Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Yas Marina, 2016

Hamilton on Trump and Brexit, Hintsa and the title battle: 2016 was “a terrible year”

2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton will be glad to put 2016 behind him following his troubles this season and developments elsewhere in the world.

The odds are against the reigning world champion holding onto his crown at this weekend’s season finale. Last week Aki Hintsa, who played a significant role in Hamilton’s arrival in F1, passed away.

Speaking to the media ahead of this weekend’s race Hamilton admitted these and other things had made it a year to forget.

“I think 2016’s been a pretty terrible year for the world, really,” he said. “You’ve got Brexit, you’ve got [Donald] Trump getting the presidency.”

“And then I’ve had a close friend pass away and I’ve had all the different experiences this year. So it’s not really been a spectacular year.”

“But the best thing to do at the end of every year is to try to take the good things out of it, because there are always good things, and take that on with you and leave the junk behind.”

Hamilton said he hadn’t dwelled on the possibility of losing his title this weekend. “I’m here to enjoy my weekend and focus on trying to do the best job I can as always.”

However he is aware that without competition from Red Bull the chances he will be able to out-score Nico Rosberg enough to take the title are slim. “We’re going to need them to get involved,” he said, “otherwise it’s going to be a boring procession”.

Hamilton on Aki Hintsa

Start, Melbourne, 2007
Hintsa helped Hamilton get on the grid in 2007
Hamilton paid tribute to Aki Hintsa during today’s press conference:

“I’d known Aki since 2004, I think it was, quite a long time. Very close with him and his family and I was very fortunate to have been able to be there with him and his family in the last days and actually get to see him on the last day.”

“On the Monday after Brazil I got to see him and spend time with him and we played music, get to see him smile, get to see the amazing man he was. You know, proud to have known someone like that and have someone like that in your life, who had been hugely and incredibly helpful in my time.”

“He was very instrumental in me getting that seat at McLaren in Formula One as he’d built a really strong relationship with Ron [Dennis] and Ron was of a mind to say that if Aki says you’re ready then I believe you’re ready, so Aki would take me through all these tests and he would look at me deeply in my eyes and like ‘yeah, you’re ready, I can tell’.”

“You hear about prisoners who have done the worse things who die happily in their sleep and then you hear about someone who is almost a saint like Aki, who would help, who would go to Ethiopia and help children and has helped so many people and affected everyone that he had met in a positive light. To have finished his life so early was definitely tough to see.”

“But coming here this weekend, whilst I have that fighting spirit in my heart from the last races I’ve done, I come here with almost double the power in the sense that I feel that I want to win this race more so for him. We were texting every single race through his battle and particularly the last race on Sunday. Whilst it’s an emotional time, I’m here to try and do him proud, do well for him as he had helped prepare and the belief he had in me.”

2016 Abu Dhabi 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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33 comments on “Hamilton on Trump and Brexit, Hintsa and the title battle: 2016 was “a terrible year””

  1. Lewis will be off Bernie’s Christmas Card list, criticising el Trumpo like that. Maybe Bernie can put a 40cm wall in front of The Donald.

  2. 2016 hasn’t been a great year for me either, so I do sympathise with him a bit.

  3. 2016 has been the best year ever.

  4. All he can do is P1 in every session. Everything else behind him will be what it will be. Maaaxxxxx!!!!! ;)

  5. Not as bad as 2011 Lewis.
    Next year is awaiting for your 4th title (all hope is gone for this year for me anyway).

  6. 2016 sucked.

  7. Schumacher title record lives another year.

  8. Michael Brown (@)
    25th November 2016, 1:25

    The left wing had it coming with Trump and Brexit

  9. I’m putting cash on Lewis P1 and Nicos car expiring .

  10. Were Mr. Hamilton an American, he would have some justification for his Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS). He should thank Nigel Farage every single day for breaking UK free of the Euro-socialist totalitarians. Lewis had some bad reliability luck this year but also had a number of bad starts where a mirror would quickly identify the culprit. The problem with many celebrities, and Hammy certainly self-identifies as one, is that they eventually believe their press.

    Stick to racing Lewis, it will be over before you know it.

