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Lewis Hamilton - classic F1 2011

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Andrew Benson | 06:00 UK time, Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Lewis Hamilton picks his five all-time favourite races ahead of the British Grand Prix, in the latest instalment of BBC Sport's classic Formula 1 series.

This year, we have asked all the drivers to make such a choice, and we are serialising them before each race to whet your appetites for the action ahead.

The drivers have taken different approaches to this task so far.

Multiple world champions Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso, for example, chose a mixture of their own races and events that resonated with them from before their own time in F1.

Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg, by contrast, did not take his own races into account at all.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, Hamilton - like reigning champion Sebastian Vettel before him - has gone for his five favourite races from his own F1 career. And what a selection it is.

Hamilton has been F1's most exciting driver since he entered the sport with a bang in 2007, and in that time he has produced drives that are not only among the best of his era, but will stand the test of time as all-time great performances.

His five choices reflect that, and you can watch him discussing his choices with F1 presenter Jake Humphrey in the video embedded immediately below. He starts off by talking about this season's Chinese Grand Prix.

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Hamilton has included a couple of career landmarks because of what they mean to any driver - a home race, a Monaco win, for example - so not all of them would necessarily be on a list of the five greatest drives of his career. But at least three of them would.

His superb wins in Belgium 2010 and Hungary 2009 do not make his list, nor is there a mention for his breathtaking qualifying lap in Japan last year.

Nevertheless, I'm sure many could make a case for the other two as well, and all are stand-out performances from a man even his team-mate Jenson Button describes as "super-talented, one of the best drivers Formula 1 has ever seen".

Hamilton has not ranked them himself, either in order of preference or in order of status, so I have done so myself, after discussing their merits with our F1 commentary box producer Mark Hughes.

In what we perceive to be reverse order of merit, they are as follows:

5. The 2008 Monaco Grand Prix
Hamilton has chosen this because, he says, as a grand prix driver "you always remember your first Monaco". He undoubtedly drove superbly to win in mixed conditions, but the victory owed a lot to luck.

He crashed into the barrier at Tabac corner on lap six, damaging a rear wheel, as rain began to fall more heavily. But he managed to get the car back to the pits undamaged, enabling him to take on more fuel and delay his final tyre change to dry tyres until he had built a winning lead.

4. The 2007 Canadian Grand Prix
Hamilton made an instant impression in his debut season in F1, overtaking his team-mate Alonso around the outside of the first corner at the first race of the season in Australia.

After a series of increasingly impressive performances, and podium finishes in every race, his maiden victory came at the sixth race of the season, the Canadian Grand Prix.

It was a dominant performance, leading from lights to flag, despite four safety cars, and such was Hamilton's superiority that it appeared to completely unsettle Alonso.

The Spaniard went off at the first corner after the start disputing the lead with his team-mate and, most uncharacteristically, ran off the track there a further three times during the course of the race, eventually finishing seventh.

3. The 2007 Japanese Grand Prix
Run in horrendous, monsoon-like conditions on the Fuji Speedway in the shadow of Japan's iconic mountain, this was the first real indication that Hamilton had the almost supernatural ability on a wet track that marks out the truly great drivers.

He led the race throughout, coping well with a safety car intervention, while other drivers - including Alonso - were caught out by the rivers of water that were running across the track or the appalling visibility.

Hamilton joked with Humphrey that seeing his team-mate, with whom he was at the time disputing the world championship, had crashed was one of the reasons he remembered the race so fondly.

He describes it as "the race in the wet in Fuji where Fernando crashed".

"That made it great, did it?" Jake asks.

"Yeah," Hamilton says with a laugh, before adding: "No, it was a great race because it was the trickiest conditions. And you've got a two-time world champion who's been racing a lot more than me and he's put it in the wall. And the others who were trailing around and struggling, to have those races and keep the car on the track in those conditions, it doesn't compare to anything."

2. The 2011 Chinese Grand Prix
Hamilton's only victory so far this season was the result of a breathtaking drive, in which all his raw pace and daring overtaking skills were on display.

He chased Vettel down in the closing laps and passed him brilliantly into the 150mph Turn Seven to take the lead. That was impressive enough.

But the win hung on an equally stunning overtaking move on Button earlier on, diving audaciously down the inside into Turn One at the last possible moment. The two came very close to disaster, Button having a wobble as he noticed his team-mate was there and took avoiding action.

"Every moment was amazing," Hamilton remembers. "To express what you feel in the car, you can't put it into words.

"I race a Formula 1 car. It's crazy to be able to even say that. I've been racing since I was eight and now I've got my own F1 car that I can race and help develop. I feel very privileged.

"When you're in that race and you feel you've got the car beneath you, overtaking Vettel, the world champion, was amazing - and also doing it in a place where he didn't expect it.

"It's definitely one of the best grands prix I've had."

1. The 2008 British Grand Prix
Hamilton was brief on the subject of this race, his first and so far only win in his home grand prix, describing it as "wicked". Another way of looking at it is as one of the greatest wet-weather performances in F1 history.

