The most hated man in Formula 1

CommentPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton, Laureus awards, 2008

Lewis Hamilton: Formula 1’s most successful rookie, 2007 championship runner-up, five times Grand Prix winner. And the most hated man in Formula 1.

From the banners at the Spanish Grand Prix, to the streams of abuse on internet forums, the crop of hate websites that have sprung up and even the series of anti-Hamilton Youtube videos, the British driver has taken over Michael Schumacher’s mantle as the man who is liked and loathed in roughly equal measure.

Why is that?

Popular is uncool

Lewis Hamilton, 2007 Canadian Grand Prix victory newspaper coverage, 470313

Hamilton may be hated, but he is also very popular. Taking Britain as an example, F1 fans today can be broadly divided between those who have followed the sport for years, like myself, and those who’ve been drawn to it recently by the popularity of Hamilton.

According to ITV, their F1 broadcasts were watched by 40% more people last year because of Hamilton, so we’re talking about a significant number of newcomers to the sport.

Now I like F1 a lot (you may have noticed) and I’ve got nothing against Hamilton, but even I find the saturation coverage of Hamilton a lot to take.

And I think a lot of other people react negatively against the fawning, sycophantic tripe written about Hamilton, and don’t like him as a result.

‘Twas ever thus, of course. Before Hamilton the British media’s darling was Jenson Button, and it was pretty clear from the debate we had about Button earlier this week how his over-exposure earlier in his career had coloured people’s opinions of him.

With Hamilton, there were some insinuations last year that his value to the sport made the governing body reluctant to punish him, which no doubt deepened the growing dislike.


Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Nurburgring, 2007, 470313

There is a perception that Hamilton has a false media persona. A typical example of which was be that painful interview with Heikki Kovalainen ITV broadcast before the start of the Australian Grand Prix, with all that unconvincing chummyness. It brought back memories of the photo calls with Fernando Alonso last year when the two plainly weren’t getting on.

Hamming it up is one thing, but Hamilton’s not shy to use the media for his own ends either. His frustration at the team’s strategy in the Monaco Grand Prix last year, which he felt cost him the chance of beating Alonso, bubbled to the surface in his now notorious words: “it says number two on my car and I’m the number two driver.”

This, his critics say, is the real Hamilton: sweetness and light until something goes wrong – and then he bares his teeth.

The Fernando Alonso factor

Fernando Alonso, McLaren, 2007, Interlagos, 470313

It should have been a perfect match. Experienced, confident, double champion meets paired with the rookie to whom everything is new. Alonso does the winning, Hamilton does the learning.

But it became clear things were not going to work that way as early as the first qualifying session of the season, when Alonso reacted to Hamilton’s speed in Q2 by choosing to do an extra lap to guarantee himself first choice on strategy.

As we all know all hell broke loose between the pair in 2007. There are essentially two competing explanations for why that happened:

(a) Hamilton was so quick it rattled Alonso, leading him to demand preferential treatment from McLaren and, when he didn’t get it, blasted the team in his home press. He leapt at the opportunity to blackmail Ron Dennis when the spy scandal blew up. Alonso’s fans sympathised with their hero’s plight, believe everything he said, and hate Hamilton as a result.

(b) McLaren misled Alonso over whether he’d be the number one driver in 2008, and then undermined his efforts to win the world championship. Ron Dennis lied and claimed Alonso threatened to blackmail him over the spygate affair after Alonso had been double-crossed by Hamilton in qualifying at Hungary.

What do I think? As with most things I think the truth lies somewhere between the two extremes – although not halfway between.

Hamilton is no angel. What he did at Hungary last year was clearly an attempt to provoke Alonso. But the idea that McLaren would bring a double world champion into the team specifically to compromise his ability to win the championship defies logic, common sense and history. Even Pat Symonds of Alonso’s beloved Renault team acknowledged Alonso could not stand being beaten by a team mate even if Giancarlo Fisichella only managed it once or twice.

I don’t think there’s any doubt Hamilton’s catastrophic relationship with Alonso is the largest cause of the widespread hatred of Hamilton – whichever explanation for it you agree with.


Fernando Alonso brought legions of new fans to the sport in Spain. You only have to look how packed the Circuit de Cataluya has been in recent years compared to the late 1990s to see that.

Inevitably, many of those fans may have little or no knowledge of F1 prior to about 2005. As far as they are concerned, Alonso is number one – this is the man that beat Michael Schumacher, after all.

Many have reasoned that it is simply not possible Alonso could have been beaten by a rookie, and as Hamilton is a British driver in a British team they suspected a conspiracy.


No. I honestly don’t think racism has anything to do with it.

I know many of you disagreed with me when I said I supported the FIA’s anti-racism campaign. I still think it’s the right thing to do.

But I do think the racism that was displayed at the Circuit de Catalunya in testing in February (and may have been seen at the Chinese Grand Prix last year) was intended as an expression of hatred towards Lewis Hamilton the person and not his race. That does not excuse it, of course.

Over to you

Do you agree Lewis Hamilton is the most hated driver in Formula 1? What has he done to provoke it? Is it deserved or undeserved?

If you’d like to dip into the stack of articles that touched on this subject last year – which provoked pages of debate – here are a few places to start:

Lewis Hamilton biography

154 comments on “The most hated man in Formula 1”

  1. I may knock ITV for their poor coverage (oh and I do!), and I can see that this must reflect on Lewis, but I like to think I’m smart enough to not pin that factor onto Lewis himself.

    At the end of the day, each and every driver has had to be hard nosed and selfish to get into the highest level of motorsport so it’s no surprise that by the time they get there, they’re not all the most friendly people in the world. It’s cut throat out there and that famous line of ‘nice guys don’t finish first’ that has plagued a number of top British drivers over the last 20 years. You can’t blame Lewis if he plays the part to show harmony in a team, regardless of whether it exists.

    I loved to hate Schumacher because of his on-track antics but the nearest that Lewis has come to that is a handful of minor start-line-chopping accusations and not letting Alonso lead in qualifying for the Hungarian GP last year.

    I imagine it’s a case of a few people with their noses out of joint because Lewis has come into a top team immediately and become a sensation. Reading his (not all that great) book, he’s had this all his life when competitors pinned his success on the McLaren Mercedes contract he had in his back pocket.

  2. There’s a lot of pretty hostile anti-Coulthard stuff out there, but it’s of a different nature as it doesn’t have the backlash against media hype aspect to it. I don’t think anyone else on the grid comes close to those two, though.

  3. Theo Kyriakou
    2nd May 2008, 13:17

    I don’t like Hamilton any more because of the media overexposure and his unnecesary attempt to cash in by books etc. Before he een completed his first season in F1  abook with his pretty face in the cover was out.
    All the repetitve media BS talk about how he has been preparing for F1 all his life about how focused he is and then crashes his car in the pit entry, about how perfect things are inhis life etc makes him boring to a degree that makes even Kimi’s press conferences interesting.

  4. William Wilgus
    2nd May 2008, 13:21

    Just think of the hoopla there will be with the first female F1 driver!

    If Hamilton weren’t black, would the FIA still be having an anti-racism campaign?  No.

    I can’t like a person who is dishonest:  Moving to Switzerland for privacy rather than taxes lie, etc.

  5. Part of the reason Lewis is unpopular is because of his self-confidence, which is standard issue with all racing drivers.
    Where other British drivers have been older and wiser enough to play it cool, like Damon Hill or – to a certain extent – DC; Lewis hasn’t been shy about telling us how good he thinks he is. I think that gets a lot of people’s backs up.

  6. I feel that its very easy to confuse resentment of our (the UK’s) grotesquely Hamilton slanted F1 coverage with hatred of Hamilton himself.

    Speaking as someone who feels a great deal of the former, I find it frustrating when people who have sipped the Hamilton kool-aid dismiss entirely valid criticism of media coverage as mere Hamilton bashing.

    Of course, I would never claim to be completely immune from said confusion myself. As ITV move into their second hour of Hamilton Basking on a Sunday afternoon it becomes entirely too easy to take pot shots at him, despite the fact that my frustration is in fact not at Hamilton himself, but his portrayal.

  7. I DISLIKE him….hate is too strong a word
    Main reasons……

    1 -ITV protray LH as some kind of niave angel who has brought new life to the sport….was OK the first time they said it, and the rookie did good…niave no

    2 – ITV’s insistence on having his father talk on his behalf…ok maybe a manager or whatever, but please he has a voice and an ability to talk for himself….not his fault I know but it is a Motorsport show, and it gets right up my nose, a lower profiled driver interview would be better

    3 – The Lies – By this I mean the reasons given for leaving England….(press) LOL, How silly did he think his fans where..THE MAIN REASON, shows complete disregard for English fans

    4 – The Alonso/Hamilton relationship, I am a fan of neither, but a truly great spporting personality is someone who can work with anyone, and this goes for the 2 of them. Spoilt Brats should have made more effort to make it work

    5 -He spoke out about Mr Mosely saying he should be setting a good example for young people, the same weekend as he was fined for speeding in France

    I dont like to judge any driver on a personal level, but Keith you are right, the media coverage has put me right off LH, but I do not hate him…Just feel to urge to switch channels when ITV rant on about him…..what about other ‘Home nation’ drivers


  8. I don’t like him because he says the word "cool" and he’s 23 years old.

  9. I started disliking Hamilton when he said "I tricked Massa into out-braking himself" in Malaysia ’07.
    I suspect he believed the hype he’d heard on ITV.

