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Hamilton looking to get back on track

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Sarah Holt | 17:32 UK time, Friday, 24 June 2011

In Valencia

Lewis Hamilton knows as well as anyone that the best way to answer criticism is to come back stronger and prove the naysayers wrong.

Odd, then, that in Valencia the McLaren driver has seemed uncertain about his intention to draw a line under a difficult month with a strong performance at this weekend's European Grand Prix.

In a television interview, Hamilton talked confidently about "turning over a new leaf", adding: "I'm looking forward to another opportunity to score points this weekend."

A few minutes later, Hamilton's mood towards the weekend had U-turned as he shrugged: "If it's another bad one, it's another bad one and there's nothing you can do about it."

It didn't look like being a bad weekend on Friday, as Hamilton finished the day as the second fastest man, just 0.2 seconds behind Fernando Alonso's Ferrari.

But when he got out of the car to face the media, Hamilton again sounded flat and when asked whether he could win his first pole of the season he answered: "I'm not going to get my hopes up, that's for sure."

It is hardly surprising that Hamilton finds himself with conflicting emotions. The last two races in Monaco and Montreal have been little short of disastrous for the 2008 champion.

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It began with road rage on the streets of Monte Carlo, where Hamilton criticised the race stewards and called his fellow drivers "ridiculous".

Hopes that the fall-out from his outburst could be assuaged at the next race in Canada - a favourite track where he has twice won - were quashed when Hamilton sent Mark Webber's Red Bull spinning before crashing out as he tried to squeeze past his McLaren team-mate Jenson Button.

Former Ferrari driver Eddie Irvine has claimed Hamilton has "lost the plot" while three-time world champion Niki Lauda went as far as suggesting the Englishman's aggressive driving could "get someone killed".

As if that wasn't enough to take on board, Hamilton has had to face questions about his future after a tete-a-tete with Red Bull boss Christian Horner in Montreal led to renewed speculation Hamilton was actively looking for a way out of McLaren.

While Horner may have played down his keenness on Hamilton in Valencia, there has been plenty of support for the embattled driver.

McLaren have backed him to win this weekend, and some of the F1 fraternity - including Alonso, Webber and driver-turned-BBC analyst Anthony Davidson - urged Hamilton not to change his driving style.

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Hamilton himself seems to be flip-flopping between emotions in his response to the criticisms and questions about his future.

The concept of 'backing yourself' may be an adage of former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan but it might just be the best way of Hamilton seizing control of the spiralling situation.

Hamilton is regarded as a naturally fast racer who is capable of pulling off overtaking moves with flare and control - and it is those positive attributes the 26-year-old knows he has to focus on, following chats with Button and McLaren bosses Ron Dennis and Martin Whitmarsh.

"I've stood back and had a look at things," he reflected in Valencia, on the back of his joke that it had taken only "one night out" to recover from Canada.

"The team are always supportive, as are Ron, Martin and Jenson, but when you have tough days in the office you have to try and analyse things and take a step back.

"I like the way I drive but you can always have better judgement and make better calls in the future.

"We are still in the middle of the season and the most important thing is to motivate my team and myself to do better."

McLaren and Hamilton - who has finished second in every European GP staged around Valencia's harbour - have every reason to be confident they will again be competitive this weekend.

The team have demonstrated superior race pace over rivals Red Bull and Ferrari in the last three grands prix and McLaren arrived in Valencia with an upgraded aerodynamic package.

But the momentum within McLaren has, for the moment, swung in Button's favour after the 31-year-old battled his way to victory in Canada and moved up to second in the championship, with Hamilton slipping from that position down to fourth.

Hamilton is already 76 points behind Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel in the title race - and that's more than the equivalent of three race wins.

Hamilton may have stopped short of saying it in so many words in Valencia but, with a deficit like that, the future has to start now.


Hamilton says he plans to think twice before making any potentially risky manoeuvres in the European Grand Prix.

The 26-year-old is not aiming to tone down his natural racing instincts - he just wants to finish safely inside the points.

After four collisions at the last two races in Monaco and Montreal, a relaxed looking Hamilton says he will use his judgement to ensure he is on the podium, at the very least, in Valencia.

