Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Bahrain International Circuit, 2018

Hamilton ‘forgot about the camera’ when he made Verstappen remark

2018 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton said he will take more care with his remarks in the cool-down room after he was heard describing Max Verstappen as a “dickhead” following their clash in Bahrain.

The Mercedes driver did not expect his comments about their lap two clash to be broadcast live. “I think I’ve been pretty good all these years, I think it’s the first time I’ve forgot the camera’s there,” he said.

Hamilton and Verstappen shook hands in Shanghai today ahead of this weekend’s race.

“I just saw Max just now and I think it’s always good to show respect, being that I’m the older driver I felt that was important that I went to him,” said Hamilton.

“So as we were signing [autographs] just now I shook his hand and said ‘I’m sorry about the last race’. Regardless of if it’s his fault or my fault, it’s in the past.

“I think hopefully that sign of respect shows a lot and helps you kind of turn a page and move forwards racing each other and hopefully keeps respect between you because I think that’s important between drivers.”

Hamilton said he made his comments in the heat of the moment.

“Imagine you’re in a scenario where your senses are heightened, your emotions are running crazy, and you’re infuriated but yet you’re excited and adrenaline rush and someone sticks a mic in your face, you’re probably not going to answer as well as you would, as calm as you are right now. But people will judge you on that moment. You’re not going to feel great.

“It is good in sports to see some emotional stuff. This is definitely a sport that… you got to a hockey game and they don’t mind they have punch-ups and stuff, it’s cool. You go to a NASCAR race and there’s punch-ups. For some reason it’s reacted to differently [here], if we had a punch-up here, jeez, your career would be over. I don’t know why that is.”

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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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37 comments on “Hamilton ‘forgot about the camera’ when he made Verstappen remark”

  1. In truth I like to see the controversial comments and actions… remember Massa and Hamilton constantly clashing in 2011, when Massa approached Hamilton in the media pen after a race with a sarcastic “well done”, to which Hamilton replied testily, “Don’t touch me, man!” Or how about Magnussen and Hulkenberg last year. The little feuds, rivalries and sub-stories feed the drama of the sport. Next time Hamilton and Verstappen are next to each other on track, the thrill will be doubled as we watch to see if they touch again.

    1. +1

      People need to stop crying over things that don’t involve them!

      1. @RB145 Yet you already couldn’t resist claiming that the ‘sheen’ is off Max and that his fans are disappearing? That his fans have tinted glasses? Perhaps take some of your own advise and stop crying about a rising superstar who is fast becoming a huge icon in F1 with likely multiple WDCs in his future, and accept him for the massive excitement he’s going to provide during an awesome F1 career.

    2. Ocon: “He [Checo] tried to kill me!” Love it! :)

      1. Umar A (@umartajuddin)
        12th April 2018, 13:29

        Agreed. This is the worst possible result from that. Now they’ll censor themselves and we’ll see/hear even less of the drivers.

    3. Spot on.

    4. Keep these comments coming.
      It shows that these Star are human being of flesh, blood, and emotions.
      They should only think of the camera (to stop them) if they are about to make a deliberate crash move

  2. I know the reporter who started questioning Hamilton’s remark got a lot of flak, but he should have hung on, simply because Lewis said it. I was really surprised, because in his 11 years on the F1 circus, I can’t remember him ever using a curse word/slur/foul language. He is always very civil in his remarks. (same as Button, so might be a British trait)
    Not on his radio, not in the press or directed at any other driver. Had it been Vettel, it would have been a different story.
    (Hence Vettel’s defense I guess, but nonetheless, worthy of a mention in th epress conference.)

    1. I think he has had his fair share of ‘for xxxx’s sake’ on the radio. It seems to be the goto expletive for all F1 drivers. I think it must be the first thing that non-english speaking drivers are taught by their mechanics :)

      1. Swear words don’t resonate as bad with non-natives, that’s why non-english natives tend to be more profane whenever expressing themselves.

        I tend to cuss much more in English than I do in my native language

  3. I’ve said worse when go karting about my own friends. There’s no story here.

    1. .. and frankly, I have often shouted the same or worse in the privacy of my own car in the morning traffic…

  4. When Hamilton mentioned ‘hockey’, did he mean ice hockey? I thought field hockey was more popular in Britain.

    1. @wsrgo he spends more of his time stateside so it kind of makes sense. i’m always briefly amazed about how interested americans/canadians are in hockey before realising they mean ice hockey.

      1. They also love football :)

      2. @frood19 Yeah same, lol. It’s amazing how many times I’ve been tricked by this. The football/soccer dilemma didn’t take this long for me to overcome, strangely enough.

  5. if we had a punch-up here, jeez, your career would be over

    I wonder what Adrian Sutil is doing at the moment…

    1. Talk about spicing up the show.

      Today’s grid will be defined by a MMA tournament

      1. Well, not the first time someone punched another driver without career ending consequences for that- Senna in Irvine in Japan came to mind, or Piquet on Eliseo Salazar.

