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Lewis Hamilton outburst overshadows Monaco thriller

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Andrew Benson | 19:09 UK time, Sunday, 29 May 2011

As if the Monaco Grand Prix had not already been dramatic enough, Lewis Hamilton's controversial comments afterwards will ensure it makes even bigger headlines across the world.

The McLaren driver quoted Ali G, the original spoof character dreamt up by Borat creator Sacha Baron Cohen, as he railed against the decision by race stewards to call him to explain his part in two separate incidents during Sunday's event.

Hamilton pointed out to BBC F1 pit-lane reporter Lee McKenzie that it was the fifth time in six races this year he had been called to account for his actions, and she asked him why he thought that was.

"Maybe it's because I'm black," he said, laughing. "That's what Ali G said. I dunno."

"People want to see overtaking and racing and you get done for trying to put on a show and make a move," he continued. "Fair play. If I really feel I've gone too late and hit someone, I'll put my hand up and say I've caused the incident and been the stupid one."

Hamilton described his being called to account for incidents for which he felt was blameless as "a joke", and described the rivals in question - Ferrari's Felipe Massa and Williams novice Pastor Maldonado - as "stupid".

What was he going to do about the situation? "I'll just try and keep my mouth shut," he said.

It is too late for that, though, even though McLaren went into damage-limitation mode after the race.

"Immediately after the race he was very down," team principal Martin Whitmarsh said, "and during a post-race TV interview he made a poor joke about his penalties that referenced Ali G. However, I'm pleased to say that he chose to return to the track a little while later to speak to the stewards about the joke. They accepted his explanation."

Hamilton's remarks came at the end of a weekend when nothing seemed to go right for him.

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A wrong call to do only one run in qualifying led to him starting the race from ninth place, after he made a mistake and cut a chicane on his flying lap.

Trying to make up ground in the race, a brilliant early pass on Michael Schumacher was followed by the two collisions with Massa and Maldonado.

Sir Jackie Stewart talks about the importance of ridding yourself of emotion before stepping into a grand prix car, but it looked as if Hamilton had not taken the great man's advice on Sunday.

Hamilton has made himself one of global sport's highest profile figures thanks to his inspirational driving, and cool, youthful image. And he has established himself in the four and a half years of his career as unquestionably the greatest overtaker in F1, as well as arguably its out-and-out fastest driver.

But he did not earn that reputation with performances like that in Monaco on Sunday. BBC F1 commentator Martin Brundle described his late lunge down the inside of Massa as "clumsy" and his attempt to pass Maldonado later on was similarly optimistic.

When Hamilton watches the incidents back, I suspect he might agree, as he may well regret his post-race comments when he calms down after what was admittedly an intensely frustrating weekend. It remains to be seen whether they will get him into hot water with governing body the FIA.

In the days of the former president Max Mosley, there is no question Hamilton would have been called up to answer a charge of bringing the sport into disrepute. His successor Jean Todt has taken a less antagonistic approach, but has not yet had to deal with a similar incident.

Brundle said he thought Hamilton had let frustration creep into his driving, and it certainly looked that way.

He entered Monaco expecting to fight for victory and was quick throughout practice on a circuit he adores and on which he excels, only for it all to slip agonisingly through his fingers.

That frustration will be heightened by the fact that Vettel is now in what has to be considered a virtually unassailable position in the championship.

Hamilton is well aware of how good he is. He aches to add more crowns to the one he won in 2008, and even before Monaco it was obvious that the fact this season is likely to be another barren year was already bubbling provocatively inside him.

But the sooner he realises that his quest to win the multiple titles he feels he deserves will not be helped by this sort of reaction, the better it will be for him.

While luck appeared to desert Hamilton in Monaco, the angels are truly smiling on Vettel this season. And it is not even as if he needs them.

Time after time, circumstance has intervened to make the German's path to victory easier than it should have been, and Vettel has taken full advantage.

Vettel's victory in Monaco on Sunday, his first in the principality, was his fifth in six grands prix so far this season. Only Jim Clark, Nigel Mansell, Schumacher and Jenson Button have achieved that and all of them ended the season in question as champions.

Vettel now leads the championship by 58 points - that means Hamilton, his closest pursuer, would have to take two wins and a sixth place with the Red Bull driver not scoring just to draw level.

It is the sort of margin that can be closed only by a driver in the best car. The problem is that it is Vettel himself who enjoys that luxury and, boy, is he capitalising on it.

His and Red Bull's domination is being founded on their blistering superiority in qualifying. In races, as Sunday demonstrated yet again, the Red Bull is far more vulnerable.

This time, a mix-up at Vettel's first pit stop meant he rejoined on the harder of the two tyre choices, the softs, when Red Bull had been intending to put him on the super-softs, which his closest pursuer Button chose to fit at his first stop.

The mistake made, Red Bull altered their strategy, in light of a mid-race safety car period, and decided to try to make it to the end of the race on those tyres.

That meant Vettel entered the final 30 laps of the race with tyres that were already 32 laps old and with two of F1's finest drivers closing in fast on fresher rubber.

The tyres on Fernando Alonso's Ferrari were 17 laps younger than Vettel's, Button's a full 31; and with a little less than 20 laps to go the three of them were running nose to tail.

Vettel, driving brilliantly as he has all year, had held them off relatively comfortably until a big crash involving Hamilton, Vitaly Petrov, Jaime Alguersuari and Adrian Sutil brought out the safety car again and subsequently the red flag.

The 20-minute stoppage before the race was resumed robbed millions of viewers around the world of what promised to be a spectacular climax to the race - it meant all the drivers could fit fresh tyres and Vettel survived the last eight laps of the re-started race without incident.

It will never be known whether he could have held off Alonso and Button had the race not been stopped.

But McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale told BBC pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz that by their calculations Vettel's tyres had no more than three more laps before they "dropped off the cliff", as F1 teams have taken to describing the moment the Pirellis that have done so much for the racing this year finally lose all their grip.

If Neale was right, even at Monaco Vettel would surely not have been able to hold Alonso and Button back.

Even Red Bull team principal Christian Horner admitted luck had shone on his team, saying the red flag was a "reprieve".

It was just the latest example of a recurring phenomenon this year. For all Vettel's searing qualifying pace, he is vulnerable in races, but events are transpiring to give him the breathing space he needs to keep winning.

Monaco followed Australia, Malaysia and Turkey this year as a race in which he might have faced a more serious challenge but didn't.

The championship may already appear to be a formality but the races themselves are making up for it with a combination of action and unpredictability that F1 has never seen before.

Next up is the Canadian Grand Prix, on one of the least favourable tracks for Red Bull, the long straights at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve favouring the extra power of McLaren's Mercedes engine and Ferrari over the Renault in the Red Bull.

Last year, Red Bull could manage only fourth and fifth in Montreal, behind Hamilton, Button and Alonso, in a race that prompted the decision to ask new supplier Pirelli to produce tyres that degraded rapidly.

The unique track surface there made the super-durable Bridgestones used last year behave like the Pirellis are doing at every race this season, and prompted the most exciting grand prix of the year.

If that happened when the racing was sometimes processional, even if the title fight was thrilling, the mind boggles at what could happen there in 2011.


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  • Comment number 1.

    I do think Hamilton is sometimes on the wrong end of one or two decisions, but probably not today. However I dont think the FIA is in love with McLaren as a team.

    The season ended today. Vettle will win the Championship again. Excellent for him and Red Bull. Disappointing for those of us who wanted another fight to the last corner of the last race.

  • Comment number 2.

    Oh and excellent blog Andrew.

  • Comment number 3.

    I thought it was a very entertaining race until the tyre changes on the start line waiting for the start. I also think all you reporters have jumped on a non story with Hamilton. It was a joke, for goodness sake.

    Re the incident between Hamilton and Massa, however. Watch Massa in relation to Webber. He basically ran out of road. He had no room to go inside Webber but went that way anyway which caused him to turn into Hamilton. I know the car behind is the one always at fault but surely Massa's driving was his own undoing. If he hadn't got himself so tangled up behind Webber, he wouldn't have been in such a tangle with Hamilton? Just a thought.

    Finally, who said you couldn't overtake at Monaco. There were some class moves - loved Martin Brundle's commentary re Barichello overtake of Schumi!

  • Comment number 4.

