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Could Hamilton join Red Bull?

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Andrew Benson | 12:28 UK time, Wednesday, 15 June 2011

As Lewis Hamilton ponders the fall-out from his controversial performance in Canada, he has more on his mind than a few lost points in the world championship.

Formula 1's most exciting driver is pondering his future as he watches Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel canter to a second consecutive world title.

As Mark Hughes explained in his column, Hamilton's frustration is down to the fact that he believes he is the fastest driver in the world, that he would beat any of his rivals if they were all driving the same car. It is a belief largely shared within Formula 1.

Most would probably say Fernando Alonso was the best driver - by which they mean the most complete - but they would agree that Hamilton is certainly the quickest. Although Vettel is gaining increasing support in both categories.

For Hamilton, it is proving increasingly hard to cope with the fact that he has won the world title just once, in 2008, and that he is facing a third consecutive year in a car that is arguably not really fast enough to allow him to compete for another.

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Hamilton collides with Button during Canadian Grand Prix

McLaren's race pace - far superior to its qualifying speed - is clouding the issue slightly, but it's hard to argue with Vettel's five wins and two second places in seven races.

Given these circumstances, it is easy to see why the 26-year-old Englishman might be beginning to wonder whether McLaren is the team to satisfy his burning ambitions.

Not for the first time, the concept of Hamilton joining Red Bull raised its head again in Montreal - and that was even before Autosport revealed on Monday that he had spent 15 minutes in a private meeting with Red Bull team boss Christian Horner on Saturday evening at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

According to Autosport, the meeting was described by a Red Bull "source" as a "social visit". That "source" may or may not be Horner himself.

Hamilton has played down the idea of leaving McLaren, saying the team have a car capable of winning races and that there is no reason to leave while they remain competitive. He also says it is not unusual for him to talk to rival team bosses.

But that is not an outright denial, so the issue of his future will continue to remain a source of speculation.

Could the meeting with Horner be the start of serious negotiations about a move to Red Bull? Certain sections of the media suggest it is wrong to attach too much significance to Saturday's chat, claiming it would be foolish for a driver to walk over to a rival team's HQ in full view of the F1 paddock with the express intention of discussing his future.

But people have either got short memories or do not pay close enough attention.
When Alonso joined McLaren for 2007, it was the culmination of a process that began in 2005. Ron Dennis, who was the team boss of McLaren at the time, mooted the idea to the Spaniard in a chance conversation as both men waited to go out on to the podium at the Brazilian Grand Prix, Alonso having just won his first world title for Renault.

Likewise, in Belgium in 2007, with his relationship with McLaren in pieces, Alonso strolled over to the Red Bull motorhome, where he discussed the chances of joining the team with Horner as they sat on the open top deck. I know, because I watched them from the upper level of the paddock.

And so the 2011 F1 driver market 'silly season' starts in earnest.

Alonso has just signed up with Ferrari until 2016, the double world champion is not going anywhere. The same goes for Vettel, who is under contract to Red Bull until 2014. So, of F1's big three, that leaves Hamilton.

Theoretically, he is contracted to McLaren until next year, the result of a five-year deal that was signed in the wake of his stunning debut season alongside Alonso in 2007.

That has always been assumed to be a firm five-year contract, which means any move Hamilton makes - to Red Bull, for example - would have to wait until 2013.

However, it would be very unusual for a driver to sign away his future to a team for that length of time without any opt-out clauses, even if - as in the case of Hamilton and McLaren - that team had groomed him for success since he was 11 years old.

And even if the contract is solid, it does not mean Hamilton cannot move. As one veteran driver manager said: "I don't know the details of Hamilton's contract but if the team-driver relationship gets to an irreconcilable point then it won't matter what the contract says."

So a Hamilton move to Red Bull for next year cannot be ruled out, especially in light of the mixed messages coming out of Red Bull about the future of Mark Webber.

On Thursday, Horner said Webber had made it clear he would like to drive for the team next year, adding that he felt the Australian still had the "motivation and desire" and that Red Bull were "very happy with him in the team".

But 24 hours later, Webber did not sound so sure. "We'll see how we go," he said. "There's a bit to go yet in the summer. Keep thinking."

So what is going on?

Horner shrugged his shoulders when I asked why Webber would say that if he had told him he wanted to continue. But when I explained the situation to a man with long experience of the driver market, he said: "I think you can read that as Horner trying to tease another driver out, getting him to make up his mind."

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Vettel misses out on victory in Canada as Button makes last-lap move

Could that driver be Hamilton? Is it a coincidence that the Englishman went to speak to Horner two days after the Red Bull boss made those comments to the media?

On the face of it, you might wonder why Red Bull would want Hamilton. They already have Vettel. Putting Hamilton alongside the German would be a wonderful proposition for F1's audience but it would be a massive headache for those inside the team. And such a move would be guaranteed to infuriate Vettel, the company's blue-eyed boy wonder.

But from a global marketing perspective, what could be better? Red Bull have long made a point of letting their drivers race. What better scenario for a company wishing to project an exciting, dynamic, youthful image, than two of F1's three most exciting drivers going at it head-to-head in the same team?

It would be a tricky situation for Horner to handle, as he has already admitted himself, but why would that be a concern for Red Bull founder Dietrich Mateschitz?

Equally, while Vettel would probably be furious at having Hamilton alongside him to start with, he might well come round to the idea. He already has an advantage as the incumbent and, while he may not be as fast as Hamilton, he is, by reputation, better at working with his engineers to get the best out of his car.

If Hamilton did go to Red Bull, it would be in place of Webber. The Australian will not be drawn on the apparent disconnect between his words in Montreal and Horner's but many believe he will leave the team at the end of the year - either into retirement or to another team for one last hurrah.

That team could be Ferrari, where Felipe Massa's future is in question. The Brazilian has a contract for 2012 but he is an inconsistent performer. He is pretty close to Alonso at some races but nowhere near at others.

Massa, I'm told, will keep his seat if he puts in a strong showing at the next race, the European Grand Prix at Valencia on 26 June. If not, Webber is one of the drivers on Ferrari's list of candidates.

Ferrari are, I understand, also interested in Jenson Button and have had some contact with him. When Button joined McLaren in 2010, it was said that he had a three-year contract. But I am told he is a free agent at the end of this year if he wants to be. The prospect - however slim - of losing both his drivers must be giving McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh sleepless nights.

Ferrari are also interested in Nico Rosberg, who has impressed since joining Michael Schumacher at Mercedes last year. However, the rumours are Rosberg has been offered a big pay packet to stick with the German team.

That is not surprising given the uncertain form of Schumacher, whose excellent performance in Montreal will not bury memories of less convincing races elsewhere.

Schumacher is on a three-year deal but will he continue beyond 2011 if he cannot retain the speed he showed in Canada? If he doesn't, Paul di Resta, who has impressed enormously in his debut season with Force India, must be a strong candidate to replace him, as a Mercedes protégé.

How many of these prospective moves actually happen remains to be seen but it certainly promises to be an interesting summer.

Comments

Page 1 of 3

  • Comment number 1.

    Could Hamilton join Red Bull? I dont know, and to be brutally honest, I'm not sure if I care. I am actually a Lewis fan, but I'm already getting bored with this constant stream of rumour. It's going to be a long hard season of hearing this boring rumour again and again and again.

  • Comment number 2.

    McLaren have only won one title since 1999 and whatever way you look at it, that is a poor return for a team of their stature. Button has spoken before of dream to race in red but he looks at home with McLaren (though same could be said at Brawn in 09).

    Ironically I think it is Webber that holds the key. Don't think RBR will push him out this year but if he wants to go then there could be big shifts. Webber to Ferrari? Not sure he'd like being 2nd fiddle to Alonso anymore than being so to Vettel.