  10. Well as a Canadian, I dislike Hamilton mostly because I’m stuck with ITV’s constant worshiping of the ground he walks on.  To take the recent China event in particular, rather than talking about the events on track we were treated to Martin Brundle spending a couple of laps muttering about how he’d like to string Alonso up for engineering a collision with our hero.

    Is Hamilton good?  Unquestionably.

    Is he entertaining?  Yes.

    Is he the next Nigel Mansell, or is he merely another Couthard/Button/fill-in-blank-here?  Well, that remains to be seen, but please let him get a few more seasons under his belt before we canonize him.

  11. This article sheds the light on a very important issue,namely the weapons of mass distraction.Media are forming opinions and do not leave it up to the audience/spectator/fan to form his/her own opinion.
    For Lewis Hamilton,I only disliked his driving style behind the safety car last year at the GP of Japan.And i liked the episode with Jeremy on Top Gear.Other than that…no complain!

  12. I dislike him because he seems to feel the need to continuously remind us about how humble he is. He’s always telling us how he "couldn’t have done it without the team" etc. If you ask me, if someone needs to keep pointing this out then they are the opposite of humble, but refuse to admit it. Personally, I think that’s worse than just being arrogant.

  13. I don’t like Hamilton either, mainly due to him starting to believe the hype like a certain Jenson Button also did. He is of course much better than Button, whether he is a real all-time great remains to be seen.
    I think his character is quite two-faced and he is very calculating in his statements, which seem fake as a consequence.
    This is not something that many other drivers display, Schumacher hardly did this, mainly by avoiding to pretend that he is a great mate of everyone in the team. Kimi is just a very straight guy who doesn’t care about what people think and says what he thinks, the best example being his comment about having recently been to the loo before the race a few years back.
    Alonso is of course as bad as Hamilton when it comes to sincerity, but I still feel he is less calculating than Hamilton and his entourage.
    As Keith already mentioned, his real personality comes out when he has something to complain about.
    I think he lost it magnificently at the end of last season and simply folded under the pressure. This can of course be down to his youth, so let’s see what happens next time when he is in grasping distance of a F1-Championship. I’m sure this time will come, probably not this season, but let’s see…

  14. Dare I be different here and say I don’t dislike him?  Well I don’t.  ITV, Alonso, the books, Switzerland etc… so what.  Fernando Alonso whines far more than Lewis and he is adored.
    Every high profile athlete that has made the grade quickly gets ground to the ground with criticism from the media as well as drooled over.  Take a new song a band has produced and you hear it everywhere for months.  That’s the nature of things, but do we have to jump on the bandwagon and dislike a driver because maybe someone else dislikes him or he gets a lot of attention?  Not me.

    I don’t understand how he can be disliked because ITV talked about him too much, or he has a few books at a young age.  How can he be disliked for beating Alonso and competing hard against him?

    Maybe I’m under a rock or something, but I just don’t get it.

  15. TommyBellingham
    2nd May 2008, 14:55

    He’s cool to hate because F1 wasnt that popular in the UK until Lewis came around. Now everyone knows about F1, even if they watch it to see how Hamilton does who cares!? Before all the conversations were about football, now all my mates want to talk about Grand Prix and its great!

  16. steve thompson
    2nd May 2008, 15:06

    I think deep down it is racism. We are not used to the corporate selling of black people as anything other than as performer or as macho-mandingo. Black men have to be funny or ultimately macho to fit the stereotype, LH is neither. That being said McLaren are hopeless at presenting drivers as anything other than as personality free machines – that doesn’t help, Alonso came with a personality Hamilton has not been allowed to show his since he was a kid.

  17. Steve, whilst I am pretty uncomfortable with the stereotypes you evoke, I have to wonder at the point you make with them.  Are you seriously suggesting that driving a 200mph racing machine is anything less than the ultimate in macho?

  18. steve thompson
    2nd May 2008, 15:12

    That’s a very good point George. I really meant, but didn’t express it very well, that he doesn’t do the male black man sexual beast posturing – instead, (and this is what some people have said they hate about him!) he is humble and thanks those around him, in a kind of feminine, new man way.

  19. Well, there’s a can of worms opened… worms all over the floor…

  20. steve thompson
    2nd May 2008, 15:17

    it has to be faced up to, sadly.

  21. "I don’t like him because he says the word "cool" and he’s 23 years old."

    I resent that! I am also 23……

    My dislike for Hamilton has cooled a little now that he is getting a taste of reality. I think one of the major reasons i dislike him is the "spoiled" factor. Kimi, Fernando, Micheal, and Hiedfeld (to name a few recent examples) all came from lesser teams, they had to work their way to the top, where as Hamilton was given a great car from the start… He didn’t even need to pay his dues by testing for a year.

    My other problem with him is his disregard for the other drivers on the course, and refusing to join the Drivers Association.  I am all for someone who will do anything to win, but to avoid meetings on safety concerns is absurd.

    That being said, Mosley is "the most hated man in F1", Lewis is the "most hated driver in F1".

  22. 22 comments already!

    Let me ask a question on that point Dan: why should he have to "pay his dues" in a lesser car?

    Hamilton’s route to Formula 1 was obviously quite unusual: McLaren began supporting him very early in his career. This may now become more common – Honda have signed a 16 year-old karter in recent weeks.

    He’d won championships in consecutive seasons in 2005 and 2006 and was clearly ready to move up to F1. What would McLaren have gained by making him a test driver for a year? Renault did that with Heikki Kovalainen and Nelson Piquet Jnr in the last few years and both looked race-rusty on their debuts. Would Hamilton really have done better had they kept him on the sidelines for a year?

    So I don’t understand that whole area of the discussion, in terms of what McLaren are supposed to have done wrong and why it’s a reason not to like Hamilton.

  23. sChUmAcHeRtHeGrEaTeStEvEr
    2nd May 2008, 15:31

    for the people who are moanin about him moving to switzerland how can you complain about that, he did say it wasnt just for the privacy and dont pretend youv never complained about the amount of tax that gets taken off your pay cheque i dont blame him for moving.All great sportsmen, especially in sports where the individual gets alot of the praise you need to be ruthless, hamilton is, like it or not thats just they way you have to be to get far in such a competitve world. It would of been very easy for hamilton to start last year let alonso dominate and just learn from him, but then hed be regarded as a number 2 like rubens.
    Look at how senna behaved when he was paried up with prost at maclaren, similar circumstances (i know senna wasnt a rookie) but prost was a double champion.
    at the end of the day hamilton look s to be the best british driver since mansell, lets see how the next few years go but he out raced alonso last year whatever way you look at ti he did get over it hes a very good racing driver. the public image sadly is part of the world today everything is about image so he has to follow the company line.
    if you watch f1 for the sport where hamilton lives an why wouldnt come into it!

  24. On the whole subject of the McLaren support it’s worth adding to Keith’s excellent points above that their support was never a given, but based upon performance.  Lewis simply had to deliver at each stage of his career or that support would not have continued.  You could argue that, whilst on one level it removed a pressure, on another it created it’s own quite different ones.

  25. I watch F1 in:
    ITV And find laughable that the commentators go on saying things like (in spanish GP) "Hamilton has the edge and drove an incredible race" (or something like that, about winning by the edge), and "Massa was trashed by Kimi, couldn’t do a thing about it". Well, Massa beat Lewis.

    Tele 5 a spanish channel, and they’re as mental as the british ones, all for Alonso and the blame is in everybody else. I really love to see their faces everytime Alonso DNF.

    Fox Sports LA and the commentators there are three argentinean guys, who are very knowledgeable and have the great advantage of not having any countrymen driving right now, so I find them to be the least biased and more accurate.

    Televisa and some backwater channel with some moron commentators that couldn’t tell MS apart from RB when they were both with Ferrari. I can see and scream things happening minutes before they even notice.

    So, I think that the more knowledge you have paired with the least mental you are (i.e. not having a favourite driver) is the way to go in F1 to NOT go mental.

  26. Maybe Bernie and Max the Perv love some controversy

  27. "Maybe Bernie and Max the Perv love some controversy"

    You may be closer to the truth than you think, Ndinyo.  Do remember that some of the more watched F1 races this decade came after controversy (2002 and 2006 Monaco GPs prove my point).  Controversy, as long as it doesn’t get too poisonous, tends to make for good audience numbers.  And we know what Bernie likes, right?  ‘Nuff said.

