F1’s trophy robots are ‘a bit over the top’ – Hamilton

2020 Styrian Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by and

Lewis Hamilton says Formula 1’s new socially-distanced podium ceremony felt “weird” – particularly the appearance of the ‘trophy robots’.

With F1 teams remaining segregated in ‘bubbles’ during race weekends, the podium ceremony is one of few occasions where members of different teams are brought together in person. In order to reduce the risks, F1 is using what it describes as “remote-control trolleys” to present trophies to drivers, as well as bring them towels and water.

The unusual sight prompted much attention on social media, and Hamilton admitted it felt strange to pick up his Styrian Grand Prix trophy from a moving platform.

“It definitely seemed weird,” he said. “I would have preferred them just to throw it to me or something.”

“The boxes arriving with the trophy, it just feels odd,” he added. “Definitely a little bit OTT [over the top] in my view because everyone here has been tested and wears gloves and all that kind of stuff.”

F1 is holding Closed Events with no spectators and minimal staff present to reduce the risks to those involved. Hamilton described how the emptiness of the venue struck him after winning the race. “In all honesty it’s been a really, really weird time,” he said.

“Whilst you’re in the work zone everything seems normal. And when you’re driving, when you’re racing, at this particular track there’s quite a big distance between the grandstands and the fans. So it’s not as easy to see them.

“But it really, really hit me with when I came out at the end. When you get out of the car and there’s no atmosphere, you miss the fans.

“It just shows how the fans make a difference. And I really missed it for that moment. That’s usually something you share with those that follow you and those that don’t follow you. And we didn’t have that.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2020 F1 season

Browse all 2020 F1 season articles

Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

37 comments on “F1’s trophy robots are ‘a bit over the top’ – Hamilton”

  1. Keep them; they supplied the first proper belly laugh in all of 2020 so far!

    1. Agreed. Definitely added some humour…

    2. They’re like a really bad, drunk R2-D2. Really entertaining. I’m waiting for one to go rogue, or fall over (potentially taking a trophy down with it).

      1. News Alert – Hamilton admits Austria did not have the best fans in the world this year! 🤣

    3. I dunno, Ferrari did a good job of that too.

    4. @f1bobby it’s kind of a bit of a one off laugh though, as the novelty factor disappears after that and thereafter it’s more embarrassing than entertaining. What’s wrong with simply placing the trophy onto the podium for the driver to collect when their name is announced?

      1. And then the drivers can kneel to pick it up.
        Two birds …

        1. AJ (@asleepatthewheel)
          15th July 2020, 10:09

          Lewis likes your comment @coldfly

  2. Yikes, I didn’t know Hamilton is a technophobe.

  3. I only wonder if those robots are allowed to go home midweek with partner and handler to relax a bit.

    1. Comedy gold right there @coldfly – I assume you’re here all week?

  4. They could have gone all the way and have tiny robots deliver the trophy instead of a podium with wheels

    1. Just make sure that the podium doesn’t have heels, because that would be sexist.

  5. Liberty Media testing it’s new OTT service to replace F1 TV. Oh wait, this wasn’t the caption competition.

    1. Where is the Caption Competition?
      There must be ways to organise it corona proof.

  6. Next time – please use drones!

  7. RocketTankski
    15th July 2020, 9:08

    They may have been early prototypes for Formula Re:mote (driverless racing).

  8. They were a little naff. They needed a push to get going, and Lewis’s trophy didn’t even reach his podium. He had to step down and go get it.
    Admittedly the low tech rubishness makes me love them even more.

  9. A missed opportunity to pick up a new sponsor in the shape of Tamiya, Kyosho, or whatever. I saw on twitter than the robots were in fact a RC car with a box

    Ditch the box and let the thropies be carried by awesome RC cars!

  10. agree. this totally belongs to cringeland

  11. Honda should bring ASIMO along.

  12. They were hilarious and loved it…which reminds me of an RF story topic I thought would be a good for KC to do on slow news weeks:

    The Best/Worst/Weirdest/Controversial/Etc. Trophies in F1 history. Thought first occurred to me when I was watching the 1982 Canada GP + trophy ceremony where Piquet, Patrese, Watson got very cool sailboat trophies (their sizes increased with each step higher on the podium.

    1. That’s a great idea! @keithcollantine

      I’m sure among the worsts it’d have to be the Santander logo trophies we saw in the late 2000s early 2010s. Everywhere, the same poo-shaped silver thing.

      And you could throw the ceramic trophy at Hungary 2006 as one of the bests, and Sonic the Hedgehog as one of the weirdest. I didn’t know about the sailboats from Canada 1982!

      1. The plastic ones that immediately broke? lol. Or was that in China or Korea. I forgot where. I just remember them being red.

  13. Hamilton seems to have an opinion on just about everything these days. F1, MB and the general circus jumped so high when LH complained about lack of BLM support (a worthy cause), he must think all his ideas and/or critiques are good cause he can’t seem to stop. Mega driver. Average brain.

    1. Well he is asked questions by media and his a six time world champion of course his entitled to his opinion and most of his opinions have been right so far.

    2. So Sky are bombarding him with BLM/diversity questions. Sky carry the BLM logo. Sky are running their own BLM adverts. Sky F1 are raising this issue during every session, and post qually and race segments, with their main complaint being F1 are not doing enough compared to other sports. And its Ham you have issues with? And his brain seems to be functioning quite well as he seems to be quite successful in everything he does. But I do get the main thrust of your argument that the whole F1 circus, teams, principles, officials, drivers, Sky, press and Liberty jump when Hamilton says jump. That man seems to wield a lot of power (according to some).

      1. He has immense talent and knows how to race. I did not say he was stupid, but many of his comments, criticisms and ideas seem poorly thought through. I live in the US and have been fighting to get people to notice the policing problems for more than 20 years. Lewis seemed to suddenly care so much when it became a fashionable global cause and then critiqued fellow drivers for their lack of the same proactivity he’s showed for years. Don’t forget Lewis has been Mr. Loves America for years. Seemed to love the celebrity lifestyle offered by America without noticing its ills.

    1. They’d probably get further round the lap, too.

  14. They looked like motorised versions of Mrs Overall …

  15. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
    15th July 2020, 12:03

    I agree with this. It looked ridiculous. But then the Austrian trophies look cheap and nasty too. They to me look line MDF with a wood effect wrap. This year they look to have added some green paint (or something) to hide the rough edge. They look to barely be worth anything.

    1. The Austrian trophies were the same. The Styrian trophy had the green. Can’t see Silverstone letting that robot carry the RAC Trophy somehow.

  16. Jockey Ewing
    15th July 2020, 17:28

    I found the robots funny, how about some flywheel or wind up versions later :P

  17. It was so bad that it was the funniest thing I’ve seen in 2020

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments are moderated. See the Comment Policy and FAQ for more.
If the person you're replying to is a registered user you can notify them of your reply using '@username'.