    One factor you haven't mentioned is Ricciardo. I will be surprised if he doesn't get a STR seat by end of year and think Red Bull would prefer him as long-term Webber successor - although 2012 could arguably be too soon for him to join RBR. I think RBR want Webber for 2012 and then will draft in Ricciardo from 2013.

    Di Resta may have weakened his chances after a couple of clumsy races but clearly has some talent there.

    The Chequered Flag: "Hamilton: I want a competitive car" - McLaren star rejects Red Bull switch talk: http://t.co/g9rnjis

  • Comment number 3.

    A bit off topic I know, but still relevant as we are discussing Lewis.....
    I am a Lewis fan, always will be.... I love his no holes barred driving style, talent, you name it, he's got it.... BUT, in recent years, the polite young chap that burst onto the track in 2007 has been replaced by this celebrity monster, which has only been exagerated by the emergence of Nicole Sherziwatserface.

    Since she arrived on the scene, he has become this bling-boy with a constant string of celebrity admirers.... see Rihanna at the weekend in teh Mclaren garage.... awkward or what (btw, did DC and Martin miss the opportunity for a perfect Umber-ella-ella-ella joke, or did I just nip to the loo at the wrong time?)

    I think she was more influential than we think in the move away from his dad as manager, to XIX and his new found celebrity status

    He now seems to have taken his eye off the ball slightly, which I think is the real reson his results have been suffering of late, NOT because he is over driving to compensate for the pace of the car... his dad had such a calming effect on him, that now he is in celebrity hyper drive, he is getting carried away

    Just my opinions however
    G

  • Comment number 4.

    I don't mean to be horrible, but it really makes me laugh when journalist (yes they specialise in F1) think they know everything about the going'ons in the world of F1...

  • Comment number 5.

    A lot of the controversy about Hamilton is media driven, however I think he does need to be more selective about some of the moves he does. This actually is quite a difficult thing to do in a split second as the opening is there, and so inevitably the tendency is to go for it. Somehow though he must try to factor out the less lightly ones that could put him out of the race. All this of course is made worse by a car that is not competitive, because it then means he has to push harder still. Given this, is there any credence in the possible moves to Red Bull? You bet there is, but making that decision will not be easy, because he has to take a subjective view of the relative pace of the McLaren against Red Bull, and what they are likely to be in the future as it would be all too easy for him to shoot himself in the foot as regulation changes. - Not easy! This year quite clearly Red Bull have been masters of the first quarter, but it is changing with Mclaren making good strides with their race pace even at high downforce circuits, but they are still some way of understanding how to make their car quick in qualifying. Of course while position is still important the effect of high degradation tyres has to be managed on the hoof as it were so that teams can respond with the appropriate strategy.

  • Comment number 6.

    I think there's still more smoke than flame with this at the moment.

    I could see a switch by the 2013 season, but I'd be a bit surprised (and several pieces would have to fall into place conveniently) for it to happen earlier.

    And that also gives time for things to change with Red Bull's dominance, of course.

  • Comment number 7.

    If Hamilton went to Red Bull then it would be hard to envisage McLaren winning any titles in the next five years. However it would also virtually ensure Red Bull cleaning up for another few years..

    As for Ferrari, surely they are going to bump Massa? The guy is just not the same driver anymore. If they do then they would be crazy to appoint Webber, who looks to be a driver on his way out as well. Rosberg and Button are great candidates for the job.

  • Comment number 8.

    Going back to topic (bored with everyone going on about Lewis's attitude - lets just accept its a marmite topic), he would be MAD to leave Mclaren. Is Webber beating him - no. Is he only just losing to Vettel - yes. Could he have won the last 2 grand prixs - yes. Is he better in qualifying - no. I agree that the Red Bull is the better car but its not proving to be so much better and its frail. Adrian Newey is also showing some arrogance with his KERS attitude (you can't just ignore it Adrian!). RBR are not so good as to switch over. Its not like the dominant Williams FW14 onwards or the Schumacher Ferrari years. Mclaren can beat RBR and they are not far off it. Show some loyalty Lewis, they won't let you down. And if Andrew is right and they don't deliver under his new 5 year £150m contract, he'll just leave anyway. F1 has never respected any contract except the Concorde agreement (and even that's shaky!).

  • Comment number 9.

    Bit of a random punt, but if Button's contract has a get out clause as the end of this year, surely the RedBull would suit his driving style down to the ground!? Could that be a sleeper of a move?

  • Comment number 10.

    The media hate Hamilton so much in this country not surprised he moved away ASAP. Its funny how the BBC barely gave any attention to Di Resta's reckless driving in Montreal yet Andrew dedicated a whole blog to Hamilton's clearly in jest comments after Monaco. Ive just been in America and he has huge support there, with no coverage about his comments in Monaco

  • Comment number 11.

    I think the prospect of Nico Rosberg in a Ferrari is frightening - he consistently punched way above his weight at Williams, where in his final season his co-driver accumulated no points all season while Rosberg was 7th in the drivers championship.

    In the Mercedes he consistently outperforms a seven time world champion, who may not be at the peak of his powers any more, but is still the official number one driver at Mercedes, something else i still don't understand.

    I think with a driver such as Fernando Alonso alongside him as a mentor, and Nico approaching is peak in the next 2-3 years, Ferrari could become a world champion once again.

  • Comment number 12.

    I read Andrews comments and the one driver he missed out and the one who puts a spoke in the works is the great young driver Kobiashi, lets give this guy a good car and I would say watch him go. He is the best overtaker in the business, just watch him. He could be a future champion and he doesn't moan on like Hamilton.

  • Comment number 13.

    I agree, Rosberg would be immense at Ferrari.

  • Comment number 14.

    #4- it makes me laugh when people like you make idiotic comments. This guy probably knows a lot more than the lot of us!
    Im not a Hamilton fan, but it would be interesting to see him at red bull. There would be sparks between the two drivers I'm sure. please someone give kamui

  • Comment number 15.

    Believe me, I'm FAR from Hamilton's biggest fan, but even I'm getting tired of the bashing he's taking from the media right now. He's a great driver - he just needs a bit more discipline. A move to Red Bull would probably help his career as Newey's car would indeed suit his punchy driving style (and as a mesmerisingly late-braker he doesn't rely on KERS that much), but again he'd be ditching those who helped him get where he is. The big question is whether he goes for an easier route to more titles or repays McLaren for their faith in him by grinding out the results with them. Personally, I can see him opting for the easier route.

  • Comment number 16.

    Please someone give kamui a fast car!

    Dam this iPhone!!!

  • Comment number 17.

    A bit early to start Silly season, don't you think. Didn't you think there were enough (negative) articles all focussed on Lewis that we needed another?

    Lets see, BBC F1 news page consists of these "Hamilton" links(any with the word Hamilton in title or description)

    1) Hamilton wants to stay at McLaren
    2) Hamilton swaps F1 for Nascar
    3) Hamilton Red Bull rumours denied
    4) Wednesday's F1 gossip column: Hamilton has his first taste of Nascar, plus more
    5) Hamilton Red Bull rumours denied
    6) Button defends team-mate Hamilton
    7) Hamilton defends move on Button
    8) Could Hamilton join Red Bull?
    9) Hamilton has some thinking to do
    10) Canadian GP from the pit lane: Ted Kravitz reveals Hamilton's delight at Button victory
    11) What is going wrong with Lewis Hamilton?
    12) Hamilton goes too far - Moss

    current Hamilton tweets on front page
    13) Could Hamilton join Red Bull? Some thoughts on that and other driver market issues: http://t.co/EgRGVdI
    14) Hamilton says no reason to leave McLaren as they have "most competitive car": http://t.co/SJDzSos. Don't think he thought that on Saturday

    Damn you were right this article was sorely needed right now, we hadn't heard about the poor driver for a while. Wonder how he is getting on, any news is so needed and greatly important, considering all those articles are basically doing him either for his driving or lack of loyalty or team stability due to his driving.

