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Vettel shines as troubled Hamilton toils

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Andrew Benson | 19:21 UK time, Sunday, 25 September 2011

In Singapore

In more ways than one, the Singapore Grand Prix was a microcosm of the 2011 Formula 1 season as a whole.

Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull produced another immaculate weekend, exploiting their blistering pace to take pole position and then quickly extend an advantage in the opening laps that they could then defend for the rest of the race, pacing themselves to their closest 'rivals'.

The victory, the German's ninth of the season, has effectively won him a second consecutive world title. Vettel has been either first or second in all the races bar one, in which he was fourth. To clinch the title, he needs to score only one more point in the remaining five races - and that's only if Jenson Button wins them all.

As he admitted himself with a wry grin after the race: "Obviously, it should not be a problem."

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It has been a quite stunning season from Vettel and his team - almost completely flawless while operating at a level no one else has generally been able to match.

He has won all the races he should have won, as well as the odd one that he perhaps should not. As every single one of his rivals was all too happy to admit this weekend, he fully deserves this title.

Vettel and Red Bull's superiority has had an interesting effect on his rivals.

McLaren's Button and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso have knuckled down, accepted that they generally have not had the car to challenge Vettel, and concentrated on doing the best they can with what they have.

The result is they lie second and third in the championship - ahead of Vettel's team-mate Mark Webber.

By contrast, Button's team-mate Lewis Hamilton seems to be battling inner demons, the exact nature of which perhaps even those closest to him do not understand.

Not for the first time this year, Hamilton wrecked his race with an avoidable collision with a rival. In Singapore, it was Ferrari's Felipe Massa.

Hamilton was trying to make up ground after losing places at the start when he was forced to back out of an attempt to pass Webber, who was slow off the line for the third race in a row.

The move on Massa was never on. Hamilton was on the outside and behind the Ferrari, and he simply made an error of judgment as they turned into the left-hander at Turn Seven.

He clipped the Ferrari's rear wheel with his front wing, and both their races were ruined there and then. Massa's right-rear tyre was punctured, and Hamilton's front wing damaged - and the stewards added insult to injury by giving him a drive-through penalty.

As he battled to climb back through the field from 16th place, Hamilton's frustration at the situation became clear in his communications with his team - again, not for the first time this season.

"Would you please give me some info on how I'm doing," he said, "what I'm racing for?"

Most people interpreted that as effectively saying, "Is it really worth me continuing with this?" Which is a surprising thing, to say the least, to hear from F1's most aggressive, attacking racing driver.

His team responded by reassuring him that he was fighting for a points finish, adding that there would definitely be a safety car that would further aid his cause - correctly as it turned out, although they were not to know it at the time.

Having been told that, Hamilton got his head down and produced what his team principal Martin Whitmarsh was "a great drive".

Whitmarsh added: "He did some of the best overtaking, some fantastic driving, to get back up into the points, so I think he should be given credit for that."

In that, Whitmarsh was absolutely right, but so, too, was he when he said: "He's a driver who wants to overtake in a hurry. Afterwards he'll regret that and maybe he could have waited another few corners."

Whitmarsh initially bristled after the race when he started to be questioned by the media about Hamilton's race, and his season.

When it was pointed out that this was not the first avoidable accident Hamilton had been involved in, and asked how McLaren and Hamilton could prevent such incidents from recurring, he replied: "If you stay in the garage, any accident is avoidable. Any serious questions?"

But as he was pressed on the same issue again and again, he finally admitted that the race "went badly", adding: "Undeniably this has not been a good year for Lewis Hamilton."

Indeed not. On the one hand, he has delivered two of the greatest wins of the season - his victories in China and Germany rank with any of Vettel's.

But the same driver was over-aggressive and incautious in Monaco - a fact Hamilton has admitted himself; collided with his team-mate in Canada; crashed out of the Belgian race after misjudging an overtaking move; and got into two altercations in two days with Massa in Singapore.

The one in the race followed him barging his way past the Ferrari at the start of final qualifying on Saturday, a move that prompted Massa to say: "I think he didn't use his mind. Again."

After their altercation in the TV interview area post-race in Singapore, Massa implied that if Hamilton kept driving this way, he would find it difficult to win any more world championships.

To which Whitmarsh countered: "I think he's wrong. Lewis is still a young guy, he's learning all the time. He'll win races and I'm sure he'll win more world championships."

Hamilton may indeed be young - but he is two and a half years older than Vettel, who is driving with a maturity way beyond his years. And many people in the F1 paddock feel that if Hamilton is to compete with Vettel in the future, he needs a change of approach.

No one wants to see him abandon the aggressive, charging driving style that makes him the most exciting driver in F1.

But there is no doubt he needs to find a better balance than he has done this year - or indeed in any of his seasons in F1 bar perhaps the first one. A better way, too, of coping with the frustration of not having the best car - which is what seems to be at the root of some of his behaviour this year.

Nor is it just Hamilton who has committed costly errors this season. McLaren have racked up a fair few as well.

"None of us are perfect," Whitmarsh said in mitigation. "The team has made some mistakes; we'll make more mistakes. We don't want to, but that's life. We're pretty open and honest about that. We have to try to get better, Lewis has to try to get better as a race driver."

The honesty and openness is admirable. The fact is, though, that Vettel and Red Bull have raised the bar this season to a level beyond their rivals' capabilities.

Such has been their superiority that even a flawless year from Hamilton and McLaren would almost certainly not have prevented Vettel winning the title - although it would have been a lot closer than it has been.

But however quick McLaren's car is in 2012, they are going to find it hard to beat Vettel and Red Bull if they and Hamilton keep performing like this.

Comments

Page 1 of 7

  • Comment number 1.

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

  • Comment number 2.

    "He has won all the races he should have won, as well as the odd one that he perhaps should not."

    ===

    What about Canada? He didn't win that, from pole on the grid!

  • Comment number 3.

    Was interesting to see a riled up driver confronting another in such a public way - other than that I think Massa should concentrate on how he is going to become a race winning driver again. All Hamilton 'ruined' today was perhaps a 4th place for Massa.

    The whole point about Hamilton and the mistakes being made is becoming a little repetitive now....clearly he is a deeply frustrated driver who is finding himself battling positions that are further back than he'd hope. It creates drama and talking points which is the reason for taking interest in a sport. If every pass was clean and clinical then it'd become boring.

    I thought the race was far from a spectacular one - Vettel managed the gap as and when he needed to and most on track action came at the end of the DRS point with the exception of Schumacher's attempt to go over the top of Perez rather than round him. Kudos to Button for keeping his nose clean and picking up another deserved podium - the fight for 'best of the rest' should be fairly tight to the end of the season.

  • Comment number 4.

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

  • Comment number 5.

    The only thing Hamilton and Massa were missing was handbags.

    Vettel has been stunning this year and deserves to win the championship but already my mind is full of 'what if's?'.

    What if Ferrari had given Alonso a half decent car? What if Lewis hadn't lost his marbles from Monaco onwards? What if Button had had more rain???