  28. What does that have to do with Lewis Hamilton?

  29. I was not suggesting what Mclaren did was wrong, in fact its worked out better than even Ron would likely admit. I was simply stating that it was a reason to not like him.

    To me, seeing a young driver get a great ride and immediately be classified as the next Shu is nauseating. Its kinda like when you first start driving in your ****box car, while your peers get a brand new car. They may well have payed for that car themselves but out of spite, I still don’t like them.

    I don’t dislike him because he received the car he did, its the attitude hes developed from starting at the top. He seemed overwhelmed at Canada after winning (like any rookie should be), but toward the end of the year he struck me as arrogant and deserving. I think if he started at the bottom he wouldn’t have that cocky demeanor. Plus I always root for the underdog so after Canada I started rooting against him.

    Sorry for the poor sentence structure…. I’m American!

  30. Oh come on Keith – all this Lewis hate campaigns and Alonso fanatism dont look a little bit engineered to u? Even the two occupying the same real estate on the track is treated like a Mohamed Ali fight … come on, that can’t be news worthy, not for this long. Remember how many sensational stuff was ‘leaked’ as true in 2007 when it didnt even exist? I remember at least two journalists apologising for reporting pure hot air as fact.

  31. So, Dan, you’d dislike any rookie who joined McLaren or, presumably, Ferrari or BMW?

    NDINYO, I have no idea what you’re suggesting. Are you saying that Mosley and Ecclestone played some role in putting Alonso and Hamilton together at McLaren and making them hate each other?

  32. I also question weather these other young drivers will get the same opportunity as Hamilton. F1 is very much a copy cat sport, but if Hamilton starts to falter this year, other teams may prefer to ease the young drivers into the sport (testing) . It only took Kovi a half the season to orient himself and he had a dreadfully awful car in the 07 Renault.

    I think the only reason that the Hamilton experiment was attempted is because they had a 2 time world champion joining the team who has a history of being number 1. There was no risk in putting Hamilton into the car (in hindsight it was an amazing decision).

    Of course if Hamilton bounces back this year, everyone will copy Mclaren’s approach.

  33. So, Dan, you’d dislike any rookie who joined McLaren or, presumably, Ferrari or BMW?

    I very much like Kubica, but thats because of his humble attitude.

  34. Ack! no more, please.If its not ITV apparently ‘going on’ about Hamilton then its people complaining about ITV ‘going on’ about Hamilton.All this apparent hatred seems entirely unjustified to me. If you dont like ITV mentioning Hamilton so much then complain about ITV but remember they were just as bad if not worse about Schumacher, James Allens sycophantic toadying to to Schuey was just plain disturbing compared with the totally expected focus on Hamiltion.ITV is British, Hamilton is British, McLaren is British, Hamilton is a good driver, a WDC contender – ergo he might get more of a mention in the British press than the rest. Its hardly brain surgery.Get over it and move on. Jesus.

  35. The events in 2007 that have involved the British media and McLaren have made me like Alonso more because he got quite bad rep in Britain.

    That said, I’m sure the Spanish media do the same to Hamilton, but I’m British so I don’t know what Formula 1 media is like in Spain.

    This is why I’m a Raikkonen fan.

  36. The guy is 23 and being bombarded more media exposure, criticism and pressure to perform than most people face their entire lives. He’s going to make mistakes, say things he will regret later, screw up some relationships, lie sometimes, etc.Give the guy a break.

  37. "Are you saying that Mosley and Ecclestone played some role in putting Alonso and Hamilton together at McLaren and making them hate each other?"

    Ndinyo is pushing it a bit too much, I think.  BUT… I’m sure Bernie and Max don’t mind all the Lewis-Fernando kerfuffle.  In other words, while they’re not actively pushing it, they’re not doing anything to stop it, either… they’re just letting it play out and letting us fans react to it, discuss it… and word of mouth about f1 spreads, so more people watch it.  ergo, profit.

  38. Green Flag
    2nd May 2008, 17:28

    At first I did not like Lewis much – he came across as brash and full of himself. But I’ve come to like, even admire, him; getting beaten on a regular basis has made him less cocky. Sure, he’s still self-confident, but why not? He has enormous talent. BTW, this whole thing about hating a driver is ridiculous. Dislike, disrespect, maybe, but hating someone you don’t even know, weird.

  39. Paul Sainsbury
    2nd May 2008, 17:43

    It truly is worrying to see some of those youtube videos and the remarks that people leave. I was particularly amused to see one entitled ‘Lewis Hamilton, biggest loser 2007’. I don’t quite know what measurement of ‘loser’ the author was using, but possibly he was a little confused there I think.

    So what causes this ‘confusion’?

    Most importantly, I think I have come to reluctantly conclude that there is a really worrying undercurrent of tacit racism amongst us. I think it is possible that even those responsible are unaware of it. A really good example is the frequently heard/read innocent remark about Lewis when he appeared on the scene that ‘he is very articulate, isn’t he?’. Clearly this is not an insult in itself, but the fact remains that it is an odd thing to say, it almost implies surprise that he should be articulate.

    In addition to this think that the most likely scenario is simply that we have never before seen anything even approaching this level of talent and success in a rookie, and many people just don’t like it, and don’t want to accept it. It is well known that many here in the UK are somewhat resentful of success. I am British but work for 10 months of the year in the USA, and I must say that this is not a trait I have found with the Americans.

  40. "At first I did not like Lewis much – he came across as brash and full of himself. But I’ve come to like, even admire, him; getting beaten on a regular basis has made him less cocky. Sure, he’s still self-confident, but why not? He has enormous talent. BTW, this whole thing about hating a driver is ridiculous. Dislike, disrespect, maybe, but hating someone you don’t even know, weird."

    Couldn’t have said it any better, Green Flag.  I agree with you on this one.  :)

  41. Michael Dunn
    2nd May 2008, 17:55

    Anyone under 30 who publishes an autobiography is an arrogrant ****. Hamilton is probably the biggest **** that F1 has seen in a long time.

  42. I have 2 words for anyone who claims that Lewis is disliked just because he was succesful – Jacques Villeneuve. He was a rookie when he came to F1 and was immediately succesful (and none of this rubbish about him being better prepared than Lewis – Indycar is less similar to F1 than GP2 is, and JV had less testing than Lewis before the season started).

    As for why I dislike Lewis – it has to be his attitude. I find him smug and arrogant in the extreme, with no care for how he is perceived by other people. Furthermore, he has shown himself to be a sore loser, and while that may be a desirable quality to some extent, I feel that Lewis is "too sore" of a loser.

  43. Forgot to say that JV was not disliked by the majority of people in his first few years, despite his success.

  44. I think Hamilton is simultaneously the most hated and most loved driver in Formula 1…

    When a genius arrives (Hamilton might be the next one, but still needs to prove a couple of things) he makes himself noticed, even without a winning car…

    The last examples:
    Senna with Toleman, in 1984, scored his maiden podium in Monaco, under heavy rain, and could have won if they didn’t interrupt the race… the next year he was hired by Lotus, scored his maiden win, the last six victories for the legendary team, and paved his way to McLaren…

    Schumacher qualified seventh for Jordan in 1991 on his debut race, and was immediatly hired by Benneton, team with which he won his first GP in 1992, and his first titles, 1994 and 1995…

    Hamilton had the luck of starting with a winner car, and made the most of it, but we should remember that quite a few drivers have had the same luck, but very few had the same fate (most notably David Coulthard, who was a replacement for Senna in 1994)…

    I think that he is hated for the over-exposure, for the envy that many many people feel for seeing him shine so brightly, yet so early, and, to some extent, for the "good boy" image he desperately tried to build…

    Even though I feared that racism could be a problem for him, I don’t think it is the main cause for the hatred… Instead, its the "lucky rookie" image, "doesn’t matter if he is black or white", that annoys his detractors…

  45. Paul Sainsbury
    2nd May 2008, 18:51

    41 Michael Dunn 2 May 2008 at 5:55 pm ‘Anyone under 30 who publishes an autobiography is an arrogrant ****. Hamilton is probably the biggest **** that F1 has seen in a long time.’
    This is precisely the type of comment that has me so concerned about current attitudes. Okay, Michael, so you think that 23 is a little young to be putting out an autobiography. Well, I agree with you. but ‘arrogant ****’…….? the dictionary definition being: 1. a highly offensive term for a woman’s vagina or genital area (taboo) 2. U.K. a highly offensive term for somebody regarded as unintelligent, worthless, or detestable (taboo insult) Is this REALLY necessary?

  46. Yeah can we drop the swearing please guys? Cheers.

  47. I agree with Paul. My feelings toward Hamilton may be strong but I would never use that terminology toward anyone.

    I "dislike" Hamilton, but I "hate" ignorant remarks like that.