Hamilton qualified third behind the Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber. He started in exactly the same position last season and from there he took second.

The Englishman has a good record around the Marina Circuit - he's actually finished as runner-up in the all three races European GPs held here - and if McLaren can manage the tyres in hot race conditions he has every chance of keeping up his good record.


  • Comment number 1.

    You have to feel a bit sad for Lewis is he trying to hard this obsession with trying to emulate his hero Senna is no good for him he has to stamp his own stamp on F1. He did that earlier on and some would say when his father left team Hamilton so did Lewis's guile. He wants to please everybody and keep winning races it's not possible he has to be his own man and think more about overtaking manouevers the races are long and as Mark Webber stated sometimes Lewis gets a tad impatient I think this is a point that Jenson has learned. Lewis will always have the British public behind him but he needs to use his head before his heart at times!

  • Comment number 2.

    Agree with comment 1, Hamilton needs to judge his talent with his mindset. I know you have a split second to decide whether to attack or stay back, but if he didn't go for every gap I'm sure that would help him no end.

    I understand his frustration - he could (maybe should) have won in Monaco and Canada. He needs to get a few solid results and then push on and win the way we know he can.

  • Comment number 3.

    Not sure I quite agree with the top two comments.. Maybe he needs more patience, but I wouldn't blame him for any of the racing incidents over the past few races; he was clearly faster than those in front and wanted to pass them. What's the issue? Of course, those in front can close the door, they have every right to do so, but still he has every right to go for the gaps too.. it's racing! Hopefully it might make his competitors nervous when he's behind them - that can only be a good things as far as LH is concernedA

  • Comment number 4.

    The should "A" be an exclamation mark!!A

  • Comment number 5.

    There appears to be an error in your blog post, Sarah:

    "before crashing out as he tried to squeeze past his McLaren team-mate Jenson Button."

    Should read:

    "before crashing out as Button moved left and collided with Hamilton whilst looking in his left mirror as he squeezed Hamilton into the barrier."

    If Hamilton had moved left into Button, you folks would undoubtedly have reported it as an example of Hamilton's "reckless driving".

  • Comment number 6.

    It seems like it's starting to get to him then. Unlike the first couple of comments I don't think he needs to be more patient. Overtaking often requires co-operation from both drivers and it's just a sticky period. How many times have we praised Hamilton for pulling off insane passes? If he's encouraged to be more cautious there's a risk that edge will disappear and the last thing I want to see is another 'follower' in F1.

    It doesn't help that anyone who's anyone has an opinion. Lauda took it too far in a bid to remain relevant and I can't remember the last time I saw an Eddie Irvine quote.

    As long as Hamilton keeps going it'll all come back to him, it only takes a win to turn it around and he has a shot every time he races.

  • Comment number 7.

    'Alonso...(has).... urged Hamilton not to change his driving style' ?????

    Now maybe I've missed something, and apologies if I have, but damned if I can see this amazing turn-around reported on the BBC site - or anywhere else for that matter? Either this is the most under-played scoop of the decade or I'm seriously going to have to take Google lessons...... ?????

  • Comment number 8.

    I totally agree Hamilton shouldn't ease with his driving style - but he needs to secure a few solid results to keep him in the title race.

    Hamilton has had blips like this before (namely Italy and Singapore 2010) but he got through that one. I'm sure he'll get through this one too.

  • Comment number 9.

    I agree, Monza was his fault. However LH was not at fault for Singapore. He was more than a car length ahead of Webber, yet Mark was too stubborn to concede the corner. Yet again Lewis got the blame for something that went down as a 'racing incident', I gurantee if it was Lewis who hit Mark the Lewis would of been penalised.

    He's a great driver just let him race! I for one would not be as interested in the sport if Lewis wasn't a huge part of it.

  • Comment number 10.

