When did the Hamilton backlash start?

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

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?”

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  1. Regarding Sidepodcast’s comment on the video, here’s how Hamilton explained the crash in the post-race press conference:

    When we were behind the second safety car, I was constantly on the radio to my engineers to tell the Red Bull team to get Mark (Webber) to make a little more of a gap because I couldn’t go any faster because the pace car was in front of me, so I was trying to keep the distance with him and then I’d move over because I couldn’t see Mark and then he’d just appear alongside me, so he kept out-braking himself.

    I felt something was going to happen, and I guess my instincts told me right.

  2. here’s a quote from the official Renault blog:

    “Heikki was even asked to drop back from Lewis by race control. It seemed to me that LH was driving pretty erratically behind the Safety Car…”

    do you think the FIA asked every single driver in the train to drop back?

    i guess those ‘other’ drivers instincts told them to trust their fellow man. unlike Mr. Hamilton who clearly thinks every other driver on the track is an incompetent muppet.

  3. It looks like all the hype make some ppl dislike him.
    Some hippies here maybe? :)
    Anyway if you can’t see his talent as a driver, you don’t know anything about f1.
    So he got Mclaren backing for years … you still have to do it.
    He won the F3 euroseries and GP2 and very impressive!!
    And now he comes in F1 and beats the 2time reigning champion … and not with a better car … with the SAME car. That must count for something right? :)

    And sure he is slightly cocky… you have to believe in yourself and it’s part of the mind games, wich you just have to play in f1 these days.

    But don’t hate the boy cause he is ‘hyped’, cause let me tell you, the hype is true :)

  4. I like him as a driver. Not knowing or meeting I have no idea of who he really is. He is a gifted and talented driver. Today there are many such drivers on the grid 5 or six really stand out. I also feel that if those other drivers where at McLaren they would be going for the championship as well. He is like all driver headstrong. An “A” personality who sees things very Machiavellian, where the ends justify the means. We saw an example of that in Hungary. Why does the press dislike him? Well winners always have people that love them or hate them. For instance in the US we have the New York Yankees (baseball team) I don’t know anyone who just likes them or can say they or OK. It is either “I love the Yankees” of “I really hate those — Yankees. It is also becoming the same way for Tiger Woods. Winners, who show class, and do not appear to be conceeded, but time and again prove that they excell in their sport are always loved or hated no middle ground. By the way I HATE THE ======= yANKEES. I do like Hamilton and I think that he has a solid future ahead of him.

  5. Does anyone remember the ‘monkeys’ comment about the backmarkers he made earlier on in the year? That remark turned me off him, since he would be one of those ‘monkeys’ were he not gifted a start in a top car.
    Yeah, I’m put off Lewis by the silver spoon start he has had to his career. If Felipe Massa has shown us anything it is that most of the grid can be A-Grade when they are in the best car. I’m just quietly hoping that in the next few years, Heikki, Adrian, Robert and the Sebastians wipe him like a dirty bum.

  6. Considering it was almost impossible for Hamilton to win in the first few races, until he found his feet in F1, this season has ben remarkable for him.

    As for the ‘silver spoon’ – McLaren saw a talent, and neutured it. Hamilton has worked hard for ten years to get to the position he is at – he’s hardly been handed the championship lead.

    In terms of publicity (or hype) Hamilton is the best thing that has happened to the sport in years. Journalists will try and print as much as possible about the new boy, and within a couple of years will move on to someone else.

    I do agree the ‘monkeys’ comment didn’t show Hamilton in a good light. This was made when he was clearly under pressure, and I will excuse him that one mistake considering the circumstances.

  7. Can I ask, are the people unhappy with the ‘monkeys’ remark British or not? I wonder if it’s partly a cultural thing, because I am British, and I often hear the word used jokingly and not as a term of offence, which is why I didn’t think anything of it.

    I still don’t think it was meant as an insult and, as I’ve said elsewhere, it’s not as if any of the drivers concerned complained.

    One of the ‘monkeys’ would probably be Adrian Sutil, who we know Hamilton has a fair bit of respect for from their time in F3. Before this year started Hamilton warned Albers that Sutil would be a tough team mate and, lo and behold, look who got dropped halfway through the year…

  8. As a Brit, I feel the word monkeys was hardly a term of affection, although in essex we tend to use the term muppet ;-)

    In answer to the question, when did the Hamilton backlash start? I believe it was the monkeys comment, and I’m British. At best, it was an ill-advised comment.

  9. ” oooh I hate Hamilton because of his Silver Spoon to his career..”

    Oh good grief! Damn you Hamilton for having so much raw talent that someone want to support you and reap the rewards!!!

    As I’ve said before, many drivers have had the benefit of strong sponsorship, and good drives – hamilton more than most perhaps, but then we all remember Montoya, who had his career funded by Sir Frank? Alonso by Flavio, Kimi by Peter Sauber… c’mon! it happens to all of the good ones – the bad ones have to bring a sponsor!