    1. Ah yes, Lewis Hamilton should stick to racing and you should stick to… what exactly? You’re obviously not a Formula 1 driver, so why are you commenting here?

      Sportspeople can’t win sometimes: either they trot out platitudes and get criticised for being boring or they speak their mind and get criticised for being opinionated. I’m not one of Lewis’s biggest fans myself but he’s got every right to talk about his 2016 experience. In fact, I found his tribute to Aki Hintsa quite touching. So let’s give him a break.

      1. What does Brexit and the American election have to do with Formula 1? He can say whatever he wants, as can I. For the record, I raced SCCA at Sebring, Lime Rock and Watkins Glen long before Lewis was born. I’ve also followed Formula 1 for over forty years, providing a perspective that you apparently lack.

        1. He can say whatever he wants

          That’s my entire point. It contradicts what you said earlier:

          Stick to racing Lewis

          My first paragraph was just following your logic and not representative of my own thoughts, but thanks for the ad hominem anyway.

    2. Kinda, I do remember HAM saying something about Clinton and Trump being not terribly good for the US either. The problem is the people believe and repeat what the idiots in the press print. It’s no different than the church and it’s followers, on today’s chess board the news paper has replaced the bishop :) But thats changing, and thats why you hear about the need to clamp down on false doctrine (fake news).

      Loving that TDS. I happen to think Lewis is a little brighter than he leads on, I also think he would get sued in to destitution if he opened up his mouth just a smidgen with all the insert expletive that is going on at Merc too.

      Lewis has to leave Mercedes to regain my confidence though, his my team is the greatest following his team handing his teammate the championship a few rounds ago, was so bad taste I almost nearly vomited (figuratively speaking of course). The whole show is so fake and contrived though, he still has his head slightly above it’s level.

      Hope he gets a good lawyer to sort out his next contract though :) Hope he goes to Ferrari and destroys team EU too :)

  11. I like Lewis Hamilton, but let’s put this in perspective. A guy who lives in Monaco so he doesn’t have to pay taxes back to the country who raised him…. is he really in a position to make comments on a referendum that he shouldn’t even have the right to vote on? Yeah, rough year. Hmm… I wonder if the people who are victims of human rights violations in many of the countries you race at feel the same way. Because, you know…. Brexit and Trump are a LOT worse than random beatings, slave trafficking and fearing that your kids will be killed. Perspective dude.

    1. This?

      Is this meant to be advice on getting perspective? My only hope is that this is satire…

    2. You simply wouldn’t say this about a white driver.

      1. I was wondering when someone will pull a racial card. An congratulations, u are the one. If we decide to play this game, i shall pour-in my perspective. Black people (and i mean those that really have an interest to work) are in many occasions enjoying same benefits and chances as the white people do (so do all other races). There is no problem they have equal oportunities and same treatment, but then we come to those who are just not interested to work, to follow the rules of conduct, and obbey the law. And in most of the cases they enjoy even more tolerance, they get higher social benefits, they get free healthcare and other things as well. How do they repay the goods they get? Complaining about racial discrimination and how they are enslaved by rich white people who get money from clouds over our heads, not working for it at all. Dear people, slavery ended tens of decades ago, and jet they are using this excuse for not achieving nothing in their lives. Second issue: Why is Trump bad for America? He is against wars on middle east, he is against Europe getting GMOs and he is againt criminals and illigal migrations which never brought nothing good to people – not to those who live legally and not for those who come ilegally. And i apploud Britain exiting the EU, atleast they will have their country again. What our country got when we came in EU? Almost half of our well known and stable companies collapsed, making unemployment sky high. We lost our integrity as a country, we are not even able to decide what to do by ourself. If the EU decides we did something wrong (even though it was right) we get penalized. Our debt is larger every year, and so on…

        1. Proteus wrong forum, this is about Formula 1, the thread is about Lewis Hamilton. Not how unfair you find women’s rights compared to yours.

        2. The problem with your kind Proteus is when you hate/dislike someone or someone’s you look for all the signs that make that support your opinion, you never objectively look and ask the questions, is this true, why do I feel this way and is it based on facts.

          I strongly feel that people like you should be put in prison schools and only released when a certain level of rational thinking and maturity has been achieved.

