Last year, Lewis Hamilton came under a little fire for the way he started grands prix. His method of moving across the circuit to defend his position and better enable himself to creep by other drivers into the first corner was compared greatly to Michael Schumacher’s. The multiple world champion was often criticised for his starting technique, and since the Japanese Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton has come under similar fire from his fellow drivers.
They say that the only way to win a Formula One world championship is with gritted determination, outright confidence, a great car and team, and ability to be completely ruthless when confronted with a choice on the track; to go for a pass, or to be sensible and wait for a better opportunity. Lewis Hamilton has clearly been taking the former approach – go for the pass. But this has caused many of his opponents to speak out against the McLaren driver.
In the next driver meeting, Jarno Trulli will ask [Lewis Hamilton] why he blocked him for two laps when he was a lap down. Jarno lost one and a half to two seconds, because Hamilton would not obey the blue flags. Timo Glock.
Of course, Glock has his own experience of Hamilton’s passing technique, the Briton having run the Toyota driver pretty much off-track during the washed-out Italian Grand Prix. And as you can imagine, Kimi Raikkonen isn’t too happy with Hamilton either.
What Hamilton did at the start at Fuji was not clean. He didn’t give me a chance to turn into the corner. You have to learn how to find braking points when you are six years old in go karts. Obviously you should know how it goes at this level. Kimi Raikkonen.
And even one of Hamilton’s most staunchest of supporters – former world champion Sir Jackie Stewart – criticised the McLaren driver following his first-corner incident at Fuji.
This was not his finest hour. His approach in that first corner was slightly arrogant to other drivers. Weaving in and out of other cars, as Lewis did in the run to the first corner, puts other drivers in the position of having to avoid his manoeuvre.
The Japanese race demonstrated that Lewis is still very young, in only his second season, and although he comes across as very cool in interviews, he doesn’t always have the same level of mind management when he’s racing.
Lewis Hamilton can still win the championship, but not if he drives the last two races the way he drove in Japan. Jackie Stewart.
So, is Lewis Hamilton just a determined and ruthless driver, aiming to capitalise on every opportunity in order to win? Or is the young driver behaving arrogantly, hot-headed and without thought to the repercussions of the race or world championship campaign, as well as his own reputation?
Maybe Kimi should learn how to drive in the wet – don’t they do that in karting school too?
Great Blog by the way 🙂
The other drivers are simply having a pop when they can. He made a mistake so they are having a dig. All drivers make mistakes but generally they get no coverage. Personally if I was a driver I would be more worried about Massa being arrogant and behaving like Schumacher. He rammed Lewis after he had lost the position and then expected Bourdais to evaporate to make room for him.
Steven Roy – I’m with you. Massa’s ego has grown to gigantic proportions over the course of the season – sounds like he is starting to beleive his own (or more likely the FIA-arrari’s) press.
Jacque Villeneuve has said that Lewis Hamilton dosn’t deserve to win the championship (Kubica does) because:-
(a) it is only his second championship;
(b) he has the best car;
(c) Kubica has being the most consistent driver in a slower car;
Well, correct me if I am wrong but didn’t Jacque win in 1997 (his second year in F1) driving a Williams (the best car in the field at the time)!
Lets face it, these guys are competitive and want to win and having a youngster embarrassed them must grate on the nerves. I please Massa has done such a great job this year, along with Kubica but Raikkonen has hardly looked like a reigning champ.
All drivers make mistakes, including the greats like Senna, Prost, even Schumacher (occasionally and rather annoyingly) but just think back to Suzuka in 1989 when Senna intentionally ran Prost off the road, deja vu! Oh and don’t forget 1994 with Schumacher / Hill. These guys are there to win and will do anything to achieve it, including off track mind games.
But who is complaining, the closest field in years, great racing, and down to the wire, roll on China / Brazil. Can’t wait!
Slight correction Charlie.
Suzuka 1989 Prost took Senna off.
Suzuka 1990 Senna took Prost off.
Quite frankly if it wasn’t for Hamilton f1 would be a snoozefest right now.
Come on f1 drivers … this is m o t o r r a c i n g – aggressive = excitement!!!
I tell people that all the time. Lewis is very very exciting, the aggressiveness, the flamboyance, late braking. It’s all very exciting. He even made Massa believe he is a better driver. Now Massa drives better to keep up with Lew.
His ruthlessness is, in-fact, the fundamental ingredient to his track success.