    I know, it's all pointless, but this RBR domination is far too reminiscent of Schumi 2000-2004 and I can't come to terms with that, so I blank out Vettel and pretend it's a 4 horse race between Button, Webber, Alonso and Hamilton. So, very tight at the top!!!

  • Comment number 6.

    Hamilton keeps saying he's being punished all the time by the stewards. Perhaps if he didn't keep on crashing into people he wouldn't be? Not going to support the British driver here, Hamilton is being reckless with his overtakes at times. Massa is right to be annoyed, twice this week Hamilton did something stupid. I wish he didn't because he can be an excellent driver at times.

  • Comment number 7.

    Hamilton's got the talent and skill but he's been driving this year as if he's trying to prove a point beyond his capabilities. His ego has out grown his natural ability and if he doesn't get some grounding back in his life he's never going to win another title. He seems so fake right now.. I still can't forget how he came out with his trophy girlfriend in tow at Monaco this year.. you never see any other driver behaving in this way.

    He needs some maturity around him and with how Button's driving this year it showing how you can compete, win and gain the respect of the drivers and teams around you.

    Lewis, if you really were being compared to Ali G then he'd be reminding you to 'keep it real'

  • Comment number 8.

    It's been an absolute disaster season for Hamilton. He's in fifth place, he should be comfortably in second. I suppose it's all moot as Vettel was always going to win the title, and if we're being honest has had it in the bag since race 2.

    But there are times, both within the season and within races where McLaren have had the edge, and they've not been able to build on it. Vettel is having a Schumacher esque season with his dominance. It's been a write off as far as the title is concerned. Entertaining, but quite, quite disappointing at the same time.

  • Comment number 9.

    Not a great race massa was a bit over the top roll on next race.

    No to sky

  • Comment number 10.

    I can't believe Hamilton got a penalty for his coming together with Massa - Lewis was right when he described them (after Monaco?) as a joke. It appears that whenever there is an incident Hamilton will get punished, whereas others are let off. Personally I believe Massa should have some sort of sanction for pulling Lewis around like that when Lewis was being interviewed. I can understand Massa being upset, but he can't go around blaming Lewis for his bad season.

  • Comment number 11.

    Massa's days at Ferrari are numbered; he's under pressure, and failing to match Alonso - its getting the better of him. Good bye Massa.

  • Comment number 12.

    "Vettel driving with a maturity way beyond his years"

    Hmmmm......in a car that my Grandad would win the championship.

    Hardly comparable to previous championships???

  • Comment number 13.

    "The move on Massa was never on. Hamilton was on the outside and behind the Ferrari, and he simply made an error of judgment as they turned into the left-hander at Turn Seven."

    I think LH saw what MW had done to FA on the previous lap and thought about doing the same. Having got alongside FM, he wanted to be a close to FM as they went through the next corner before reaching the kinked straight. LH simply misjudged the amount of room he needed to give when he cut back in for the corner which in turned caused an avoidable but racing accident.

  • Comment number 14.

    It is easy for Vettel to drive with a maturity beyond his years when he has the best machine, and huge advantage in the title race.

    At the end of the day after Vettels start to season after 5 or 6 races - risks had to be taken, and Hamilton deicided to take chances, at Canada he was all to blame, at Monaco team tactics plus Perez' accident combined to frustrate him in the race where again he took the risk and it didnt pay off.

    Well done also to Button and Alonso who decided they didnt have the car to beat Vettel, and will be 2nd and 3rd (come on Andrew do you really think they just gave up and will be thrilled with those positions?)

    Senna is Hamiltons hero, and he certainly never gave up / knuckled down (call it what you will) when his rivals had better vehicles.

  • Comment number 15.

    Hamiltons season has been one of problems, but I think a sense of perspective goes a long way when analysing his performance in 2011. Tpyicaly here, in Singapore, Hamilton once again finds himself in a place on the grid not of his doing. The fact his refueling rig failed, and prevented him for setting a better lap time than 4th, meant he effectivley started from a position he would not have. In other words, he seems to find himself in places he shouldn't be. Had he started 2nd or 3rd, he wouldn't have been on the dirty side of the track, which set off the chain reaction deciding his race.

    I think Massa knows his Ferrari drive is under serious threat, and is a man under pressure, his comming together with Hamilton prevent him from defending his seat, which is why he appeared to be more annoyed, not the collision itself.

    I think the penalty was harsh, as it was a racing accident. At those margins and speeds, these things happen, but to punish it with a drive through was harsh.

    Poor season for Hamilton, but he can only improve.

  • Comment number 16.

    I'm not really a Hamilton fan, but he is usually the most exciting Driver to watch in F1 nowadays.

    The accel;eration and braking distance of a modern F1 car means that the margins are minute when placing your car to get a run on the car in front. Hamilton was placing his car wide to compromise Massa's entry to the corner and get a run on him for the next corner. He slightly misjudged it, ver slightly, and caused the accident. The penalty was probably warranted due to Massa's puncture, but it was a racing incident created by a very talented Driver overdriving a car that is not the best on the grid.

    Thats all it is. All this stuff in the article above about Hamilton battling 'inner demons' is simply Andrew stirring it up a bit. Vettle (a talented young man without doubt) is 'driving with maturity' as stated, but so could Hamilton, Button and Alonso if they were driving at the front as opposed to fighting throigh traffic.

    Its all irrelvent as this thread with decend in another 'No to Sky' thread anyway, so the race report comments section is pointless.

    (Incidentally, the Sky deal is rubbish - I'll make that clear)

  • Comment number 17.

    Not agree on Andrew's last point of view. Yes Lewis & Mclaren have made a lots of mistakes this year compare to the past, but if McLaren can produce a car in 2012 as good as the Red Bull - no doubt Lewis and Jenson will be able to really challenge Vettel for the pole position and I believe both Lewis and Jenson are as good as Vettel if they are leading from the start. You will always need to take risk(s) if you need to overtake a similar pace car during the race.

    Let hope both McLaren & Ferrari can produce a better car in the start of next year championship - love to see a 6 ways battle.

  • Comment number 18.

    @12

    I would really like to see your grandad drive an f1 car, I would assume that it makes him better than Webber. Why don't people give Vettel the credit that he deserves.

    On another note, surprised at how aggressive Massa was, however I believe that he has a point about Hamilton's father, Hamilton needs him, he must go back to basics, before he became the arrogant little man that he is now.

  • Comment number 19.

    "The move on Massa was never on. Hamilton was on the outside and behind the Ferrari, and he simply made an error of judgment as they turned into the left-hander at Turn Seven."

    -----------------------------------------------

    This is all very confusing. Surely you don't actually think Hamilton was trying to get past Massa at that corner?

    He got alongside him and might have tried to dive round him if he'd got even half a car I suppose. But he obviously braked and tried to cut underneath and get the drive on him to stay as close as possible. He was literally inches from pulling it off (probably because of a bit of a lock up) and without doubt would've nailed Massa at the next opportunity in short time soon afterwards. It was just unlucky, a clear racing incident, and no way deserving of a drive through.