  6. No no no. Please, Hammy, do continue to forget the camera is there and speak your mind openly.

    As it is you are too mindful of what people hear from you, always in a tizz about how you talk to the press, “fans here are the best”; “I want to say thank you to the fans”.

    Forget your PR guide. Take a leaf from Kimi’s book. Try to be yourself. Of course if you are a bit mean to others that will only show, but a generous nature will come through. Otherwise it all seems a bit, well, disingenuous.

  7. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    12th April 2018, 14:00

    It’s a good thing I’m not in Lewis’ shoes :-) Although it would be highly entertaining…

    1. More entertaining that this? I doubt it.
      It’s already a pleasure reading your messages and laughing really hard with how biased you are.
      It’s better than Hamilton being here or you wearing his shoes…

  8. I like that Hamilton went to Verstappen. Great move on his part.

    But I REALLY dislike him saying he ‘forgot the camera was there’. I would rather have the drivers be frank and stand by the words that they say, or simply apologize if- in hindsight- you’ve been wrong.

    Censoring yourself just seems like the worst way you should react to controversy. Just gives this insignificant situation more credence

    1. I really think this is just heat of the moment stuff that we all understand. And let’s not forget it is supposed to be a family show and we have heard the commentators apologize to the audience when we hear the odd radio comm that has a swear in it, so…yeah nothing wrong at all with drivers speaking their minds, but just the swearing is not on for public consumption, not that adults would really care for the most part. But it’s not just adults watching, so Liberty hopes.

  9. Please just speak your mind and be real.

    1. Apperently thats not possible without an witch hunt.

  10. petebaldwin (@)
    12th April 2018, 15:35

    So what he’s saying is that he’d have happily said it behind his back but Verstappen wasn’t meant to hear it… As he has heard it, Lewis deided to apologise?

    Fair enough I guess…

    1. @petebaldwin My take on this is different from what you are suggesting. I think LH was apologizing to the audience in general, for his comment that went live. I didn’t think that LH was concerned if Max heard the word.

      I think the sorry from LH was just a sorry we made contact, but not in a blame kind of way but just a ‘hey that’s racing’, kind of way and a ‘nothing intentional’ kind of way. I never did think there would now be a disrespect between these two hard chargers from what was deemed a racing incident the type that LH has done before too. Not just LH either. I think this was just an acknowledgement from LH that there was no hard feelings, nothing intentional happened, and everything else is just heat of the moment stuff that cools in a short amount of time. These guys are well trained to not dwell on the past for it robs of putting energy into that which they can affect, namely the next race, rather than that which has past (or passed:)) and can’t be changed.

    2. So what he’s saying is that he’d have happily said it behind his back but Verstappen wasn’t meant to hear it… As he has heard it, Lewis deided to apologise?

      I mean if someone’s going to do that to you who wouldn’t prefer it not be done on a live world feed?

  11. Alonso – “GP2 engine” “Ferrari Replica” = pitchforks out
    Hamilton – “M@nkeys at the back” ” is it because I’m bl#ck” “He’s a d#ckhead” = ‘spices up F1’

    1. GoGoFanboys
      13th April 2018, 4:59


  12. Lewis has put a lot of focus on Verstappen be young (and wild), and he being older (wiser).
    Even in his excuse he puts the focus on age again, I can’t help buy think this isn’t all to sincere, but merely trying to devert the focus to Verstappen in a way Vettel tried before (the ‘Verstappen rule’)

    Ferrari and Mercedes seem to be close contenders for the title, RBR and especially Verstappen can influence the outcome, my guess is Lewis did says the things he said (the Alonso would do better at RBR part) to intimidate Verstappen in order to take it easier… which I doubt he will

  13. machinesteve
    12th April 2018, 19:55

    This could be very slightly interesting or we could all pretend to be grown-ups.

  14. When they were showing the green room with the drivers shuffling around and fitting their caps my wife was saying, “Why do they even film this? It’s so awkward and nothing is even happening.”

    Actually, a thing can happen that causes fans to throw on their jerseys and rush to computers to join battle as if to avenge Agincourt. It’s also annoying that sites like Autosport, etc. can spend 2-3 news cycles on someone calling someone else a name, like this sport is some old episode of East Enders or Jersey Shore. I’d rather hear about important technical developments or analyses of the past race. The only bigger story of this season is Hamilton nicknaming his Q3 engine mode party mode, which turned the F1 internet into a Guernica mural of despair.

  15. It’s barely even that bad of a thing to say. I little off color, that’s it.

  16. Vettel is right. Emotions is just what it is, emotions. No food for conspiracy enthousiasts. Guess Rossi was also cursing at Marc Marques in MotoGP. We just cannot hear it.

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