  48. does anyone else see the irony of people moaning that they don’t like him because he has too much exposure…. on an article about him and making it successful in terms of comments?

  49. I can remember the Australian Gp last year, at the end, when the three drivers were preparing to go to the podium. The lineup was predictable, atleast as far as the first two drivers were concerned.
    Raikkonen had led from pole to a comfortable victory, Alonso had slotted in second starting his second season as defending champion, and then there was this new kid.
    The smile on Hamilton’s face was one of pure joy and satisfaction, the grimaces on Raikkonen’s and Alonso’s faces were the ones of two men who had had their party gatecrashed by a teenybopper.
    Everybody had assumed that these two men would reign supreme, unchallenged, in the face of Michael Schumacher retiring. It would be a straight fight, Alonso vs Raikkonen, the two fastest drivers, one in a Merc, the other in Michael’s old car.
    That day, these two men realised that 2007 would not be quite
    as the pundits had predicted. When Michael was in F1, he dominated, now he was gone, the biggest threat to Alonso’s defence of his title, and Raikkonen getting his first crown, was finished. Surely now there would not be a problem? Wrong!
     I was caught by surprise too, by this new talent, his speed, confidence, and they way he conducted himself. As if he had been doing this since the cradle.
    In the races that followed, his stock rose, and his profile went through the roof. Nobody was talking about anybody else except the ‘rookie’, the underdog, Alonso’s teammate.
    It was an unbelievable situation, a rookie ‘could’ be champion, could beat the best of the best. The hatred that has followed is
    understandable, natural, and completely normal.
    Personally I always believed Raikkonen would win, he had always had bad luck in the past, he deserved to be champion.
    I knew Alonso would push him super close, to the limit and beyond, you could see how much Fernando wanted that third crown, to emulate his idle Aryton Senna.
    Hamilton came within a whisker of denying them both, and made alot of enemies whilst doing it, but he has helped the sport. He has broken the comfort zone for drivers and fans alike, we have now four or five drivers now that are champion material. Two proven talents, and three others.
     Lewis Hamilton is part of that, whether people like it or not. 

  50. the limit, you sound like James Allen.

    sorry about the swearing Keith, I promise not to insult anyone else like that again.

  51. At least anyone HATE or DISLIKE Lewis because he deals with his opposition doing a series of dirty tricks. Some guys hates him or dislike him just because he is a little spoiled or because he has a big hype around him… Not bad!   So let’s imagine the FEELING that this people will feel when Lewis became a champion…

  52. Reading some of these comments I feel like someone is switching the words "Lewis Hamilton" for "peodophile" after it gets submitted.  This level of bile just doesn’t make sense to me.  For years we’ve been waiting for another world class British F1 driver.  I won’t get into the argument about how long (It’s probably more than 3 decades) but lets just say it’s been a while.  In order to be the genuine article in F1 you have to be confident, arrogant even, superbly skillful, ruthless and have the support of one of the best teams.  These are essential requirements in the modern sport.  Along comes Hamilton, espouses all of these characteristics and what do we have?  Backlash. 

    Lets get a few things straight:  James Allen is an idiot, he always was he always will be.  We saw it with Schumacher and we see it with Hamilton.  Don’t blame Hamilton for that.  He can’t help who likes him. 

    Secondly you may *think* that Hamilton has a false persona with the media.  Unless you have met him personally and had dealings with him you cannot *know* that this is evidence of him being two-faced.  You simply can’t, it’s not possible, you don’t have a second reference point.

    Finally, 23 is very very young to have an autobiography so I suggest you do what I did and don’t buy it.  It certainly is not evidence of anything sinister or warranting such vitriol.  If someone wanted to pay me millions for my biography aged 23 days they could have had it.  Let’s not pretend any of us would do anything different given the chance.

    In conclusion:  I always wondered what the British fans (I am one btw) would do if they had their own Schumacher.  We can now see, we have our own Schumacher, perhaps even a better one (who can beat any teammate, rather than hand picked also-rans) and it just doesn’t sit very well, does it?

  53. Lady Snowcat
    2nd May 2008, 20:58

    Interesting how much heat the guy generates in posters….

    He’s very very good but has had more advantages than any other driver I can think of …. which may be because he is so good but may also have an element of right place, right face, right time….

    Do I hate him?… no of course not….

    Do I revere him?…. no it’s far too early….. and he’s yet to either drag a rubbish car up the grid or win from other than pole which, for me, are two sensible measures of  exceptional talent…. but I do expect him to do that sometime….

    Do I find the ITV and British media coverage off putting?….  certainly….

    I would like him to prove himself in a less than top car but he’ll probably never drive for a less than top team…. lucky boy….

    Do my views have even a small amount to do with Alonso?…. absolutely not… I even mentioned on another forum in his Renault days that he’d probably end up throwing his toys out of the pram at Macca and recommended Ron employ Super Nanny…..
    Lewis did right to cash in last year though, as he may never get another chance… that could have been his only one… I think that’s unlikely but you never know… these opportunities come rarely…. just ask DC and Jenson….

    I repeat that although I don’t warm to him he is a good driver….

    Just don’t ask me to change my allegiance from the Kimster… because that is not likely to happen…

  54. Sush, I have to admit, reading my own post, I do sound like James Allen. That was unintended, trust me!!
    One thing I do not miss about living in England was Mr Allen’s
    commentary, believe me.
    My point being, I believe the more ‘competitive’ drivers we have in F1 the better. I want people to get angry on the track, abit of excitement, wheel to wheel stuff.
    I remember very well James Allen and his opinion on Jenson Button, the hyping and everything, I can just imagine how he
    is on Lewis Hamilton. I admit it though, my post could come out of ITV couldn’t it. LOL. Sorry mate!!  

  55. Blimey, all this hate out there…… Well I like him, in fact i like all F1 drivers, they’re lovely……. And I like ITV, I even like Max… Bernie’s got some nice points too, well, at least his wife has ;)  I’m also quite happy that West Brom got promoted……(but thats probably lost on most of you here). Come on folks, they’re just people, making a living. Could any of you make a better job of it? I very much doubt it , most of you sound like a right bunch of moaners who wouldn’t last 5 minutes in the F1 corporate image circus. Goodnight, god bless & have a merry christmas. (And, up the Wolves too!)

  56. Architrion
    2nd May 2008, 22:11

    Dear Keith, I have to say that you are an instigator, man. Were you bored or needed some piece of action? Are you trying to beat some kind of record about number of posts per hour? Cool.

  57. Brar Soler
    2nd May 2008, 23:03

    Imagine if Schumacher remained at Mercedes (he had a contract), and thus in Mclaren, in those Adrian Newey top times?
    They would win everything. And the universal hate.

  58. About the Hamilton/Alonso relationship: a friend of mine was in the Spanish GP, and told me that in the previous parade, both pilots were talking friendly.

    I think spanish and british media built a story where there is nothing

  59. the limit, does that mean that you have a crap opinion or that you are bang on the money?

  60. the limit
    3rd May 2008, 3:16

    Sush, it depends on what your opinion is doesn’t it? Its just that I can remember the lean years in F1, 2002 springs to mind, when the competition just wasn’t there.
    You knew who was going to be on pole and you knew he would win, it has to be the worst F1 season in recent memory for sure. I havn’t forgotten those times ‘unlike’ alot of others who, I have a sneaky suspicion, starting watching F1 after Hungary 2007 and know little, or nothing about the sport.
    I can remember watching Senna in 1984 come so close to winning, I can remember his first win in 1985, his first championship. My opinion may not be as ‘glorious’ as yours but atleast I have one, and atleast my memories are from first hand and not from a book or a newspaper.
    My heart bleeds for F1 and for my former nation, when I come across foul mouthed persons such as yourself, who just delights in insulting people but has no opinions himself.

  61. well I came to this one late on and I dont hate/dislike lh – the media hype yes – itv most certainly yes – but as we the fans? of F1 are really probably frustrated that we have never had the opportunity to drive never mind race an F1 car – could we really be just a bit envious of a young guy going out and doing what we would love to do??
    As for the racism side I would say it has no place in life period whether through colour or religion and should be stamped out wherever it occurs.

  62. Judging by the responses, this is a hot topic.  The funny thing is the kid hasn’t even won a championship and it doesn’t look too promising this year either.  If he doesn’t win in the next two years, he will turn into a sentimental favorite to win.  We see this all of the time in America.  We want our athletes to pay their dues and come back from adversity.

  63. I thought that the most hated driver in Formula 1
     was Fernando Alonso, at least in the anglo-saxon world, which is prevalent in Formula 1. For sure, Hamilton is hated in Spain, and may be in Latin America but that’s not too much.

    Some long time F1 fans don’t like him very much because he is overhyped, but the average fan probably thinks he is lovely.

  64. Samuel, I don’t think so, but if Alonso gets the kind of abuse at Silverstone that Hamilton got at Catalunya I guess we’ll know.