    Maybe he was the first driver in history to not finish a GP due to an accident?...Why no Alonso, surely he should be up there too then....barely know anything about our World Champion Alonso, family/friends/wife?/children?...but seems I will know if Hamilton shakes the hand of someone not in a very English way!!! zomg the shock. Pehaps we like the good american people should demand his birth certificate, after all his real mother may have died and his background story is fake!. Who that would sell a few more papers wouldn't it!, oh wait this is the BBC stop this sensationalist nonsense please. Rumours ARE NOT news. Verify them...oh wait you tried and they were denied..."blog" is no excuse as it is exclusively used on a "news" page. It is a shoddy "news" article based on conjecture and rambling.

  • Comment number 18.

    #3 - you definitely chose the wrong time to make a bog visit

  • Comment number 19.

    Red Bull and Hamilton seem a perfect match - it'll happen. Hamilton's clearly frustrated with McLaren; you can see that from the number of times he's blamed them for strategy, problems with the car and what-not this year. They can't be best pleased with all that and they know that, although Button isn't quick as Hamilton, he can get the same results, so losing him wouldn't be that big a deal. If Hamilton does go to Red Bull, I can see Webber moving in the opposite direction. He's top driver with a good image - typical McLaren.

  • Comment number 20.

    Why on earth would Hamilton consider a move to Red Bull to be second-fiddle to Vettel? I could understand if McLaren had come up with a dog of a car - but they have not. They have arguably THE fastest car in race-trim on the grid. Hamilton has already beaten Vettel.

    Hamilton could have won in Catalunya and Button challenged hard in Monaco and bested Vettel in Canada. There is no question that the McLaren

    ''is arguably not really fast enough to allow him to compete for another [title]'

    It IS, and Hamilton's failure to challenge for the win/podium in the last two races have been due to this errors and not the car - as shown as Button has been on the podium and won.

    'For Hamilton, it is proving increasingly hard to cope with the fact that he has won the world title just once, in 2008'

    Why is it? He won that title by a point, and lost the previous one by 1 point. The 2009 rule changes meant that it was very much a transitional year and in 2010 he was 16 points off. Hamilton has been in or around the performance of the main title challengers - Vettel, Alonso, Webber and Button and has not had a year in which he has been comfortably ahead of them.

    Hamilton is a great talent and great for F1 but it seems his out of car behaviour is letting him down. Perhaps he met with Horner just to send a signal to McLaren that he would consider leaving if he had better prospects elsewhere.

    Hamilton's claim that he was the only person capable of beating Vettel has proved incorrect. Perhaps Vettel's lead is too big now - but the McLaren is capable of beating the Red Bull and that should carry the hopes of the team for the rest of the season.

    @ 8. Gus - Great post - lots of common sense and a balanced view - rare on these pages!



  • Comment number 21.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 22.

    Red Bull and Hamilton seem a perfect match - it'll happen. Hamilton's clearly frustrated with McLaren; you can see that from the number of times he's blamed them for strategy, problems with the car and what-not this year. They can't be best pleased with all that and they know that, although Button isn't as quick as Hamilton, he can get the same results, so losing him wouldn't be that big a deal. If Hamilton does go to Red Bull, I can see Webber moving in the opposite direction. He's top driver with a good image - typical McLaren.

  • Comment number 23.

    Yes, G, you nipped to the loo at the wrong time. Martin Brundle made the umbrella comment and was congratulated by David Coulthard.

  • Comment number 24.

    @3. G wrote:

    A bit off topic I know, but still relevant as we are discussing Lewis.....
    I am a Lewis fan, always will be.... I love his no holes barred style,



    Ooh, er, missus.

    I take it you meant, "no holds barred".....

  • Comment number 25.

    Katherine Legge to replace Lewis Hamilton?

  • Comment number 26.

    Lewis Hamilton may well move to Red Bull, but only when Vettel moves to Ferrari - end of 2012.

  • Comment number 27.

    And if Hamilton doesn't get his own way, and the move he wants (to Red Bull), will he claim it is because of the colour of his skin...?

  • Comment number 28.

    JP and Hedgey the Hedge

    Agree that Rosberg is a great talent - but has been disappointing in the last few races. He punched WAY above his weight at Williams and they haven't really been the same since he left.

    Part of me fears he could be the modern day Alesi - great promise but constantly moving to teams who aren't delivering the car for him.

    Perhaps he is best to stick it out with Mercedes and develop a championship-winning car with them over the next 3-5 years. With Alonso committed to 2016 it's difficult to see him getting a fair crack of the whip there.

    Really hope he can claim a pole position this year and some more podiums to add to his impressive showing last year.

  • Comment number 29.

    @ 17

    Not a Hamilton fan, but you've made a very good point. Leave the guy alone, lets make another driver the centre of attention like the return of RK where does he fit in the suspected driver merry-go-round, a great talent in the right car.

    @ 24

    LMAO!

  • Comment number 30.

    I think that we'll see the Hamilton/Button pairing at McLaren for 2012 at least. I can't believe that Alonso would tolerate being paired up with Hamilton at Ferrari, so his options are failrly limited.

    If Red Bull ditch Webber, then I'd like to seem them give Kobayashi the seat. That would liven up the front of the grid brilliantly.

  • Comment number 31.

    #24 Haha. Not sure how long it will last though;)

    #3 G - its not a difficult choice. You wouldn't throw her out now would you? Maybe you would...

    Formula 1 has always attracted a glamour crowd even before Hamilton made an appearance. I think far too much is made of the particular crowd that follow him as opposed to others. I don't go in for this "bling" stereotypical nonsense - it seems to me to be more media spin.

  • Comment number 32.

    It always makes me laugh how much effort & the length the BBC led Anti-Hamilton brigade led by Martin Brundle will go to attack Lewis, it is really hilarious.
    LW has out qualified JB repeatedly, and finished ahead of him time,yet the one time JB "wins" a race (albeit with the help of silly mistakes by Vettel & Webber) they jump out to Crucify Lewis, so JB could look good,very sad.
    The fact is that no matter how much attack the Martin Brundle led crew launch at Hamilton, he will always be acknowledged as a far better driver than JB, the boring guy of F1. You cannot make JB into something he isnt,fact, no matter how many 2nd rate models he goes out with to improve his image, he just doesnt have the clout.
    As David Coultard said, Hamilton has millions of fans world wide and he brings pop culture to F1. Hamilton is the only global super star driver in F1 that transcends the sport and brought F1 back unto the map after years of dwindling viewer figures with Shumi & later boring Alonso respectively.
    Take Hamilton out of F1, and we'll be back to the procession years. What makes me laugh more is comments from the likes of Jake Humpfreys questioning Hamiltons temperament & Jordan asking if he should take a year out, just because he was involved in a few incidents?????? Please we know the agenda behind Hamiltons criticisms.
    JB had been in F1 for close to 10 years moving from Williams, to Renault, achieving nothing in both cars, yet JBM & Alonso respectively won races & in Alonso's case titles with the same cars!! JB could only win with a car that had a 2 second advantage over ALL other cars, fact!
    In those years not once did we hear Brundle preach of Jenson's "SMOOTH driving style" that we sudddenly started hearing once he joined Mclaren,...agenda i hear you say?
    As JB himself said, he came to MClaren to challenge himself against in his opinion the most talented driver in F1, & everyone has seen how JB has upped his game, and moved from being the Gentleman,boring driver to someone who is now driving aggresively even taking out his own teammate(contrary to the spin the BBC put on the collision) as the TV replay shows, he looked twice into his mirror yet kept moving right, till he took Lewis out and i respect that. What was shameful was his outburst "Whats he doing?!!" clearly playing to the TV audience to try to influence the apportioning of blame!! Shameful behaviour, only to admit & apologise to Lewis who acted the gentleman all through the lynch mob attack.
    Norbert Haug defended Hamilton's driving & absolved Lewis of Blame in the collision saying people have short memories, was Senna any different he asked?