  • Comment number 20.

    Kobiyashi was on the outside going into that corner in spa tunred in on hamilton even though he wasnt going to make the corner without going through hamilton and hamilton got penalised. This was the exact opposite today. Hamilton was on the outside and turned in on massa even though he had no hope of going round the corner and hamilton got penalised.

    Later on in the race a similar incident and no one was penalised. I dont see any fairness or consistency.

  • Comment number 21.

    Regardless of what happened between Massa and Hamilton, Massa's hissy fit was way out of line!! No need to do that at all during the interviews!! It's not like the incident ruined his chances in the championship as he's so far back he was never in the running!!

  • Comment number 22.

    Pros for McLaren this season:

    They've had a very good car. OK, it's no Red Bull which is definitely the most complete and reliable package and in general has been the fastest, but still the worst result all season has been a fourth place. They've had at least one car on the podium in all bar 2 of the 14 races so far.

    Cons:

    The performances of the drivers and strategy errors on both Saturday and Sunday. While Hamilton's mistakes have been obvious, usually categorised with a drive thru penalty, Button has had his problems too, usually qualifying too low on the grid and not getting good starts. Apart from that, Button has always had a good race. He's had two retirements which weren't his fault and he's had his racing hat on all season. He's delivered, but there are areas for improvement. Hamilton is probably still a faster driver, so if he irons out the mistakes he can get many, many points next season and challenge for the title again. It never really took off for him this season.

    Hamilton - had the speed, but made too many mistakes
    Button - not as fast, but has been very reliable after lap one of the race

    The team though have been making errors too. Red Bull haven't been making them at all this year. They've been in a comfortable position granted with being out front, but they've called all the races right.

  • Comment number 23.

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

  • Comment number 24.

    i think after monaco and canada lewis seems to be more positive for example in belgium he crashed the car and he owned up to it and apologised for it which i think is the first time hes done so, so i think maybe a couple of victories and next season (given a cometative car from the start) he'll be a favourite for the title and ill be cheering you as ive been since the start (or at least the races that aren't on sky)

  • Comment number 25.

    It wasn't the best race today and yeah, maybe Hamilton's move on Massa was a bit stupid but look at all his other overtakes. He managed to get from 16th to 5th on what is probably one of the 5 most difficult overtaking circuits. I think it's a bit unfair that he got a drive through - other drivers have gotten away with worse and Lewis had already been punished with the damaged front wing. It's a shame really because if he hadn't been forced down the pack at the start by Webber (terrible getaway again) he could have been fighting for the victory. The problem is that in Monza Hamilton was being criticised for not being aggressive enough and now he is being slated for trying to make things more exciting for us viewers. It's annoying that Mclaren don't seem to have the car for Lewis but he also needs to work on his consistency, not getting tangled up so often. Looking forward to the rest of the season, battle for 2nd is on! It's a shame that's probably the last time I'll see the Singapore GP as itll probably be on shameful sky next year (which I can't afford). Thanks for reading, enjoy F1 while you still can on fta tv.

  • Comment number 26.

    its easy to say how good vettel has been this season, but if it were alonso or hamilton in his car, i have a feeling they could easily match his preformance!

  • Comment number 27.

    AFL

    If Webber was a decent driver he would be matching Vettel because they're both in "equal" machinery are they not?? Ok, so, the Ferrari is a bad car, yet Alonso is fundamentally outdriving Massa - down to the car or the driver??

    And by the way, my Grandad used to be a racing driver, not F1 but he raced stock cars for 30 years.

  • Comment number 28.

    Is it about time we all agreed that Jenson is a better driver than Lewis simply by dint of using his brain to race? If Jenson does finish above Lewis this year in the World Championship, will McLaren give him the number 3 on his car and put their efforts into him winning a second WC? Just throwing the idea out there!!

  • Comment number 29.

    I think other drivers (e.g. Massa) are taking advantage of Lewis' reputation. They will act in a certain way towards him knowing that the stewards have an affinity towards penalising him whereas Schumacher can blatantly break the rules and get away with it.

    I don't think that incident was worth a penalty... Massa has yielded in that situation before. We already know Massa has issues with Hamilton so it's no surprise he put up a fight on the racetrack where he would normally yield.

    Behaviour such as Massa's (off track) and Maldonado's (crashing into Hamilton deliberately) should result in race bans.

  • Comment number 30.

    I'm not quite sure what race Eddie Jordan was watching but he seems to be out-of-touch with reality. The 'true' racing this season has been no better IMO than 2010, DRS is just a fancy gimmick that makes things too easy. Not helped by the same car and driver keep winning all the time, another Ferrari-style era of dominance will kill people's enthusiasm/interest of/in the sport.

    As for the Lewis v Massa incident, the latter needs to take a step back and grow up. Yes, Lewis is no saint but he's never gone round the paddock trying to incite a punch up with a fellow driver. To bounce back his quote at him, "Massa is a disgrace" and he too is becoming increasingly a bad driver. His days are numbered and he will be out of Ferrari before too long.

    Alonso is wiping the floor with him, and making him look very second-rate and ordinary. At least Hamilton was able to match Alonso in identical machinery. Lewis will always be a better driver than Massa ever can be.

  • Comment number 31.

    "Lewis my friend - Massa isnt fit to lick your boots or even wear your earrings"

    And that, my friends, is why Hamilton supporters are not taken very seriously

  • Comment number 32.

    Alonso ran into the back of L Hamilton in the Malasyian Grand Prix, did L Hamilton pat him on the back and say well done in front of the TV camera? M Webber ran into the back of L Hamilton in the Autralian Gran Prix, did L Hamiton pat M Webber on the back and say well done in front of the TV Camera? That was just a racing incident and F Massa should get over it and stop acting like a spoilt brat.

  • Comment number 33.

    Nadaliator

    I assumed that you used your grandad as a generalisation for any normal grandad. I also believe that Vettel in the form that he is in would blow away anyone in f1, including Senór Alonso.

  • Comment number 34.

    Hi Guys, Vote on whether you think Lewis deserved a penalty on f1predictions.net http://www.f1predictions.net/polls/results/index.php?pollnum=6 Fred

  • Comment number 35.

    Enjoyed the race today, was pretty good with a fair bit of action. Vettel's got it sorted, it's kind of been a case of "when" and not "if" for a couple of races now in all honesty. He's been the class act this year though and he's been untouchable all year, fully deserves it.

    I can see why Massa's frustrated with Hamilton, given the Monaco collision and now the qualifying near miss with the puncture today. All were completely down to Hamilton. I thought he was getting better at this but clearly he's taken a backward step again. His problem with penalties is that he's a persistant offender, hitting cars is no longer as acceptable as it used to be back in the 80s and his card is marked. My opinion has dropped of him again now after today.

  • Comment number 36.

