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.

Rohan

Hamilton has turned into a similar brat.

Alex

Hamilton is a snotty geek

Ryan

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??????

KB

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. nellyweb said on 2nd October 2007, 16:11

    Why on earth do people find it acceptable to refer to lewis Hamilton as “the little brat” or “spoilt”? There is a reason he is in that McLaren, there is a reason he is leading the World Championship (and has been for most of the season). He has had a lot of money spent on him, but then so have many of the drivers. Alonso, Webber, and Fisi all had a slice of Flavio’s billions, and many drivers have benefited from the Red Bull money pot.

    Sure, other drivers have started in more junior teams, but they would have all jumped into that McLaren if they had the chance, and furthermore, Hamilton is outperforming most of these more experienced drivers (most of whom are only in their early to mid-twenties anyway so perhaps they are all spoilt little brats?)

    Lewis has simply been the best racer this year. Some of you folks should just get over yourselves and realize that pretty much nothing that comes out of the mouths of any of them means a thing because it’s mostly all PR driven drivel. I would argue that Lewis is simply breaking free from some of those PR constraints and being far more honest than we’ve seen from a McLaren driver for years. I want my first British champion in 11 years to be a bad ass, double-world-champion stomping, ferrari bad-mouthing, petulant, cocky, SUPERSTAR!

    There isn’t a driver in the field who has done a better job behind the wheel this year, and I look forward to the Lewis and Fernando show with nearly as much relish as I watched the Senna and Prost show back in the day.

    My advice to anyone is to switch on the TV 2 minutes before the start so you miss the ITV drivel (why an hours build up and only 2 minutes analysis at the end?), don’t bother reading any of the British newspapers (none of which seem to have attended an F1 race), and try to remember that the most important stuff happens on the track.

  2. Obviously, being groomed by McLaren he’s been taught the words to use and speak, but whenever I hear him talk I get the feeling he’s not sincere. Every driver pays tribute to their team for winning, and for someone who’s spent so long in a team he does, but his “I’m happy for the team” and “the team did a fantastic job today” always seem to hit me as empty.

    I do not like his “I’m not thinking about the championship” remarks, amongst others, when he so obviously is. Just bloody say it, you always refer to the points difference, you’re hardly thinking about coconuts are you. Any driver in F1 worth his pedals would be.

    Like James B, I find him dull – I can’t really, concretely, substatiate it. It’s just the feeling I get from him. McLaren seem to be good at introducing real boring drivers these days. I guess on track he’s more exciting, which is what counts…

    I don’t dismiss his talents whatsoever, but I’m already bored of the Lewis Hamilton story. It actually makes me want Alonso to win it just to shut people up. Then again, the amount of moaning that would bring from the LH camp would be equally insufferable to the current hype.

    Everything about Hamilton – the driver, the hype, the ITV coverage is here to stay for a while….possibly longer. And I will still keep watching – I’m more interested to see how he will develop because this is how people will learn to love drivers. Not based on solely accomplishments, but how they’ve gone around doing it. So far, it’s been dull.

  3. Tiger Woods had to put up with the same rhetoric.

    Yes, Lewis Hamilton was raised to race Formula 1. Yes, that brings with it an attitude that won’t sit well with everyone. Yes, Lewis Hamilton used foul language on the radio. I saw an exhibition male/female partners golf match where the competitors were wearing microphones, Tiger was not having a good day, and his words were absolutely not fit for television. (That’s what they get for not airing it on delay.)

    Lewis Hamilton really is that good. It bothers me that it seems he goes straight to his father every time he does something, but then again, Tiger Woods was like that too.

    I wish the Japanese rain hadn’t made the championship such an anticlimax, but as Speed TV in USA’s prerace montage put it, Japan is good for an awkward twist. Furthermore, however unlikely it sounds, there is still quite a chance that Hamilton’s car might break while in China and keep things interesting. Then again, maybe not.

  4. C-type said on 2nd October 2007, 18:02

    It’s not LH himself, it’s the mad intolerant rampant hype that’s followed him around and produced mad intolerant rampant fans who don’t get the idea of racing and F1.

  5. Mostly, everyone seems to agree that McLaren are fair to their drivers. Monaco was absolutely fine, you don’t race your team-mate after the second pitstop in Monaco. I started disliking Hamilton with his accusations that the team was favouring Alonso.