  • Comment number 33.

    I like Hamilton - he takes risks that makes racing entertaining rather than the race being decided on Saturday - I understand why there's talk of a move to RBR. I think one of the reasons which has not been stated is that when Mercedes bought Brawn they started to withdraw from McLaren, Renault are pushing for the engine changes (1.6lt Turbos) as they are a better fit with their Road car sales. It is therefore possible that if the new laws come into place - irrespective of how Mercs progress with developing their new engine - the gap to RBR could grow rather than diminish.

    Just an idea?

  • Comment number 34.

    "27. At 15:03 15th Jun 2011, El Generalissimo wrote:
    And if Hamilton doesn't get his own way, and the move he wants (to Red Bull), will he claim it is because of the colour of his skin...?"

    Dude its an Ali G reference. Get over it. Maybe you haven't heard of him.

  • Comment number 35.

    @34
    Doubt they know Ali G is a white character...zomg. It is an expression of not knowing why one is under attack, which was an appropriate enough answer to the question, laughing whilst saying it, obviously saw the reaction, explained it was what Ali G would say, and then said "I don't know why"....this all flew over most of the people ignorant to Ali G and became a 6 race ban incident and an "outburst".

  • Comment number 36.

    #32. It always makes me laugh how much effort & the length the Hamilton fan-led Anti-Button brigade will go to attack Jenson.

    Alonso didn't win the title in the same car as Jenson - that's a plain fact. JB spent 10 years in the wilderness in below-par machinery and still managed to regularly beat the likes of R. Schumacher, Villeneuve, and Barrichello along the way.

    And your point about Jenson "winning" (your quotation marks) on Sunday. I think the fact that he pitted six times and overtook the entire field (before SV had his off) speaks for itself.

    I'm all for fair discussion, let's not let our love of one driver tempt us to cast contempt over the others.

  • Comment number 37.

    Button just won the race in the same car - i'm not sure what all the fuss is about. He'll win a race as long as he can stay on the track.

  • Comment number 38.

    As a Lewis fan, I don't think he's got anything to gain by going to Red Bull. Vettel seems to have that team wrapped round his finger currently and Lewis moving there sounds like it would be a rerun of '07 with Alonso. Not worth it.

  • Comment number 39.

    Parov #32, yes its all a massive conspiracy against Hamilton; MB rounds up DC, EJ, Jake and all the production crew and gives them a pep talk pre-race weekend in order to rubbish Hamilton and discredit his legacy. You also criticise JB for having a model girlfriend, what as opposed to Hamilton's pop star gf? As for putting fact at the end of a sentence in order to quantify the statement, thats just sad.

  • Comment number 40.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 41.

    @38 to be fair to Alonso he probably thought he was entering a team who were bringing up a true rookie so he'd be the bees knees there while the rookie spent a season or two learning the ropes. No one expected him to contending for the Championship his first season it was quite massive shock.

    Hamilton knows if he goes to Red Bull he'll have to contend with Vettel except this time he won't be the upstart rookie, the clearly better driver or the frustrated driver while the old hand keeps his cool. It's really just Horner reminding Webber could replace him and Hamilton reminding McClaren that he could leave. No shocker news in either camp but useful for contract negotiations.

  • Comment number 42.

    @32 You're obviously biased against Jenson so I'm just going to ignore everything you wrote.

    Hamilton will not join Red Bull. They had a nightmare with Vettel and Webber last season, Vettel and Hamilton would be even worse. Now please spend some time writing about something else... Anything else....

  • Comment number 43.

    @ #17.

    Entirely spot on. I can see that you are as frustrated as me with the one sided coverage (good or bad) that Lewis gets. I'm glad you had the energy to point this out in a real way because I couldnt be bothered. What you have pointed out is a bit embarassing for the BBC in my honest opinion, but lets see if they listen.

    Also, as somebody else has mentioned on here, Di Resta did'nt have the best of weekends but I dont see any blogs rushing to analyse every aspect of his life.

    The BBC really needs to iron out its Lewis obssession. It's just becoming like space-filler now.

  • Comment number 44.

    What's happening in Mclaren is obvious and keen observers like myself was saying it even last sseason. Martin Whitmarsh clearly needs to create his own kingdom, and having Lewis there is a torn in his flesh as LH represents the last link to Ron Dennis in the Mclaren power tussle.He therefore needs JB as the No 1 driver in the team not LH.
    I & others have noticed that whenever LH outperforms JB & when asked to comment about LH, Mr Whimarsh rather than lavish praise on LH will always somehow say "Lets not forget Jenson,...blah blah blah..."
    He never ever wants to give LH his dues and why is Lewis suddenly getting all the crap race strategy which Mr Brundle never mentions like in Monaco when he was clearly on fire only for someone to decide he should only do one run????
    I suspect there is a deliberate sabotage going on to undermine Lewis in that team and its obvious Lewis has realised whats going on.

  • Comment number 45.

    #44. Please, please please just accept that Lewis is beatable, and that he's often the orchestrator of his own downfall. All this conspiracy talk - you sound like Lewis himself.

  • Comment number 46.

    One thing that people dont seem to have mentioned (apologies if they have) if Hamilton does decide to move to RBR, which may or may not be the case depending on who you believe, surely then as a replacement = Kubica? if he comes back next year and finds the form he had before the accident, surely McLaren would have a perfectly suitable replacement? Same applies if Button decided to go to Ferarri (which i personally cant see happening...).

  • Comment number 47.

    @46

    I think Kubica is a good punt but the problem is will he gel with any of his team mates? Possibly Jenson in a Mclaren deal but the other three I'm not too sure they could deal with someone who really will contend to be top dog and be expected to. Webber, Button and Massa work well as team mates as their intelligent driver who make the most of their ability and good communication with the mechanics. Regardless of how well they perform they never get considered as good as their team mates so the ones with the 'egos' don't get their bubble burst. that wouldn't happen with Kubica.

    If I were a top team I'd be considering Kobyashi he could rock to boat by performing well but with an old hand like Alonso, Webber or Button he could learn a lot and be a future prospect for success.

  • Comment number 48.

    I really really wonder what the state of the F1 page would look like if it had been Hamilton pulling in front of Button at Canada. It would be like an explosion of sensationalism. But no, because it was Button who carved his teammate up, nothing gets said, nothing gets uber analysed, and his win was a great one. Had the roles been reversed, it would have been a scandal on here that would have been dived into with aplomb.

    And I like Jenson by the way. His win WAS great (and exciting), but come on, nobody seems to have a problem with what he did to Lewis, yet if it had been the other way round, we'd still be talking about it now.

  • Comment number 49.

    @48 That's because most people saw it as a racing incident with neither driver to blame. I would of saw it that was if the roles were reversed its not a conspiracy or anything.

  • Comment number 50.

    what is the deal when you say 'Hamilton is the fastest driver'. Baloney. How and How did you come to that? Can you show some supporting proof?

    I mean he is fast and a good driver capable of winning the championship(s). But how can you say that he is 'THE FASTEST' driver. I just dont get it

  • Comment number 51.

    #49. Well said. At worst, JB changed direction once to defend his line. LH decided to take to the saturated grass at 160mph rather than back out and see what he could achieve through turns 2 & 3. End of.

  • Comment number 52.

    @parov1 You could not be more wrong regarding the BBC being 'Anti-Lewis'. Brundle in particular is a massive fan of Lewis Hamilton. Benson said above that Lewis is F1's most exciting driver. However, I think there is a small element of truth to what you say regarding Whitmarsh. But I'll also point out that Lewis was praised by him at Canada too.