It was a drive that reminded onlookers of Ayrton Senna's iconic victory at the 1993 European Grand Prix at Donington Park, Michael Schumacher in Spain in 1996 or Jackie Stewart's at the Nurburgring in 1968 - a day when one man is on a completely separate level from his competitors.

In treacherous wet conditions, Hamilton was at times four of five seconds faster than anyone else. It was, as McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said at the time, "an astonishing performance".

Highlights of that memorable afternoon are embedded below, with beneath it links to short and extended highlights of Mark Webber's victory for Red Bull in last year's British Grand Prix.

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Short highlights of Canada 2007, Japan 2007, Monaco 2008, Great Britain 2008, China 2011 and extended highlights of the 2010 British Grand Prix will be broadcast on satellite and cable from 1500 BST on Wednesday 6 July until 1830 BST on Friday 8 July. They will be broadcast on Freeview from 1040 BST until 1240 BST on Friday 8 July.


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  • Comment number 1.

    Lewis obviously doesn't read this blog. I'm disappointed there's nothing of interest here but hey - they were his choices ...

  • Comment number 2.

    Everyone was complaining that drivers were picking the same races and then when Lewis chooses totally different ones everyone is like 'I DON'T LIKE THESE'.

    All the races he's chosen are races he's won. Good, for me, as I'm a Hamilton fan. You guys will probably be angry.

    Actually, though, seriously. I'm pleased with the races he's chosen not just because he won them all, but because ALL of them were truly great races. I remember Fuji 2007 very well.

  • Comment number 3.

    I also find it funny that on the 2007 races the commentary is from ITV. Realizing that James Allen was so much better than Legard.

    I will always remember Canada 2007 as the 'Kubica crash'.

  • Comment number 4.

    And I'll remember Fuji '07 as when Vettel crashed into Webber. Haha.

  • Comment number 5.

    Great Grand Prix and this feature is interesting as it shows the different ways drivers view F!. Why not just rename it Drivers Choice so noone expecting loads of 70's and 80's F1 is disappointed. The vitriol in this blog has been something to behold!

  • Comment number 6.

    It is all down to how the question is worded and how the driver interprets it.

    Give us YOUR 5 favourite races? as in your ones.

    Gives us your top 5 favourite races out of F1's entire history?

    clearly he thought they were asking about HIS top 5 races, not F1's top 5 races. Do think the questioning needs to be more clear and the word Classic perhaps needs to be removed from this section.

  • Comment number 7.

    Some good races here. Think my favourite out of the five would be this years chinese grand prix. So many overtakes in this race, was brilliant to watch. Im glad he didnt choose the 2008 Brazilian grand prix. Don't think it really matters how the question is asked or how the drivers decide to answer it, im just glad that this feature exists... Come on Mclaren this weekend!!!!!!

  • Comment number 8.

    I don't know what everyone is complaining about, I've got a terrible short term memory so I love this new, name your five most recent races feature;)

  • Comment number 9.

    Some great races there. I'm pretty sure though, when Vettel picked 5 races he'd won (some equally great races) it was because he was 'arrogant and doesn't care about F1'. Personally I follow neither driver, and feel F1 can do with out nationalistic football-esque fanboyism.

  • Comment number 10.

    Well of course these are all races Lewis thought were classics, as he won them... But i'm sure his legions of fans will say the same, so as i'm in the minority i'll not argue with them

    On the upside, at least some of them are ones which haven't been featured before (i think, or maybe my memory is as short-term as Lewis's... ;) )

  • Comment number 11.

    #9 Frezinho - not all the races Vettel picked in his selection he actually won (France 08?). But I echo your sentiments

  • Comment number 12.

    It isn't really classic if it is the last four years... but I don't mind
    Something to watch before Friday :)

  • Comment number 13.

    @9 How can you say vettel doesnt care about F1? all he has done is pick his 5 favourite races. Some people make me laugh.

  • Comment number 14.

    Dear Oh dear. This format rarely fails to disappoint.
    This week's serving is almost a carbon copy of Vettel's self inflating ego trip.

    All I see is Hamilton saying: "ME, ME, ME, ME. I win, I win, I win. ME, ME, ME....."

  • Comment number 15.

    Isn't it odd to see that his all-time hero Ayrton Senna doesn't even get a mention! I bet he can't really remember seeing him race anyway! Hamilton would have been barely out of nappies when Senna was in his pomp.

  • Comment number 16.

    I would imagine if the questioner had ask, "surprised you didn't pick a Senna race" Hamilton would have realised it wasn't HIS best 5 races. Same with Vettel.

    Bad interviewing/questioning is most likely the problem, but if Benson wishes to rebut this by showing the question, please DO.

  • Comment number 17.

    To all of you moaning about this feature - just stop looking at it!! At the beginning of the season I thought they'd already asked the drivers and got their choices, but this one has shown that it is not the case.
    Perhaps the choices are Lewis's way of reminding us that when the car is ''hooked'' up he has the most supreme driving skills and can keep fans with their hearts in their mouths for much of a race when all the conditions come together - after the Silverstone win I still remember being exhausted for 2 days after - he is very exciting to watch and part of that excitment is the fact that you're waiting for him to be in the wall at the next corner! You go through the highs and lows with him.
    I shall look forward to indulging in these before the weekend.