  65. Is always strange to talk about likes or dislikes when you never actualy meet the guy BUT from his public image I dislike the guy. The reasons for that are 1) Arrogant, ok he is good, but act like the best driver of all times when you have win nothing is a litle bit too much. 2) Cynic, in 2007 he asked for equal treatment, in 2008 he ran to clame his first driver status. 3) Ferrari has somehow a political weight and I don’t like them for that, LH has his entourage and I realy don’t like that. Re the ALO-gate, there was no angel in the history but in my opinion the first fire came from LH after Monaco.

  66. The author claims racism has nothing to do with it but I find that really difficult to believe. While I don’t believe its the sole factor I do believe it is a factor.Other factors include the silly way the British press gets over a British/English F1 driver. Its quite comical because they behave as if this person is some combination of Christ and Churchill.Additionally, with popularity comes dislike.

  67. I think the small details grew up my dislike about Lewis.

    A few days before the Brazilian GP, he said that ater winning the championship he would go to visit the Senna’s tomb.

    I have been seeing sports for several years, and all i can remember before a final, is sportman cooling down journalists and saying: "first we have to win this match".

    Lewis was acting like a champion several weeks before the end of the season. I’m not talking about the ridiculous situation of lose the champion like he did. I’m talking about not having humility enough to wait a month to start the celebrations.

    I can’t remember a single big issue about Hamilton which dislike me a lot. But every race was two or three small thigs which pissed me off.

  68. People pick their own truths. I for one would simply like to pick a few factors that make things more clear cut for me. Number one: Lewis is there not simply because he was pushed by McL. No! he is the real deal – he has talent and lots of it and understands how to utilize the tools set before him to his best.  afterall he beat Alonso no matter which way people want to look at it he beat him and not just that he rattled Alonso’s nerves real good. Number two: Race car drivers are selfish ******* and rightfully so, but first and foremost they are human and by fact not perfect. Number three: Jealousy! just listen to some of Mark Webber’s remarks on Lewis Hamilton 2007.  Number four: The media SUCKS big time. They – I always wonder who "they" are – will not hold back given the chance to pervert a single GOOD in man’s life. It’s a business so numbers matter to them, but we as viewers attach emotions to Lewis and the other drivers so the media business and our feelings don’t go hand in hand on that point but rather on the cashing in through the antagonism created. All in All I rather liked Alonso because he was always able to say the right things at the right time during his Renault years and that on any topic. Hamilton is a kid and a thoroughbred racer in one. I seriously believe he will win the championship this year.
    That is all that matters to me. Hamilton is there because he worked hard for the chance to get there. Anybody out there saying anything different is in fact saying  more about themselves than the issue.

  69. haha the Limit, I was agreeing with you, I just come across as a bit of a git!

    sorry if you got offended by me, it was not my intention, I meant it as you were bang on the money.

    I did giggle reading your comment though!

  70. Going into every race I’m hoping Hamilton retires early, but that’s not because I hate the driver it’s so that James Allen and his ITV goons can shut their traps for the remaining race and talk equally and fairly about the other drivers in the race. Seriously going by ITV’s coverage you’d think Hamilton drives on his own out there!!

  71. I agree Rabi, last year I was excited watching the F1 in spain, because it wouldn’t be ITV.

    Unfortunatly they did put it on ITV, for the Brits in the bar. grrrrr

  72. Just one thing to add, really, and that to The Limit: Ayrton Senna may have been an idol but he was never idle.  ;)

  73. Lady Snowcat
    3rd May 2008, 13:20

    Lewis and his fans didn’t have a hard time at Catalunya… a few cat calls when Lewis or Ron were on the screen but nothing too awful… and I didn’t spot any horrid banner either from the pit lane….

    Being at the end of the pits meant that Macca didn’t have a grandstand opposite them…. just a big empty space with no fan access…

    The worst point was when Lewis walked back to the grid before the start of the race with a minder walking alongside him with an umbrella blocking the crowds view of the guy, ie it was held to the side rather than above him and looked very silly…. that created a bit of an unfavourable stir…

    However at a number of times I saw a crowd of Alonso fans surrounding a lone Lewis fan, either in the grandstands or leaving the circuit and there was no obvious animosity at all… it all was fairly good humoured ….

    So we shouldn’t make too much of the idiots that turned up at testing a few months ago….

  74. I did get sucked in by the hype that the British media had created with Hamilton, and as a result I disliked him very much last year. But now that he’s having a slightly off-colour start to the season this time round – getting a good taste of what it feels like to lose – I don’t dislike him as much anymore…Mosley is the most hated person in F1 at the moment.

  75. Michael Counsell
    3rd May 2008, 13:34

    Most people who "hate" Hamilton are probably are not describing their emotions very well and are misplacing them.

  76. Wow 70+ comments already! Rabi, what if ITV talked about your favorite driver/team all of the time? You’d be hoping them to retire early too? If you dislike LH, just admit it!

    Hamilton is not my favorite driver/I do not like him, but I think all this hatred toward him is unjustified. Hamilton is a F1 racer, as long as he don’t cheat on the track like Schumacher did, for me he can do almost anything, I even mean he can use the word "cool" till he’s 80, or whatever… it won’t disturb me a bit.

    Of course he has his faults, that why I can not like him, that does not help, but I believe the real reason why he’s most hated, is simply because he’s doing so well that he becomes a threat to Kimi and Alonso, or Ferrari, sure that’s can’t not be a reason normal fans to dislike Hamilton, but I see there are too many fan boys of those out there. 

  77. I’ve been watching F1 for 14 years now, and I personally like Lewis Hamilton a lot.  I’m a big fan of any driver who is fast and exciting to watch on the track.

    My solution to the problem of Hamilton Saturation is simply not to bother watching the pre-race build up and not to read any tabloids or biographies. 

    The only part of F1 I’m interested in is racing.

  78. Robert McKay
    3rd May 2008, 14:17

    Lots of comments, lots of very weak reasons given for disliking Hamilton (and of course some sane comments in there too :-D).

    People can think what they want, they are entitled to do so. But what I really think it comes down to is that people are displacing their hatred for ITV’s smarmy, Hamilton-centric 2007 coverage (2008 is better – not perfect, but better) onto Hamilton himself. Either that, or they are jealous that a rookie came in and nearly won the WDC in his first season when even the other modern greats like Schumacher and Alonso served some apprenticeship in tail-end/midfield teams. I don’t mean jealous of Hamilton, but jealous on behalf of the other more experience drivers who were there first but had to watch some kid stealing "their" good results.

    I bet if Hamilton had come in, had a good season in a mediocre team and then did what he did at Mclaren last year in his 2nd season we’d have heard a lot less "hatred" for him.

  79. Rabi: Going into every race I’m hoping Hamilton retires early, ..[rant].. Seriously going by ITV’s coverage you’d think Hamilton drives on his own out there!!You seriously believe that? ITV’s coverage isnt great (asides from Brundle) but really? really? I wonder if Im actually watching the same programme as some of you from some of the comments. Get a grip and a little perspective please. 

  80. I don’t like Hamilton. I think he is two-faced and calculating with a smooth, PR-trained facade. He is like the smoothie son of a Mafia don. And I blame Ron Dennis.

    When Ron started last season with the World Champion and a rookie, I think he anticipated the Alonso/Hamilton pair would be like Schumacher/Barrichello, and would prove to be just as successful.

    Then Hamilton turned out to be unexpectedly, blindingly, fast. So Ron Dennis got a new dream. His protege would become the first rookie in the history of F1 to be champion. And Ron Dennis whispered his dream in Hamilton’s ear and led him to believe he would be the anointed one.

    And Hamilton bought the ********, and became puffed up and proud and grasping and arrogant, all behind that smooth PR facade, of course.

    Meanwhile Alonso, who was sold the old Alonso/Hamilton dream, saw his boss turn away from him and his teammate become his rival, and realised he would have to fight a bitter fight to get what he believed to be rightfully his. And it all fell apart.

    What Ron should have done was what he has done now. Firmly declare a No 1 driver, Alonso, and explain to Hamilton that, fast as he was, he was getting a lot of input from Alonso and the team and he should be a good team player in his first season, learn the ropes, make friends, build up a personal following, and the future would belong to him.

  81. Lewis Hamilton should not change his personality to court fan support. When things are going right, I don’t see anything wrong with smiling and waxing lyrical? On the contrary, when things go wrong, why not bare his teeth as indeed he did in Monaco and tell it as it is? Methinks that’s absolutely a normal thing to do. People like Kimi don’t smile or talk to the press alot and they are not less liked because of that. Every F1 driver has his unique personality and people should just accept it. The most important thing is if they get out there and do the job and entertain us.

    I live and work in Spain and I can tell you there’s no way I can see the majority of Spanish F1 fans never hating Lewis for what they saw as their star’s missing out on the championship trophy. In case you didn’t know, F1 here is called "Alonso". That should tell you where their loyalty lies.