    Lewis has been made to look second rate this year by Vettel and I think it is really hurting him. He is no longer the new boy and Vettel now has a second championship in the bag (and could have been on his third). Even worse he now has a team mate who is driving superbly and the whole dynamic within McLaren appears to be changing.

    Lewis drove brilliantly when he had the best car in the field during his first two seasons, but since then McLaren have failed to give him a championship winning car. If 2012 is another poor season I see no future for him at McLaren.

  • Comment number 37.

    AFL

    Ok, so, the Ferrari is the 3rd best car on the grid, and a distant 3rd by that. Yet Alonso is out-performing his car, yet again, for the 6th season (in 2007 he had the best car).

    Vettel is incredible, and will be a deserved WDC, but in the same car Hamilton or Alonso would have won the championship by now. That's how good the RBR is.

  • Comment number 38.

    It's a bit frustrating only to be offered the same shots we have already seen as replays in the race when trying to analyse incidents like Lewis and Felipe this afternoon, and always in real time, never in slo mo unless that was how it was already transmitted. When I watched it live I got the impression that Lewis baled out of the move very early on and just kept his position on the outside to carry the momentum through the next turn, intending to slide around the back of Felipe and line him up for the next corner, but as he moved to tuck in behind Felipe, who was pushing as hard as he could to stay in front, couldn't make the turn, lost traction and slowed enough to catch Lewis out - hardly worthy of a sanction from the stewards. But once the feed from the race director has chosen the shots we never get to see any alternatives, the BBC just reshow what we have already seen many times.

  • Comment number 39.

    is just me or is it becoming apparent that the steward will punish Lewis for the smallest things!!
    THAT WAS A RACING INCIDENT and that is it, everyone that watched deep down knows that was a racing incident but because it was Lewis, automatic drive thru
    i mean yes Hamilton is having a stinker of a season but the steward are not being fair either
    i remember when last season Mark Webber spun Hamilton when they were both on working their way back in the field (Australia) and nothing was done about that incident and i can think of many many more ...
    i don't know what is going on but this is leaving a bitter taste in my mouth

  • Comment number 40.

    @nadaliator

    ""Vettel driving with a maturity way beyond his years""

    "Hmmmm......in a car that my Grandad would win the championship.

    Hardly comparable to previous championships???"

    What about Webber? Same car . . . . . . . . . ?

  • Comment number 41.

    Andrew Benson I see your Hamilton hating articles continue as usual.

    How can any serious commentator spin a come back from 16th to 5th as a wrecked race from someone battling inner demons?

    Just admit it, you and the rest of the F1 pundits only want to generate negative debate about Lewis.

    I notice you don't have anything to say about the fact that Hamilton was already compromised from the start by his teams refuelling error.

    It's shocking how blatant the negative campaign from the BBC in general is against Lewis. Lee Mckenzie again desperately tries to stir up trouble in the interview with Massa and Jake tries to imply that Lewis has some sort of grudge against Massa which means he's trying to say he made contact with Massa on purpose!!!!

    Then you wonder why Lewis won't talk to the BBC unless he has to. He was very right to treat the F1 pundits with the contempt they deserve after the race.

    No to INSTITUTIONAL LEWISISM.

  • Comment number 42.

    Nadaliator

    Oh there is no doubt that the RB7 is a superb piece of machinery but how could Hamilton or Alonso have done better than Vettel, he has been of the podium once, once! Also Alonso was lucky that Raikkonen's car always let him down in '05, he had the quickest car for a large period of '06 as you will see from his results that season. In '07 he and Hamilton had the quickest car.

  • Comment number 43.

    There have been countless examples of Hamilton going for gaps that aren't there this season, he even chewed at his team-mate Button and came off worse. So, if I were Massa I too would be fed up of all the times LH has collided with the Ferrari this season. Enough is enough for anyone...

    On the subject of 25 points for a win ... it's too much, that's why Vettel's so far ahead. It needs reined back a bit to 15 for a win and so on for the places?
    The season is about to be decided too early, it should be a nail-biter to the last race. The last points reform shake-up got it wrong.

  • Comment number 44.

    @39

    is just me or is it becoming apparent that the steward will punish Lewis for the smallest things!!
    THAT WAS A RACING INCIDENT and that is it, everyone that watched deep down knows that was a racing incident but because it was Lewis, automatic drive thru
    i mean yes Hamilton is having a stinker of a season but the steward are not being fair either
    i remember when last season Mark Webber spun Hamilton when they were both on working their way back in the field (Australia) and nothing was done about that incident and i can think of many many more ...
    i don't know what is going on but this is leaving a bitter taste in my mouth
    --------------------------------------------
    All the F1 pundits including Andrew Benson can see the inconsistency of the penalties against Hamilton but their hatred for Hamilton stops them protesting too strongly about what we can all see.

  • Comment number 45.

    That was unacceptable for what Massa did again Lewis. It shown where he Grow up. In front of camera he provoked Lewis. First He have to know that Lewis he is the one who let People enjoying F1. everyone can make mistake. He is best driver ever in F1. Massa will never and never take the world title for sure. He will find himself in Lotus car or Virgin car not sure if the will also accept him.

  • Comment number 46.

    42

    Yes, but look at what you have said. 2006 latter stages were Renault's strongest but not the whole season, and Alonso won more races in the first half of the season. In all the other seasons Alonso was in the weaker car bar 2007.

  • Comment number 47.

    The biggest problems is that only Hamilton gets penalized for these apparent racing incident but no else does, even if u are not a fan of Hamilton, can u honestly say it was fair to hand a Hamilton a drive thru?

  • Comment number 48.

    Hartmann

    Please read my previous posts

  • Comment number 49.

    Hamilton probably didn't deserve a penalty, but I suppose Rosberg got away with his move on Perez as Perez didn't get a puncture; at least that's how I expect the stewards would defend their decisions.

    I don't agree with all the comments about Vettel not 'showing maturity' - if it were purely down to having the best car, Webber would be racing him to the line every time. That said, his car is clearly SLIGHTLY better than everyone elses, and he is SLIGHTLY quicker than almost everyone else, generally. Canada is the race that got away though; he absolutely should have won there but Button had an epic drive and he couldn't hack the pressure and bottled it.

    Hamilton for me is overrated. Certainly he's quick, certainly he's punchy, but Button has outclassed him this season with two epic victories and far, far fewer mistakes. I'm not surprised McLaren want to keep him, nor that Ferrari are interested in him (though he won't go there if he wants another title).

    As for Massa, he should just put up and shut up. His last two seasons have been compromised by allowing Alonso to rule the roost at Ferrari, purely by being the weaker driver of the two. If he doesn't want to be ordered to allow Alonso to pass him, be sufficiently further up the road to make it impossible!

    And NO to Sky. The BBC have sold out F1 fans. While BBC3 primarily carries rubbish like Lee Nelson, and BBC1 and 2 carry repeats that could be replaced with the stuff from BBC3 that is any good and is pushing ahead with moving to Manchester, budgets are not an excuse for this kind of deal.

  • Comment number 50.