    Watching on german TV, I understood that Vettel & Alonso received new tyres while waiting for the restart. I thought you had to make a Pit Stop to change tyres , or by a restart is it different, anyone know ?

  • Comment number 5.

    #3, Thank you, Jessica. Now it is you, Mr Benson, that has chosen to make a big deal of Hamilton's outburst. I mean, the guy was quoting Ali G! And by the way, why is it that the tow BBC commentators, Coultard in particular, are always keen to talk up the chances of Hamilton getting penalised, on almost every single race, as if he's the only driver that makes contact with others in what is suppose to be motor-racing. If it were Vettel, i'm absolutely certain Coultard will quickly bring up two or more explanations why that was just a racing incidence that should not even be taken to the stewards. Do you guys think the watching public are all fools unable to see through the blatantly biased reporting? I wonder!

  • Comment number 6.

    A Joke? The only joke today was Hamilton's attitude. He had a lousy weekend almost entirely of his own making. Petulant and immature, the stewards let him off lightly. I'm done with the spoiled brat.

  • Comment number 7.

    I think Lewis is making the same mistakes as last Year.
    The biggest mistake Lewis has made in his career is to get rid of his father.
    Surely under his father's coaching, Lewis was more controlled and focused.
    By having a poor qualifying the day before, he carried all the bad karma into the race and you can only see the results
    I'm a big fan but those comment are a no no, I'm also of mixed heritage and i would not use the race card to defend myself because now is he always going to rely on that every time things do not work out.
    Com-on Lewis I want you to be the man you should be, the driver of Ayrton senna caliber, so please focus otherwise you will trow your career in a deep hole and when you look back ,...TOO late Get yourself together and win some races

  • Comment number 8.

    A poor choice of blog again Andrew, it should have focused on the race and not Hamilton.

    At times, you praise Hamilton but all too often you overly criticize him, when there were others issues at stake. This is also unfair to other drivers such as Vettel who actually won the race, and the battle for the lead between him, Alonso and Button.

    Andrew, leave the tittle tattle to the tabloids, the excitement of Formula 1 this season speaks for itself, no need to hype it up.

  • Comment number 9.

    What is a point of restarting the race? The race should be continuing under red flag for a few more laps and finished under red flag. They should not allow changing new tires. I think restart the race is poor decision from Stewards.
    LH has made a lot of mistakes today. He should rest and watch race on DVD later.

  • Comment number 10.

    What a big cry baby. Lewis brought the penalties on himself with his usual over aggressive driving. Does he think the other drivers should just let him through?. He has been called to the stewards on 5 out of 6 races not because of his his race but because of his on track behavior. He should grow up and take his beating like a man.

  • Comment number 11.

    The combination of Pirelli tyres, DRS and KERS still make no significant difference at Monaco. There is still negligible chance of overtaking so it was still a dull race. Monaco may have the history and glamour and require a lot of driver skill, but as a sporting spectacle it's a dud.

    Added to that is the fact that anybody daring to try overtaking is penalised if they touch anybody since it was 'avoidable'. Rules against 'avoidable collisions' rule out any chance of real racing. In most cases the drivers already have enough disincentive for trying rash moves, in that it could be end of race for them or at least an unscheduled pitstop.

  • Comment number 12.

    Maybe Lewis should be asking himself why he spends so much time in front of the stewards.

    Same as last year. I've never known a driver to have so many reprimands.

  • Comment number 13.

    "...a brilliant early pass on Michael Schumacher..."

    Wait a minute, wasn't it Schumacher who made a brilliant early pass on Hamilton into the hairpin? When Hamilton tried to replicate that he T-boned Massa.

    I like Hamilton, but his attitude and excuses today reminded me of what he was like in 2007.

  • Comment number 14.

    To be honest i think lewis' comments were out of anger, however you can see his point that on the first lap he gave schumacher breathing room to pull the same move he (and di-resta) both tried later on and both got penalised for, where the driver in front simply shuts the door. However inevitably if you overtake more people, you have more controversial overtakes, i think he needs to get his head down and go for the win in canada.

  • Comment number 15.

    This one was the first GP of the year that really had me on the edge of my seat. Such a shame it was cut short by the red flag as the different rates of tyre wear on the leading trio would have made some fantastic passing / defending opportunities.

    I'm not a massive Hamilton fan, but appreciate him more now he's changed his persona from his early days in F1. He's usually the most exciting driver to watch on track but his Driving today was pretty poor, though to be fair, at least he was having a go, just a shame he ruined a couple of other drivers races. He complained that Massa had turned in early at the hairpin, but when watching the replay you can see Massa turned in slightly early as Webber had gone slightly wide.

    To be fair to Hamilton and Button, yet again questionable decisions from the multitude of 'strategy experts' at McLaren have cost them points. Everyone knows you get a banker qualifying lap in at Monaco as its so risky attempting a really fast pole lap, but thats what they left Hamilton with. Go out and get pole with one attempt after sitting at the end of the pit lane for 2 minutes. Total own goal. And who cares about saving a set of tyres, as DC and others have said, Track Position is king at Monaco - as Vettle proved on 2nd hand tyres.

    By the way, it was a bit OTT throwing EJ in pool on the forum. He's an old bloke and Jake and DC knew exactly what they were doing and what would happen forcing him to go and find Vettel even when he protested a couple of times. He was clearly distressed at losing something in the pool but just kept getting pushed in again, whilst Jake and DC carried on laughing. Funny i know, but it bordered on uncomfortable viewing at times. Coulthard couldn't grip the hand rail hard enough when EJ tried to get his own back. That says it all.

    As ever, great work by Ted, despite Jake telling him at the beginning of the forum 'we' didn't want to know why Schumacher retired. Luckily Ted thought your average F1 veiwer might want to, so told us anyway. Good on him.

    All in all, a great weekends viewing by the BBC and a great race. Hope Hamilton doesn't regret his comments... though... i think he might.

    As i said, not a Hamilton fan really, but wouldn't mind someone taking on Vettle, which could happen if McLaren weren't so slack at times.

  • Comment number 16.

    #10. totally agree. Lewis should just shut up, avoid hitting people and let his driving do the talking.

  • Comment number 17.

    I think it's safe to say that Lewis was a very frustrated driver today and probably put himself into two positions he shouldn't have done. Fair enough, he gets a penalty and that's that. We can always rely on the "suggestive" headline that does it's best to infer that Lewis was playing some sort of race card in his post-race interview. The man had a thoroughly miserable weekend which went from bad to worse. Don't you think you'd be a bit brassed off?

    Red Bull got lucky today, plain and simple where all the things that could go right for Vettel did go right for him which, by way of illustrating the dramatic headlines we get, was down to a "dramatic race". Well, it was a dramatic race until everyone and his uncle was robbed of a dramatic finish. Was there really any point in those post red flag laps?

    A very disappointing ending to what could have been a half decent finish. With the race finishing in disappointing fashion we could have had a decent editorial piece on the merits of being allowed to change tyres on the grid after a red flag. Unfortunately, a lot of column inches is given to what was effectively a non-comment by Hamilton.

  • Comment number 18.

    Totally agree with your comments, example was watching Schumacher pull the same move on lap 1 and Hamilton conceded the corner. Massa makes contact with Webber before the Hamilton contact, he wasn't attempting to pass Webber and it was a desperation move by the Ferrari. the 2nd one with the Williams was more opportunistic but similar to the one he pulled on Schumacher which was drooled over in the commentary box.

    Hamilton = Entertainment
    Vettel = German efficiency

  • Comment number 19.

    Granted the race going the distance could have made this a classic, but it was still an insane but entertaining race. I personally don't have an issue with being able to change the cars or tyres, as these were fairly specific circumstances which conspired today. That said, Vettel is starting to run away with this now, and of the remaining tracks, only Montreal, Spa and Monza don't suit the Red Bulls. With Webber unable to mount a constant challenge, Vettel could ascend to almost Schumacher levels of domination.

    Hamilton's comments showed the immature side of his character which sometimes shows itself. The moves on Massa and Maldonado were both ambitious and Hamilton could have avoided contact on both occasions. Great result from Kobayashi and great performance from Maldonado made the weekend just a bit special.

  • Comment number 20.

