When did the Hamilton backlash start?

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren-Mercedes, Fuji Speedway, 2007 | Daimler ChryslerLewis Hamilton is now looking at a serious chance to win the championship in the next two races.

Although he’s been hailed for bringing a new generation of fans to the sport (particularly in Britain), there’s growing criticism of the McLaren driver in some quarters.

Here’s a sample of some of the remarks made about Hamilton on this blog – what do you think of them, and what do you think of Hamilton?

Hamilton has been spoon fed with McLaren’s silver spoon ever since he first sat in a go-kart. No other driver EVER has had the personalized training Hammy has got, most have to fend for themselves, some even have to bring MONEY, most start in a Minardi like team ??????.. and oddly there are times when one can see Hamilton doesn’t fully appreciate what McLaren have done for him. He’s a good driver as he’s been well trained, but deep INSIDE he’s still a ?????ǣsnotty kid??????.

Number 38 Click link to view full original comment in context

I find it hard to believe that there are so many people who think that Lewis is one of the best drivers ever – he isn’t even the best driver on the grid. I can think of at least 4 or 5 current drivers who are more talented than he is.


Hamilton has turned into a similar brat.


Hamilton is a snotty geek


LH now seems to be the only man to have messed up in Hungarian Qualifying, and Alonso has bore the brunt of that in the British press.
Hamiltons credibility is the only thing in question.For example – he apologised to Alonso for qualifying, and Alonso says he had nothing to apologise for, (LH gained from his own wrong doing)
He is not happy living in Britain with the high taxation, and is gonna move outta the country, and he is blaming it on the press for making accusations regarding his love life.
He is at all costs trying to preserve his ‘image’.
There is certainly nothing worse in this life than a liar. If you are in the wrong LH, be a man and say so??????.a quality of Alonso..say it like it is.

Alonso at least can say it like it is??????.maybe LH should learn from him.

LH does not deserve to be World Champion??????


I realise debates of this sort can get a little heated (see the comment policy for terms and restrictions and contact me in the event of any objections), so let me make a few qualifying remarks.

Firstly, I’m not at all interested in trying to persuade people to like Hamilton. I just want to know who out there has decided they do like Hamilton, and who’s come to the opposite conclusion, and why. For instance, does the enormous amount of media coverage he gets turn people against him?

I’m also interested to know when. For example, a fair few people were put off by what he did at the Hungaroring (refusing to let Alonso past at the start of qualifying), and I must admit he went down in my estimations then too.

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69 comments on When did the Hamilton backlash start?

  1. I would agree that in their enthusiasm to promote him (and increase viewing figures), ITV have done the opposite in my eyes and actually put me off him.

    As far as the racing goes, there can’t really be many complaints about his driving – yes he has been lucky enough to have probably the most reliable McLaren ever, and a car which is usually the fastest on track but he has also driven it very well.

    Out of the car though, he comes across as being a right numpty. My other half who doesn’t follow F1 very closely heard his post-race interview on the radio on Sunday and immediately tutted and called him a big-headed so-and-so. Putting himself up there with Senna and Prost was a stupid thing to do.

    Comparisons should be done by other people, you certainly shouldn’t do it yourself!

    So really, in the car I think he’s a good driver but as a complete package I’m afraid I’ll never be a fan.

  2. I am not sure if any of you actually met Hamilton. I was lucky enough to have met him earlier this year. I could see his out-of-the-car side, and the guy really impressed me … Then Hungary came, and the picture was not that rosy any more… So now, while I do not dislike Hamilton at all, I am not exactly his fan. If I should choose from 2 McLaren drivers, I would prefer Hamilton to win the title, but Kimi would be the one I would choose from all 3 still in the game for the title.