    Is DC dyslexic??? When oh when is he going to learn how to pronounce Vettel correctly??? It's not difficult and Brundle keeps giving him hints, "Vettle as in kettle", and STILL he gets it wrong!!! Maybe BBC should fine him 5% of his fee every time he gets it wrong? I'll bet that would stop him!!!

  • Comment number 51.

    @Nadaliator

    So your suggesting that Alonso and Hamilton would have won every single race this year if they were in the Red Bull? Because that's the only way you could have a better season than Vettel is now. All three are fantastic drivers with different strengths and weaknesses. We should just be pleased the F1 field has this much talent in it, rather than making petty arguments about which driver is the best.

    RE Alonso having inferior cars - it must be said that his 06 championship was built around a dominant first half of the year when the Renault was the class of the field. Then Renault's mass damper device was conveniently banned and this allowed Schumacher and Ferrari to catch up.

  • Comment number 52.

    @3 I feel part of Massa's anger was that he was frustrated that circumstances had prevented him from beating Alonso - again.

    Its just been simple bad luck on a number of occasions in the last 2 years for Felipe. That and Hockenheim.

  • Comment number 53.

    well massa has shown his true colours today , " hamilton is faster than you " massa get over it, he will be world champion again ,will you ? ,he will be lucky to have a drive next year ,

  • Comment number 54.

    @41, re: Lee Mckenzie questions

    That's journalism for you. It's also nice to know that they've changed what Hamilton said back to Massa three times now. At first, Hamilton swore at Massa, "Don't touch me again". Swore? Second time, "Don't touch me man" and now "Don't touch me man. Don't touch me".

    Luckily they've got a video so you can see for yourself in a factual way.

  • Comment number 55.

    @45 - You clearly are one of those who's knowledge of F1 history is restricted to 2007 onwards and ignores all of Lewis Hamilton's impetuous moves.

    Hamilton has been far and away the worse driver at Mclaren this year for well over half the pay.

    "To finish first, first you have to finish" is the phrase Ron Dennis would have used about now.

  • Comment number 56.

    @nadaliator

    "Please read my previous posts"

    I got it sorry!

  • Comment number 57.

    Massa had every right to react the way he did, hamilton pushed him in quali and then forgot the size of his car in the race, i am not a fan of either driver but i thought hamilton thoroughly deserved the drive through, why does it always have to be unfair if hamilton gets a penalty, i am so sick of hearing how badly done by hamilton is!!! get over it already he has proved this year that he is a spoilt child every time he has an incident it is someone elses fault and yet again he proves it, sorry lewis fans!!

  • Comment number 58.

    @43 - I actually don't mind too much. Once Vettel's got the title in Japan (in fact probably by now) all the teams and drivers will have no championship scenarios to worry about and instead won't need to sit in second place for the points. They'll go for the win.

  • Comment number 59.

    Once again a biased blog from Andrew Benson. If it was Hamilton doing what Massa did today provoking Hamilton into a fist-fight in front of Camera, the entire media, with BBC at the lead, will be up in arms with the most vicious attack on Lewis Hamilton. But what do we have? Same old same old "it's all Lewis fault". In fact, it's his fault for daring to race at all. A BBC report today said he was "stony faced" while Massa was "forthright" in his outspoken comment. If the roles were reversed, 'forthright' will not be the description. Hamilton would have been lampooned as an unreconstructed thug challenging a team mate to a fight on camera, and Coultard, Brundle and all the others would have been calling for him to be banned forever from the sport. So much for balanced journalism.

  • Comment number 60.

    It was a mistake from Lewis and that ruins races of both drivers, but come on, last year in Singapour, Lewis race was ruined by a similar accident from Webber. Any comment? It is racing, and for me, considering the low visibility of the front wing, there is nothing to add. It is a matter of few inches...
    However, the penalty maybe considered fair in regard to the indirect penalty Massa got.
    What is puzzling me the most is every body is talking about this incicent, but the one of Rosberg over Perez is much more questionable. There was no racing there, but pure agression for me... but no comment on that. Perez went off track ... remember the incident between DiResta and Hamilton in Hungary, when DiResta had to go off track, and who got a penalty...

    There are to me two issues:
    1) inconsistencies from race to race in the application of the rules
    2) over mediatisation of Lewis. I tend to think that stories on Lewis sell better than on other drivers. If you make the stat you may find out that Schumacher (or other drivers) certainly made much more mistakes. It is as if we expect much more from Lewis than from any other drivers (champions included! Button made some terrible races last year too!). And come on, there is (practically) a new world champion, that deserves more lines than the HAM/MAS story, don't you think?

    The behaviour of Massa, post race is to me unacceptable. What happens during on the track, stays on the track. Massa should have concentrated on his racing ... (note that he never considered making mistakes, it is here: Hamilton + Safety Car + Tyres as a result he has half the point Lewis has. For me he does not deserve his seat at Ferrari.)

  • Comment number 61.

    What a long old write up trying to weed out the glaringly obvious.
    Since Ron took a back seat Hamilton has been sabotaged by his own Team on too many occasions to give a ******. The whole thing is unbearable to watch, Monaco qualifying for instance, and Hamilton’s frustrations during that race thereafter.

    His team have broken him down bit by bit season by season with inexplicable action after inexplicable action over the years. For instances, ordering him to slow down while his team mate carries on at full pelt forcing him to race for the line with Button.
    Perhaps Mclaren and whoever, think the whole charade of supporting their “prodigy” is water tight? I and others I speak too, see straight through it and hoped the Red Bull rumours where true. Alas they resigned Webber and all power too them. However we no longer watch F1 due to Hamilton’s unpalatable suffering.

  • Comment number 62.

    It was clear to see that Hamilton was bailing out of the move and intended to cut back up the inside of Massa and get a better run into the next corner, anyone who thinks Lewis was trying to overtake Massa in that corner is an idiot. Unfortunately he got it wrong, locked up a bit and clipped Massa, this is a racing incident. What then happened was that Lewis then came from 16th after his drive-through and got to 5th, Massa went from around 16th, I can't remember exactly where but he was ahead of Hamilton and finished 9th and lapped, how embarrasing. Massa isn't even in the same league as Hamilton. Massa, its called racing for a reason, risks are there to be taken, overtakes are there to be made, I don't hear Hamilton race engineer telling him how to drive, how many times has Rob Smedley come on the radio to give Massa racing advice? It beggars belief. As for Lee McKenzie, don't get me started. If that's journalism then i'm very scared for the future of the BBC.

  • Comment number 63.

    I honestly believe it is time for Hamilton to either grow up or stop racing...he is an absolute liability who makes incredibly poor decisions which seriously affects others around him. How many times has Hamilton been involved in incidents with other drivers this year alone...far too many!! I feel sorry for Massa as he is a good, honest bloke who has clearly been riled by Hamilton's petulant behaviour. Hamilton may be the fastest driver on his day in F1 but the bloke is an accident waiting to happen and if he doesn't grow up soon I seriously believe he may cause a very severe incident. I think its time for McLaren to look at making Jenson Number 1 as they are never going to win anything as it is currently!