  • Comment number 18.


    It is still very arrogant.

    Hooked up? Far From it this season.

  • Comment number 19.

    Can I say as a must for the freeview showing, that you show all the short highlights please instead of just extended highlights of last years race which is what happened with the European Grand Prix, especially as many of these races are new to the archive.

  • Comment number 20.

    agree with @19, would rather have the highlights than 1 race on freeview.

    @18 until you know the phrasing of the question and whether they made it clear it was of ALL time, you have no idea as to who is to blame, same goes for Vettel. My guess is the BBC are to blame for this each time it happens, pretty sure I said this with Vettel too.

  • Comment number 21.

    Its understandable, perhaps, if Schumacher, Alonso and Hamilton picked some of their own races as their favourites.

    After all they have been World Champions and have thrilled us with their driving skills.

    As for Rosberg picking other peoples' races, I'm certain it wasn't out of modesty, but the fact he has hasn't won many exciting races himself.

    Hamilton makes headlines and many resent that; god knows why? Perhaps they'd rather it was Button or even Beckham they were reading about !!

  • Comment number 22.

    Typical Lewis Hamilton - it's all about ME!

  • Comment number 23.

    17.At 09:50 6th Jul 2011, samson2009 wrote:
    To all of you moaning about this feature - just stop looking at it!!

    If you dont like other people having opinions that dont quite fit in with your own, you shouldnt be joining in on a public forum.

  • Comment number 24.

    I love it that when Vettel picked his 5 everyone seemed to slag him off for his choices and called it a ego trip, but when Hamilton does its seems to be fine with the majority, what a disgraceful attitude some people have.
    However I see nothing wrong with either Vettel's or Hamilton's choices, as some people have pointed out it is probably the way the question was put or at the very least interpretted. If the question hasn't already been asked to all the future drivers on this topic, perhaps you could make it clear Mr Benson that it doesn't have to be from their carreer in F1 but from any point in F1 history. I do love this feature on the BBC though!

  • Comment number 25.

    I think everyone is missing the point of this blog. Anyone interested in F1 can pick 5 great races from the history of F1 but as the BBC has exhausted most of the classic races over the last 2 years, they are looking for a new angle. Having a driver pick them is just a new angle on an old idea. There wouldn't be any point in asking the driver to pick races anyone would pick, so if they pick a race that is special to them, so be it.
    I personaly think that the chocies Lewis has made are very good and no other driver would have picked any of them. At lest we didn't get Brazil 08 again!

  • Comment number 26.

    Just a bit of housekeeping for you - on the Japanese Grand Prix 2007 video highlights page it refers to Lewis winning "ahead of team-mate Heikki Kovalainen" - Heikki was driving for Renault in 2007 and Alonso was his team mate.

  • Comment number 27.

    Do we really have read about how much Benson LOVES Lewis Hamilton time after time. Andrew you prove time and time again that you don't really have a clue what you are talking about and that you cannot be impartial.

    As for Hamilton's choices i think his arrogance is getting even greater by the day.

    3 of these race were more luck than skill so it speaks for itself really.

  • Comment number 28.

    If he was going to pick 5 races in which he was involved (and I'm not judging him on that decision), I'd have liked to see Spa 2008. An absolutely cracking race which got even better when it started to rain near the end. Kimi was leading, but we thought as soon as the rain started that Hamilton would beat him.

    Then Lewis messed up the overtake and should have given the position back. This led to Hamilton being relegated by the stewards, and gifted the race victory to Massa, who had done absolutely nothing in the race. And we now know that the impact of this decision was that it took the championship to the very last corner of the last race of the season. Great stuff.

  • Comment number 29.

    Hi all

    Thanks for your comments so far.

    I hope you won't mind if I clear up a question some of you are asking. The people who have done the interviews with the drivers for this feature are not always the same. Sometimes it has been Jake Humphrey, as in this case, sometimes Lee McKenzie, sometimes other people. But always the situation is explained to the drivers in the same way - they are asked for their five favourite all-time F1 races, and they are told they can choose their own races or not. It's up to them.

    The choice is theirs.

    I'd also like to point out that there is a slight problem with the video of the interview with Hamilton by Jake. It starts while they are discussing the 2011 Chinese Grand Prix, but it is not immediately obvious which race they are talking about, nor which particular events in that race. There has been an error in the editing of the video and we will rectify this as soon as possible. Apologies for that.

  • Comment number 30.

    @F1-2-1-2-1. . . Any driving skills at all??...apparently you don't have, so, you decided to have a go at Hamilton, who in his debut/rookie year failed by just two points to win the championship. Its baffling why he isn't given credit for bring the race alive with his skills and daring exploits. In Valencia last time out, he was a bit subdued for various reasons, and what did we have?...something only worth forgetting ! So, may I ask Mr Hamilton and his mate Button to set the scene this weekend and turn the procession round into something resembling F1 Racing again.

  • Comment number 31.

    @29 when you fix the video start include the question/explanation then.

  • Comment number 32.

    AB wrote: "(The choices) will be broadcast on Freeview from 1040 BST until 1240 BST on Friday 8 July."