  10. Many of you saying that Hamilton was whinging about the Monaco race. I think he was quite right in complaining because after Alonso’s pit stop, Hamilton still had 6 or more laps of fuel left to go much faster laps with a lighter fuel load. He had a real chance of overtaking Alonso by that tactic. However, McLaren put a stop to that by calling him in immediately after Alonso for refuelling because McLaren were worried that if a Safety Car came out in the next 6 laps, Hamilton would lose his safe 2nd place, and so did not want to risk him trying to gain a 1st place. They decided it was better for the Team to ahve a guaranteed 1st and 2nd rather than gamble on Hamilton getting a 1st or nothing.

    Many of you are also making a lot out of the Hungary qualifying session incident, where Hamilton disobeyed the team to let Alonso get past him in the qualifying session, first lap of Q3. I remember very clearly seeing it on TV, and it was also confirmed and explained afterwards by Hamilton, that Alonso dropped back so much that Raikonnen was closing up and would have passed Hamilton if Hamilton slowed too much to give Alonso the lead. In fact, you can check back to see that Raikonnen managed toget past Alonso in the first or 2nd lap of Q3.

  11. Oh yes, and by the way, I like Hamilton and i like most other drivers. But I do think Alonso has “something of the night” about his character.

    As for Hamilton having the best car (which Alonso has too!), the big difference is that in all the races so far, Hamilton has maybe made just one or two minor driving errors. His driving has been near perfect. And that is something you cannot say for any of the other drivers. Ferrari drivers may bave had some bad luck, but so has Hamilton. Monaco, and the his crash, and his shedded tyre, were all down to circumstances beyond Hamilton’s control.

    Best wishes to Hamilton for his future career and I hope he remembers that the British like to build up their heroes just so that they can be knocked down.

  12. Once again: to the people who say that any driver can win in a McLaren, seems (prematurely) that our two times world champion can’t, now that’s strange is’t it?

    At least Hamilton has generated a interest far beyond the usual. 50 comments already, must be some kind of record as well. I went back to read some of the posts from march/april, hardly any responses at that point of the season.

  13. I haven’t particularly cared for Hamilton since the start of the season, and I do think that this has been mainly down to ITV. Fair enough, he’s British and winning but I do think the third race of the season was too early to be predicting the championship, no? And also I would like to hear about what is happening to the other drivers during the race. Martin does his best, but he’s out numbered by all the other Hamilton worshippers there.
    I don’t hate Hamilton, or anything like that, I just haven’t really seen what there is to get so excited about – and to be honest, I feel that way about most drivers this year. In a season when (almost) every race has been won from pole position, based on a dodgy qualifying system, it’s hard to say who’s got the driving skill… I’d love to see them do something insane and for one GP a year give each of the drivers a random car from the pack..
    As for all the comments about ‘a rookie beating the champion’ – we *know* they take it in turns to have the extra lap in quali, which gives them pole, and they both have 4 wins? This tells us nothing about the drivers. But everything, unfortunately, about the system!

    BTW, I now watch ITV on mute, and listen to five live radio.. :-)

  14. Schumacher Fan
    3rd October 2007, 12:19

    i agree with kirk about the system it means that team mates are unlikley to outqualify eachother often because fo the stupid fuel burn system. although you cant knock what hamilton has done this year!

  15. Fifty-three comments and I haven’t said anything yet – now that must be a record! :D

  16. people would always demand an apology wether they deserve it or not, in this world no matter how good u are in terms of behaviour, not everyone will like u, just because they have the right not to. however it would be pretty dumb for any individual to have a great dislike for someone else based on third party comments or not researching the meaning of a particular statement.

    if u watch junior series, racing, its a jungle out there, and lewis didnt invent the term monkeys, its used in the same fashion as one would use gremlins, it doesnt reffer to an individual, but rather to a wild situation.

    and loki, every driver thinks of the championship, thats why they are there, but a few can focus on the individual races until they win the champoinship, perhaps it might be u are unable to focus on pertinent issues rather than an ultimate goal, that is why u find it difficult to believe others cant

  17. I like him lh that is but when everyone – is always looking for the persons weak link – british obsession – then anyone will have moments – like the sillyness at hungary – bring back the days of innes ireland and graham hill – when fun was still allowed – and less of this professional – boredom and back stabbing

  18. I got to say LH has become a little big headed, but wouldn’t you? he’s fending off a two time world champ, kimi and massa!! I say he’s the best thing that’s happened to F1 in a long time!

    At the end of the day their are loads of “snotty” drivers in the sport at the moment but your all just taking it out on hammy cuz he’s winning in his rooky season!

    well i say keep it up up! Good luck to button and davidson for 2008!


  19. another lewis fan
    4th October 2007, 14:34

    As for the silverspoon comment.Lewis got where he is today through hard work and determination and sheer talent nobody can deny that,hes not cocky hes just a very confident person which he has every right to be Yes hes made some silly comments in the past but i am still a huge fan of his. Britain has’nt produced a talent like lewis in f1 for years its about time we had one so lets stop bad-mouthing him and show him some loyalty!

  20. Now I know I already made this point on “Hamilton investigated over Vettel crash” but 58 comments?!? What have you guys been doing, seriously? Anyway, I liked Lewis at the start of the year, but I’m not so fond of him now, which is a shame. I think the turning point was when he started talking about collaborating musically with Pharell Williams. HE’S AN F1 DRIVER!!!

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