          In the meantime you are a racist pig and should just say it, and save everybody’s time. personally I feel you should leave you racist humbug in your racist forum, this a fórmula 1. site.

    3. If you think about it, Formula one teams are European entities and Formula one is mostly a tour around Europe. Mercedes is a German owned team Running in Britain. It’s natural that Lewis would have a European prespective on Brexit [I hate that term it’s so tabloidy]. There will probably be all sorts of staffing and logistical complications for his team if we actually leave the EU.

    4. @Feltip, it’s a weird conclusion you arrived, basically you like him, but give minus points because he moved to a taxhaven, do you know how much tax he paid in GB? I’am willing to bet that he paid more tax in his first year of Formula 1 than most people in this thread multiplied by 5. Do you for a fact know that the main and only reason he moved was money? Are you saying that because he is a racing driver he does not understand politics, or that the leaders of Russia and US don’t have an impact on the world and therefore on him?

      Who are you to judge Hamiltons position on what he is aloud to feel is horrible or not? Who do you think you are? If what I say upsets you or any else you should remember it’s just my opinion.

  12. I admire Hamilton keeping a broader perspective about life. Formula 1 drivers are usually so selfishly-minded and focused purely on their own goals and success, so I can respect him recognising how troubling times are for so many vulnerable people and groups at the moment.

    I also have great sympathy for him and everyone else who is currently mourning the loss of Dr Hintsa too. A man who clearly had such an important impact on so many within the sport.

    1. At last…

      Someone with an appreciation of his comments.

      Rather than the remarkably poisonous bile being spewed so far.

      Some people.

  13. Yes, a pretty terrible year I suppose, but at least Hamilton losing the WDC will be some consolation.

    1. Reminds of a saying I heard recently from an American mouth: “Republicans (from the US party) can only taste their meal if they know someone is starving”.

      1. At least the Democrats won’t starve. They will be eating humble pie for the next 4 – 8 years.

  14. 2016 was the year I turned 26 and I consider myself living the Canadian dream. I have a nice girlfriend, I drive a front end loader and on Sunday nights I play pickup hockey. My point being my life isn’t flashy at all but if I was driving an F1 car good or bad 2016 would have been a thrill. Lewis doesn’t know how good he has it until he’s retired watching from his tv I guess.

  15. In 4.7 years, I have never posted on f1fanatic i think, but I just felt I had to get this off my chest. Suble racism, hehe, Like a cup of Twinings Lapsang Sushong. I’m a Nigerian by the way, but was educated in England, so lemme try here to offer a “diverse” perspective.
    Obviously Im a huge fan of Lewis Hamilton, really only started following F1 closely during his 2007 debut, as a kid who was born in the mid eighties, I was aware then, of F1 and Schumacher’s exploits, in the way Im currently aware of the collective discography of Lil Bow Wow, peripherally, and without any burning desire to experience it. But Lewis changed all that, and now Im an avid reader of a website like f1fanatic. A gentleman earlier mentioned something about perspective or rather the lack of it, saying in fact, hes watched formula 1 for decades, and even raced, – fair point-, but I’d say that I’ve also, : rabidly consumed f1 content ever since 2007 season, took up karting, have very expensive driving rigs (importing fantec gear into Nigeria is aneurysm inducingly expensive), obsessively read Keith’s Pre-race analysis peices, constantly offered live commentary to provide crucial context for 60% of the scenes in ‘RUSH” (every f1fanatic’s duty surely), and have 3 team shirts. Lewis is certainly not my ideal black role model, thatll be actually the ubercool Dr NG Tyson of Cosmos fame, (im a software engineer), Lewis is bad as restraining his emotions, he’s petulant, dog-whistles victimization and can be breathtakingly vapid while being interviewed, but he’s special, he’s great, but probably not the best, for that woould be the EL Machismmo himself : Fernando, Im possibly more obsessed about the engineering aspects to f1 than the sporting …..Craig Scarborough is a name in MY Household….So heres MY perspective
    Almost everything negative about Lewis character is Manifest on half the grid, our Nige may have been probably worse if he had access to a twitter account, but he’s villified even when for once he says something profound and touching about a Mentor he obviously misses and highly regards.

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