    I'm sorry guys, but I can't hear it anymore. I can't stand the permanent criticism on the one hand and all this overly enthusiastic praise on the other. Let's face it: Vettel made two similar mistakes last year in Turkey and Spa and still went on to win the championship. So having a "bad" time doesn't mean it's automatically over for a driver (although I don't see anyone else then Vettel winning this year, he is just too strong at the moment). Thus, no reason to make such a hullabaloo about errors and accidents. And it is only to convenient for the media to jump on the bandwagon and criticise those who make a few errors. But then again Lewis really isn't more than a one-time world champion and there are currently three of them on the grid + two multiple-world champions. So he clearly - though perhaps just not yet - isn't one of the greatest drivers ever and thus shouldn't be praised too much. On the contrary, as his attitude has been appalling as of late. Calling other driver "ridiculous" or "stupid" isn't acceptable at all and he should be held accountable for his verbal misdemeanour rather than his particular style of driving..

  • Comment number 11.

    Lewis shouldn't change anything - this hog the road and dare you to hit me driving style is bad for F1. If someone charges up your inside and looks likely to beat you through a corner THEN THEY HAVE BEATEN YOU. Move over and claim the position you deserve with your pace. This is not the same as Barcelona where Seb kept Lewis at bay without ever closing the door too late.

  • Comment number 12.

    I know during the practice Davidson dismissed Lauda's comments as ridiculous but remember where Lauda's come from, the 70s where drivers being killed in collisions was a huge risk. A reckless move in that decade could well have been fatal. I think his fear is that something like Allan McNish's crash or Mike Rockenfeller's crash could well happen in F1, which were only triggered by a glancing touch. I'm very surprised Davidson didn't mention it at all since he was there.

    The fear was that McNish could easily have been killed if he was in an open cockpit car and I think the concern is that it could happen if they don't drive sensibly in this sport. Kubica only clipped Trulli's rear wheel at Canada to start his high speed crash, which really should serve as a warning that it doesn't take much to trigger a potentially life threatening crash. By all means take a chance when one arises but I think Hamilton needs to think and respect the guys around him more than he currently does.

    As a further thing to Ted with the Senna quote, the film also uses the infamous "Ayrton has a small problem. He thinks he can't kill himself because he believes in God and I think that is very dangerous for the other drivers" quote from Prost. While Senna was one of the greatest, there was always a concern among the drivers about his potential to cause a collision.

  • Comment number 13.

    I am a Hamilton fan. He's why I continue to watch F1. But Lewis has, in my view, thrown away two World Championships, one in 2007 and one last year with silly, silly mistakes, most of which have come down to poor decision making as to when to overtake.

    Had he finished the races in Singapore and at Monza last season in the places he was running in when he went out, he would have been champion. Had he not spun on pit in at China in '07 or gone off track trying to pass Alonzo one race later, he would have the scored at a minimum, the two points he needed to take the title that year.

    This is his fifth season. No more explanations, no more excuses. He needs to get it right.

  • Comment number 14.

    Sara Holt, you and the rest of the Hamilton hating BBC's attempts to undermine Lewis Hamilton with negative article on negative article are pathetic.

    Lewis has had his issues and I've got no problem with the some articles about it but this is getting ridiculous and boring now.

    Lewis should just ignore the BBC and not give them anymore interviews and focus on his driving.

  • Comment number 15.

    Wasn't it Stirling Moss who wrote that you have to scare the sh..t out of yourself before you learn there's a time to put your foot down and a time to lift it up. Now, I don't know about the scare part with Hamilton but he certainly hasn't learned the latter. With a wet race only 8 laps old, there was not a single sensible reason for him to try that manouvre on Button, expecially when it risked putting his whole team out of a crucial race. As it was, he still reduced his team,s effort by 50%.
    The mere fact that his teammate did what he did proved conclusively that Hamilton would have had plenty of opportunity to produce a good result--and therein lies Hamilton's problem. He just has to learn the lesson Moss was expounding.

  • Comment number 16.

    I hate to be a pedant, but ... "Hamilton is regarded as a naturally fast racer who is capable of pulling off overtaking moves with flare and control"? I can't imagine that's deliberate.

  • Comment number 17.

    I am big Hamilton fan so my opinion is very one sided but that's ok..!!!! I think that Lewis is one of the most exciting drivers F1 has seen in a while, every time you watch Lewis your heart is in your mouth and you never know what is going to happen next..!! Every race car driver will go through difficult patches and same goes with all sports professionals.