    Does that mean the highlights of the 2010 race followed by looped sports news like last time? Describing Valencia 2010 as a 'classic' by any definition is courting danger with the Trades Description Act, Webber aerobatics or no.

    But sadly, while Freeviewers may get the 'full' service this time, the selection is pretty dire, which makes being cheated of the archive races last time even more annoying.

    It's probably not Lewis' fault (although his choices make him come across as a self-centred teen who really ought to look up the word "humility" once in a while), because the format permits egocentricity. I don't know what brief Lewis was given, but if he was asked simply "What are your favourite races?" then such a response is to be rather expected. In his position asked the same question I might've picked an outing of my own at Snetterton which I really enjoyed, but I don't think people would be much interested in that!

    Again, it's the format that's the problem, not the drivers' selections. Image how more orderly this feature would be if the archive had been raided chronologically, and contributors could just discuss the races. But that would be too obvious...

  • Comment number 33.

    At 10:17 6th Jul 2011, matt-stone wrote:
    ...As for Rosberg picking other peoples' races, I'm certain it wasn't out of modesty, but the fact he has hasn't won many exciting races himself...


    Rosberg hasn't actually won a Grand Prix yet, but he could quite rightly have chosen the 2006 Bahrain Grand Prix - his debut - in which he charged through the field to finish 7th.

    He could also have picked any of his dads wins, but as he either hadn't been born or was still in nappies at the time, I doubt he would remember them.

    Kudos to Lewis for picking Grands Prix that he sees as some of his best. He's not being arrogant, he's being honest. He probably wants to watch them himself anyway

  • Comment number 34.

    Hamilton’s choice of Classic Grand Prix’s is no surprise, it just inflates his already oversized ego.

  • Comment number 35.

    yawn .... not the BBC's fault I know, but these do not inspire.

  • Comment number 36.

    To add to my earlier comment, we won't be able to re-edit the video of Hamilton talking to Jake Humphrey to include the beginnings of his remarks about this year's Chinese Grand Prix because there are some technical problems with it. Apologies for that. Instead, we have added an explanation to the text in the blog above the video and to the individual video story page to help the audience understand what he is initially talking about.

  • Comment number 37.

    I see those races as not just Lewis wins, but as truly excellent Grand Prix's. I remember watching all of them and being enthralled.

  • Comment number 38.

    Who cares why he picked them? Does it really matter? I think they are great races. Granted, having China from this year in there is a little dull - but that's purely due to the fact it has been on recently so I can pretty much remember the highlights without the aid of a video.

    Anyone who knows anything about Hamilton knows how much he talks about Senna and how much of an influence he had on his career, so I am in no doubt that he understood this question as 'his own 5 races' rather than 'of all time'. He would almost certainly have chosen a couple of Senna classics - although then everyone would be moaning that its 'the same old videos we have already seen', so I guess you can't please everyone.

  • Comment number 39.

    I find it a bit surprising considering how he always goes on about how he loves Senna and yet he couldnt even choose one race with Senna in it. To an outsider it does seem a bit arrogant that he couldn't choose any races but his own.

  • Comment number 40.

    Personally I prefer to see a selection of old and new purely because I find it fascinating to see all the changes over the years. Not to mention James Hunt providing the analysis was brilliant.

    Taking Lewis' choices and using it to make a withering assesment of his personality just lacks class though. If he wants those races who are we to judge?

  • Comment number 41.

    Some idiots on here, I swear. What do you think feels better and will stick in your memory more: watching somebody you have never met win the Monaco GP, or winning the Monaco GP yourself? Watching Schumacher winning the German GP or winning YOUR home GP yourself?

    If I say my favourite memory is the birth of my child, and not somebody else's child, am I therefore an egotistical, arrogant moron?

  • Comment number 42.

    @ technical difficulty means not being allowed to include the badly phrased question, nice one :)

  • Comment number 43.

    "Hamilton has been F1's most exciting driver since he entered the sport with a bang in 2007"

    So exciting you had to remind us.

  • Comment number 44.

    This is so, so funny!!! Now its the question that was at fault!!! I think the last person to be as blame free as Hamilton was a certain J. Christ!

    #9 Frezinho - bang on, but be prepared for the fb backlash!

  • Comment number 45.

    @41 it depends on the question, if you are asked for your opinion on the all time classics of Formula 1, then even though your own races are fab, you would be looking at it for the whole sport. If you are asked which are "your" 5 best races, well then you get what we get above.

  • Comment number 46.

    decent blog apart from all the sad pointless imbeciles boring us with why they think hamilton should have chosen different races.

    the thing that strikes me about the video is how much easier it is to listen to without martin brundle and david coulthard commentating by the way. brundle in particular should be put back on magazine type items and pitwalks only.

  • Comment number 47.

    @44 until we know the question, we can't know who is to blame, could be either party. As I have stated before on a previous classic, could be "the editorial teams fault for not being more specific with the questioning or setting up the rules to avoid a 2008-2010 whitewash of my greatest hits".

  • Comment number 48.

    44. At 11:50 6th Jul 2011, als_seaham wrote:
    This is so, so funny!!! Now its the question that was at fault!!! I think the last person to be as blame free as Hamilton was a certain J. Christ!