    If you find the "fawning, sycophantic tripe written about Hamilton", hard to take, you should be thankful you don’t live in Spain. I know this may be a bit of an exegeration but there’s always a risk that if Alonso crashes or goes out of a race for a particular reason, they might switch off the whole thing altogether.

    Finally, please do not undermine the effect of racist acts if you have never been at the receiving end of such. It is all very easy to say "it is not racist", "they are not racist" etc but until you fill the victim’s shoes, you will probably never know how it feels.

  82. De:
    Wow 70+ comments already! Rabi, what if ITV talked about your favorite driver/team all of the time? You’d be hoping them to retire early too? If you dislike LH, just admit it!

    I said I don’t hate Hamilton, and yeah I always want my team to do well but even I get sick of it when the commentators start spewing crap about how great they are when they aren’t even 1/10th of what the commentators claim for them to be. I hate the hype and overpromoting of certain drivers/teams. Why? Because in it’s midst there are teams and drivers who deserve media attention that don’t get it just because someone is running a biased coverage. Fine for the average joe blog and sickening to the purist – it’s the same in ALL sports.

    matthew: You are watching the same coverage as us, but perhaps you have the ITV sound off and Radio 5 Live on, in which case I envy you for that. It is plain as day that the ITV coverage is hugely biased – ok we’re in England and I can understand the promoting of British teams and drivers, but to harp on and on and on and on and on and on and on …… and on about a single driver ignoring the plights of Coulthard, Hamilton and Button is just pathetic. What I am sick of which I’ve stated enough times in here is the 24/7 broadcasting of how Hamilton is the saviour of motorracing. Yes F1 needs a saviour and I’ll tell you now it’s not Hamilton, it’s whatever uncorrupted prick that replaces Mad Max they are the only ones that could be the saviour of F1.

    Martin B: I reckon that your theory of what could have happened last year at McLaren is pretty spot on and the two spoiled brats just threw their toys out of their own prams, and at Hungary they threw the toys out of one another’s prams meaning the situation had already spiralled out of Ron’s control. Keith did say there was a middle ground where the truth lies and I reckon your pretty close to it.

  83. Shahriar Ahsan
    3rd May 2008, 18:46

    Well… to be honest i dont DISLIKE him but i certainly DO NOT LIKE the guy… yes… the guy can drive… awrite… but so can Robert Kubica… I say put this guy in a Ferrari or Mclaren and he wud out-perform Hamilton. Hamilton got the focus because of him being a “Good Rokkie” + because of him being in a “Top” car. Media has somewhat exaggerated the matter. 

  84. Rabi: OK. My point is that, because of some people’s personal dislike of Hamilton at first place, they must find ITV’s bias extra hard to take.

    I admit I only see ITV coverage once or twice through live stream. But still, it’s hard for me to believe that a person who is objective towards Hamilton, will claim that he is not even 1/10th of what the commentators claim to be, it couldn’t be. 
    German TV has biased coverage towards german drivers, spainish TV has biased coverage towards spainish drivers/Alonso. How comes I hear no one want those drivers to retire early, but Hamilton? Because there are much more purists in the UK?  Sorry I’m just not convinced. I believe that people who hate the biased coverage so much simply because they feel the show was stolen form their favorites. It’s not like ITV was showing nothing but Hamilton’s car, other teams and drivers deserve more media attention because their fans care much about it.  (BTW I’m interested, who’s your favorite?)      

  85. Hamilton + Mclaren = cheaters

  86. What is it about us humans that we have to trample on those who are successful? Most of the F1 drivers have acted unsporting at some point in their career yet we hardly hear about it. We only hear on and on about the behaviour of the very successful ones. Schumi is a perfect example, till today he is mentioned coz some still refuse to acknowledge him for the dominant driver he was and the same will go for Hamilton ( not that he is anywhere near Schumi’s greatness ). The guy is young and will make mistakes,let him be. At least he is more exciting than Kimi ( I switch off the tv when it comes to the interviews coz he has been winning and is soooooooooo boring ). I am just so grateful that we dont have to listen to the commentators droning on about Jenson Button. At least Hamilton has talent.

  87. Robert McKay
    3rd May 2008, 21:15

    “Hamilton + Mclaren = cheaters”

    It’s stuff like this that frustrates me so…

  88. Robert McKay, there’s no need to get frustrated. Astur can’t hide the fact that he’s from Asturias, the birth place of Spain’s F1 favourite son, Fernando. I live in Spain and hear this every single day. As I mentioned earlier, F1 here in Spain is called Alonso. You hear people asking, “What time is Alonso?”, “Have you watched Alonso”. Most of them are not F1 fans but just fans for the one and only “piloto” in the whole race. Therefore, save your frustration for something more worthwhile, Robert.

  89. Rabi, you don’t need to please anyone by telling us you don’t hate Hamilton. Your postings smack something totally different, my friend. I think they are a little strong on the language used to describe someone you don’t hate.

  90. Kanyima, i guess for you there is classes into the F1 fans world. And of course you can share your space with beginners.

    I’m spanish, i have been watching F1 for several years before Alonso start racing, and all i can say is, thanks God for the Alonso fans. Because before Alonso it was almost impossible watch a race. Sometimes you could only watch the last lap. There wasn’t internet, and no oportunity to download the GPs, and most of the papers didn’t say anything about F1. Only in Catalunya they were lucky enough to have a regional TV that broadcast F1.

    Now, with all the Alonso fans, we have newspapers talking about F1, and 3 TV channels fighting for the F1 TV rights.

    I don’t need to justify why Hamilton dislikes me, or why Bourdais likes me. But i like to discuss about F1, with arguments, and not offending people.

    I would like you consider don’t talk about spanish people like a flock of wannabes.

  91. Any dislike of Hamilton is the fault of one man and one man only: Ron Dennis. Even though LH is a home grown protege of the team, Ron should have managed LH and subordinated his expectations to that of the team. For someone who professes so much gratitude to the team he practices very little when it gets in the way of his personal glory. Rookies should be seen and not heard, regardless of how precocious they are are.

    That would have probably yielded a McLaren 1-2 in the drivers’ championship………and an immediate disqualification from that S.O.B. Max Mosley!

    In all honesty I was hoping for more from Lewis this year but I guess the car is not up to it, and Heikki is/was outperforming Lewis anyway. Perhaps the team is missing Fernando’s input more than they care to admit.

  92. Bernie and Max The Perv may not have created the opportunity by putting Alonso together with Hamilton at McLaren but that does not mean they won’t exploit the opportunity now that it is there. Bernie is on record severally saying controversy, especially driver controversy is good for F1.

    Nonetheless, to be truthful, i have no idea why Lewis is so hated even in Spain. I just wish that was not the case.

  93. Kanyima if you feel that I hate Hamilton that’s ok because I’m telling you I don’t hate Hamilton as a person or a driver, what I hate is the Hamilton persona created by ITV and the constant worshipping of it by them.

    And De if I had been in Germany or Spain and having to watch their coverages and worshipping of their respective drivers my comments wouldn’t have changed I’d be sick of that too. That’s not to say purists are only in the UK they are all over the world you ask any purist and they would say they despise HEAVILY biased coverage. As for the 1/10th comment I was exaggerating it to make my point.

    Astur that comment was pure rubbish everybody knows that all the teams cheat none of them are angels.

  94. TeamOrders
    4th May 2008, 11:41

    I don’t remember the exact quote, but the one where LH compared himself favourably with Senna and Prost didn’t endear him to me.

  95. The Hamilton´s problem is that he speaks too much about his next performance and then he never gets the line.
    Probably he thinks that the team is all about, and that he will have the best car, but does not realize that his role is very important in setting up the car, that is why he always fail to achieve. That is why he talks too much about beating everybody next race . As long he realizes he is a great driver but a standar pilot he will stop talking and everything will be calmed down.

  96. Hmm Its Official Keith….Hamilton is the most hated driver in F1!

    He shouldnt give so much time to ITV, its their fault LOL

  97. TeamOrders, Hamilton reminds me alot of Senna to be honest, not in attitude but in racecraft.

    Fast over one lap, but chews up his machinery quickly.

    he is NO Prost though.

  98. Stew, in post no. 14, actually has to “dare” to say he likes him. That’s the state the hatred, yes hatred, has got to.

    He’s hated because of his colour. Those of you who know it but deny it, and those of you who don’t know it because you are psychologically pre-disposed to be racist in our disgustingly racist society (read ‘Stupid White Men’ by Michael Moore who at least recognises the truth), please don’t have an apoplectic fit when someone actually speaks the truth.

    He’s hated because he is supposed to be false. I’ve read many articles/books and seen programmes about him, and everyone who has ever met him, be they interviewers, fans, sponsors, his own team, have all said how remarkable and genuine he is. But of course, the haters must be right even though they’ve never met him.