    The whole race was a farce and presented to Vettel on a plate! Hamilton was the only one capable of racing him (and winning). The stewards should have extended the practise time after the crash, as it was obvious even to the most uninformed that it was impossible for anyone to make a proper time on cold tyres etc. As for Lewis's comments Bravo to him! What does this cosy little Stewards commitee want a nice cosy procession, and a return to the boring Schumaker Ferrari days!!!

  • Comment number 21.

    I feel that a lot of reporters and fans are blowing Hamilton's joke out of proportion. For me it's rather meaningless and is dwarfed by many dramatic incidents over the weekend. The real thing to be raving about right now is the rule which ruined the race: Allowing drivers to change tires and do repairs during a red flag. Which robbed us all of one of the best F1 climaxes ever.

  • Comment number 22.

    Im white and my sister’s fiance is Caribbean, so I know what Lewis is going through.

    Look, allow me to say what everyone is thinking but dare not say – Lewis Hamilton is the BEST driver in the world! Unfortunately, his colour is his downfall because his team mate Button, is of an acceptable and more preferred hue.

    Now, its painfully obvious Lewis far outclasses Button’s driving capabilities, likewise Alonso outclasses his team mate Massa, NO ONE disputes Alonso outclassing Massa as they are BOTH Hispanics in ethinicity, HOWEVER, most people on this blog will OPENLY DENY that Lewis OUTCLASSES Button because of the DIFFERENCE in ethinicity i.e. Most people either conciously and/or subconciously WILL NEVER ACKNOWLEDGE the TRUTH that Lewis is not only BETTER, but is being penalised over and over for his natural driving gifts simply because his face DOES NOT FIT!!

    If it were mechanically possible for Lewis to stay out of the pit lanes, I’d say that would be his best chance for a Championship win, for if you look at the statistics, there is almost ALWAYS an ISSUE with Lewis’ pit stops, in comparison to Button’s so – Go Figure.

    Reality check, Formulae 1 is an extremely BIASED sport, and hardly anyone mention’s that Lewis was the ONLY driver with a SLOWER car to chase down Vettel convincingly in last weeks Spanish GP! BBC are truly, biased apart from perhaps Jake and Coulthard’s comments today.

    No one is more whiny than Jenson when it comes to excuses for lack of performance in almost EVERY QUALIFYING stint and/or race!! NO ONE says a word about that. Do they?! But the moment Lewis aires his grief, everyone and I do mean EVERYONE jumps on the bandwagon in true brainwashed style to attack him as a whiner? Great! One rule for Jenson,and another for Lewis. Just great.

    Hamilton you are the BEST in world, but most bloggers, your team and the BBC will NEVER admit it!! Unless of course it was blue eyed boy Jenson who was gifted and performing as you are. Please Dont let it PHASE YOU! They have a subconcious mindset that is set in dissolusion, and NOTHING you or I – can ever say or do – will shift their jealous and insecure PARADYME.

    Best wishes,

  • Comment number 23.

    "Maybe it's because I'm black," he said, laughing. "That's what Ali G said. I dunno."

    He said LAUGHING why because he was trying to make a joke! Poorly judged perhaps but still just a joke. I wouldn't blame him if he refuses to speak to the BBC (and some other media outlets) for a race or two after your blatant twisting of his words.

    The other comments he made (or maybe even the RACE itself!) are what you should be focusing on but trying to imply he's 'playing the race card' is ridiculous.

  • Comment number 24.

    A terrific and frustrating race all in one! Vettel is getting lots of luck its true, but he gets himself into the position of capitalising on any 'luck'. Button was on for the win, what with Red Bull's pitlane tyre fiasco, but the hard facts are that McLaren tried to create their own luck [thinking that the pacecar would come out] and it cost them dearly.
    Repairing cars and changing tyres on the grid before the re-start just seems wrong and penalises the ones that have looked after their car/tyres. I was excited at the prospect of Vettel reaching the cliff, etc, but we were denied and we were left with an anti-climax.
    Fact is the season will be for 2nd now!

  • Comment number 25.

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

  • Comment number 26.

    Although often at fault for racing incidents, Hamilton is frequently on the wrong end of decisions which could go either way.

    Hamilton was clearly at fault for the Massa race incident, but not at fault for the Maldanado incident. Maldanado, although slightly ahead, was side by side with Hamilton half way down the pit straight and Maldanado kept on moving across - You can see on the bbc replay the line that drivers take into the 1st corner an the line Maldanado took, Maldanado had moved way across of that which you can do if you are ahead but not if you are side by side. Poor way for Maldonado to loose points. Webber and Hamilton incident in singapore 2010 was very similar, if anything Hamilton on the outside had left Webber more space and was further ahead than Maldanado on the outside today, and yet Webber -Hamilton was a racing incident and today Hamilton got penalised.

    Massa should have got a penalty in quali - he was out of the pits - stayed on the track ahead of hamilton for the length of the straigth and then moved aside. He caused Hamilton to loose 0.6 s in the first sector to vettel, when in both other sessions Hamilton had been ahead of vettel at that stage - Why no penalty when a blatant infringement to Hamilton? You can see why hamilton is aggrieved a bit at that.

    Either way bad response from Hamilton in the interviews - probably as a result of poor team decisions and a couple of bad decisions from stewards. To say all decisions go against him is wrong - but he is right to question some of the stewards decisions.

    Hamilton is aggressive and probably puts himself in situation that others (apart from Schumacher) probably wouldn't but that is why he is the only driver to have won apart from vettel this year. He is at fault for some incidents but is getting penalised for those incidents which could go either way - and there seems no consistency in the decisions made by the stewards.

    The 'cos i'm black' answer I'm sure was out of frustration and not intended to accuse stewards of racism - this will become apparent in future Hamilton interviews. But certainly stewards for whatever reason (prob due to his aggresive driving style as the rest of the pitlane state) seem to always go against Hamilton / favour his opponents in these situations. That shouldn't be the case just becasue he is aggressive and should be done on an incident to incident basis

    Driver of the day - Vettel - has always had the pace, now is showing he has the head and consistency - yet too prove he can overtake though

    Disaster of the day ( and weekend) - Whitmarsh / McLaren engineers -
    1. ruined Hamilton's Quali (shouldn't have used super soft in Quali 2 (easily quick enough to get through to top 10 on softs) and would have given Hamilton 2 runs on super soft in Quali 3 saving 1 set for the race)
    2. Ruined Hamilton's race strategy - Should have kept Hamilton out in P9 on Primes til lap 40 or so - in which case he would have been ahead of Alonso after Alonso's second pit at the safety car(but may have needed a second stop or would have been passed again)
    3. Lost Button certain second and possible win - 3 stopper for Button in Monaco when softs were predicted to last 40-45 laps - serious mistake

  • Comment number 27.

    Lewis, grow up!! When behind and frustrated you drive like a complete rookie, you blame EVERYONE around you for your stupid mistakes and as for the 'it's because I'm black' comment that you go before the stewards, it isn't, it's just because at times you're a terrible, reckless driver!

  • Comment number 28.

    Was the last accident, which stopped the race caused by the Toro Rosso of Jaime Alguersuari, hitting another car then causing Petrov to crash because if it was it was the Sister team of Red Bull 'innocently' helping Vettel to win the race.

    Maybe Lewis Hamilton has a point when complaining about Torro Rosso's not getting out of the way at a previous race, does this smack of the Renault of
    Nelson Piquet Jnr causing a crash on purpose in Singapore?

    After all it looked like Vettel at that point wouldn't have survived to the end on those tyres.

  • Comment number 29.

    Hopefully Lewis will do better in Canada because he is the king of Montreal. He has been on pole every year he's raced there and won it twice.

  • Comment number 30.

    It was a pretty poor excuse for a race and imo the track just isn't up to providing a real race. I don't watch much F1 these days and after today I doubt I'll be watching many from now on.

  • Comment number 31.

    Massa gave no room for Lewis to pass at the hairpin. If you look at schue passing Lewis on the first lap you can see that Lewis left more room to avoid any contact. But I felt sorry for pastor as he deserved the points today and Lewis got the right penalty for this accident.

  • Comment number 32.

    Argh Lewis you idiot. Lewis is probably my favourite driver but he really needs to grow out of this habit. Yes spectators do want to see overtakes, but clean ones. We want to see great moves like Schumacher on Hamilton, Hamilton on Schumacher and Webber on Kobayashi. Lewis can't just put his car up the inside of a corner and assume that 1) the other car has seen him, 2) it constitutes a brilliant overtake. The one on Massa was perhaps harsh to get a penalty- I think it was a racing incident that was caused by Webber running wide and Massa having to cut underneath him. The one on Maldonado was unfortunate but still silly.