    The reason so many people are defending him is because so many people are quick to attack him.

    As Lyla has pointed out, we don't know how the question was phrased. But as many of those 'attacking' Hamilton have even said themselves, it is surprising he didn't pick a Senna race - which leads me to believe he was under the impression they were 'his' races he had to pick.

    Maybe that is the fault of the question, or maybe that is just a misunderstanding from LH. Or maybe he just quite enjoyed those 5 races.

  • Comment number 49.

    Well, 'all time' is a bit of a hint but ignoring that its the infantile defence of all things Hamilton I'm having a pop at.

    So what he picked 5 of his own races, but the need for some to defend him on such a pointless blog is indicative of the level of debate on here.

    Christ, I cant belive I am actually arguing about this!

    (oh & if I were you I would work a little harder on my aerodynamics coursework).

  • Comment number 50.

    @28, he did give the position back,

    @44 & 9, 44 for agreeing with 9, even though 9 basically states people only called Vettel arrogant with his choices due to nationalism, yet it is clear Hamilton is getting called the same things from about the same percentage. So not quite sure what there is to agree with. As both Vettel and Hamilton get hit the same way without even knowing what and how they were asked for their selection...fair enough if they were asked clearly, but until we know...doubt will and should always be there.

    14,18,22,27,34,39 for starters on posts denying #9 from being right.

  • Comment number 51.

    what 48 said.

    @49 are you referring to finding Ferrari's comment that Satellites require aerodynamics....that would be rockets, not the actual satellite, otherwise I don't know which comment you are trying to have a go at.

  • Comment number 52.

    Hint, read the posts then make your argument, it makes more sense that way. Where did I say he was arrogant? In fact whwre does @9 say it?

  • Comment number 53.


    Check the blog, or have you forgot what you said?

  • Comment number 54.

    How many more times are we going to have the same discussion about how a driver interprets the question "What are your favourite 5 races?".

    By no means am I a Hamilton fan and defending him makes me ill, but he obviously thought the question was referring to races he was involved in. Surely?

    It's time Mr Benson clarified this or rephrased the question to the drivers, although he does say at the head of the blog "...picks his five all-time favourite races...".


  • Comment number 55.

    well lets see I said,

    "9 basically states people only called Vettel arrogant with his choices due to nationalism"

    and 9 said

    "when Vettel picked 5 races he'd won (some equally great races) it was because he was 'arrogant"

    do I really have to do this...I think not, you reread please.

  • Comment number 56.


    Dear dear, do try harder. @9 is para -phrasing responses to vettels choices & contrasting them with the how hamiltons defenders are saying 'it was the question wot done it'.

    Again where did either of us accuse him of arrogance?

    Why am I actually arguing over this?

  • Comment number 57.

    My favourite race of these is the 2007 Japanese Grand Prix. I remember getting up very early to watch this race, followed by packing my parents car with my belongings and driving off to university for my first day at university. It was a long day!

    I graduated from university on Friday, so my university career is bookended by the 2007 Japanese Grand Prix and 2011 European Grand Prix.

  • Comment number 58.

    sigh I have no idea why you are arguing at all...

    As 54 says
    "How many more times are we going to have the same discussion about how a driver interprets the question "What are your favourite 5 races?"."

    As I stated in 47 quoting a previous PRE-LEWIS classic ZOMG....

    "the editorial teams fault for not being more specific with the questioning or setting up the rules to avoid a 2008-2010 whitewash of my greatest hits".

    The question has been considered to blame way before Lewis. Get over it.

  • Comment number 59.

    maybe it's me but I would be picking some races that I didn't win and some that I didn't compete in. In many modern sportsmen not just F1 there seems to be a large dose of altruistic personality and a disregard for sporting history.

  • Comment number 60.

    Exciting Races ???.....forget F1, I've just seen our athletes in 4 x 400 men's relay in Sweden yesterday, dropping the baton yet again, and finishing last. That really is what we should be wary about, a bunch of also ran !!

    Hamilton is doing well for himself, thank you. Perhaps some who are against him will be looking forward to our Olympic squad for next year. But I wish some of our athletes would copy Hamilton's enthusiasm in overtaking his rivals to win races. And not tucking in behind and staying there to the winning line, as some of these bloggers seem to be advising Lewis to do.

    Sports is for winning, and to do that you have to be ruthless and take your chance as it presents itself. What's all these non-sense about showing respect ??

  • Comment number 61.

    ok i think andrew cleared up the question when he wrote this 29.

    At 11:02 6th Jul 2011, Andrew Benson wrote:

    Hi all

    Thanks for your comments so far.

    I hope you won't mind if I clear up a question some of you are asking. The people who have done the interviews with the drivers for this feature are not always the same. Sometimes it has been Jake Humphrey, as in this case, sometimes Lee McKenzie, sometimes other people. But always the situation is explained to the drivers in the same way - they are asked for their five favourite all-time F1 races, and they are told they can choose their own races or not. It's up to them.

    The choice is theirs..]]

    think that clearly states that they are told to pick thier five favourite races of all-time and that they can include their own, not that it has to be thier own. So yes it is odd see hamilton not picking at least 1 senna race.