    I read an article in May 2007 about how he would probably have to move abroad to save on tax. So he didn’t hide the reasons for his move at all, and I do believe he doesn’t like the intense media intrusion into his life. He is very good with his fans (I met him) but don’t blame him for being fed up at all the made up stories about every woman he bumps into in the street, or has people following him on holiday. No other driver has that kind of media scrutiny.

    All the F1 drivers are tax exiles, but no-one criticises them for it so why Lewis? Maybe because he’s black he should be “grateful” for his start in Britain, but no-one expects a white British driver to be grateful for anything.

    People get annoyed by his father being there all the time. For God’s sake, his father has been instrumental in the LH story/phenomenon, and is interesting to talk to. Button’s dad and Massa’s dad are often in the garages, but probably no-one spots them because a. They are white and don’t stick out in such a white-orientated sport, and b. No-one knows what they look like.

    I think Lewis is a fantastic driver with a wonderful personality. He can be ruthless and competitive, but that is what makes him a winner. He comes across as honest, polite, articulate and just a lovely guy and if anyone doesn’t buy that, they have to be racist. How can anyone deny that racism has a part to play in the hatred if they see the YouTube videos and comments after them? I saw a comment that actually asked someone to kill him for them.

    If Lewis says ANYTHING, it is analysed and scrutinised by scumbags on the forums, to detect “arrogance”, “falseness”, “nastiness” or any other awful character traits. While all the other drivers can say or do whatever they want without the slightest bit of attention or scrutiny, even boasting about bringing 6/10ths of a second, or threatening to kick 10 kinds of **** out of someone. If Hamilton had said those things, or even the comment Kimi made about “having a ****” when missing from the grid, you can imagine the furore. Hamilton wouldn’t have made the Kimi comment anyway, as he’s too well brought up.

    Hamilton does luckily have thousands of fans in Britain and throughout the world, and has increased interest in F1 from people in countries who would never normally bother with it. But maybe these people are absent from the forum hatred because they have a life, and forums are notoriously peopled by those who love espousing hatred.

    To conclude, Hamilton is hated because he’s black, he’s nice and he’s bloody good.

    Now all froth at the mouth and deny until you explode, which I’m sure you’ll do!

  99. Aaah, just read a comment from Steve Thompson – well done, the TRUTH at last, hallelujah!

    Another thing some people don’t like is he’s not an Uncle Tom type black man like Frank Bruno was, who was really popular with the white audience. All thick and thankful. Lewis is neither, except thankful, rightfully, to his team and his mentor Ron Dennis. Lewis knows he’s got where he is through talent, hard work and the efforts of his remarkable father, not to “Britain”. He is humble where appropriate, but not humble enough for the racist mentality in the West.

  100. didn’t Hamilton state he’d ram Alonso off the track last year?

    Yeah, nice guy.

  101. S Hughes: So if I don’t like Lewis Hamilton am I racist?

    Despite you spent several lines I think is a quite simple argumentation.

    I agree racism can explain some parts, but the whole issue is more than “people hates me because i’m black”

  102. didn’t Hamilton state he’d ram Alonso off the track last year?

    I’m pretty sure he didn’t. Unless you’ve got a solid source on that I don’t think it’s the sort of thing you can hold against him.

    The last driver I remember saying anything like that was when Villeneuve and Montoya had their argument in 2001.

  103. Dan M, post 21, do you also have a problem with Kimi, Anthony Davidson and Adrian Sutil who also haven’t joined the GPDA? Probably not as they have nothing to be “grateful for” being white. And Steve Thompson shouldn’t apologise for speaking the truth. We should encourage it not apologise for it.

    Just saw this comment on Planet F1 who are discussing this topic on the forum. This puts my point very eloquently:

    “Skin colour, but denied as the reason by the masses. There is tacit racism involved. The vitriol and resentment towards Hamilton in most cases make no sense. The excuse of over media exposure as the cause of anti-Hamiltonism is a joke and unfathomable to anybody with a I.Q above 90. Tim Henman had massive exposure and was talentless, Tennis in England was Tiger Tim henman and nothing else. Wimbledon even named a bit of land Henman hill. Was there ever a backlash of any kind? I’m racking my brains to think of a fellow white person who had massive media exposure like Hamilton and was hated because of the media exposure and because sections of the media eulogised about them? Gascoigne? Beckham? Mansell? Hill? Button? Shearer? Faldo? The Rider Cup Team? This over exposure excuse defies reasonable logic, yet it is believed and taken as the acceptable excuse for dislike towards Hamilton. James allen transfers his effections from Schumacher to Hamilton. Allen’s worshipping of Hamilton is no worse than his starry eyed passion for Schumacher, yet the anti-Allen backlash has multiplied by a factor of 100. Why? A good 30% of the comments about Hamilton on You tube are of a racist nature, yet we are told to believe the extrodinary dislike of Hamilton by most people, has nothing to do with his skin colour at all. Amazingly nobody on this forum who has a problem with Hamilton, acknowledges or admits his skin colour cloudes their opinions of him. David Beckham is on the news 10x more than Hamilton and I mean every facet of our media. Where is the vitriol against his exposure? Colour is a major factor, the problem is that we just dont want to admit it.

  104. Lady Snowcat, post 74, this all seems rather idealised and definitely false. Please read 3 experiences of the Spanish GP 2008, which show a very different picture to the one you would like to portray:

    “First of all – you may have read my short (and rather sharp e-mail) which was written in a hotel lobby, with a queue behind me. Now I am back at work, maybe a chance for me to be more level headed.

    Do I love F1? God, yes. Do I love visiting GP’s? Absolutely. Did I enjoy this weekend? No.

    I think my stand at Turn 3 was maybe one of the more ‘partisan’ sections of the track, and I am sure the problems I experienced were not as widespread as I may think. But some points to consider:

    1) Saturday was uncomfortable for an English fan group like us cheering on Lewis (and JB, DC and AD for that matter). It got worse as the day went on. Some boos as we took our seats then got steadily worse after the AM practice had finished, and by the time qualy kicked off I decided to complain to a steward. We had been spat and and very aggresively shouted at by large numbers of fans (not everyone, lets be realistic). I wont cry racism – as I dont understand Spanish). My friend had his 6 year old boy with him who was so upset he had to go home, and I am devastated for him. On Sunday, the race got worse, when Lewis got past Alonso, but when FA broke down, half of them went home which was laughable in itself.

    2)The problem is, the stewards didn’t understand us. I complained to the info booth behind the main stand, and to be fair they sent someone along (apparently) but nothing happened. They just panicked when I said I was sending off pictures, but then threatened legal action so I am not sure where that would leave me!

    3) Other incidents of note – Lewis and Fernando were together on the driver parade, and fans were shouting (in English) to FA – get your hands off that animal etc etc.

    4) And finally, I am so ashamed to say I lost my rag when I had a drink thrown over my head (yeah, I laugh now!) I had my godson crying, and the race was only 5 laps old (it was his first GP). So when FA broke down (in front of us!) we went totally and utterly ballistic (about 20 or 30 Brits in all)

    We were not louts and hand on heart just went to cheer on our own home hero. It was a sad weekend.

    I am not going to Silverstone (as my first child is due on 2nd July!) but I really hope that the country can get behind the home drivers in a supportive way and show that we know how to behave. And if Lewis wins, all the better.” From the BBC website.

    “As well as the whistles and jeers experienced by many on Sunday we also saw a group of Spanish Fans after the Race queing up to have their photograph taken with an Anti-Hamilton poster. (See Dailymail web site to see what the poster was).

    After asking these fans very politely to stop being racist and to remove the poster we were jeered and told to leave Spain.

    We walked away with a mass of abuse ringing in our ears, only to return 2 minutes later with 2 Spanish police officers, who very helpfully confiscated the offensive poster.

    Our photographs of the poster will be going to F1, who should have taken action long before the end of the race……” Also from the BBC.

    And from ITV:

    “Thankfully there was no repeat of the racist abuse we saw here in February, but we have received reports of Hamilton fans being abused in the grandstands by Alonso fans, which do not show the otherwise excellent Spanish supporters in a good light.
    I myself witnessed a disturbing display of whistling, jeering and rude gestures being directed at Lewis as he walked down the pit lane after the second session on Friday.
    It was pretty nasty, and all the more surprising as it came from the inhabitants of the main pit straight, who would have paid most for their seats!
    In any case, all this anti-Hamilton vitriol from the Spanish misses the point. It was McLaren and Ron Dennis whom Alonso fell out with, not Lewis personally.”

