does the same for Nico as well. Maybe it is the sensible and no-nonsense Austrian/German trait in him that makes him that way.
          Whatever it is, I find him quite admirable.

      2. You got me, I am done with academics. I follow F1 because it is a meritocracy where theory is only as good as its practice.
        Any one who says that they don’t owe their experience or existence to others is guilty of being “dismissive”.
        What kind of special acknowledgment do you think drivers require from Formula 1 fans?

      3. I guess that I dismiss you too, Tata.

      4. Any driver that doesn’t understand how much they owe their sponsors and how much gratitude they owe their sport, doesn’t understand their sport. How is that statement unreasonable?

        1. Whoa I just picked up on this part of the conversation. Just want to make myself perfectly clear here, because in some posts above I have used the term grateful, and said that I think LH owes Mac and F1.

          I can 100% assure everyone here that there was not one thought as to skin colour when I said that. I’m surprised it has even come up.

          Simplifying my own opinion…all F1 drivers past and present should be grateful for the opportunity to be in F1 and for what it took to get them there, grateful that they get to do what they love and get wealthy at the same time, and for that I think they owe something to F1 to give back. They are in privileged positions imho. I would say the same of all athletes in all sports and all musicians who’ve made it too, just as a few more examples.

          So it simply grated me that LH said he didn’t owe the sport anything. I think he does, and I think it is poor of him to come across saying he is better than the rest combined at promoting the sport in the self-proclaimed manner that he has. Like there’s a trophy for that or something. And he has claimed it for himself. Not my cup of tea in a personality. Can’t stand Kanye West for the same type of self-proclaimed posturing, boasting, bragging. I think if you are that good at something, then others will notice and promote you for it…when you have to tell people you are the best at something it is because they didn’t notice, because it likely isn’t true.

          1. Fair comment @robbie. Lewis can be immodest I agree, and defensive. For me in that interview the question put him on the defensive because it’s a sensitive issue for him, and brought out that less attractive side. It’s something I suppose his fans take in their stride and non-fans don’t. He is inclined to exaggerate everything, anyway, in an entertaining way. The current race/fans/present/mod is always the best ever or the worst in history.

            On the gratitude well it’s a deal. He’s quite correct he doesn’t ‘owe’ the sport anything – as he’d just said it’s a business and in that sense it’s a pure, balanced relationship. F1 and teams need drivers just as the drivers need them. There’s no case for one to be beholden to the other. They negotiate and more or less by definition the outcome is equitable. They should appreciate each other naturally, as Lewis and Toto and Niki and even Bernie do on a regular basis.

            But there is a tendency among people at large to see Lewis as having gained more from it than white drivers from similar backgrounds. That is the world in its current state of development, even in the UK and Canada :)

          2. @lockup Hmm…a bit hard to know how to respond to that without knowing what LH truly thinks. If he is sensitive about the topic then that tells me he took the question from a skin colour aspect from the getgo, and that hadn’t even entered my mind one iota. He is asked the question ‘Do you think you owe the sport anything’ and you’re saying he’s following that up in his mind ‘because I’m black you mean, right?’ whereas I’m thinking the interviewer could just as easily have meant because he has become a multi WDC and rich and famous and has the world by the tail. Background didn’t even have to enter into it. I couldn’t tell you the background of most of the drivers on the grid.

            As to it being a deal, sure it is, but I don’t see how that means he needn’t be grateful for how it has all turned out for him and his side of the deal. For the faith people had in him etc etc. I’m sure he is, so it got me when he decided to take such a defensive stance. ‘Beholden’ need not even enter the conversation. He couldn’t have just said something like ‘yes I’ve been lucky and blessed to get to do what I love and to have had great success at it which is why I love promoting the sport?’ Just like we all know there are millions of awesome musicians out their who just never get that lucky break and get discovered, there are millions of young go-karters for which we could say the same, some of them perhaps better than those we now put on a pedestal.

            Personally I have never considered that LH has gained more from F1 than a white person from a similar background. Don’t know how anyone could even judge that nor even try. You have the talent or you don’t. You get discovered through said talent, or hard work, or luck, or a fluke, or a combination of those, or you don’t. For most youth, to actually eventually get into the pros of whatever sport, or to have their music heard globally, carries the same odds as being hit by lightning. I’m surprised and saddened skin colour had to even come up in the conversation.

          3. To add…not that I don’t understand this is still a global issue, but for LH et al skin colour has not mattered…has obviously not prevented him from getting where he is. The US has now had a black president.

  22. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    19th April 2016, 20:27

    I see nothing wrong or untrue with his statements. He didn’t say he doesn’t owe someone in particular anything, he said he owes nothing to the sport.

  23. To me the Hamilton of 2016 seems totally different than previous years. He seems so relaxed, confident and just enjoys the sport rather than let it consume his whole life. I really like his transformation to a more happy person. Kudos to him.

  24. There is a huge difference between someone “following” on social media and someone being a “fan”.

    Perhaps Lewis needs to realise that. Then he might realise that all the self promotion is not necessarily getting any kind of F1 message out there at all.

  25. Sorry but when you wear glasses purely for cosmetic appeal as a grown 30 year old man I simply cannot take you seriously Lewis. Vanity for the win. But seriously, when is he finally going to come out??? :-P

  26. All i know is, F1 would be pretty boring without Lewis. In all aspects of the sport

  27. I actually probably promote the sport more than any other driver ever has

    This is where he buries himself.

  28. I think he is a little full of himself, indirectly Alonso is doing more for F1 with his museum/circuit/school than anything Hamilton does, just an example. Hamilton does not promote F1 at all, he promotes himself, the benefict for F1 as a result of his self-promotion are probably very little.

    And his comment about not owning anything to F1…. his current fame and fortune are there because F1.

    1. Interesting comment.

      Alonso, as all bar SV have been in the sport considerably longer than LH and therefore any markers as to what they ‘do’ should reflect such.

      Certainly Alonso in the last 7 years (that he has been in the sport longer than LH) has widened his horizons but I would argue very few know about it other than in Spain. Who is to know what LH will do?

      Conversely LH, who (and I know recipients of such humanitarianism over and above the fact I was racing when he was shooting up the ranks) chooses to keep his ‘good’ works for others quiet – and they are many I assure you.

      If he wanted to promote himself that’s where one would start. He does not. Ever.

      Thus his PR is for his racing fans and if he chooses to wear green bananas on his face of a day then given what he does to widen the appeal of F1 compared to a grunt from Kimi or Silence from Seb, I say good on him.

      It’s a whole heap more than being told my Sky Subs are being increased by £5 next month while the figures for watching go down the drain and Bernie taking every opportunity to look like a world class Tw&t is doing!

  29. In my opinion Hamilton is exactly the kind of driver F1 needs- he’s a character in his own right. He’s a refreshing take on the modern F1 driver/a throwback to past F1 drivers. The modern F1 driver is so taken up with his work as an F1 driver that he doesn’t really get to enjoy other facts of life.

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