    For once, Vettel was dead lucky to win, as I think Jenson should have got him, but another poor Mclaren call cost him a win, just like in Monza. Alonso once again getting every inch of performance out of his Ferrari. I would have loved to see what would have happened if Vettel's tyres had dropped off the cliff, think it would have made for one of the classic finishes.

    Lewis, get your head together. The stewards are clearly not being biased. They might be biased against your style of driving, which today was bordering on dangerous at times. Keep your mouth shut and win Montreal, the championship isn't over yet.

  • Comment number 33.

    Was it just me or did somebody else do the exact same manoeuvre after a few laps and if so why was that driver not penalised. Me thinks a Conspiracy is afoot.

  • Comment number 34.

    Anyone who throws himself around the race circuit without thinking about the consequences like Lewis Hamilton is just plain daft! O.K. you are a very good driver, but there happens to be at this moment quite a lot of very, very good drivers! So, stop your 'frickin' moaning, because that is what you are becoming best at!

  • Comment number 35.

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

  • Comment number 36.

    I do remember that the FIA and Bernie allegedly did not do a lot to Spain when it came to racism in 2008, so maybe thats why he feels that both the FIA and Bernie are not exactly eager to have a coloured very good F1 driver in the paddock.
    The BBC reported these incidents and they have not totally gone away. So I think the FIA and Bernie should shoulder a lot of Hamiltons insecurity issues.

  • Comment number 37.

    I also hate how Pro/Anti Hamilton some people are. Hamilton is not a terrible driver, nor is he leagues ahead of everyone else. I honestly don't know you can say that Hamilton, Button, Alonso, Vettel are any better than each other. They've all been there, they've all done it, they're all brilliant. There are differences, but we are talking tiny ones that we can't judge until they are all in the same car in the same situation.

  • Comment number 38.

    I usually enjoy watching Lewis race, and as a McLaren supporter think he and Jenson form a perfect combination of driving styles, but today was a nightmare for him. He was seemingly in demolition-derby mode and his tendency to whinge and moan (at his team, his competitors, the FIA, etc) seems to be getting out of hand. As for the 'joke', he knew exactly what he was doing when he said that.

    He's still the best overtaker out there but needs to keep his head instead of losing it so often. Otherwise, the talent which deserves more than one title could remain unfulfilled.

  • Comment number 39.

    Hello Andrew. Fantastic drive by Sebastian Vettel.He Made blistering time in qualifying yesterday and drove Like a World champion today. Considering his pit stop problems he kept his head through the chaos during the 78 laps. I think today some of the drivers needed to be patient on there manoeuvres. Sad to see that Michael Schumacher and Mercedes had another poor race. He did well yesterday to qualify fifth on the grid. The BBC F1 Team coverage has been superb this weekend. Your coverage on the F1 Forum was entertaining. Nice to see Sebastian and the Red Bull team celebrations. Early days but I think Sebastian Vettel will be 2011 World champion.

  • Comment number 40.

    What a bunch of hypocrites defending Hamilton. If that was Schumacher causing those accidents today, there would probably be calls for him to be thrown out of the sport.

  • Comment number 41.

    This was quite possibly his worst race of his career, he tried too hard and blaming the stewards is just frustration blowing out. The Maldonado one was reckless as he had no chance of pulling it off, the Columbian was always going to protect his racing line and sadly he came off worse than Lewis. Hamilton was the villain of the day. Kobayashi is a similar driver to Lewis but he managed to keep his cool and control his temperament as he knew chances are very rare. My review of the whole weekend

  • Comment number 42.

    blindarsene- I think Di Resta tried it, and was penalised, so at least they are being consistent. Schumacher also managed one on LH, but that was clean as a whistle as Lewis never expected it.

  • Comment number 43.

    The stewards have accepted his explanation, fair enough but I also hope Hamilton goes to apologise to Massa and Maldonado for his comment about them. He drove into them so I don't personally think he has any right to criticise their driving right now. Both his moves were badly judged and he didn't even get close to being alongside them when he arrived, in both cases he lacked track position and the racing line. He can consider himself lucky he was given a non-penalty for the Maldonado collision, if they really wanted to make an example they could've given him a grid drop for the next race. He's a great driver to watch but I cannot believe that he can display such little respect to his fellow drivers, especially as one of them was the guy he beat to the championship by only 1 point. I agree with what Brundle said on the forum, he needs an attitude change, McLaren have babysat him long enough and he needs to start taking responsibility for his own actions.

    Rant about the children over, I have to say this was the first Monaco GP I've watched live that I really enjoyed since 1996. There was some very good racing going on and the front 3 deserved to be there with the lack of mistakes they made while others floundered. Pit stops were left wanting a little but it made it interesting with the mistake for Vettel's second set of tyres. The loss of the final few laps as a battle were a real shame but it's good to know Petrov was ok.

    Monaco's a one off so I don't think you can read much into it. I have to disagree with your blog about McLaren having it easy in Canada, my recollection was different cars were quick at different times, Alonso also lost positions because of obstructive traffic. I'd say beware of Ferrari due to their mechanical grip in Canada, they may surprise a few people.

  • Comment number 44.

    I think Lewis has a point. Not in the "because I'm Black" issue, - I don't think that has anything to do with it, - but the Stewards do seem to be prejudiced against racers. It is motor RACING! The clue is in the title. If they don't want drivers to have a go at passing, they should call it a motor cavalcade.

    And if the circuit isn't suitable for RACING, they shouldn't go there. Put another Siverstone in, instead.

  • Comment number 45.

    remind you his first year the numbers of decisions he has against him and he never stopped from there even if i agree that he messed up himself in this race.look well and decide honestly.

  • Comment number 46.

    Some of the criticism that Alonso receives from Hamilton’s fans here week in-week out came to my mind today when looking at Hamilton’s behaviour. Namely,
    1. Throwing toys out of the pram when things don’t go his way. Well, I think Hamilton has beaten the record of toy throwing this weekend, complaining of steward’s racism, taking other drivers out of the race and then calling them “ridiculous drivers” and plenty of hand gestures, as well.
    2. No team spirit. Hamilton’s attitude this weekend has been anything but good team spirit. Moaning and blaming his team for picking a bad strategy
    3. Arrogance. Didn’t Hamilton say this weekend he was the only driver capable of beating Vettel in an inferior car? And where is he getting this from? The only win he has this year cannot be accounted on his driver’s skills, but on the wrong tyre strategy picked by Redbull. And last year, when Redbull also had a superior car, who finished closest to Vettel?
    And on strictly racing basis, let me remind some here that last year in Monaco Alonso started last and finished sixth (without DRS), same position Hamilton has achieved today, gaining only 3 positions after a very poor race, going around the track like a headless chicken, crashing into other drivers and having then the nerve to call them “ridiculous”.
    Well done Lewis.

  • Comment number 47.

    Welldone Andrew - Welldone for stirring up a comment made as a frustrated joke.

    As a member of the british media I find it sad that people like you stir up negativities with our own british born driver.

    If this was jenson you guys would be doing everything in your power to bury the story and play down the comments.

    And please answer this andrew......If Lewis' move on massa earns so much critisism from brundle , yourself and the rest of the beeb f1 team - then please tell me why DiResta was not equally critisized? DC even said at one point that DiResta should be given the benefit of doubt - Dont forget DiResta had a few clumsy shunts with other drivers but still gets the usual halo on the head.

    Sorry to say (my opinion that Im lawly allowed to voice) - The beeb f1 team are always so blatant in their affairs with button and diresta and the constant stone throwing & devaluing at hamilton - Its disgusting that a british media outlet can be so ruthless in passing out the stones to throw at one of our own.

    Many people critisize the spanish and italian medias for being so worshipful of their drivers - But at least they do right by riggourously supporting their own. I think with the british media, many prefer jenson as a character and but unfortunately for them jenson is not our best driver. Our best driver is the guy called Lewis who is jenson's team mate - cant let jenson down so lets do everything we can to use the press to elevate him up and at the same time we can be very flippant about Lewis' performances so that both can look a bit more equal.