    We should rally behind Lewis and give him the support he needs to go on and win another championship. Go for it Lewis you have my full support and I look forward to seeing you on the podium in Valencia. Good Luck..!!!

  • Comment number 18.

    We have to feel a bit of compassion for the little lad.
    The reality is that he is living in a false perception of being the world's best driver and blaming every non-win on everything expect his own driving (the car, the team's strategy, the driver he runs into, the weather...)
    the reality is that until he wakes up and realizes that Vettel is a better driver and he needs to improve the way he drives, he will remain third or forth in the championship.
    Wake up!

  • Comment number 19.

    Sarah Holt is dwelling on old news. Martin Brundle never won one F1 race during his driving career and sometimes, it seems that he has something against Lewis. He loves Button and always very critical of Lewis. In his recent piece he seems to questions Hamilton's ability, incredible to think that someone who never won a race in F1 can have this over the top comments about one if not the best F1 Driver ever. I believe that Lewis actually meant that he is being targetted because of his race. I have watched that interview several times and have no doubt in my mind he meant every bit of it. Much as i want to say he is wrong, i agree with him entirely. Button was at fault in the last race but yet again Lewis is the victim. Give him a fast car and he cann win all races in a calender. This guy very special and lets stop this " i am a lewis fun but..." business

  • Comment number 20.

    Hammy is a racer, if he didn't go for gaps, every media element would accuse him of loosing his form and the viewer would loose out on some great TV. Let the bloke race, as soon as everyone gets off his back and keeps digging up all this rubbish, the sooner he can relax back into his race winning ways.

    God knows we need someone to knock Vettel off the podium.

  • Comment number 21.

    His problems seem to lie within his team where poor strategy and pitstops have blighted his season (bar China). Came to a head at his beloved Monaco where another disastrous call cost him vital track position which as far as he was concerned had pole written all over it. In Canada he had the speed on everyone on its rain soaked track and would've probably cleared Webber cleanly from (what should've been) a standing start.

    Needs urgent back to back wins and Vettel to have some serious DNFs to have any chance. F1 could do with it never mind Hamilton.

  • Comment number 22.

    @13 I agree 100% with you, he has to deliver now!! Vettel didn't complain last year when he engine blew up in South Korea neither did Button when his race ended in Monaco and as far as I'm concerned Alonso didn't moan when his engine died in China. But Lewis is constantly weeping and whining and he just doesn't want to accept when he has made a mistake (though that is something that many other drivers don't do either).
    He should really keep a low profile and just concentrate on racing. If he has done so and scored reasonable results he can, for all I care, start behaving like a celebrity again..

  • Comment number 23.

    Hamilton's behavior since he arrived at the track in Canada makes plenty of sense from a sports psychology perspective.

    I'm no expert but I know that having high expectations, even when they are realistic, is often one of the worst things psychologically for a competitor.

    He turned up to the Monaco race weekend on the back of hyping himself up with comments like "I am the only one who can challenge Vettel this year" and continued to build the pressure on himself throughout the weekend, expecting to be on pole, expecting to win the race.

    Had this been his GOAL rather than his EXPECTATION it may have turned out very differently for him. Inevitably he got frustrated when things were not going as he expected them to and we all know the outcome of that.

    Hamilton is now beginning to show a degree of humility in public, even if not necessarily in his own mind. Doing so will undoubtedly ease the pressure on himself to deliver on comments he has often voiced in the build up to actual races, allowing him to focus more exclusively on his driving.

    There may be a link with why Hamilton refuses to take questions from Martin Brundle on his gridwalk when making his final preparations for the race start.

    Lewis has said in the past that speaking to Brundle before the race gives him bad luck, but perhaps it's just that Lewis is prone to derailing himself psychologically by trying too hard to deliver on his own comments. Food for thought.

    He also needs to drop the entourage of celebrities at races to avoid feeling the urge to impress them immediately with a startling display of racing ability, like in Canada where he was overly zealous during the opening laps and did not show much self restraint.

  • Comment number 24.

    @F1FAN01 (14) and others.