  • Comment number 64.

    See what I meant Andrew about how pointless it is making any kind of prediction based on practice, as you did.
    As for the race and the season come to that. Vettel has been flawless, that is no denying and it was his championship even four races ago. That was never in doubt but all my kudos outside of him go to Jensen. IMO, he has had his best season in F1, even counting his WC, because this year, he has proven conclusively that he has a cooler head than his teammate and is a much better tactician on the track. He has also silenced all those airheads, who were constantly on pages like this come post race time, slating him, saying he was an also ran and would never keep up with the likes of Hamilton and Alonso--wonder where they all went?

  • Comment number 65.

    Hamilton's days at McLaren are numbered; he's under pressure, and failing to match Button - its getting the better of him. Good bye Lewis.

  • Comment number 66.

    Oh dear more Lewis bashing from the BBC all round.... this is getting boring now... even on the news tonight his feud with Massa was mentioned... what feud?? 1st I've heard of it, and I follow most F1 journalism, just trying to stir up trouble again.

    ''Jenson had a great start'' - urm excuse me - so did Lewis but he was impeded by Webbers bad start, if Jenson's was so good why was he not in front of Vettel into the 1st corner?

    ''Jenson has had more competitive overtakes that anyone else this season'' - yes because he's had to come back through the field more this season, which he has done well - as Lewis did twice today, but no mention of that being a great drive apart from his team principal.

    Then showing the incident with Massa in the press pen as if Lewis had done something wrong there.... well done to Martin to point out that anywhere else and Lewis would probably have punched him, Massa was completely out of order.

    After his comments re Massa after Monaco Lewis apologised to him publicly and in person. I think we should see an apology from Massa this week.

    The longer this goes on with the current BBC team the more I'm actually looking forward to a change next year and will be watching all the races via satellite feed with 5Live comms....

    NO WAY TO SKY

  • Comment number 67.

    I usually read everything that has gone before my comments but today I'm really struggling to see that Lew's treatment is anything other than biased.

    I think it's ridiculous that Jake et al stand on the grid criticising Lew and then Martin says 99% of Lew's drive was brilliant - how does that work? Stop the agenda BBC - you'll only get to put it across for the half the races next year anyway!

    Stop it, stop it, stop it.

    On the other hand the coms to seem to be pushing how great the fans are and how good the viewing figs are and all that other stuff that says keep us going next season.


    Finally, Jake - I know you're always on the lookout for the next Thing but stop making it so bleeding obvious on a pit lane walk. MB was talking and you were ahead of all and looking all around and not listening one iota to what MB was saying.
    MB, EJ and DC know more than you ever wll !

  • Comment number 68.

    Hamilton had to take the penalty because he caused Massa's puncture - fair enough. However, why don't F1 have the same stewards at EVERY race? Anybody else think that Schumacher is getting away with stuff that Lewis would DEFFO be penalised for? Or indeed, several other drivers? Think back to Schumi almost putting Lewis on the grass - if the other way round, guess who would get a penalty!

    btw - NO TO SKY!!

  • Comment number 69.

    Let me start off by saying I am not a Hamilton fan, but neither do I hate him. Today he made a simple error, not because he is a bad driver, we all know he is pretty darned good! But because he was impatient, that incident was a rookies mistake. I have a few opinions on why, Jenson is doing a better job this year, he may not be as exciting or agressive as Lewis but he is getting the job done. Maybe Lewis feels his #1 status is under threat? Anyhow the only person who knows for sure is Lewis. Did he deserve the drive through? yes he caused an avoidable accident and compromised someone elses race, and lets face it it isnt the 1st time this season his frustration and impatience has surfaced. Massa was out of line but, you have to remember that these guys are so high on adrenaline that they are like a ticking bomb, the drivers are hot and tired and borderline dehydrated, is it an excuse? Of course not but it does explain the reactions. The biggest problem with the media is they need a good story, so they do a little poking and prodding to a raw wound. I personally take very little notice of the media, as most have never driven anything that can potentially kill you for 2 hours, in those conditions. so they have no real understanding how fragile and emotional these people are.
    Does Vettel deserve another championship? well if he can keep it together, the answer has to be yes, the numbers don't lie, he leads the championship standings, so he must have done something right. I really hope Lewis just calms down before he either kills someone or himself, he is a lot better than he has shown this year.
    Oh and a real big no to Sky.

  • Comment number 70.

    #50 - Is DC dyslexic???
    Look it up (the condition) and you'll find he isn't, rather he's just blissfully ignorant.
    DC, put the kettle on, Vettel is popping around to watch Dad's Army.

  • Comment number 71.

    @63
    a voice of reason and sense at last!!! well said and 100% agree

  • Comment number 72.

    Funny how people are just attacking Massa for not being as good as Hamilton, which is totally irrelevant.

    Hamilton caused an avoidable incident in Singapore.
    Hamilton caused an avoidable incident in Belgium.
    Hamilton caused an avoidable incident in Monaco.
    Hamilton caused an avoidable incident in Canada.

    Im sure there is probably more. Its just too much. Strange how he was very good and calm in Monza, but possibly a little bit too calm. He either goes from one extreme to the next.

    Today when he asked if he should even be bothered to be racing because of his low position at the time, really sums up this season.

    Lewis really should take a leaf out of Jenson's book, after spending so many years at BAR/Honda etc, its definitely built his character up. I think thats why Jenson is doing much better at the moment.

    I think its going to be interesting in the remaining races to see who will be number 1 at the Mclaren team. Button seems like a much better patron. Hamilton sends out all sorts of messages; aggression, passion etc. But also, foolishness.

  • Comment number 73.

    @71

    Voice of reason, what a stupid thing to say.

  • Comment number 74.

    no to sky

  • Comment number 75.

    Lewies should just knock massa out and have done with it!

  • Comment number 76.

    Hamilton drove back from 17th to 5th after a microscopic error land him with a broken front wing and a drive through penalty. That's the story, not inner demons or any of that nonsense. Lewis was always on his back foot following the puncture in quali.

    You journos want to make a big thing about Button beating Hamilton, but if it happens, so what? As bad as this year has been for Hamilton he has been good for the sport. On any given Sunday he is where the excitement is.

  • Comment number 77.

    Well done Lewis for not speaking to the BBC post race, you so did the right thing. K

    I really am sick and tired of the Lewis bashers - he's a brilliant driver and a WC.

    Also Jake, sometimes you forget your not on CBeebies - you're interacting with adults here!!!!

  • Comment number 78.

    54. At 22:23 25th Sep 2011, DavIII wrote:
    @41, re: Lee Mckenzie questions

    That's journalism for you. It's also nice to know that they've changed what Hamilton said back to Massa three times now. At first, Hamilton swore at Massa, "Don't touch me again". Swore? Second time, "Don't touch me man" and now "Don't touch me man. Don't touch me".