    As for driver movements, if Lewis did move to RBR, the romantic in me would dearly love McLaren to keep hold of Button, and then take on a young driver with a lot of potential who only had a mere taste of F1 in the worst car on the grid last season ... Senna.

  • Comment number 53.

    Lewis wont join Red Bull, Mclaren is by far the quickest race car and Lewis knows this better than anybody. Also with the blown exhausts being banned you might Red Bull are not as good as they are.

    All this negativity surrounding Lewis is ridiculous. So he made a few mistakes in a couple of races at least he is having ago and not waiting for the undercut when pit stops happen or relying on DRS. Without Lewis Vettel would romp away with the championship. Maybe Jenson can challenge but he seems to inconsistent for my liking.

    Finally why is nothing being said about the stupidity of the stewards these days. There are far too many investigations going on and its spoiling the sport and the racing. If they carry on, soon people will be too afraid to overtake incase they slightly touch the opposing car and get hit with a penalty or reprimand. RIDICULOUS!!!!!

  • Comment number 54.

    Lewis this, Jenson that, Vettel the other. After every race it's the same thing. The BBC F1 Forum lights up like a tabloid extracting every last morsel from these three as though there were no others in the race - apart from a token mention of Di Resta (because he's British). With suitably cheesy titles to the articles to match.

    Ted Kravitz' 'From the Pit Lane' is the only article that gives you any information across the whole spectrum &, in true BBC style, is painfully too short.

    I really don't care about Hamilton's career. I like watching him race. I like watching them all race. And I would love to know what happened to all the stewards decisions & how it effected the teams & their drivers. You know, stuff like that. Stuff to do with racing. Stuff to do with a F1 forum, you would have thought.
    Not what colour pants Jenson wears (metaphor).

  • Comment number 55.

    @ Lyla. nail on the head mate. wouldnt mind some more coverage of other parties.

    ps. beautiful name that. Lyla.

  • Comment number 56.

    @53 I'll just say I disagree with your second point but I do agree entirely with your third. there seams to be a lot of blame culture for any incident in F1 at the moment one driver must surely be in the wrong if they comes together more importantly under the rules one must have unavoidable. That means the driver penalised must have known it was never going to work what he was doing. Now Red Mist does occur and they'll do something monumentally stupid but more and more incidents need to be chalked up to 'that's racing' from 'the driver deliberately did something stupid'.

  • Comment number 57.

    Has anyone asked Vettel what he thinks about the idea of Hamilton as a team mate? Not a lot I would imagine. No way would Vettel let Hamilton be the Number One driver and no way would Hamilton go anywhere where he wasn't the Number One. That rules out Ferrari as well and leaves only teams with cars inferior (at the moment) to Mclaren.

    Button, on the other hand, could fit in just about anywhere and would probably be welcomed with open arms because he is not just a great driver but also very good at helping the team with setups.

  • Comment number 58.

    Lewis this, Jenson that, Vettel the other. After every race it's the same thing. The BBC F1 Forum lights up like a tabloid extracting every last morsel from these three as though there were no others in the race - apart from a token mention of Di Resta (because he's British). With suitably cheesy titles to the articles to match.

    Ted Kravitz' 'From the Pit Lane' is the only article that gives you any information across the whole spectrum &, in true BBC style, is painfully too short.

    I really don't care about Hamilton's career. I like watching him race. I like watching them all race. And I would love to know what happened to all the stewards decisions & how it effected the teams & their drivers. You know, stuff like that. Stuff to do with racing. Stuff to do with a F1 forum, you would have thought.
    Not what colour pants Jenson wears (metaphor).

  • Comment number 59.

    For me there will be some changes and I think Webber, Hamilton and Massa will all start them, but not until 2013. This is how the grid will line up in 2013.

    Red Bull - Vettel & Hamilton
    McClaren - Button & Kubica
    Ferrari - Alonso & Kobayashi
    Mercedes - Rosberg & Di Resta
    Renault - Hulkenburg & Petrov
    Toro Roso - Ricciardo & Buemi
    Williams - Maldonardo & Perez
    Force India - Chandhok & Massa

  • Comment number 60.

    @41 Alonso probably did think he was dealing with an ordinary rookie, we all did...but didn't give credit where it was due when Lewis turned out to be extra-ordinary because he had wanted to be the main man.

  • Comment number 61.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 62.

    Why do you assume Hamilton is faster!? Vettel seems to be the one with the outright speed in quali at the moment, thrashing Webber who is a qualifying specialist. 21 pole positions at 23 tell me he is the fastest.

  • Comment number 63.

    @ 59, what's happened to Webber? For what it's worth here's what I reckon that 2013 grid will look like - if Alonso's not competitive at Ferrari I can't see him racing, contract or no contract, I have a feeling he'll walk away, and unless Hamilton gets another world title at McLaren I think he'll work a move to Red Bull:

    Red Bull - Vettel & Hamilton
    McClaren - Button & di Resta
    Ferrari - Kubica & Perez
    Mercedes - Rosberg & Hulkenburg
    Renault - Webber & Petrov
    Toro Roso - Ricciardo & Buemi
    Williams - Maldonado & Kobayashi
    Team Lotus - Kovaleinen & Chandhok/Senna
    Force India - Massa & Senna/Chandhok

  • Comment number 64.

    Who is to say that by next season Red Bull's performance advantage will not be completely wiped away by McLaren? We're only 7 races into the new season. What is undoubtedly clear is the one-lap pace of Red Bull is so far untouchable. That was similar in 2010, although not as spectacular. But what is equally emerging is the race-pace of McLaren. I can't believe anyone would underestimate this. The fact is, McLaren have had some rotten luck this season, as has Hamilton. They've won 2 out of 7, but that should have been 3 (at Monaco) and possibly 4.

    Hamilton if he already doesn't must realise that McLaren are en exceptionally strong team capable of winning races. Not even Ferrari are capable of doing that right now, and the rest of the considerable field with past world champions in the recent years: Mercedes and Renault are in a different tier of competitiveness altogether.

    Hamilton and McLaren are a perfect fit, but it is all about predicting how good both Red Bull's and McLaren's cars are going to be in the future. Right now we've got a front row team who have good enough race pace to win races from the front, while we've got a 2nd row team (sometimes front sometimes third row) who are capable, more than any other car of overtaking and moving through fields to win races. We haven't seen the proper potential of the McLaren car yet this season because of some bad luck, Lewis making life hard for himself in the last two races and some strategy errors. But it is harder to make those calls when you're catching up.

    The last three races have shown McLaren to have the stronger overall package I feel. At Spain (a Red Bull track in theory) they were frighteningly fast, they should have won at Monaco and did win in Canada. Now Lewis has not really featured in two of those races. If he hadn't had such bad races by his standards we wouldn't necessarily be talking about Vettel running away with it. This season has a way to go, and if everyone at McLaren including Hamilton can knuckle down and realise the potential of their excellent car they have a chance to claw back the gap.

    But like I say, decisions like driver moves depend on who people think will have the fastest car. If Lewis believes that Red Bull do and will for the foreseeable future, then who'd blame him to want to move. He's earned that right to have the fastest car as much as anyone.

  • Comment number 65.

    Formula One's modern day popularity in this country stems from Lewis Hamilton's spectacular entry into the sport in 2007, after the exit of Michael Schumacher in 2006 which was like a millstone around the sport's neck.

    Formula One is as huge as it's ever been, and I honestly believe it started with the rookie Lewis Hamilton and his 9 podia from his first 9 starts. He was a sensation, should have won in his debut season, won in his second without the fastest car, dragged a shocking car to 5th in 09, finished a second place off the title in 2010 after some unfortunate late season retirements and now is still a strong driver. Last year he made something like 18 overtakes in the first 5 races. That is what the sport is all about and he is the shining light in that respect. Vettel is great and super-fast, but Hamilton is the original boy racer, the ultimate competitor and he is outrageously fast and dangerous. We should be proud to have him as a Brit.

