Hamilton faces media backlash

Lewis Hamilton, Istanbul, McLaren-Mercedes, 2007 | DaimlerChryslerIn the future when even more biographies of Lewis Hamilton are being written, and the authors wonder at what point did the adulation of Hamilton in the press start to turn sour, that moment was now.

Hamilton spoke out against the harassment he has received from some elements of the press over the Turkish Grand Prix weekend and suggested he might have to move somewhere less accessible to the paparazzi.

Not surprisingly those papers that have been splashing sensationalist and apparently inaccurate details of Hamilton’s private life have played down their role in forcing one of Britain’s top sporting talents to consider leaving the country.

The Daily Mirror wrote of Hamilton being “Dogged off the circuit by the paparazzi and threatening to quit Britain for the luxuries of one of Europe’s tax havens.”

This is the same paper that ran two stories within the space of ten days claiming that Hamilton was romantically involved with two different people.

Hamilton specifically claimed that the reports in the Daily Mirror were untrue, saying:

We went to the cinema, four of us – a friend and his fiancee included – and I am pictured with her, just the two of us, asking who is the latest woman in my life.

It is things like this that make me not want to be in the UK anymore because I can’t enjoy a normal life.

I am walking down the street and people look at you differently and all they do is read the paper and that sort of crap.

If Hamilton wishes to leave Britain to pay a far lower rate of tax in some other country, that’s up to him. But even if he is using the media’s sensationalised reporting of his private life as an excuse, that doesn’t mean their treatment of him has been anything less than shameful.

Photo: DaimlerChrysler

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9 comments on Hamilton faces media backlash

  1. Another piece of evidence for the “the press build you up to tear you down” theory. Doubtless if Lewis has to move because of inappropriate press intrusion and speculation, the same papers will be carping at him for that.

  2. I think he should move anyway. I mean, who wants to pay as much tax as we do when their are alternatives available? Unfortunately though, as you say, he’ll still get chased around by the press. It’s just a sad, sorry fact of today’s gossip-ridden world.

  3. I don’t think anyone would blame him for the move, especially being advised by everyone from Jackie Stewart to David Coulthard(and, uh, other, non-Scots) to do so. As long as he doesn’t get caught up in the Jenson Button lifestyle(though who knows how true that is).

  4. Paul Sainsbury said on 27th August 2007, 19:35

    I think he should move. The tabloids are a disgrace, and anyone who claims that they would stay put if they were on big money and lose half of it in tax is probablty fooling themselves and unlikely to be faced with the choice anyway!

  5. Journeyer said on 28th August 2007, 6:24

    I agree with the move. This is the reason why F1 drivers are much more private than the ones before. But the paparazzi don’t care for F1, they just want a scoop.

    And believe me, if Lewis becomes champ, the tabloids won’t be able to touch him… for a while, anyway.

    Oh, if Lewis moves, I think Switzerland is out of the question. After all, would he want Alonso as his neighbor? :p

  6. oliver osima said on 28th August 2007, 9:36

    the press
    they no longer report, they manufacture,

  7. bogartrules said on 28th August 2007, 10:39

    I hate the press when they do that. It is like over here in the states. If someone gets popular and is a half way decent person the press has to find some skels in the closet i would love for them to be able to be sued for slander but the freedom of the press is bull if u ask me on some stuff. A private life is a private life. Now if it is something very bad i understand that some news has to be posted but just to dig up crap to make news not report it. I really think enough is enough. You hve no idea how popular hamilton is in the States it is a heartbreaking thing F1 isnt coming next year as i live less than 2 hrs from the track.

  8. Vertigo said on 28th August 2007, 19:30

    Hamilton must have known that the media would eventually turn against him. Moving away won’t help – the press will follow him. It’s disgusting what they’re doing to him, and if he doesn’t win the title they will attack him mercilessly.

  9. Richard C said on 31st August 2007, 11:12

    Hamilton should stay focussed whatever the press say, wherever he lives. If there is one thing M Schumacher did well was focus intensely on his job… to win GPs.

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