    Luckily they've got a video so you can see for yourself in a factual way.
    ---------------------------------------------
    Spot on!!! The fact that in their rush for a Hamilton bashing story the BBC invent Lewis swearing tells you all you need to know about the BBC's mindset.

    BBC your agenda is clear, hype Jenson to the max and generate as much negative debate about Lewis as possible to try and get into his head and put him off his game so your favorite brit Jenson can get ahead.

  • Comment number 79.

    @73
    get over yourself mate you obviously don't take any notice of the races

  • Comment number 80.

    Spectacular misjudgement from Schumacher causing 'an avoidable collision', very lucky not to have been far more serious, and Michael describes it as a racing incident - no comment from the stewards

  • Comment number 81.

    I thought Hamilton was the only driver worth watching at Singapore today. He overtook about eight cars all told. His boss Mr Whitmarsh was certain the contact with Massa was accidental and ought to be classed as "a racing incident".

    Sad to note HAM's detractors are out in force again, I have no idea if they're all Brazilians, but they can't be fellow Brits, can they??

    Lew, change your nationality to Swiss. I'm sure they'll appreciate you more there.

  • Comment number 82.

    And one more thing........ until we get to hear every radio communication between driver and pit wall people need to stop reading things into them that just aren't there....

  • Comment number 83.

    Is formula one a minority sport? I say No.

    It is shown on Prime time television.
    There is a visible, vocal audience who are relatively literate and perceptive.

    Football referees, among others, are subject to scrutiny and have to account for their decisions.

    Having the ex-driver looking in on the stewards deliberations is obviously just paying
    lip service.
    The teams representation also seems to be shackled into compliance.

    There needs to be more accountability, more transparency.
    The inconsistency of the stewards is the fly in the ointment.

    Like the Arab-Spring it needs to be reformed.
    The process is so suspect it smacks of corruption.

    We are not seeing or experiencing a level playing field, me thinks there is an
    element of institutionism at large and raging like a bull.

    Lets get the lawn mower out and level that field.
    No sphere of human endeavour is above corruption.
    It is in our DNA.

  • Comment number 84.

    i would just like to add that i have not seen any hamilton bashing by the bbc, and in no way are they supporting Button over Hamilton!! if anything it is the other way round, does anyone actually watch the bbc coverage from start to finish???

  • Comment number 85.

    Wow - someone from the BBC who actually had the nerve to criticise Lewis Hamilton. Better check the moon tonight - it's probably blue.

    Too bad there wasn't balancing recognition of the steady head, hand and heart of Jenson Button. If I were team principal, I'd rather have one Jenson Button than five Lewis Hamiltons.

  • Comment number 86.

    Being biased is one thing, but perhaps we should put it this way: Causing and avoidable incident should always be punished... and in my opinion it should be punished like cutting corners... in order to avoid dangerous incidents from happening (with the aim of gaining advantage). If you gained advantage by causing an avoidable incident, your punishment should boil down to a returning of the gained position at least...

    By these standards it is clear that the incident at hand has been handled very well by the stewards and in my opinion Hamilton drove a pretty solid race after the incident.

    Looking at Massa's race (and previous races), I can definitely understand his frustration (as he has been victim of quite some avoidable incidents in the near past), especially being under pressure like he seems to be. Unlike Hamilton he never had the car, nor the speed to climb through the field like Hamilton did... If you add a little bit of misfortune to his mix (safety car out just after he switched to his super-softs)... he does not seem to be able to show the outside world that he is worth keeping his seat at Ferrari... just when he could need some good results as moral support... especially as we recently saw Ferrari being impressed by a quick rookie in their colors (Perez).

    Quite frankly, despite Massa not producing too bad drives lately (taking out his misfortune), he never really came close to pushing his teammate to a higher level (it looks like Ferrari should feel happy Alonso is so good in self-motivation)...

    As for the championship, well it looks like Ferrari and McLaren were caught napping designing a challenge contending car... cause I am fully convinced that Vettel's superiority is based 85% on car advantage, 5% on privileges within the team (which is even worse as it deprives us from an equally equipped championship challenger) and 10% on his talent (let's not forget the man drove pretty flawless, concentrated, etc...). I can see the comparisons with Michael Schumacher at Ferrari... (then again Schumacher had to show more patience and had to help built the car, before Ferrari was on top of their game).

    You have to give Vettel that he shows more mature drives than Hamilton ever did, but it is difficult to judge how he would perform in a less (or equally) performing car, as his Red Bull seems to have quite some margin over it's competitors (where I doubt the difference is merely his talent).

    As well as I give it to Hamilton that he battles with inferior material and seems to extract something more out of the machinery... yet Massa has a point that he is not driving very smartly... He still has some room to improve in that area... (not to forget that Hamilton has speed, but he also did not have to work his way up in Formula one, even a bit privileged by Dennis when he started in F1, and should not complain too much about the competition's (Red Bull) outstanding car, as his title also came in a superior car...

    Vettel 1st in best car, Button 2nd in second best car, Webber 3rd in best car (which simply seems to fail 'accidently' in every start) and Alonso 4th in third best car...
    And if you look at the speed difference between the cars today, I think Alonso's drive is even more phenomenal once more again... I think Ferrari knows that if they come up with a car that is only marginal slower than the competition, they will be in the battle for the championship again with this driver... (a big advantage over the competition in my opinion...

    Impressive rookies: Di Resta, Perez and Senna (not necessarily in this order)

  • Comment number 87.

    that is exactly what i mean, how come no one investigated schumi today??!!
    if what schumi did was a racing incident then.....................

  • Comment number 88.

    84. At 22:56 25th Sep 2011, GG wrote:
    i would just like to add that i have not seen any hamilton bashing by the bbc, and in no way are they supporting Button over Hamilton!! if anything it is the other way round, does anyone actually watch the bbc coverage from start to finish???
    ------------------------
    Obviously you don't watch the coverage talking such tripe or are you a BBC employee?

    How can you expect anyone to take you seriously when you make the assertion that the BBC supports Hamilton over Button? pleeeease pull the other one!!!!!

  • Comment number 89.

    About them mentioning more than once that Button had more competitive overtakes than anyone else - about half of them were in one race, when he came from about the back of the field to win, brilliantly, though helped by the safety car bunching up the field several times.

    Someone who hasn't been at the back, or dropped places and had to regain them, can't compete with that.

  • Comment number 90.

    Why do people keep trying to suggest that Hamilton was try to make a move on Massa? Hamilton tried the outside, which worked for others during the race, but when he realised that it wasn't happening he pulled back with a view of pulling in behind Massa. He just misjudged it and caught Massa. In my view the penalty was harsh as it was just a racing incident. As most viewers know if a tyre is clipped it is 50/50 whether it causes a puncture. I bet you if Massa hadn't got a puncture Hamilton wouldn't have got a drive through then. So that begs the question, if 2 identical incidents occur and 1 results in a puncture whilst the other doesn't, would both incidents get the same penalties dished out? Mmmm.