  • Comment number 66.

    Andrew Benson said:
    Formula 1's most exciting driver is pondering his future as he watches Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel canter to a second consecutive world title.

    =========================================

    It seems to me that it is the media, rather than Lewis, pondering his future.

  • Comment number 67.

    To Andrew. When are you going to write a blog about how poor Webber has been this year? No-one hardly ever mentions has poor he has been this year. No wonder Vettel is running away with the title when you have a team mate like Webber.

    Horner said Webber had made it clear he would like to drive for the team next year, adding that he felt the Australian still had the "motivation and desire" and that Red Bull were "very happy with him in the team".

    Of course Webber is going to say this. He knows he having a poor season. He has the fastest car on the grid (like Vettel) yet his qualifying times and race results have been over the place. True, he ain't as quick as Vettel but he should at least he mopping up the 2nds and pushing Vettel to the title.

    However, Hamilton won't be Vettel team mate next season, esp since Hamilton won't be number 2 to Vettel, Vettel won't allow it plus Vettel can't cope under pressure by having a team mate who is as fast as him.

    Finally, if i was Hamilton, I would move to a team who has Newey as their designer. Some users have stated that the red bull is not as quick due to some ban parts, but who would you want designing your car next season with all the changes planned. The best of course - Newey

  • Comment number 68.

    My god, give the boy a break, as pointed out in comment 17. I guess it's the media's job, but, oh dear.

    All I hope from Lewis is that he calms down, gets some solid results and then starts winning like we all know he can. He can win multiple world titles if he keeps his head. That's his only problem.

  • Comment number 69.

    no: 63 - Great pairings! Esp. Kubica at Ferrari though I'd prefer Kobayashi at Ferrari/Red Bull. btw, you said: which is very cool.

    Red Bull - Vettel & Hamilton
    McClaren - Button & di Resta
    Ferrari - Kubica & Perez
    Mercedes - Rosberg & Hulkenburg
    Renault - Webber & Petrov
    Toro Roso - Ricciardo & Buemi
    Williams - Maldonado & Kobayashi
    Team Lotus - Kovaleinen & Chandhok/Senna
    Force India - Massa & Senna/Chandhok

    Personally, I'm in the camp that thinks Hamilton messed up big time in Monaco and Canada. A bit of patience and he could well have gone on to win both of them, as Button (the 'slower' driver) demonstrated was possible. We all have some room for growth. So does Hamilton.

    And I'd prefer if he stayed at Mclaren and won championships with them. That would be a continuation of 'the dream'. And after all these years with them, a much better fantasy happy ending than moving to RBR.

    Even if Hamilton went to RBR, and it was still the fastest car, and Hamilton won a WDC with RBR, would that be any fun to watch other than the intra-team battle with Vettel? The 'fastest' man in the 'fastest' car wins WDC. Wooooo.

    I've also always liked Vettel as well. He was always a cheerful happy bunny in his first years of racing. And while some moan about his lack of all-round skill, I bet it's there and he will improve too. He is incredibly fast, and it's not just the car, otherwise RBR would be clear 1-2 every race and qualifying.

    Button's win in Montreal was the stuff of dreams, a real fairy tale F1 race. A true champion's drive.

  • Comment number 70.

    lolll interesting and article ... and full of allusions... also some very comical parts like the rumour taking button to ferrari... really andrew?? do you really think we gonna believe that?? without his pals and daddy withmarsh around him he would be eaten alive by alonso

    as for hamilton... i dont think he will go to "the blue eyed boys team" but he has more chances to go to mercedes... or stay and put the pressure on his current team... yess hes that influential :)

  • Comment number 71.

    Agree with most of the posts that there is a bit of an over-zealous Hamilton edge at moment. This blog coupled with Brundle's and Mark Hughes' tend to repeat same things. Newsworthy I think most would agree but over analysed with three similar blogs.

    Number of other issues could/should be discussed: Coughlan return to Williams; Bahrain now cancelled officially (though a lot said last week); should parc ferme rules remain as they are when it inhibits racing in wet conditions; rookie evaluation (DIR has had couple of poor showings, MAL looking better with every race etc); what is point of 107% rule etc...


    The Chequered Flag: "Coughlan says sorry for spygate" - Williams' new chief engineer apologies for 2007 spy scandal: http://t.co/Jx64apA

    The Chequered Flag: "Bahrain GP officially cancelled" - World Motor Sports Council reverses original decision: http://tinyurl.com/6275ouk

  • Comment number 72.

    "Formula 1's most exciting driver is pondering his future"

    Says who? What kind of journalism is this? Because he was seen talking to Horner once... do you know what was said?

    Shame, this is poor.

  • Comment number 73.

    @ 69, I'd like to see Kobayashi in a quick car, but ironically given what's happening with Hamilton, I don't see teams taking a chance with his inconsistency and combative driving style with other drivers out there. I worry that he's stuck with wringing the best out of a car from the midfield.

    On Hamilton, as a McLaren fan I'd like to see him stay, but I think he feels he should be a multiple world champion and if the car's not delivering he'll go wherever he can to win. That said the McLaren looks more and more competitive as the season goes on but needs some qualifying pace or there's always the risk that Vettel gets pole and drives off into the distance.

  • Comment number 74.

    How about an article about the hot diffuser and the prospects of all the teams following its ban cos this could potentially shake the season up a bit?

    Instead it's a constant stream of media crap about Hamilton. Most of it completely non-stories. Interviewees like Murray and Sterling Moss are constantly asked for comment on Hamilton and they will always give some answer along the lines of "he's an aggressive driver which sometimes gets him into trouble". That isn't news. Nor is it correct to claim that McLaren don't have a competitive car, its race par in the last three has been at least as good as Red Bull but mistakes have been made and luck has run it's course.

    I'm a Hamilton fan but I'm fed up with the constant media barrage, just let the man race

  • Comment number 75.

    If Hamilton thinks he's so superior to all other drivers, maybe he could show us by starting to beat Jens? Just saying.

  • Comment number 76.

    Hamilton is the best driver in F1.

    If Hamilton and Vettel were to be team-mates at Red Bull I am sure Hamilton would blitz Vettel.
    Hamilton is like Senna in so many ways and one day(not too far away) his criticisers will realise how fast he is.
    Hes only 6 points behind Button despite all the criticism he's receiving and penalties he's received which shows the raw pace he has.
    Vettel will not want Hamilton as his team-mate as he knows in the back of his mind Hamilton has the beating of him.
    Sebastian make the most of it while your in a faster car than Lewis because he's better than you

  • Comment number 77.

    @aforeigner comment 75
    You really don't know what your talking about.Don't post Rubbish. Hamilton has had the beaten of Button ever since he arrived at McClaren

  • Comment number 78.

    Oh dear Lord, now we've gone down the "Alonso will walk because his car is crap" route??? Seriously., we've got so much more to be talking about right now!!!!!!

    My Sceptic peg prediction is as follows:

    Lewis Hamilton will dramatically leave F1 in 5 minutes in pursuit of a Hip Hop career, releasing his first single duetting with Smouse, covering "U Can't Touch This". The B-Side will be MC Hammy's version of Animal Zoo.

    Peace out

  • Comment number 79.

    @Trevers 89
    Agree an arcticle on the hot diffuser ban would be nice. Hamilton is portrayed poorly by the media. Almost like a villain

  • Comment number 80.

    First off - honestly, I am not a fan of Hamilton.