    Two, Hungaroring. He was the one who messed up the team strategy there – and Alonso took the flak and lost the points. I am not a McLaren fan, but I believe that Ron Dennis is fair to the drivers as much as they can. And Hamilton screwed with the team strategy. Alonso’s reaction is a separate issue. For me, Hamilton started this entire dirty fighting with his refusal to move over for Alonso which was the agreed upon team strategy. I could forgive the whining at Monaco, I could not tolerate the way his actions led to Mclaren and Alonso losing points.

    I have strong dislike for Alonso too for his whining – but that’s not what this post is about…

  6. I suspect that the people who say that any driver would have won the WC in a McLaren this years are the same ones who gives excuses such as “oh he is a rookie, he is only learning” whenever Heiki or Vettel makes a mistake. Come on that’s plain double standard.

    There are so many good drivers who have failed to capitalize on their chances in a top team: Rubens, Coulthard, Fisichella, Ralf, Button, Kimi and Massa springs to mind, some of them still have a second chance, for others time is running out. Obviously not anyone can do it, no matter if they are experienced or not. Let’s put it like this: if anyone else drove for McLaren this year alongside Alonso, the only one who I’d give a 50-50 chance to beat him is Kimi.

  7. Jimmy K said on 2nd October 2007, 20:37

    fans seem pretty upset about Hungary on the above comments. i myself have a hard time sympathising with FA, a guy who won his first championship when MS had crap tyres, and Kimi blew up in first place however many times, then jumps out of his quick, reliable Renault and exclaims “I do it myself!” This rookie class, and the one taking his crown, is just what the ‘sport’ needed.

    ps. Bernie, good luck with your 2 Spanish GPs next year!

  8. Dan M said on 2nd October 2007, 21:19

    Jian:

    Rubens, Coulthard, Fisichella, and Massa were all #2 drivers and accepted that role, thats why I have respect for them, they got paid to do a job and they did it. Lets face it, Buttons BAR was never going to compete for a championship. Kimi just doesn’t have the luck of The Ham (AKA a pigs ass) or he would have won at least one title. F1 is about skill and luck, one Lewis gained through hard work the other one he gained well, by being lucky….

    And then theres Ralph….. hes just Ralph

  9. just to add fuel to the fire, love to hear your thoughts on Hamilton after watching this YouTube clip:

    http://www.sidepodcast.com/2007/10/02/you-decide/

  10. Ali AydoÄŸan said on 2nd October 2007, 22:59

    I did not like Lewis from the beginning. Yes he is very talented, ultra-educated and deserves the title if he wins it.

    But I feel he is playing the nice guy (my possibly biassed opinion), his words in Monaco were the moment where his relationship cracked with Alonso, not a perfect teamplayer blaming his own TEAM in press conference!!And that brought McLaren an investigation.

    He said he “tricked Massa out” in Sepang, which was not kind at least, but he still plays a nice guy, smiles the other podium finishers, hits them on shoulder..Maybe he can say “I fooled him” next time.

    He was the one who fired the Hungaroring incident, by violating the agreement within TEAM about extra lap, when it was Alonso’s turn. Then going to stewards and complaining about the Alonso’s action, which costed his TEAM a possible 18 points after a second investigation in the season!!An interesting TEAMplayer!!!

    After Alonso had better performances in the second half of the season, and especially after Spa incident, he spoke several times about his teammate, complained about Alonso’s move, similar to which himself previously delivered to other drivers especially in starts.

    He spoke much about Alonso being involved in Stepney-gate, but did not say a word about his benefits of that data by the share of telemetry and set-up.

    He was just another person in McLaren, who wanted us to believe it was Alonso-DeLaRosa-Coughlan who did it all. Alonso and DeLaRosa are so gifted that they can design and produce a brake system like Ferrari’s???If so, why didnt McLaren appeal?I just dont believe it.

    I pretty much believe(biassed again) Hamilton pretends to be a teamplayer and wants people to think so. Alonso was at least honest, when he said WDC meant more to him than WCC, whereas Hamilton succeeded to say Team, Team, Team…

    I simply cannot like him, maybe because of Bernie enjoying the money he makes, maybe because of exagerrating British press, maybe because of my biassed observations on Hamilton, maybe because of my friends who watched a total of 5 GPs and claim “Hamilton is the best!!”….

  11. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 2nd October 2007, 23:06

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. SoLiD said on 3rd October 2007, 1:00

    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 :)

  14. John said on 3rd October 2007, 2:45

    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.

  15. Mark said on 3rd October 2007, 4:14

    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.

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