    I never realised that it would be one of our own (british media personalities) to be circling the skies above our british boy Lewis like the vultures.

    Andrew you and some of your colleagues (EJ, DC, MB, SH, DC, JH) should be ashamed of yourselves.

    -Its pathetic.

  • Comment number 48.

    How can Lewis Hamilton be punished for Maldando crash. Webber never got punished in Singapore last year when he took Lewis off in a similar accident. Where is the consistency in that? Racing incident in my opinion.

    Also it looked like Maldando moved twice on the start finish straight. Thought you could only move once when defending!

    Also it looked like Massa turned in early on the collision with Hamilton and did not take the natural line round the harpin?

    Feel for Lewis… he is such a racer and other drivers just don’t know how to deal with his attacking style and the stewards do seem to have it in for him.

    His remark 'is it cause I is black' was a joke, he even laughed after saying it for goodness sake, once again everyone makes so much out of it!!

    Keep your chin up Lewis and go and win Canada & Valencia!

  • Comment number 49.

    Well said, my thoughts exactly. MAybe in hindsight, he will wish he had not said the comments, but they were said tongue in cheek, with a bit of a chuckle.
    He had a really bad quali, and race, lets face it the whole weekend will be one he wants to forget and move on from.
    But I think the first incident with Massa, he should have been given the benefit of the doubt and gone down as a racing incident. But the Maldanado thing was rediculous, he turned in on him way to early.
    And my final comment is that we were 'Robbed' of what could have been the finish of the season. Granted if they were not allowed to change tyres or repair, then Lewis would have been out, but that is something I could live with to see that played out as it nearly was. Besides he only got 6th anyway. But we will all have to wonder what might have been...

  • Comment number 50.


    "21. At 20:07 29th May 2011, Matkinstein wrote:

    I feel that a lot of reporters and fans are blowing Hamilton's joke out of proportion. For me it's rather meaningless and is dwarfed by many dramatic incidents over the weekend. The real thing to be raving about right now is the rule which ruined the race: Allowing drivers to change tires and do repairs during a red flag. Which robbed us all of one of the best F1 climaxes ever."

  • Comment number 51.

    Lewis is the best driver in the business.He has enjoyed some great races and wants to be the best. Vettel and red bull have had the measure of Mclaren for a while now.The team seem to struggle to find the winning formula.mistakes have been made by all the team.For a young man its alot to swallow.He reacted wrongly but he is young and has time to bounce back. good luck

  • Comment number 52.

    @10 Is pretty much correct. We've seen this time and time again, Hamilton insists on "overly optimistic" overtaking maneuvers (to put it kindly, in all honesty I'd call them suicidally impossible) that fail and then complains when his errors leads to him being rightly punished. Of course, in this race it's worse than usual, since not one, but two (!) drivers are taken out of the race.

    Yes, both Massa (who, in a post race interview, said that the loss in control that resulted in his own crash in the tunnel stemmed from Hamilton crashing into him) and Maldonado (who was pretty much without fault, being as he was the driver ahead) were taken out, both drivers who were having a good race, by Hamilton's incompetence.

    Yes, Hamilton's incompetence, because I have no doubt in my mind that in both cases, as Brundle pointed out, he holds the overwhelmingly majority of the blame. Or, perhaps, did he expected them to just yield track position because he's the "almighty overtaker", Lewis Hamilton?

    So he takes out two drivers and only receives quite light punishments for his errors and now he has the petulance to complain about how he's been taken to the stewards.

    Honestly, I understand that it's pent up frustration that leads to an outburst like that and, now that he has apologized (probably because he's seen how wrong he was or simply because he wants to limit the damage), there should be no further punishment, but still; he's a professional racing driver and he should be held to and should set high standards for behavior. We don't allow Football players to insinuate that referees are cheating for the other or similar claims from other sporting celebrities, and he be held to those standards, where he's clearly failed.

    And for those who think that the BBC are over blowing his comments, well, let me put it like this, google has roughly 69 (as of now) different news articles related to his outburst:

    So yes, it seems quite relevant and important.

  • Comment number 53.

    All the comments about how fantastic Monte Carlo was - as a place for boats, expensive hotels and people looking to get a good place to live - tax advantage too I think. Were the commentators looking for invitations?? Totally distracted me from the race!!!!

  • Comment number 54.

    Poor old Lewis no-one likes him not even his own dad. No-one supports him not even the McLaren team that has looked after him during his carting years. It is usually one of the other "idiots'" fault or that of the team. Well no-one other than Lewis cut the chikane in quali and no-one else buckled under the fast quali lap of Vettel and Red Bull pressure. Not even Martin Brundle is prepared to defend him any more.

    Following his comments about Massa after quali only Lewis would expect him to jump out of the way when Lewis wanted to overtake. A lesson of life: The more you antagonise other drivers the more they are going to help you - surely.

    Maybe Lewis can avoid any mistakes in Canada. Don't bet on it.

  • Comment number 55.

    What an incredible race ! Thrills and spills all the way. As for Lewis, well, he's only human and we have to realise that he was speaking from the heart at a very emotional time. Give the lad a break ! It seemed that if it could go wrong it went wrong for him this weekend...some of it was his own doing and some of it not. We know the true sportsman that he is - given time he will reflect and gather his thoughts which will help him re-focus on the real target. I dread to think of how the press will make a meal of his joke and take it out of context though. All I can say is I have every faith in him and his team and I'm sure Jenson will give him all the support he needs too which should help to put this rotten weekend behind him. Never mind, no-one was seriously hurt and it'll be all to play for next time. Can't wait for Silverstone where me and thousands of others will be there to cheer them on ! Chin up Lewis...we know you will never give up !!

  • Comment number 56.

    Geester_1 i think ayrton would have been called up as many times had he raced in this era of fromula 1 so you cant be negative on lewis's performance you get good races and bad races

  • Comment number 57.

    Great blog Andrew, can't keep everyone happy :P

    I have to give credit where credit is due, and Vettel, Alonso and Button drove brilliantly. It was no-ones fault that the race was red flag and change of tyres was part of the rules, and people saying it 'ruined it'.

    I have enjoyed the coverage this season, but one thing that gets me, is that in the all of the races it's all about Hamilton and Button on gaining or losing time, but in all of the races so far, Paul Di Resta hardly gets a word, only today was he mentioned was that poor attempt at passing at the hairpin. I'm always searching for information on the display, and see him pitting ...but I have no idea what tyres he's on. Paul in general has got better of his team mate...but that's all I hear in the actual race.

    I know how manic this season has been and loved every race so far, but the focus is so much on certain drivers against the Red Bulls chasing them down and a quick run through the standings.

    On today's race i was gutted seeing Paul clatter into another driver...I can't remember the driver, I'm sure it was Toro Rosso, but in hindsight looking the way the race went he could've been in the points again because before his pit stop he was ahead of Kobayashi and Sutil. But oh well he seems to have what it takes to be a solid driver at this moment and let's see in the future how he is in a faster car, cause at this moment Paul is in the 8th or 9th fastest team on the grid.

    On another note DC has been a great addition to the commentary, as unfortunately Jonathan Legard (Think that's his name) was frustrating to listen to, and martin brundle has taken the lead very well.

  • Comment number 58.

    Hamilton was completely right about Massa. Massa flew in too fast, would have hit Webber and had to brake hard and cut into Hamilton who was aiming for the apex. It wasn't a carbon copy of Di Resta's overly ambitious move as the commentators suggested.

    The pass on Maldonado was Hamilton's fault and it was a shame as he'd had a great race up to that point. Slightly ironic that Hamilton's second penalty didnt hurt him despite it actually being his fault.

    I think his comments stem from an incredible feeling of frustration, both this weekend and in general with the FIA (a certain Spa incident springs to mind). I didn't like his Ali G quip and he was harsh about Maldonado, but I do appreciate that he says it how he sees it unlike the rest of the grid who are all just too nice about each other. More to the point he seems like the only man who can take the fight to Vettel, who continues to be flattered by his machinery and other people's bad luck. Has he really been up to see the stewards 5 times this season? What the hell for?

  • Comment number 59.