    But surely it is blatantly obvious that the media (not just the BBC) always has to have a villain? Before it was Lewis, it was Fernando, before Fernando it was Michael and it is always totally rabid and over the top. I don't know why but I suppose the press think that is what people want. It is not just F1, the press builds people up, kisses ass, turns people in deities and then takes great pleasure in knocking them down and trampling them in the dirt. Don't take it personally fans of Lewis, it will pass and they will move onto a new victim.

    As far as Lewis being frustrated because he doesn't have the fastest car, he is not the first to face that either. Fernando won two world championships in an obviously inferior machine. If Lewis wants to silence the 'nay sayers' he should take that route rather than just running everyone off the road who doesn't jump out of his way. He is a talented driver - no doubt he just needs to calm down a little and good times will return.

    I personally think that Lewis is being woefully mismanaged. He is being allowed to believe that he really is the second coming when in reality he is just a talented racing driver. The move to Red Bull would be a huge mistake. Like it or not there is only room for one exceptional driver in each team, backed up by one solid workhorse. Sebastian is not going to play the role of workhorse to Lewis's star.

    1.Lewis needs to get a new manager who has their head screwed on properly. A manager who specializes in F1 drivers, not pseudo celebrities.
    2. He most definitely shouldn't rush to change teams. Wait and see how all the potential rule changes affect them before making rash decisions.
    3. Stop trying to bully everyone else on track.
    4. Stop believing he is the Messiah.
    5. Don't take the tripe that the press publishes personally, they will soon find another victim to attack.
    6. And lastly, seriously dude, don't play 'the race card' that just makes you sound like a total jerk. You have more than enough talent - rise above the crap, don't fall face first into it!!!

  • Comment number 81.

    Honestly, Lewis this, Jenson that, Vettel the other. After every race it's the same thing. The BBC F1 Forum lights up like a tabloid extracting every last morsel from these three as though there were no others in the race - apart from a token mention of Di Resta (because he's British). With suitably cheesy, inaccurate tabloid titles to the articles to match.

    Ted Kravitz' 'From the Pit Lane' is the only forum item that gives you any information across the whole spectrum but, in true BBC forum style, it’s painfully short.

    I really don't care about Hamilton's career. But I like watching him race. I like watching them all race. And in Canada I would’ve love to have known what happened to all the stewards decisions & how it effected the teams & their drivers. You know, stuff like that. Stuff to do with racing. Stuff to do with an F1 forum, you would have thought.
    Not what colour pants Jenson wears (metaphor

  • Comment number 82.

    Try never to be negative but I have to add my voice to the list of forum users that really don't care for the speculation about Hamilton moving to Red Bull.

    If it actually happened then it might be interesting to talk about the in-team chemistry and team mate pairings, but until then you're just talking about one driver switching a car for another. In 2008, we never thought we'd see two straight seasons (and now maybe three) of Mclaren playing catchup, so there's no guarantee for RedBull tomorrow either.

  • Comment number 83.

    @32 Wow my friend it seems that you are certainly not a JB fan! You would seem to be on the paranoid side of things if you think that any driver is considering what things are going to sound like to a worldwide audience whilst he is concentrating on driving an F1 car as fast as possible. These things are incidents that happen between all drivers and teams during a race. As for the questions asked by the bbc presenters well these are meant to be provocative and not what they themselves believe, they need to make it accessible viewing, which i think they manage well. My girlfriend has just started watching F1 and some of the apparently stupid questions being asked about Lewis are questions that she might ask, whilst the same questions make the rest of us who know and love F1 smile because to us they are stupid questions. As for apparently hating JB so much why?? Have you met him and he blanked you or something? Whilst he may not be the most flamboyant figure in terms of private life or driving style on the grid, he has always been touted as one of the smoothest drivers long time experts on F1 have ever seen. I love Lewis and JB for entirely different reasons. They have driving styles that could probably not be more different. Is any driver who wins the F1 championship rubbish? really? Don't take things all so personally, I think Lewis has changed since parting with his Dad as manager, not neccessarily for the better or the worse but he has changed, his social circle would appear to be more in the public eye than many of the other drivers in the paddock so naturally he will be also and so his public image is maybe more difficult for him to control. On the track however the reality of the situation is clear for Lewis throughout his career so far each season there are usually at least 2 or more races that you can point to and suggest that if he had been less aggressive or maybe slightly more conservative he would have scored more points, which in turn has affected his finishing position in the championship to a greater or lesser extent irrelevant of any "spin" the bbc may put on things.

  • Comment number 84.

    @10

    Yes, nobody in the media made a big deal of Paul Di Resta's crash at Monaco, or the drive-through penalty he got for it.

    But then neither did Paul Di Resta...

  • Comment number 85.

    Do you guys only get paid if you write something? Because this blog is dross. Anybody here could have written it, its says everything, and nothing. 'Hamilton could go to Red Bull. Next year; or the year after; or maybe not at all' shock horror exposé. If you have no inside info, and nothing interesting to say, fair enough, but please don't post twaddle like this.

    I used to loathe your blogs, but to be fair they have improved over recent times. This one bucks that trend.

  • Comment number 86.

    "Fernando Alonso may be the best driver, or the most complete"

    Oh please, yes that was true 5 years ago, but it sure isn't true now! As the once great Schumacher has discovered, time waits for no man and Alonso is no exception. Yes he is still a top driver but not THE top driver by a long chalk.

    Vettel is without any doubt the best all round driver at this moment it time. You only have to watch the synchronised poll laps for Canada to see that he is some way ahead of Alonso when it comes to raw driving skill. Surprisingly he is probably followed by Button rather than Hamilton, Jenson is often underrated because he spent so long in the mid field, but look what happened as soon as he got a good set of wheels! Anyone who can come from the back of the pack and win simply by overtaking everyone in turn, while driving on slicks on a partly wet track is a force to be reckoned with.

    Yes Lewis is probably the fastest driver out there, but speed alone does not win races and has not done so for a long time. I will be surprised if Jenson does not beat Lewis for points in the championship this year and very surprised if Alonso beats either of them.

    I would currently rate Fernando and Lewis as third equal in skill, but as Lewis has the better car he'll almost certainly take more points.

    The runners up would be Rosberg, Webber, Massa and Schumacher - The exact order of those four is very hard to gauge, although it is clear that Rosberg should be ahead of Scumacher and Webber ahead of Massa, it is hard to know how to sort them.

    After that things get much more complicated as the poor cars tend to completely mask the talent. It is very hard to really know how good someone like Di Resta is in the same way that it was hard to see how good Button was a few years back.

    Even though the championship is probably already decided, this sure is shaping up to be a good year!

    As for Lewis leaving McLaren - Who knows, but it may no help him if he does. As Fernando has discovered twice now, moving to a top team does not automatically make you the world champion. Let's not forget that the last two have not come from either McLaren on Ferrari. Red Bull maybe at the top of their game this year but who knows what will happen in 2012 - That is why I love F1.

  • Comment number 87.

    36.At 15:35 15th Jun 2011, Humanimal wrote:

    "I think the fact that he pitted six times and overtook the entire field (before SV had his off) speaks for itself. I'm all for fair discussion, let's not let our love of one driver tempt us to cast contempt over the others."

    ...Indeed, so I assume you recognise both McLarens ran a wet weather setup, greatly assisting Jenson in the changeable conditions. Great drive, but wasn't historic, or genius, as some Jenson lapdogs have tried to sell it.

    Fan of both drivers, and Jenson drove a steady race, with some great moves alone the way. Great drive yes, genuis-through-rose-tinted-spectacles it wasn't.

    Some rationale please.

  • Comment number 88.

