When the famous Italian MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi wins a race, he makes sure everybody knows about it. He burns out his back tyre, performs wheelies and stoppies down the start/finish straight and allows his adoring fans to hug him and shake his hand. If a supporter or marshal hands him a flag, Rossi will proudly wave it as he rides his final tour of the circuit – his emotion is clear for all to see. But with Formula One, everybody is expected to remain 100% professional, follow the strict rules and guidelines and adhere to procedure without fail. McLaren have been warned by the FIA that they are to not stray from these rules should one of their drivers win the title. Lewis Hamilton believes he should be allowed to celebrate though, and apparently intends to do so if he manages to win.
Speaking to British newspaper The Daily Mirror, here’s what he had to say:
Look at the way the fans hug him [Rossi] on the bike after a race. I’m not saying I want everyone to hug me but it would be cool to do the things he does. It does so much for the sport. If someone passes me a Union Jack on the slowing down lap it’d be cool to fly it. My hero Ayrton Senna used to do it here. Massa did it last year. That’d be cool. Lewis Hamilton.
And on the much-frowned-upon activity of performing donuts…
If I win I’ll definitely do it. When a race finishes it’s dull. You never see drivers doing donuts. It would be cool to finish a race and do a donut. The teams don’t like it because you could break something but if it breaks I’ll pay for it. I doubt they’d be happy but I’d do it anyway. Lewis Hamilton.
The uptight rules regarding post-race celebrations are in dire need of an overhaul. Drivers should be allowed to carry a flag, they should be allowed to take their time on their parade lap. They should be allowed to hug and thank their team. They should be allowed to spin out the rear wheels.
When will the FIA learn that without fans, Formula One will be nothing?
I’m not sure that the FIA ever will learn. But it needs to – the more the rule is tested, the stupider it looks. I know that there is a theoretical possibility that weight could alter after these things and the TV schedules could be delayed. The trouble with such thinking is that weight transfers are quite easy to regulate (simply specify what can and cannot be weighed, and apply rigorously) and if TV schedules are delayed because something exciting is happening, then generally they will delay with pleasure. I can remember a few years back when that was the case with F1.