    I don't think Hamilton was helped by the fact that both his incidents resulted in the other car's retirement whereas like #3 pointed out schumacher's move on hamilton was perfectly clean only because Lewis elected not to turn in. If Massa had just been bashed out the way for example and not crashed in the tunnel (or if hed not taken such a defensive line at the hairpin in the first place), there might not have been a penalty. Seems a little that the stewards judged the aftermaths and not the incidents themselves. Having said this comments after the race were too strong, great for the papers, bad for the LH and F1.

    On the race front (yes there was a race before the interview) had the red flag not happened I reckon Alonso would have won, JB despite my support, couldn't get past him at Vettel speeds so if Vettel's tyres had nose dived then I don't reckon he would have overtaken the ferrari at Alonso's pace.

  • Comment number 60.

    Great race but spoiled by LH's petulant outburst.

    It's his total rudeness which I was sorry to hear regardless of any wrongs he felt he'd suffered in the race & the frustration he was obviously feeling, & to me that's unforgiveable given the influence he has on youngsters. A real shame.

  • Comment number 61.

    Hamilton was cleary fustrated after being quickest untill Q3 where the team got it wrong and lost him the race.
    And if I was in his shoes I would be asking why schumy did not get a penalty for hitting him at the start and why they did not take any action against the torro rosso that was trying to mount the back of his car and broke his rear wing.
    Hamilton got penalised for 2 genuine overtaking moves massa and maldonardo were just as much too blame for there own downfall. Why shut the door when you know a faster driver behind you is committed to the overtake.
    Notice also that kobyashi only got a slap on the wrist for his lreckless unge into the back on the force india.

  • Comment number 62.

    Now theirs a weekend to forget. What a shame F1 is to politically correct, only leaving room for 1 dimensional obedient media friendly drivers, that practice in the mirror the art of not bringing the sport in to disrepute. When a frustrated young driver who thrives on winning has a bad weekend, i personally can excuse his outbursts. Lets not forget that Lewis Hamilton has met very real racism during his time in F1, so it is understandable when he makes a passive aggressive joke about being the victim of racism. Having said all of that his team where the real cause of his troubled weekend. It all started and ended in Quali. Knowing that this season is going to be predictably Vettels 2nd championship win also adds to the frustration. I hope Hamilton will use his frustration and aggression better in future and fight Vettel to the very end.

  • Comment number 63.

    A joke it may have been, and I'm sure that no fair minded person would be offended by it. But the manner in which it was delvered, along with the terse nature of the rest of the interview shows an immature soul in need of some guidance. A weekend racing around the streets of Monaco at the pinnacle of world sport? I would imagine there's no shortage of candidates for the job Lewis. The only joke here is you.

  • Comment number 64.

    Sad to say but no amount of hogwash from Jake, Eddie and DC trying to dupe viewers into thinking that they are watching an exciting competition is going to hide the fact this season is finished as a contest. It does not matter how many pit stops or overtakes there are, the results on Saturday and Sunday are a foregone conclusion. I'll tune back in next spring and hope for something better. Enjoy the procession if you carry on watching.

  • Comment number 65.

    Monaco is a wonderful spectical but as a race it is utterly useless and has been for a while now, it lacks nearly any where to over take or the ability for a driver doing better to overtake on track.

  • Comment number 66.

    Blimey, not sure my comment will get read all the way down here, but re the Lewis Massa hairpin incident -

    I'm all for drivers getting penalised for dangerously crashing into other drivers. BUT THAT HAIRPIN IS THE SLOWEST CORNER IN ALL OF F1!!!

    Lewis was frustrated and took a risk diving up the inside. It would have been fine if Massa hadn't turned in early, but he did (and by doing so he crashed into Webber!!), and by then it was too late for Lewis to back out. It was simply a racing incident, no one was hurt or injured, and no one deserved a penalty. Honestly.... just let them race.

  • Comment number 67.

    It's hardly news that Hamilton seems to be a bit like Marmite and I do wonder whether some of those (journalists) who should know better than the arnchair 'experts' full of sound, intelligent advice – witness post no. 6 – are attacking an easy target.

    Only the most blinkered of F1 followers can deny that there have been some very dodgy and inconsistent stewards decisions over the last few years in particular – not all of them against Hamilton – and that is partly why we have a racing driver (or ex) on the panel at each race now. It was Mosley who introduced the term 'Draconian punishments' and when it all turned sour between Ferrari and McLaren in 2007 he finaly had some ammunition to wield his power and make McLaren (and Ron Dennis in particular) suffer. Since his 'retirement', things have improved but not that much.

    2008 stands out in my opinion as the worst year for for 'stupid' punishments. When most fans were clamouring for more exciting races, the FIA was trying its best to rob racing fans of what they pay (sometimes huge amounts) to see. The Belgian GP of that year, where Hamilton was robbed of a magnificent victory which began when Raikkonen forced him off track, was THE most blatant anti-racing stewardship I've ever witnessed. Hamilton was also recieved that ridiculous penalty in Fuji where he was rather 'over-exuberant' at the first corner (even if he didn't make contact with anyone)!!! How many times in the past have we not only seen that but praised such determination not to concede (remember Gilles Villeneuve?). Later in the same race Sebastian Bourdais exited the pits only to have Massa drive into him, yet he was the one to receive a penalty… one of the most bizarre and absurd decisions ever!

    Which brings me to Massa. Hamilton may have been optimistic trying to pass Maldonado at St. Devote today but as I saw it, the Massa incident was 100% the latter's fault. Schumie passed Hamilton himself at that spot on the first lap and there was at least one other successful pass there. However, Massa, he who will absolutely not consider conceding a millimetre (remember Alonso criticising him after the European GP in 2007?), brought on his own downfall, getting his just deserts in the tunnel and destroying Hamilton's race in the process. Of course Massa has been a pupil of the Michael Schumacher school of defensive driving, except that he generally gets increasingly ragged when putting it into practice.

    Hamilton sometimes says inappropriate things but I do wonder what is the point of blowing it out of proportion in sensational tabloid fashion, when, in fact closer analysis of a far more serious trait, the inconsistency of stewards' decision-making, ought to be the focus of journalists' reporting.

  • Comment number 68.

    Just one point really. Having watched the last few races, it is clear Red Bull banked on the tight nature of the Monaco race circuit on a one stop tyre strategy to ensure a win.

    As for Lewis Hamilton post race comments, it is no big deal is it. It is not like he has just invaded another country. Chill guys chill. It is not that kind of attack is it?

  • Comment number 69.

    The ALiG comment is a complete non-issue, it was said as an aside, although of course tommorows press will not treat it as such 'ITS BECAUSE I'M BLACK' in big letters on the back page of the Sun anyone?
    Atrocious weekend from Mclaren, the team where to blame for the qualifying debacle although Hamiltons frustration is understandable it reflected badly on him with poor and misjudged overtaking manouevres, although I always give the guy credit for at least trying. He needs to develop less of the Senna 'I'm coming through and its up to you if we have an accident' attitude and a bit more of Sennas passing skills.
    Bottom line is I would be fed up of Mclarens constant errors/mistakes pit wall malfunctions and obsession with pre-empting 'safety cars' in every race. They need to think a little less and employ someone on the pit wall (not emailing them from Woking) who can make good decisive spontaneous decisions on the spot.
    Hamilton isn't aways in the right but the least he can expect is the team to get him in the best possible position from which he can use his skill to try and win a race, they are consistently failing to do this. It seems to me that Mclaren are constantly snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

  • Comment number 70.

    What can I say Lewis....You are probably one of the most gifted drivers in the paddock but today,BOY you made my blood boil.You know that Monaco is hard to overtake.But today you made me proud by overtaking the always hard to overtake Massa.Then you lost the plot.Maldonado was driving for his life and you pushed him to one side.Not nice.Vettel being the boring driver that he his,was lucky when Petrov decided to hit the swimming pool.The Maclaren team and its army of strategists were absolutely clueless.They were trying to out-think Red Bull with stupid pit stops.Canada is next where the Red Bulls are not very efficient.Come on Lewis.Stop using the race card and kick some Red Bull tail.....

  • Comment number 71.

    He was far behind the top three all weekend, and as a result, he tried to make ill-advised passes. It's a tough situation, since he's unlikely to catch Vettel this season without some major trouble befalling the current champion. I think Lewis is annoyed with McLaren as well, but Button put on a very good show throughout the weekend, so problems with the car are bit overstated They aren't as fast as Red Bull, but they're competitive. In any case, Lewis will be back. He may well win in Canada. Unfortunately, Vettel is now the young champion everyone celebrates and it's getting to him. Maybe his dad will take him aside and explain that people who overcome adversity are actually more admirable.