    I think the reason Massa is so annoyed is because after they had both pitted and Hamilton had had his drive through putting him atleast 3 places behind Massa, Hamilton still managed to finish 5th and 4 places ahead of him. Just shows that Massa is too slow. He should be annoyed and red faced. He got completely shown up.

    Interesting how a number of the respected pundits are now questioning and suggesting that penalties are being handed out based on the drivers rather than the incidents themselves

  • Comment number 91.

    But to comment on Hamilton, as revealed by a couple pf team messages, he seems to lack concentration and get bored when things aren't going his way.

    It's no good having excuses like he shouldn't have been in that grid place, and one thing led to another - all these slightly sdverse situations have to be mentally rehearsed in advance and dealt with.

  • Comment number 92.

    I am 100% British and I will/would never ever ever support Hamilton as a driver. He acts like a 4 year old kid half the time constantly throwing his dummies out of the pram when things don't go his way. He HAS to grow up and start taking some responsiblity for the way he drives. Do you really think the stewards pick on Hamilton? No, of course not it is simplyt the fact that his aggressive driving style is always going to attract their attention as he is always getting inolved in incidents whether they are 'racing' or not! I don't think anyone is denying that Hamilton is an incredibly talented and fast racing driver he just needs to learn that he can't go around ruining other drivers races just beacuse he can't wait to get past. The fact of the matter is Hamilton would have overtaken Massa within a lap or two had he kept his cool like a Button or Alonso but instead of doing that he causes an avoidable incident which ruins the race for a driver fighting for his career. Massa had every right to react the way he did and good on him I say for putting Lewis in his place a bit...somebody has to!

  • Comment number 93.

    @49
    Hamilton for me is overrated. Certainly he's quick, certainly he's punchy, but Button has outclassed him this season with two epic victories and far, far fewer mistakes.
    -----------------------------------
    Button has certainly upset the apple cart big time at Mclaren. The way i see it is Button is a Whitmarsh signing and as such has been given undivided attention since his arrival and his influence has grown as a result. I don't think Hamiltons frustrations are just the result of seeing Vettel clean up - even when he had that dog of a car in 2009 he drove better. All is not well inside Woking.

    For the record, Hamilton IMO is in no way overrated - he is for sure the faster driver and the better racer and with the right car undernetah him is THE driver any other driver would fear most. But he definately has issues at the moment and Mclaren have to sort it out. If not then in Button I'm afraid - unless they have a car that is perfect and faster than anyone else - they are backing the wrong horse.

  • Comment number 94.

    Lewis's driving style is more risky than most.
    Lewis needs to be more patient, he clearly has the ability.

    The Mclaren is just not quick enough, simple.

    Well done to Red Bull, Vettle and Button.

  • Comment number 95.

    89. At 23:07 25th Sep 2011, andy9xx wrote:
    About them mentioning more than once that Button had more competitive overtakes than anyone else - about half of them were in one race, when he came from about the back of the field to win, brilliantly, though helped by the safety car bunching up the field several times.

    Someone who hasn't been at the back, or dropped places and had to regain them, can't compete with that.
    -----------------------------------------------
    The plain fact is that we as fans are not being given a balanced view of F1 from the BBC especially when it comes to Jenson and Lewis.

    Their stats are always Button friendly and anti-Lewis which is why you'll never hear the quli battle score between Jenson and Lewis. I had to laugh when Jake put his spin on it and said Jenson has out-qualified Lewis 4 times this year (it's no accident that he missed out how many times Lewis out-qualified Jenson).

  • Comment number 96.

    Sorry, just to add to my previous comment.

    All this Hamilton bashing.............lets not forget that the seemingly untouchable and so mature Vettel made some horrific mistakes last year (Webber and Button). These were arguably far more potentially dangerous than those of Hamiltons. We all go through phases and I'm sure Vettels luck will change for a time when he is forced to race wheel to wheel, week after week again

  • Comment number 97.

    @84 and @85 Obviously you have not followed the season. Lewis has had the most appalling season - not only with inferior car issues but also with the stewards and I honestly think that no apology was required for his "Coz I is Black" comment because he really, really, really hit the nail on the head, Yes Lewis, it is because you're black and it really is unfair. Keep the faith and believe in yourself. You have a great fanbase and you can be a multi-world champion.

  • Comment number 98.

    @65, from 11

    Touche - got to hand it to Button, he's doing the business.

    And although Massa's (heat of the moment) reaction was OTT; I do actually think that Hamilton's penality was justified. He out braked himself, locked a wheel, crashed and dramatically affected another drivers race for the worse.

    Difference is Hamilton and Button have the talent to contend future titles. Massa has dropped into the same bucket as Barrichello, Irvine, Coulthard; the one labelled nearly-men. And he's only just scrapped it into that bucket - courtesy of the few seconds he was 'champion' until Hamilton came round the last corner at Brazil. He's never been anywhere near in any of the other many seasons at Ferrari.

  • Comment number 99.

    Another brilliantly biased and untrue 'blog' from Andrew Benson. Lewis Hamilton is a racer, not a driver, a racer. He lives to win, and obviously he's going to be frustrated when his machinery isn't good enough to compete with the fantastic Red Bull / Renault package. McLaren must be cursing themselves for letting Adrian Newey go.

    Massa only blames Lewis, as many of the drivers do, because he is simply faster than them and they can't perform to his standard. Sure he's optimistic to say the least when it comes to overtaking, but would you rather he was cautious like in Monza, or be aggressive, opportunistic and exciting, like Senna, Schumacher, Jim Clarke, Alonso and all the other greats, remembered for their flare, aggression and desire to win. There is a reason they are remembered, just as Hamilton will be remembered for the same attributes.

    Notice how none of the top drivers critisize Hamilton, only the ones he outperformed, like Jenson when Hamilton was way quicker than him in Montreal, or Maldonado in Monaco, and just like Massa, at this race and many, many others. Massa isn't good enough as a driver to compete with these guys, and i suspect him to be out of Ferrari pretty soon.

    Great win for Vettel today, and what a great season he has had, and for all of those people who doubt his ability, giving all the credit to the car, hear this. Mark Webber is a fantastic driver. Okay he's had struggles with his starts, KERS and his qualifying performance, but take nothing away from Sebastian, he is top class and currently the best all round driver on that track, and a worthy double world champion.

  • Comment number 100.

    96. At 23:18 25th Sep 2011, Mike Hough wrote:
    Sorry, just to add to my previous comment.

    All this Hamilton bashing.............lets not forget that the seemingly untouchable and so mature Vettel made some horrific mistakes last year (Webber and Button). These were arguably far more potentially dangerous than those of Hamiltons. We all go through phases and I'm sure Vettels luck will change for a time when he is forced to race wheel to wheel, week after week again
    ---------------------------------------------------
    I think the Hamilton bashing has more to do with SOME (not all) peoples hatred towards him rather than his driving.

    Any incident Hamilton is involved in just gives his haters (including the BBC) the excuse they are looking for to pour out their bile.

 

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