    To be fair to Hamilton – there is no way to survive in F1 without being selfish and arrogant at least a bit. All depends how far are you ready to take it. Even if he drives for McLaren for years to come and there is no guarantee, he will have chance to fight for the title again… Look how many seasons Kimi stayed in McLaren without title. Check when was the last time McLaren actually won the title … This was his chance, he decided to grab it and go for it…

  3. oliver said on 2nd October 2007, 10:12

    the little boy only wants to win, i dont have a problem with that, and it should be admired unlike a few drivers who are happy to play number two or assistant, he is willing to work hard and be successful.

    the incident in hungary was just unfortunate, if u notice hamiltons drive throughout the season, he always is first to set a time in Q2 so he can get back to the pits and be ready for Q3, thats why he ends up at the front of the qualifying order when leaving the pits, yes he did wrong at the time, but his explanation was logical..a ferrari was right behind and he didnt want to lose a position to a ferrari.

    some people say he should first have driven a minardi or an uncompetitive car first. and i ask to prove what? people start at the back so they will be discovered, he was discovered at the age of 10, he was already committed at the age of 10, so why should he go back and drive a minardi when he is ready for the real thing.

    despite the backing of ron dennis, it wasnt all smooth sailing, he had to work hard make sacrifices, and his family too, it wasnt all free stuff, he had to deliver, even micheal shumacher was developed by mecedes too only not from so early an age, i dont see people complaining about that.

    the biggest problem hamilton has really, is the press, the british press are monsters, they are often not in touch with reality and its damaging this little boys image, they did it when irvan was at ferrari, did the same thing when sato was with button, and so many other times u had a british driver paired with someone else, the only thing then was that their drivers werent so good, but this time they really have a top driver so u can understand their madness, and i think it comes from and inferiority complex…i so wish hamilton wasnt british

    the british press are great at inventing stuff and scenarios, and they damage frienships and morale in a team, i doubt u will see and english driver at ferrari any time soon.

    hamiltons consistency frightens lot of people, and when did he ever behave selfishly, we are all outsiders we dont know what goes on inside the teams, so it would be stupid to come to a conclusion based on what we hear from someone else(press), cause u never know the motives of the press,

    hamilton got on well with alonso at the beginning, it was alonso who started all this he is being favoured nonsense, and thats where everything collapsed. i like alonso but he has not acted properly but his problems didnt start from inside the team, it started from the press

  4. oliver said on 2nd October 2007, 10:26

    i wonder why people hold on to the swearing comment supposedly made by hamilton, to be honest, i think it was invented by a journalist, it wont be the first time and it wont be the last time it happens, especially in this age of online news papers and garage journalism, rumours spread like wild fires and soon become fact, just because u see it in a lot of headlines. and believe me, ron dennis i know, would have kicked him out of that car if he ever said something like that, trust me

  5. Sarhan said on 2nd October 2007, 10:41

    LH is the F1 golden kid and is definitely favorised in his team and by FIA on track, what is of course irritating, but the question is what will happen in the next few seasons. He may become a podium resident/winner/champ or share the fate of JV or likes. After falling from such a high stool he may not return to the top. Cuts both ways as life:-)

  6. Hamilton fan said on 2nd October 2007, 10:48

    i agree with daveo, the itv coverage is bordering on obsession the only 1 who doesnt seen biased towards lewis is martin brundle, he calls everything down the middle and im a big fan of his. itv’s coverage i think is the main reason for peoples dislike of lewis. the problem with the british press is they celebrate mediocrity, e.g. tim henman. i think leweis is the best british driver for years i just really hope the hype doesnt get to him. hes going to win this years tittle and i look forward to another battle with alonso next year. an lets all hope that the fia drop this stupid race fuel qualifying so the races dont get nearly ertainly dec ided after qualifying!

    also james allen compared his drive sunday toi that of senna donnington 93, schumacher barcelona 96, no way, james allen is a terrible commentator!

    go lewis

  7. Regarding the swearing comment, the Daily Mail and Times were the first to run the story – the other papers covered it after they did. McLaren later strongly denied that Hamilton had used any swear words – they didn’t say that anyone else hadn’t.

    Read into that what you will…

  8. not quite true keith. mclaren later strongly denied that Hamilton had used *one* particular swear word. the press release read:

    “The team have investigated this claim and reviewed the radio transmissions and we can categorically confirm that Lewis did not use the ‘F word’ at any time during any conversation with the team.”

    they never, for one second, claimed that he didn’t swear at all.

  9. On Race day Lewis is clearly the best. His accuracy and diligence is what makes him Championship worthy. But if you ask me who worked for the championship harder between the two Mc Laren drivers, I would have to go for Alonso.

    Hiekki in a recent newspaper column wrote that Lewis deserves the WDC but he must also realize that it was possible mostly coz of Alonso’s presence in the team.

    I personally feel the biggest rookie mistake he has done this year has been “asking the team to get rid of Alonso” in the Japanese race weekend.