  • Comment number 72.

    Hamilton will regret saying those things!...

    Another great race… what was Hamilton doing? You can’t just put yourself on the curb and then say “they turned in”, of course they turned in, they were cornering. He’s my favourite racer, but, he’s going to come a cropper for criticism after this one.

  • Comment number 73.

    To 59. Jack "On the race front (yes there was a race before the interview) had the red flag not happened I reckon Alonso would have won, JB despite my support, couldn't get past him at Vettel speeds so if Vettel's tyres had nose dived then I don't reckon he would have overtaken the ferrari at Alonso's pace."

    Everyone seems to be missing that JB's DRS was cancelled out because Alonso also had DRS advantage behind Vettel. JB was stuffed if Alonso never got past Vettel but it sounds like that would have been likely. Then JB's superior tyres AND DRS would have made him passing Alonso quite a high possibility... if he hadn't run out of laps by then. If the race had played to the end, you might have even seen Alonso holding out on passing Vettel because he knew he was gaining an advantage on Button by being behind him until the last lap! I'd have loved to have seen those last few laps.

  • Comment number 74.

    A lot of pathetic racists here - and not suprisingly it's the anti-white brigade. No-one has ever mentioned colour until Lewis decided his 'chip' needed some air.
    His driving today was desperate - expecting Massa to let him through was a joke and then a repeat performance with Maldonado.
    He is showing his immaturity and hot headedness when things don't go his way.
    His penalty should be a race ban for bringing the FIA into disrepute and he should have been excluded from the race results today.
    We don't need any racist jokes or comment of any hue in Formula 1 thank you!

  • Comment number 75.

    i think its time someone taught Lewis the old addage, if you've nothing good to say, say nothing at all!!

    this is going to come back to haunt him for a long time to come.
    funny how his dad came out with a very similar comment years ago about what would happen if lewis failed in his bid to be a successful F1 driver.

  • Comment number 76.

    This was a poor race. We, the audience, were robbed of a fair race when all the drivers were allowed a 'free' pitstop at the red flag. What a terrible rule. I can only see that making sense if it were to change to wet weather tyres.

    But most importantly, I am bemused as to how Massa did not get punished for wrecking Lewis' Qualifying run yesterday. I dont understand how nobody could see or acknowledge this impeding of an undoubted challenge for Pole.

    To todays race. Hamilton was outstanding. Massa should have done what Lewis did at the hairpin with Michael Schumacher on the first lap, and Maldonado should have done what Schumacher did at the first corner. This shows the different class of driver, Schumacher and Hamilton are in another league of understanding, Massa and Maldonado are happy to place their car...and it didnt end well for them personally.
    Hamilton is Senna-esque, ill place my car here and you can either let me through or crash into me. Senna too would have been penalised many a time in this age. Unfortunately the sport has grown to punish overtaking, in any context.

  • Comment number 77.

    "68. At 20:45 29th May 2011, deh wrote:

    Just one point really. Having watched the last few races, it is clear Red Bull banked on the tight nature of the Monaco race circuit on a one stop tyre strategy to ensure a win. "

    Actually no. They've already admitted that they made a mistake and put the wrong tyres on Vettel and then amended their strategy to try to overcome it. Vettel was v lucky... and the rules are a bit bizarre under red car restart situ!!!!

  • Comment number 78.

    Agree that it's not going to do anyone any good but the press making his comments into something more than it was meant as.

    You can't blame a guy for trying right? Lewis was aggresive today, but he needed to be in order to improve on his quali performance. Sometimes it paid off, sometimes it didn't. He only has himself to blame for when it didn't and he'll realise this when he has time to reflect I'm sure.

    The rule 'causing an avoidable accident' is a highly debateable one - not sure only one person can be given the blame all the time.

    Shame for Button today too - for a moment it looked like it could work out for him. Vettel's luck has got to run out some time, hasn't it? *hopes and prays*

  • Comment number 79.

    For 72 laps this was a great race, then the 'Red Flag', what a strange rule that allows teams to change parts of vehicles and tyres whilst under this flag.

    This has cost F1 big time, the race was gearing up to be one of the most exciting of recent times, instead I and many others ( I presume) were left feeling cheated, as for the supporters who spent thousands to watch live they must be pulling their teeth out after such an anti-climatic finish.

    Great perfomances by Vettel, Alonso & Button, I was impressed with Buttons drive today he did everything asked of him, however, Vettel and Alonso took advantage of the rules and managed to stay ahead for what could be very valuable points for Alonso, and more points to what seems to be a clear run to the Drivers Championship for Mr Vettel.

    Feel slightly sorry for Hamilton, he has experienced a very rare off weekend, tried his best in the race to limit the damage, yet the aggressive driving style that normally serves him so well let him down, in my opinion he was clearly at fault for both accidents and that the stewards were correct to penalise him.

    As for Lewis immediate post-race comments, I think his disapointment with his own performance on the day manifested itself in the silly comments made in the interview.

    Lewis is a huge asset to F1 and like many of the drivers will say things which are both infantile and wrong , this outburst should not though be used to attack him, instead, I hope that it will teach him that as a global superstar you need to measure what you say especially when the 'red mist' is still hovering!

  • Comment number 80.

    While I agree that Hamilton was at fault in both cases today, the other two drivers turned in on very unusual lines which could not even be considered normal defensive lines. I would lay the blame in both cases as 70/30 with Hamilton getting the majority.
    The points being missed are 1. Mclaren were tactically rubbish this weekend (not for the first time this year), 2. The rule allowing the tyre changes during the red flag period is nonsense. Only repairs to allow cars to be able to continue racing should be allowed.

    3. The tyres that were brought to this race were too durable! Compared to previous races, it was possible to 2-stop easily.

    If the FIA has made an oversight (again) in the rulebook, they should fix it so we don't lose another potentially spectacular finish.

    Focussing on a comment made in jest by an angry adrenaline-fueled racer is unproductive and headline grabbing.

    Comments by people like Pedro Franco who have obvious biases and clearly don't watch races for the purity of racing or the technical ability of drivers are also idiotic. Massa crashed because he went off-line and couldn't get back on-line because a brave driver was already on the line. That crash had nothing to do with the clash at the hairpin unless you count it as unsettling Massa's brain.

  • Comment number 81.

    At Coolkev,

    I am still laughing after reading your comment. I like your ethnic classification of Massa and Alonso both as "Hispanics". Let me enlighten you because in fact none of them are "Hispanics". The term is used in the USA mainly to refer to the Spanish speaking population of Latin America, mainly formed by indigenous population, with some mix coming from the old Spanish colonialists and some Afrocaribbean at times.
    Alonso is from Spain, Europe. So hardly, Latinamerican. And Massa is from Brazil, an ex-portuguese colony, so hardly “Hispanic”

  • Comment number 82.

    I feel people should stop complaining about processional races and then moan when a driver has a bit of courage and tries hard at making an exciting race through overtaking other drivers.
    I also feel everyone is taking a joke out of proportion, and it seems these days no one can take a joke at all.
    Hamilton is clearly the best overtakers in the sport at the moment, and the reason for this is that he is willing to try slightly more difficult or daring overtakes. He also knows when to stop pushing as it was evident he saw Schumi coming through on lap1 and got out the way, knowing he'd try to counter later. Why can no other drivers accept someone will pass them, and then try to get back later.
    However, following my point that a joke is a joke, I can see a kernel of truth in hamilton's words, as he does seem to receive far too many penalties or other forms of punishment. Wether this is through his race, or, I feel more likely, the FIA's long standing hatred of Ron Dennis, who discovered Hamilton and who also appears to be close to him.
    I notice that whilst Ron Dennis was at McLaren, they seemed to get an awful lot of overly-severe penalties, but, when he left after Australia 09, McLaren suddenly get off very lightly with their punishment. I think that is why Hamilton is picked on, because he is friends with Ron Dennis, and they just want to get at Ron, and Hamilton has the right to complain.

  • Comment number 83.