  • Comment number 62.

    @61 have you ever watched Points of View, it is quite typical of the BBC to whitewash everything in their favour and pat their backs, so I personally take that with a pinch of salt and find it curious the front of the interview needs to remain cut off due to a mysterious technical fault...fair enough if they deleted it, but can't imagine they would only have 1 copy of the footage.

    It is an ambiguous question, that when asked by different people may be explained or asked in different ways, don't mind too much but do think they should be pushed for Classic F1 races, not just their greatest hits.

  • Comment number 63.

    Oh well, one thing looks quite clear to me..
    ... and that is this guy is utterly "obsessed" with Fernando Alonso..

    I wonder if he dreams of him too..

  • Comment number 64.

    @62 yes you have to take it with a pinch salt but the point is you all keep saying that you wanted to know what the question was, and when andrew finally comes out and writes what it is, your basically ignoring it saying, couldnt trust them anyway.

    you cant have both, you just gotta say that yes you dont fully trust them but if thats the question as they say then it does seem bit of a ego lewis has.

  • Comment number 65.

    For me the 2008 British GP would be a classic, and is notable for many things the most important being the Safety Car did not appear. That race was unquestionably the only full wet race in the last five years that did not start behind the SC. For that fact alone it surely counts as there was loads of overtaking, drivers were actually allowed to spin off and beach their cars in the gravel

    For all the hammering the Ferrari driver's got - Felipe in particular, I should also mention that they both finished the 2007 Japanese GP

  • Comment number 66.

    @64 yep if it was fully explained, then yes it is quite ridiculous, would imagine virtually ALL people would throw one of the 5 elsewhere. In fact it is so ridiculous I want to see the question, same for Vettel etc. if that is on film , as I won't, well I have my doubts and as such can't say with the conviction of some of the partisan nutters on this board where the blame actually lies for these very driver only selections.

    Mainly I want stuff over 10 years old at the very least, so I am disappointed with the new format and probably the questioning or lack of rules that allowed it.

  • Comment number 67.

    Its nice to see races that haven't been up here before (whether Hamilton meant to pick them or not). 3 great wins in the wet, his 1st grand prix win and the best race of 2011 so far. Nothing wrong with these choices. I've seen Japan 1989 and 1990 and Brazil 2008 enough times this past few months, great races that they are.

    I don't understand this whole anti-Hamilton thing (unless you're Spanish and you're an Alonso fan). This is sporting entertainment and Hamilton is one of the most entertaining drivers in Formula One. So what if he only picked races he won? What's wrong with somebody enjoying looking back on something they have achieved?? Its not as if anyone critisizing his choices have any hope in hell of ever winning a Grand Prix in Monaco... in the wet???

  • Comment number 68.

    I am surprised he didn’t pick Brazil 2008...

  • Comment number 69.


    Stop now, please, you are starting to look silly.

    Let me put it simply, its not the fact he chose 5 of his own races that winds me up, its the fact that fanboys (& girls) of the world feel the need to defend him on this, & in fact any other, percived slight. As a result, what was once a very good forum for those with differing views to argue & debate, has become a slagging fest similar to most football forums. are wasting your time mate, the facts are secondary when any debate regarding Hamilton kicks off on her.

  • Comment number 70.

    What this blog does show is why Hamilton has had so many problems this season...

    ...must be difficult to concentrate at 150mph when you have Andrew Benson's lips clamped to your rear end!

    Andrew - Please stop the Hamilton sycophancy. It makes a mockery of your position as an "impartial" journalist and means that anyone who is not a rabid Hamilton fan will view your articles with increasing amounts of disdain. Do you want to write a fanzine items or serious pieces on the burning questions of the day? You need to make up your mind soon before you destroy any credibility you may have.

    Predictably, Hamilton has chosen races which centre on him. From someone who has demonstrated that he truly believes the world revolves around him, I suppose it would be expecting too much to ask for any display of humility or to demonstrate any knowledge of his chosen sport beyond that of his own experience.

  • Comment number 71.

    Nothing like a Hamilton blog to get people stirred up before the British GP! Personally, I think we should be grateful that he didn't choose Brazil 2008 like everyone else on the grid.

    I think it's natural for a driver to choose races from his own era. And if Lewis thinks that races he wins are the best then so what?...he may be described as arrogant but so are many of the greats. Senna or Ali or Warne for example. How can you convince the world you are the best if you don't believe so yourself?

  • Comment number 72.

    I've yet to watch the videos but reading the board is a real hoot. How many of these blogs have there been folks? They're not going to change the format, however much you complain. And really, if drivers have already submitted their choices, do you really think they are going to go back to them and say, "sorry guys, there are some posters on our blog who think all of your choices are boring/self aggrandising/repetitive/not classic enough etc. We know you're incredibly busy racig cars but could you do it again."

    The choices are what they are. If you want to use how those choices appear to you, to have a right old bashing at a driver you don't like, you do realise that says more about you than the driver in question, don't you? Same goes for having a go at the writer of the blog.

    As a number of people have said, if you really just don't like the feature, don't read/watch it. There are plenty of other ways of watching your own personal favourites and you can spend the whole time ripping to shreds the people you don't like in your own time.