    I totally agree and I've been saying the same thing since early 2008, when I noticed Brundle and Humphreys in particular trying to take the 'p'. It is absolutley clear, that all the BBC commentary team are anti Hamilton. Sarah Holt can't bring herself to say outright, that Hamilton is the quickest or the best driver of the current crop. I'm not suggesting Lewis beyond criticism, but the constant negative press he gets from these commentators is infuriating. They seem to congratulate him through gritted teeth; they have no enthusiasm for him. The way they speak about Button and Vettel in particular, is completely different to the way they speak about Lewis. This is definitely the worse commentary team since Murray Walker (great!!) and James Hunt (not so great!).

  • Comment number 25.

    Dear F1 Broadcast Team,
    Please allow me to express my opinion:
    It is getting disturbingly irritating to see every single time for the second year in a row this obviously talented but very very young and arrogant baby boyish Sebastian Vettel bulldozer everybody out of the way.
    Something could be fundamentally wrong here, Red Bull can not be so far ahead of everybody?
    I am starting to question myself if Red Bull would have gotten any unfair advantage towards the others? Or am I just being desperately upset about this and starting to ask the wrong questions?
    But if I want to summer up this season with one word, it would be : boring, very very boring !!!
    To see Red Bull wining all the time and listening to Sebastian Vettel's irritating radio comments after the race from his cockpit is getting to be unbearable.
    I would love to see Michael Schumacher being given a chance to drive a better car and rise up, and to see Lewis Hamilton beating up Vettel's arrogant racing face and finger pointing more and more often !! Thank you. Krisztian Soos/London UK

  • Comment number 26.

    I hope that Hamilton doesn't change his driving style, he's just been going through a bit of a rough patch recently, ut he did last year too but then got things back on track. All it will take is one win and all the journalists will start talking about him being a potential champion this year.

    @5 Sorry, but I don't think it was Button's fault and he wasn't looking in his mirrors when contact was made.

  • Comment number 27.

    @ksoos. . .@25
    Red Bull are on top of their game right now, that's why you see their drivers in 1st and 2nd grid tomorrow. Stop having a go at Seb Vettel, any other driver could perform just as well in Red Bull cars. I bet if you were a Brit and one of our guys was doing so well in Red Bull, you wouldn't be moaning about it. Vettel is a young driver going places in F1, and he's not ' baby boyish ' as you arrogantly describe him. Get a grip !!

  • Comment number 28.

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

  • Comment number 29.

    "Lewis shouldn't change anything - this hog the road and dare you to hit me driving style is bad for F1. If someone charges up your inside and looks likely to beat you through a corner THEN THEY HAVE BEATEN YOU. Move over and claim the position you deserve with your pace."

    There is the flip side to that coin, if you dive up the inside but can't make the corner without hitting a driver who is taking the "legitamate driving line" then you are not close enough to over take and you should be more patient.

    Drivers like Hamilton, Senna, MS all have this characteristic that they will go for impossible overtakes and "force" the other driver to avoid them. This can be very dangerous - as all it takes it the driver in front to stand their ground (as they are entitled to do as in this case it is the driver behind causing the accident) and you have the risk of a big dangerous accident.

    Senna was criticised strongly by fans and drivers alike during his career (Jackie Stewart, and Prost) the two most notable examples. MS has also been criticised for it in the past, but we saw it less with him as he was often so far ahead due to the ferraris (and his) brilliance.
    The point being Hamilton having this style makes him exciting, but it also makes him dangerous, and when he is downright reckless people will call him on it. Just because he sticks his nose where it doesn't fit doesn't mean the other drivers should just get out of his way saying "On you go chap"!

    He does not have a divine right to the apex and if the car infront is more that half a car infront when turing in (as at Monaco) then they have every right to turn in.

  • Comment number 30.

    This quote by a BBC journalist is proof of how negative they are towards Lewis - "Hamilton collided with Jamie Alguersuari's Toro Rosso and the Williams of Pastor Maldonado on his way to a sixth-place finish" LH had a driving incident with PM but to say he collided with JA is ridiculous. I think this is something journalist learns in college -I think they should have gone to Uni - I can imagine the discussion before publishing - LH is a strong produce if we are negative about him then all the positive LH fans will have lots to say. Then all the LH fans will jump on here to defend him, the media can break you or make you stronger but sometimes you need to know how far you can go with this negativity. The BBC should employ some positive and balance journalise and commentators. I could remember MS had the same negative press in his days but it only made him stronger. For LH he just needs to ride the negative waves and get stronger - I can see a lot of championship in him – good luck for this weekend.