    I too assumed that the Massa incident was a late dive, like Di Resta's. But then I watched it back: Massa knows Hamilton is attacking and definitely turns in - he cuts diagonally off the racing line when Hamilton has his wheels alongside. Compare his line with the others in front of Massa. Massa is entitled, but he caused the accident as much as Hamilton.

    As for Hamilton's words, the Daily Mail will be outraged, most people will get the reference. The amazing access we get to drivers will only be curtailed if we don't allow them to express anger when they're angry, rather than saying "at the end of the day we could have done better, but I'm looking forward to the next race..."

  • Comment number 84.

    F1 is relatively boring and Hamilton knows it. Why on earth is Monaco still on the racing calendar anyway..? If you can't overtake you can't race. Either change the cars or change the circuit, and that means ditching Monaco. Should have been done years ago.

  • Comment number 85.

    @74, The racism in you just shines through... You can't hide it can you?

  • Comment number 86.

    @47 SupaSix-1

    Read comment 57...

    I've watched Di Resta avidly so much...but how can I when its on lewis all the time? You say he has a halo above his head, he made 1 mistake today, and that other incident with Di grassi was harmless with the great difference of speed as di grassi was so slow...I understand it was more due to the driver in front of him. Other then that and the odd spin and flat spot on the tyre he's been solid. He hardly gets mentioned....only gets, 'beating his team mate' statement, you call that being too nice to Di Resta...

    I find it amazing your having a go at the BBC because they are reporting something bad about him, Hamilton gets so much airtime and praise, he is a great driver, but at times you hear 'What a great drive by Lewis' after overtaking with softer and new tyres, but then Button a race afterwards saying 'you're a sitting duck' when having different tyres. I'm not bashing them, it's just unbelievable reading what you have just written.

  • Comment number 87.

    I am fully behind Lewis Hamilton on this situation. I dont understand why it is all hyper and criticising Hamilton's attitude and his displays. Monte Carlo track is one of most difficult track on the calendar especially the process of overtaking. Lewis Hamilton obviously recognise one of most successfully overtake in F1 and it adding exciting to the fans back home and across the world. Therefore the Monte Carlo certainly frustrated Hamilton because he have a ability to overtaking the opponent and today, he was clearly faster than Massa, Petrov, Webber, Koby and Maldonado. However this track made him so difficult to get past and that why we can him very frustrating because he quickly than everyone mainly.

    Schumacher past Hamilton in lap 1 was perfect and this was because Hamilton gave him a room but this was different to Massa. Massa, I believe, knew Hamilton was right on his tails but he made stupid move to clip Hamilton in which Hamilton already insider Massa car. Reckless drive by Massa! Again, Hamilton was clearly faster than Maldonado but he was sick of staying behind him so long, considering his pace was faster than Maldonado. I know his overtake was not very good but this corner may the only way to provide a good opportunity for overtaking. Maldonado should aware that Hamilton already insider of his car, perhaps give him a bit of space to avoid possibly disastrous consequence.

    Ah well...I feel for Hamilton. I love his driving style! Chin up Hamilton, Montreal is the next one and no doubt you will win this one!

  • Comment number 88.

    Comment 77.Dear Jessica Auckland,
    I do agree with you.Red Bull did mess up their tyre strategy but they were quick enough to out think their rivals.I cannot stand Vettel.He is such an annoying little weasel who has been blessed by Adrians brains.Maclaren has lost the plot.Big time

  • Comment number 89.

    Tell them like it is, Lewis! And I hope you shred Red Bull and Ferrari to pieces in Canada.

    And don't let these people get into your head. You are the best driver on the track and you have a competitive car, so keep pushing! Real fans are 100% behind you.

  • Comment number 90.

    Lewis. Oh Lewis Lewis. I understand his comments and I understand it was a heat of the moment thing but there wasn't really any need to fuel the media like that. I'm a huge fan of his and it's a shame he has to be 'frickin ridiculous' every now and then. Mclaren's strategy and ideas this weekend didn't help him. Get over it Lewis and go and win in Canada. I'll still be supporting you and wearing your cap. ;)

    The race as a whole wasn't the worst in the world. Certainly for Monaco. Everything seems to be falling for Red Bull (mostly Vettel) and not his rivals right now. Would have liked to see a Ferrari or Button win.

    Pleased Barrichello finally got some points - at least it won't be as bad as his 2007 year with Honda! Great drive from Kobayashi and Maldonado, just a shame the latter couldn't finish.

    Mclaren 1-2 in Canada. Please?

  • Comment number 91.

    Yet again another article written by the middle class right wing bloggers of the BBC. Lets not focus on the race, yes we will mention it but in reality this blog has been all about highlighting that comment. He made a stupid comment 'end of' was there a need for all this ?

    With the current environment of war on terror it seems that under this guise its ok for ethnocentric attitides to be aired, we seem to have gone backwards 20 years. Well done the BBC bloggers and moderators take a bow.

  • Comment number 92.

    Hamilton is certainly one of the best drivers as of today, if not the best, the sooner he understands that he cannot create his own rules kicking out drivers by hitting them in the middle of the car because "he was faster than them" the better is for him too. Pretty misearble the consideration on the color of the skin: racism is a huge problem; Lewis do not evoke it, please don't, simply ... think a little bit more before hitting other cars!

  • Comment number 93.

    I honestly cannot see Lewis staying at McLaren for a lot longer...I'm not sure when his current contract expires...?

    He is clearly becoming frustrated that he is the best driver in the world but has only won 1 title from 5 seasons. He needs the car to become the legend he deserves to become, and I don;t believe McLaren is the team to provide that.

    However, I don't think this frustration justifies his arrogant and petulant attitude in his interview with Lee Mackenzie. HE NEEDS TO GROW UP!!

  • Comment number 94.

    Two words Lewis, GROW UP!

  • Comment number 95.

    I think Hamilton's frustration is not just what's happening this year, but the paranoia that exists in McLaren due to some of the questionable decisions that have been made against them in the past (e.g, Hamilton at Spar in 2008). To be honest I agreed with Brundle that the accidents, particularly with Massa, were Lewis' fault; however, Lewis does have a point. He could have turned in on Schumacher, but didn't. In particular the second accident with Maldanodo was more 50:50 - although I do feel sorry for Williams loosing valuable points. Perhaps the FIA do need to look at the question of when its permissible to turn in on another driver, or when one can dive up the inside and expect to be allowed through. After all, the aim is to improve the show and it seems a bit pointless introducing KERs and DRS if drivers arent allowed to go side by side.

  • Comment number 96.

    I think Hamilton may be right. In this case some of the blame has to be aportioned to Massa. The damage to his front wing was due to him colliding with the rear of Webber's Red Bull which may have caused him to run wide in the tunnel. Having said that Monaco is fast becoming a none event. Unable to pass whereas elsewhere circuits are designed to aid passing. Monaco should be confined to qualifying only and left at that. Why should drivers risk life and limb to provide a spectacle?

  • Comment number 97.

    You guys are all focusing on the other stuff.

    The main outrage today was...

    Vettel went into the pits at lap 16 and then didn't change his tyres until lap 72/73.


    What's the point in devising clever strategies like Button's when you can make 1 stop for a change of tyres and then go practically the whole race without stopping? Doesn't that defeat the point of this endurance style race?

  • Comment number 98.

    Have you all forgotten about Petrov? The poor ickle dab bashed his ankle and the race had to be stopped... luckily a Renault still won though, Hope Petal recovers ok for Canada, or how we'll miss his racecraft. Pathetic. As for changing tyres on the grid, disgraceful. Totally ruined a race that had already been ruined.

  • Comment number 99.

    Just a comment re Monaco this year. Was I watching a different race to many posters on here? I saw loads of overtaking. A lot of it excellent. And even the attempted but failed overtakes were entertaining.

  • Comment number 100.

    twice this weeken we the viewers where robbed of a great spectacle. First for the red flag in qualifying, after Perez horrible accident, and then again in the race another red flag just as it was all about to unfold. Both the red flags where unfortunate, but it is starting to remind me of the Schumacher dominant era when everything always went his way!

    I don't believe this season is over yet...but a couple more races and it certainly could be! looking back over the last 20 years of formula one only one man has beaten the great drivers, Senna,prost,Schumacher etc. And the same man has guided the great drivers such as Hakkinen and now Vettel...Adrian Newey. Put Schumacher and the likes aside and the true great of formula one is Newey. Its a team sport and that man is a genious!


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