    With regards to Lewis' choice, I think it's interesting how many races he chose that were rain affected. I can only imagine the concentration that goes into driving a formula 1 car through rivers. No wonder they stick in his mind.


  • Comment number 73.

    @ comment #69 (als_seaham)

    My word.. you seem to get wound-up very easily.

    @ comment #48 (FortressFratton)

    The reason so many people are defending him is because so many are quick to attack him.

    I agree with this 100%

  • Comment number 74.

    These drivers are so arrogant picking their own races blah blah blah. Is it because Andrew asked the right question.

    No, the answer is simple for anyone who's actually competed rather than just sat in an armchair and watched.

    For any driver the races you are involved in and do well in are your favourites. Sure there are plenty of races that are great to watch but none of them mean as much to you as your own wins.

    Anyways you'd have only complained if he'd picked Japan 90, Donnington 93 and Brazil 2008.

  • Comment number 75.

    I agree with 72, The comments are better entertainment than the videos!

    Andrew Benson,

    Keep up the good work and ignore the haters, especially don't budge for the keyboard warriors telling you to dig out your proof after you have taken the time to answer the same questions each and every week.

  • Comment number 76.

    @Lyla - did you happen across a bowl of soiled cornflakes following your excursion from the wrong side of the bed this morning? The concept of this blog seems so simple and, let’s face it, isn’t going to win any journalistic awards (no disrespect, Andrew) but it’s a light-hearted piece designed to give some insight into the mind of an F1 driver. All seems pretty straightforward to me.

    @The Truth – where exactly is the Hamilton bias in this blog? Is there not reference to four other drivers in Andrews introduction? One of them a certain Mr Vettel who decided to follow the same approach as Hamilton. Enough already.

    VIVA F1 :)

  • Comment number 77.

    What a complete anti-climax. This selection must rank alongside Vettel's as worst of the year.

    We all know that Hamilton is passionate about Formula 1 and a big Senna fan to boot. Knowing that Hamilton would make a selection at some time this year, I was looking forward to some really 'classic' action. You would have thought that at least one of his choices would have been something from his hero's time in the sport.

    As for people saying that the archive has been exhausted, I fail to understand this argument.

    Up until this year, there was a 'popular vote' from a selection of five races at the end of which one of them would have the full Grand Prix highlights programme shown. Apart from a couple of occasions where two programmes were broadcast, that means that four of the races from each selection were only given short 10 minute highlights.

    Now correct me if I am wrong, but I don't recall any of the choices on offer not receiving any votes at all. Therefore, people missed out on a choice that they would like to have seen in the longer format. Surely these races could be put back into the selection pot to receive the full highlights treatment in future. After all, if Brazil 2008 can be shown again and again and again and again.......

  • Comment number 78.

    what an arrogant set of choices of races. this is why i'm NOT a lewis hamilton fan. Any other British driver can win for me, but not Lewis. Not even the king of F1 arrogance, Mr. Schumacher (who at least has earnt his bragging rights) chose all races he'd won. Grow up, Lewis.

  • Comment number 79.


    Read my reply @74 and get a grip. Nothing to do with arrogance, unlike your reply.

  • Comment number 80.

    I have the feeling Lewis is obsessed with Alonso. For instance, his comment about Japan 2007. Besides I remember several drivers complaining about his driving under the safety car.
    Also, in Canada'07 Alonso's floor car was damaged after the first corner, and Fernando was very unlucky with the safety car, diving into the pits when he was running out of fuel and receiving a penalty for that.
    Anyway, Lewis is one of the top three in the sport.

  • Comment number 81.

    Why is everyone so hett up about whether the question was asked right etc, etc?!
    Personally, I enjoy seeing the different approaches the drivers have taken in choosing their favourite races, it shows their different mind sets and personality's, which i think is some of the intentions of the classic races feature this year (?)
    Tbh i thinkk we should just count our selves lucky for having access to this blog and others similarly, we never had this when the covage was with itv and we may not have it for very long to come so why doesnt everyone just take it a bit less seriously and enjoy it :) :)
    And i just want to say to Andrew thanks for keeping going with it, even though each week people seem to find something to complain about it, I have enjoyed the last 3 years of it a lot :)

  • Comment number 82.

    Quite amazing the lengths some will go to slag off one of our own, one of our few current sporting success stories.

    My only hope is that you're not sitting near me this weekend.

  • Comment number 83.

    Not sure obsession is the right word, but as a racer you always want to beat the best, which explains why he focuses on Alonso when looking for a benchmark.

    I mean no disrespect to Vettel or Jenson by saying that, but most would agree that Alonso is the most complete driver on the grid and therefore the benchmark.

  • Comment number 84.

    You are all just jealous because Lewis is a class above the rest.

    My favourite Hamilton Races are (I had to pick more than 5 because there are so many he shows his true genius)

    China 2007
    Canada 2008
    Bahrain 2008
    Singapore 2010
    Monza 2010
    Monaco 2011
    Brazil 2007
    Melbourne 2009

  • Comment number 85.

    Vroooooooooooommmmmmmmmm - Tyre Wall.. Hamilton.