  • Comment number 31.

    Lewis is a great driver who has had back to back poor races full of incidents some 50/50 some definitely his fault.

    Why do his fans have to see this as a conspiracy against him? BBC bias? Don't make me laugh, the beeb are the best thing to happen in F1, coverage is excellent and after Lewis won in Turkey he was celebrated just like the other drivers are after a win.

    But by far the most ridiculous line offered in defence of Lewis is in comment 5.

    "before crashing out as Button moved left and collided with Hamilton whilst looking in his left mirror as he squeezed Hamilton into the barrier."

    Really? Button drove the exact line that every car takes up the straight, the line everyone took through qualy etc..

    **The next paragraph contains mild criticism of Lewis Hamilton**

    Hamilton had the run on Button out of the final chicane. He should have stayed right as surely he knew Button would be moving left leaving no room. By trying to go up the left of Button he assumed he would see him and react but the visibility was near zero. Button drove the line he always followed up the pit straight. If Lewis had stayed right he would of been along side Button by turn one with racing line for turn 2. Just a thought..

  • Comment number 32.

    # Button drove the line he always followed up the pit straight.


    I assume you need to go back to specsavers. I Have watched that incident over and over and it is clear as day that Button turns his head left twice to look for Hamilton in his mirrors and he moves his car towards the wall too late blocking off Hamilton and causing an accident.

    The only reason the stewards took no decision was due to the fact it was the longest race in F1 history, and as Hamilton is their main target, anyone causing him to crash out always seems to suspiciously get away with it anyway.

    No doubt it they will be eagle eye'd watching him later today to continue their torment. 7 steward investigations in 7 races is fast becoming a joke.

    It's no wonder Hammy would be happy safely just getting a podium finish, it would do a good job of annoying the stewards denying them of a record 8th straight race investigation against him.

  • Comment number 33.

    Lewis is great to watch. Always interesting. But for the championship to maintain peoples interest into the last quarter of the season, he needs to find a way of being quick enough to start tapping the wheels of Vettle rather than running into the likes of Webber and Button.

  • Comment number 34.


    Button drove the exact line that everybody followed up the pit straight, Button is looking in his mirror but said he couldn't see him. You saw the spray whilst analysing the incident repeatedly? It's not like they were side by side when contact was made and Button did what he was entitled to do and follow his line, you heard Button's radio broadcast immediately after the incident "what's he doing?!" He didnt see him.

    Your trying to argue that Button deliberately stuck his team mate in the wall rather than recognise that in the conditions Hamilton or Hammy (aahhh) was maybe naive to move up the left where the car in front was going to be (racing line remember) instead of using the space on the right.

    Definitely a racing incident, the conditions were bad. Blaming Button is desperate.

    I admire your ability to read the stewards minds having never met them and also how you can read Button's intentions from the angle of his helmet. Lewis drove faultlessly of course, just ask Webber

  • Comment number 35.

    ./....leave the driving to Hamilton....why not try poledancing, suits you to the ground ??

  • Comment number 36.

    Dear Sarah Holt,

    Please forgive me for expressing my disappointment:

    But this is a joke. I am so tired of watching Red Bull winning all the time, I can not see a proper race anymore. It is way too easy for Red Bull to win, something must be wrong here !

    I am absolutely irritated by Sebastian Vettel's arrogant baby boyish smile and finger pointing and unbearable radio comments every time after the race. In these conditions F1 became boring to me, I am just not as enthusiastic and interested any more.

    Only Lewis Hamilton's extraordinary and super driving makes it exciting for me to watch, he is just a pure genius, a real racing driver, to me Lewis Hamilton is the modern age Ayrton Senna. His maneuvers might did not come of perfectly over the last couple of races, but people might forget that his brilliant moves did come of beautifully over the last couple of hundreds of races !