    Next year without the Spaniard, Lewis will surely have some hard lessons on the way.

  10. M Smith said on 2nd October 2007, 13:47

    Yes, Hamilton has had major backing from McLaren since he was 8. And Hamilton may have the most reliable (and in most cases) fastest car on the grid. But he’s beaten Massa already, Raikkonen and Alonso may go the same way too.
    His talent behind the wheel cannot be questioned, its amazing.
    He does come off as abit arrogant like Schumi, but I see that as a good quality, its good to have a mean strike, makes it more interesting.

    The only thing that annoys me is ITV obsession with Lewis. As many have said, Martin Brundle is the saving grace in that program, as he is the only one that doesn’t have any bias towards the guy, and sees Lewis for what he really is.
    An example of this was at Fuji, when Hamilton was leading behind the safety car and playing around with the field abit too much. James Allen immediately leapt up commenting on Lewis’ supreme race-craft and tactics. Martin Brundle stayed silent, presumably unimpressed, seeing the behaviour (considering the torrid conditions) as dangerous, as many others did.

    But as nausating as ITVs obsession is, considering the following: Britain haven’t had a champion since 1996, and the hopes for another champion since then have hinged on Jenson Button and David Coulthard, who haven’t delivered. You can’t really blame ITV for milking Hamilton’s success.

  11. Daniel said on 2nd October 2007, 14:40

    I’m really impressed with all your complains about ITV’s coverage… It couldn’t be more natural, as you in Britain are waiting for a great driver for so long, since, as you said, Hill was fine, Mansell was a fighter, but none of them were Senna or Schumacher or Prost likes…
    Here in Brazil Globo TV was betting Alonso would take the tittle, until the DNF in Fuji. Up to there, they were all saying “Hamilton is a rookie and one day he’ll make a mistake”. When he had that huge crash at Nurburgring, Galvao Bueno started saying, before knowing the cause, that “one day that would end up happening”, and the accident wasn’t his fault anyway!

    The point is, you shouldn’t mind what the press says, one way or another… For example, brazilian press destroyed Rubens’ self-esteem, because he himself thought he could fill the void left by Senna…

    We are a fortunate generation, since we have the internet and many foreign televisions to watch anything we want, so we’re not hostages of the mainstream TV channels anymore…

    By the way, even if it is in Portuguese, you should take a look at Globo International, since it has no advert breaks during the race, in fact they have some adverts every 15 minutes, on the top of the screen, but they doesn’t interrupt the transmission…

  12. Dan M said on 2nd October 2007, 14:52

    I have a couple problems with The Ham that I didn’t have with The Shu, although there are a lot of things that make them similar. My first problem is all the snobby comments that he makes and then tries to back out of, if you said it you said it, theres nothing wrong with not getting along with someone, but using the press is the wrong way of doing it.

    Secondly, Shu worked his way through the ranks, he was ruthless and uncompromising, but he had this fire about him, Lewis seems to be expecting things to go his way, and when they don’t he gets childish. The Shu’s attitude didn’t change on the podium, he didn’t give these cryptic insults.

    Finally, he only began to get cocky after winning a couple of races, its like he was very humbled at first and then as soon as he started winning he got a huge head and thinks hes the best. Get over yourself, go drive a crappy car for a couple of years like Button and realize what its like to struggle for every point. Its true that people are making a huge deal out of his championship run, if you put any other promising driver in the best car on the grid and he would be in breaking records.

  13. On the swearing thing, I thought it was interesting the natural way that Lewis said, “oh shoot” in the post race interview.

    Maybe he’s one of those people who substitutes for swear words with similar sounding other words. Perhaps he said something that sounded like the “F”-word on the radio, some people thought it was the “F”-word and it ended up in the press, but after they checked back he didn’t swear.

    Just a thought, seems unlikely, but it might have happened.

  14. Daveo said on 2nd October 2007, 15:31

    When asked who do I want to win the championship Alonso or Hamilton I say McLaren because its the most reliable car on the grid this year (esp. compared to last years car) and the irony is they wont be winning the WCC this year anyway.. so who should win the title? I think whoever designed the car should!

  15. I am one who doesn’t like Lewis Hamilton because I don’t like his attitude towards racing. I find him a bit dull tbh, don’t know why, but I find him dull.

    I don’t think he deserves he championship tbh. Kimi deserves it the most.

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