  • Comment number 86.

    Seems a bit harsh to crityise Hamilton for choosing races he ahs won when the question pushed him in that direction. Some people inevitably just ignore the obvious reasons behind something to justify tehre own view of an individual they dont know personally anyway.

    For what its worth I'd be very suprised if pushed on his favourite races by anyone ever if he didn't list several Senna performances as he is very honest in having been completely in awe of the guy growing up as he was his hero. One of Micheals stunning wet weather drive may have made it as well and in fairness the wet weather drives in Japan and at Silverstone were excellent pretty much flawless performances when most fo teh field were struggling to keep the car on the track.

  • Comment number 87.

    For anybody else disappointed with Hamilton's choices, if you are lucky enough to have cable or satellite, ESPN Classic are showing highlights from every British Grand Prix between 1973 and 1980 each night this week. Much better selection.

  • Comment number 88.

    81 well said

    84 haha

  • Comment number 89.

    some of you are incredible. notwithstanding that andrew benson has answered the question on how the "question" is put to the drivers, who cares why and how they choose? Personally, I doubt I could pick any race as my favourite I hadn't actually seen, which in Hamilton's case rules most races before 1990 I suspect. Secondly, why wouldn't he pick those he's won? Again, I probably would. So all you those were the days, life was better back then, stalwarts need to accept that some people don't live in the same era as you. Surely whatever 1950s race Fangio won while stopping for a glass of wine in the pits could be aruged as the best, just for that alone? But I didn't see and this isn't a question of "which race SHOULD be voted best of all time", just which were your favourite. Good god people, haven't you got better things to worry about, like how on earth a British team or driver is going to win the British GP?

  • Comment number 90.

    Spa 2008 and the fight for the win with Raikkonen, it was really the most thrilling F1 race I've seen. As the rain started to come down Massa immediately settled for third - Hamilton and Raikkonen went for the win and went no holds barred! I was on the edge of my seat for those last laps, screaming at the telly!

    I guess the farcical stewards decision must have tainted it for Hamilton (and how biased were the stewards that year? Thankfully the Mosley era is now over). It should have been his first Spa win. However the spectacle - on track - was magical.

  • Comment number 91.

    As said somewhere else on this wretched blog, this debate is truly ridiculous (& I hold my hands up for getting involved!!)

    So, how about a new game? Given Horner has now said thanks but no thanks in public to Hamiltons kind offer of his services (kind of humiliating dont you think?), any punts as to which garage he will run to next after Quali on saturday? My money is on Virgin. After all Branson does hang out with some real cool A listers doesnt he?

    Whats that I hear? must be the sound of Hamifosi rushing to their keyboards!

  • Comment number 92.

    With regards to Lewis' choice, I think it's interesting how many races he chose that were rain affected...this is a form of legal cheating. People think its easier but its not. I think he has had his day.

  • Comment number 93.


  • Comment number 94.

    @92, what does this mean?

    "I think it's interesting how many races he chose that were rain affected...this is a form of legal cheating."

  • Comment number 95.

    First time posting on this, but I have to say, I usually enjoy these blogs, except when Benson attempts to hype up Lewis Hamilton so much. No other driver seems to have been described with quite the same awe as Hamilton has here. I think it's probable that Benson is a LH fan, which is fine, but don't make it quite so obvious in the blogs please.
    Personally, I would liked to have seen a few races that weren't won by Hamilton. I don't see the question was to blame (see Benson's first comment about how the question was explained), but that Lewis likes seeing himself win. So the guy is a bit arrogant, that's common knowledge, but in a way he has to be to become one of the greatest in his sport. Slightly over arrogant in my view, but everyone has there opinion.

    Would love to see Button win this weekend, like the amazing win he had in Canada.

  • Comment number 96.

    Lewis (Its all about ME, ME, ME.) Hamilton: I'm so great that the best five races of all time were won by me.......

  • Comment number 97.

    well on the Japanese Grand Prix 2007 video highlights page it refers to Lewis winning "ahead of team-mate Heikki Kovalainen" - Heikki was driving for Renault in 2007 and Alonso was his team mate...this is the kind of tricks Lewis and his team play all too often!
    Once it all comes to the forefront people will be exposed!

  • Comment number 98.

    Cool, Well Lewis did gave his reasons why he liked the races he does..

    Be intresting to see how much a change the mid season rule changes, will do to this weekends race..

    This weekend is Esp going to be so awesome, As My 19yr son an I are going. Thanks to the awesome chairty Starlight Children's Foundation. Toms wish was to Meet Lewis an see an F1 race.. It going to be a blast, as we will be meeting F1 drivers an teams in the Pit/Garages sometime on Friday.

    Tom has his pink shirt an jeans ready to wear. He showing Jake an David how to wear it.. hehehehe..

  • Comment number 99.

    LOL - typical Hamilton.

    Ask him to pick his five all-time favourite races, and he picks five that he won.

    Can you say "self-obsessed"?

  • Comment number 100.

    Dis appointing to see so many negative comments about our ex world champ. I for one will be there this weekend cheering the Brits on. Perhaps some of the comentators on this blog fall into the no self confidence category and can only talk about things that others do !!


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