    Lewis Hamilton is the best thing could have had ever happened to F1 and I would love to see Lewis beating Sebastian's arrogant racing face more and more often. Thank you. Krisztian Soos / London UK

  • Comment number 37.

    "Only Lewis Hamilton's extraordinary and super driving makes it exciting for me to watch, he is just a pure genius, a real racing driver, to me Lewis Hamilton is the modern age Ayrton Senna." ROTFL! Do you work as Hamilton's press agent? I have never heard such nonsense.

    He will never be like Senna, if he was a genius he would dominate racing.
    So what was Hamilton's excuse this time?

  • Comment number 38.

    LOL - Loving some of the comments on here!

    A number of people seem to have bought sorrily into the ludicrous Hamilton-hype of 3 or 4 years ago, and are now struggling badly to make this received worldview fit the increasingly obvious facts.

    Hamilton is a mediocrity - not a bad driver, surely, but mediocre. And his one-dimensional vroom-vroom shtick is faring very poorly against frankly more intelligent drivers in races like today's.

    The Beeb - while they've certainly eased off the boy-wonder guff - are still doing their patriotic duty and soft-soaping round his faults. It was particularly chucklesome to read today how Lewis had heroically "fought high tyre wear" - rather than CAUSED high tyre wear, which is presumably what those foreign drivers do.

    And the funniest thing of all is, now that the BBC commentators are finally being truthful and realistic about the guy's obvious limitations, these posters - who GOT their own opinion from the British media in the first place - are slating them for being anti-Hamilton! Because the truth of the present doesn't match up to the manufactured expectation of the past.

    Personally I'm loving it - a good sharp dose of reality is as bracing as a breath of spring air.

  • Comment number 39.

    @ "G_K___" post 38.

    Wow seemingly ridiculing the comments made by others, referring to Lewis as "mediocre" and "one-dimensional". OK I can talk about your presumed dislike and possible jealousy but consider the following:

    1. In 3 out of 4 completed seasons Lewis has placed himself in a position of winning the championship on the last day, whilst his team-mates have only been in this position once.

    2. At the end of his 4 completed seasons, none of his team-mates has ever amassed a higher points total - team-mates which have included 2 world champions still in their prime.

    3. Has consistently had a better qualification and classification record than his team-mates over the course of the season (never mind Heikke, think Fernando & Jenson)

    4. Has one of the best, if not the best record (I stand corrected), for classifying better than (or equal to) his starting position on the grid

    5. Has won more races since he joined F1 than any of his contemporaries, except for Seb who went ahead 16 to 15 today.

    6. Errr there is the little matter of actually winning a championship :).

    By your warped "logic" and standards, that would make both Jenson and Fernando "mediocre" as well and by extension the whole of the F1 driver roster except Seb. What a laugh.

    The guy makes mistakes sometimes and has had a couple of poor races recently. Who doesn't or hasn't?? Is that your idea of "struggling badly". Seb has disappeared and is virtually untouchable but Lewis is only 12 points behind second place. Does this mean that Fernando, Jens and Mark are mugs in your estimation? After all A "badly struggling", "mediocre" and "one-dimensional" driver is either ahead or within touching distance of these 3 after 8 races.

    All you've demonstrated is that you harbour animosity towards Lewis and rejoice when he fails. This is your undeniable right but its a bit pathetic considering the guy probably doesn't even know you exist :).

  • Comment number 40.

    Hamilton will not change and thats only good for F1, he's a racing driver! if theres a gap he will go for it, thats what racing drivers do! I'm fed up with everyone critising him over the last 2 weeks, I seem to remember Vettel and webber having a nighmare last season with running into people and them selves and not getting half as much as stick as hamilton, and as for the button incident I wonder if hamilton was in front and Jenson behind and that happened, would it be just a racing incident??.....

  • Comment number 41.

    @40 "I'm fed up with everyone critising him over the last 2 weeks"
    What do you expect when all the BBC journalists seem to have a grudge against Lewis and try to generate negative debate about him with constant negative articles.

    Andrew Bensons latest blog takes the biscuit. He's given up on facts and has resorted to quoting gossip from un-named sources.

    I'm amazed nobody at the BBC does any sort of quality control and monitoring of the content and poor standards of these articles.



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