    @ 32

    "aggresively even taking out his own teammate(contrary to the spin the BBC put on the collision) as the TV replay shows, he looked twice into his mirror yet kept moving right, till he took Lewis out and i respect that"

    You claim that Martin Brundle is biased towards Jenson yet he pointed out the above (Jenson clearly looks at his mirror) many times in the commentary. We had replay after replay and Brundle desperately trying to get the viewers to see the turn of Jenson's head. And then you claim that BBC put a spin on it?

    Coulthard defends Hamilton all the time too, and in this instance he just defended Jenson by saying he took the same line as Schumacher... i.e. the racing line.

    So in the end it was two very experienced racing drivers discussing an incident between two former world champions who drive for the same team... what more can you ask for?

    I f that is spin then I want more!

    BTW it was all cleared up in the 2-3 hour break when Jenson said he couldn’t see Hamilton... You don't have to believe that, but Hamilton, McLaren, and the stewards did, and that's what matters.

  • Comment number 89.

    When was the last time the best driver was in the best car?

    And, how would we know (if everyone else bar his teammate didn't have the chance to show what they could do given the chance)?

  • Comment number 90.

    #87 'but wasn't historic'

    Well actually yes it was, unless you can name me at least five other times a driver has come through from last half way through to win in recent times, without even a multiple accident to help him. In fact - try naming me even one.... ?

  • Comment number 91.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 92.

    @20... good post, perspective on the wonder boy & coomon sense over his performance over recent years.

    You realise you will get utterly deluged by fanboys saying how stupid you are dont you?

    @87... you just cant come to accept the fact that the drive was brilliant can you? Still banging on about a wet set up & ignoring the bone dry line & super softs for the last portion of the race.

    I guess if you keep on saying it you will end up believing it.

  • Comment number 93.

    Hamilton has to follow the performance and if the performance is at Red Bull then that's where he must go. I don't think Hamilton would necessarily blow Vettel away in the same car but I think he will make Vettel work a hell of a lot harder than he currently is against Webber. On the subject of Webber whilst he's a good character off the track I find on the track he is seriously lacking very much like Massa. I find them so clumbsy compared to their team mates and are seriously wasting the seats they have. Both have been constantly been out shone by their team mates and seem unable to capitalise when in a good position.

    As for Alonso he is solid but definitely not the best or most complete driver especially from his showings so far this season. He will always be a threat but I feel for him to be WDC this year Ferrari need to find and retain a lot of lap time!!!

    To be fair it's time Vettel had a few massive hiccups to bring this season back to life! A couple of DNF's in the next 3 races might make it interesting especially if one of the chasing rivals can take maximum points!

  • Comment number 94.

    Just to comment on: "What is going wrong with Lewis Hamilton? article by Mark Huges on the main F1 page."

    I think he needs to do a few things:

    -Drop the lame hanger-oners, he's a sportsman at the top of his game, you make sacrifices to achieve your goals. Faffing about with tiny-tempah look-alikes poncing about in the McLaren garage does two things: Makes the rest of your team think you care more for image than substance (you can say in post race interviews: "the team did a great job blah blah) but they will be pretty naffed off having to make pina-colada's for your 'crew'. He needs to get a grip on that aspect.

    - Play the long game. In 2007/8/9/10 he was 'the' wanted driver. In 2011 he is slowly eroding that with his lack of maturity (seems to be more like Benjamin Button tbh), childish behaviour and comments. I am sure he is not 'liked' within the F1 drivers clique, but he doesn't need to get everyone on his case.

    It was typical of Schumacher to once again push a fellow driver off the track, that’s a trait he has had since day one, and was clearly in full effect at the hairpin, shame Lewis couldn’t make a comment about it, how could he, himself the current pariah.

  • Comment number 95.

    Button to Ferrari could certainly be interesting... Hmmmmm.

  • Comment number 96.

    @32......when the straight jacket is removed try checking button & hamiltons performance in the same car, if you can see through the drool.

    if you have time between colouring in also have a look at his win in a honda, probably before you were born. That was the first of the 3 teams he has won races for.

  • Comment number 97.

    Remember back to 2007 when Mclaren had to make a decision as to which driver was best to lead them into the next few years. They chose Lewis Hamilton over Fernando Alonso, Alonso did make the choice for them but at that point they had the youngest hot property on the grid with his whole career ahead of him. A man they could build the team around.

    Fast forward to 2011 and Mclaren, now under Martin Whitmarsh are taking a big gamble on the future of the team, on the one hand they still have arguably the fastest driver in F1 who given the right tools will deliver multiple world titles.
    On the other hand they have a very good, solid driver in the other car. However this driver doesnt have the outright speed of a Vettel or Alonso and is always a couple of tenths behind his teammate. Add to that the fact that he probably has 3-4 years left of his career as opposed to another 10 years for Lewis. Who would you choose to build your team around?

    Martin Whitmarsh could be about to make the most grave error of his reign as Mclaren boss by letting the future of the team sign for their nearest rivals all because he prefers his solid, nice smiling and non threatening other driver.

    The point is Jenson Button should in no way be the future of Mclaren, by doing that Whitmarsh will be throwing away the driver who really should have been man to take Mclaren into the next 10 years.

    Personally I think Lewis will sign for Red Bull because he fundamentally looks unhappy and no longer wanted by Mclaren, ironically a little like Alonso did after a few months in the team.

  • Comment number 98.

    How ironic would it be if Hamilton signs with RedBull just before discovering that they become a midfield team without the blown exhaust?

    Frankly, Hamilton's market value isn't at its peak right now, after the last couple of races.

    I hope he stays with McLaren and sorts his head out.

  • Comment number 99.

    lewis is the best driver to watch, if his not there, f1 seems boring, if he does vetteal would not win any races, and lewis goes there, i expect vetteal to move to ferrari, but the bbc team they overhype vettal, his good but his not better than button alonso lewis, or even massa, its just that his in a fast car, remeber 2009 brawn where button beat everyone does that mean his better than lewis or alonso, no, if lewis went to red bull he will make vettal look silly, no dobut vettal is good, but lewis is just better,

  • Comment number 100.

    90. At 19:26 15th Jun 2011, telnolies wrote:
    #87 'but wasn't historic'

    "Well actually yes it was, unless you can name me at least five other times a driver has come through from last half way through to win in recent times, without even a multiple accident to help him. In fact - try naming me even one.... ?"
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Agreed. It was historic. Mind you, it was also historic I managed to remember to put my day old pants in the washing basket the other night, well, according to my wife anyway. Point is, great drive, aided by the only car (to my knowledge) running a wet-setup, who had a huge stroke of SC luck after ‘gambling’ on a set of inters. Great drive yes, genius or historic no imho.





    92. At 19:28 15th Jun 2011, als_seaham wrote:
    @87... you just cant come to accept the fact that the drive was brilliant can you? Still banging on about a wet set up & ignoring the bone dry line & super softs for the last portion of the race.
    I guess if you keep on saying it you will end up believing it.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------


    No, because it wasn't, imho.
    First, wet-setup, greatly enhanced his ability to plough through the pack, or else he found something hes not shown for 30 odd races?. Second, yes the track was drying, but his heavy downforce setup, on a cold track, clearly generated more heat more grip, more balance. Thirdly, his over-take of Alonso was banzai. How can your front left, hit the rear right of another car, and not be classified as 'causing an avoidable accident' is beyond belief. Fourthly and I quote "Jenson will be lucky to make it back to the pits" after slipping on a set of inters, only for it to rain buckets. Genius?. No, it just wasn't.

    Jensons win was born of circumstance, which I have to say, seems to be par for the course for him.
    A great win yes, but genuis or stunning?, I don't agree.


    One other small point. After Heir ‘no mirrors’ managed to carve Hamilton up at the hairpin, it was fascinating to see that by the time JB had reached the final chicane, LH was right up his rear wing, faster than him, so fast in fact that he got such a tow he pretty much had Jenson nailed, had he not 'swerved' over to cover off Hamiltons over-take.

 

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