  105. S Hughes, I’m absolutely with you. Frecon, that line has been overused. Some people in Spain hate Hamilton because he upstaged Alonso, some hate him because, well, he’s just a fine individual, a really good guy at his job and some do hate him because he’s plain black, yes Frecon, “people hate me because I am black” is a valid line. You however wouldn’t know this unless you are black or any other race that has been discriminated against.
    Again, S Hughes put it better for you ubove so I need not repeat it. This sort of “hatred” is not limited to F1 alone. In case you follow American socio-political trends, the same situation applies to a Barack Obama in his running for the Democratic nomination to contest for the US presidency. Some people are uneasy about a blackman just making it and being on top of his game, challenging the establishment. That my friend is the reason you appear to hate Lewis Hamilton with all the lame excuses you give. You betray all this through your postings right here, my brother.

  106. didn’t Hamilton state he’d ram Alonso off the track last year?

    Can we all throw unsubstantiated rumours that we may have made up on the spot/heard from a mate in as fact into this discussion?

    Great. :/

    Well said S Hughes.

  107. S Hughes I agree that certainly some proportion of the people that are anti-Hamilton do have a underlying racism issue. It’s always been the case in the UK as well as much of Europe – in particular France, Spain, Germany and Italy. I’m not white and I’ve travelled Europe and I feel it so I’m not suprised it exists. This is the same situation of another game I love – cricket where the white teams do cry a lot when they are beaten by non-white teams, and they hardly ever give the proper credit when it’s due.

    I’m not racist, I don’t like ludicrous overexposure and as I’ve said I never hated Hamilton as a person but rather the image created by the PR/media of him. For instance I’m really suprised ITV haven’t followed him into the toilets when he goes for a poo before the race. Innocent at all times is the attitude I totally dislike which is what goes with him (from the PR/media POV not from him).

  108. I’m not sure that in Spain people “hates” Lewis because of his race. I think if the same events last year happened with Alonso-Hamilton-Dennis-Mclaren, it had happened with Alonso-Vettel-Dennis-Mclaren, now we were talking about the abuse suffered by Vettel last week in Barcelona.

    As i said before, racism can cause the reaction of some people,can increase the reaction of others, but can’t not explain why thousands of people all over the world dislikes Hamilton.

  109. Frecon, in case you haven’t noticed, Hamilton is the only black guy in F1. Your statement that Spanish people don’t hate Hamilton because of his race is ridiculous too, otherwise how can you explain the monkey make up at Montmelo complete with the banners with racist writing, monkey chants whenever he comes out of the paddock, racist videos posted on web social networks like the one where they’ve got him with a head of a monkey washing Fernando’s feet. Oh, and those postings have got loads of similar minded people’s comments condoning them. And I know you are probably going to come out with the same lame excuse, “Oh, that’s just a section of people”. Think beyond the box, Frecon.

  110. Ok, maybe i’m not being able to explain my point. I’ll try again.

    People who abused in tests didn’t hate Hamilton because of his race. They hate Hamilton because they considered Lewis damaged Alonso’s interests. They chose the most offensive way to abuse Hamiltom: racist insults. Is it racism? Of course it is. But abuse happened several months after people starts hating Hamilton. For me racism in the tests or GPs is one of the consequences of the hatred, not one of the causes. I know is racism anyway, and it doesn’t matter when happened.

    But i think, if Lewis hadn’t drive in Mclaren last year, if he had drive for BMW (i.e.), probably most of the people who hates him, they wouldn’t now.

    And that’s my point to say that, even existing racism, that’s not the main factor because people hates Lewis.

  111. Kanyima, do you really think that all Spanish fans of Fernando Alonso are racist???? For me things are more simple than that. If you have a favourite driver you get a bit hungry when you think it is not treated fairly. And “some of them” reacted this way. I am not saying this is the best way of reacting, but this is clearly not racism. Racism would have been if they get angry becouse Alo was driving in a team with a black boy. And this did not happen.

    I disagree with that reaction but I also disagree with you when you say this is racism. It is obviusly not. If you ask any of the spanish funs why they do not like Hamilton they would give you many reasonable arguments based on what had happen on the races, and I am sure no one will say “becouse he is black”

  112. Can someone (preferably Spanish) clear something up please. And hopefully what I ask makes sense :)

    In regards to racism in Spain if someone was to call someone a monkey (and they happened to be black) would that be taken with racism in mind?

    And before anyone calls me an idiot and says yes it’s obvious may I remind you that’s not the case in all countries, case in hand the India-Australia tests and there is an excellent article at that explains this in greater detail.

  113. Martin B – that is probably the most astute take on the events at McLaren last year I have read. Do you mind if I use that? ;)

    Regulars will know I am a huge Alonso fan, and having met ALL the current F1 drivers I must say that I think Lewis is one of the nicest of the lot. Friendly, always willing to stop & chat or sign autographs and comes accross as a down to earth, nice person. Sure he seems like he might have been ‘groomed’ in the PR arts and is a bit more polished than some of the other drivers, but is that any reason to hate him?

    I may not agree with absolutely everything he says or does (or everything Alonso says and does, or any driver in fact) but I think on the whole, he is a good bloke.

    And the ITV coverage is appalling, but that should only reflect badly on ITV, not Hamilton himself.

  114. Rabi,

    Yes call someone monkey, or imitate monkeys sounds is racist insults.

    can i make another question? why do you ask this preferably to spanish people? I have heard this kind of abuse in several Champions League matches all over Europe, not just in Spain

  115. Cristina, you will probably get more informed when you read Rabi’s question above, as well as Frecon’s response. Frecon, I’m glad that, you finally get the point. Thanks Rabi. Remember that when they say there are some racists, they don’t necessarily mean the whole country or all the fans – no one above has said that in any post here, but I may remind you that it takes a few bad oranges to create the rot of the lot.

  116. Hmm… am a brown man, from India. We’ve endured a lot during the Raj, god knows what all(much worse than this…i can assure you). I do not like Lewis. Do i think he is genuine? Sorry, to me he comes across as a two-faced phoney. He tries to show that he’s chummy and all goodness and then he bites the back of his team(Monaco anyone?). It is quite thankless a job for team McLaren, isn’t it? Also me thinks he’s an airhead. Does my disapproval of some acts of Lewis or himself for that matter, make me racist in any manner? I think not. So S Hughes has to perhaps just ease a bit, me thinks. Yes i agree that some are perhaps indeed racist, but, it makes one equally worse when one generalizes.

    What i do not like about him is the way he starts off comparing himself with Senna, Prost and Schumachers’ of Grand Prix Racing. There were British Drivers who won the Grand Prix’s and Championships(Hill Snr, James Hunt, Jim Clark, Jackie Stewart etc to name a few. Do i think Hamilton has reached that level yet? Nopes. Its just marketing and am sorry if it displeasures you that i’d(and i think am not the only one) not buy into a gimmick(Bernie on many occasions have confessed that Hamilton is good business). This is not to say that Hamilton is no good. He is just not that good yet to be compared with all time greats. Many have said that they have yet to see him come from back and win a race or finish on podium. Better than Schumacher, do i hear some say? Well let me see Lewis make that charge at Brazilian Grand Prix with 2 punctures or finish on Podium with only 1 gear working(Spanish GP ’95). Last i remember was that he failed to score 4 points in 3 races(mostly he had himself to thank for that).

    What i think is, that he is just a year old in to this world of F1. He should just try and get his head down and race. There’ll be a lot of interest in him. Though people may not like it, he has a lot to learn from likes of Kimi, Schumacher. He has to learn not to put his stock by what is mentioned in the press. He has to stop reading and sadly as is apparent, buying into the hype. Period!

    Also, i’d like to point out just like someone else did before me. It is not his instant success that most of us hate/dislike. For crying out loud’s sake, i thought JV was the the first rookie to be so successful. Lost championship thanks to lack of reliability in the last race. Oh, he also won 4 races in his debut year(Lewis did no more). Also, he won the championship in the following year, Lewis however will not. Yet, we all know what became of JV…

  117. Frecon I only ask because of the incident regarding those guys dressing up in monkey suits in Barcelona earlier in the year.

  118. Lady Snowcat
    5th May 2008, 10:27

    S Hughes thinks my experience false and idealised…

    I am sorry if my personal experience at the track in the main grandstand didn’t tie in with others experiences… but it was my personal experience…

    I can only talk for what I saw in my three days at the track… and those of guys who were in different points on the track…

    Although probably more of my chums were at the first corner in stands E and F than anywhere else some were elsewhere…

    I’d love to know which Grandstand at Turn 3 your quote is from….

    There is no doubt that the general admission sections were more ardently Spanish than elsewhere… but that’s to be expected…

    Beer at 10 or 12 euros a large plastic beaker inside the track put off all the average fans and my friends, who usually pack it away, waited until outside the track where it was a lot cheaper…

    There was a lot of good natured banter with clowns on stilts and a carribean style steel band…

    Sorry that my friends and I didn’t have the horrid experience of others…

  119. Sri, how do you know LH will not win the WDC this year? Can you see into the future? Also he never commpared himself to Senna, etc. The media do and stupid people put words into his mouth. I notice he is not as prominent in the media anymore, which is good for his racing as he will be able to concentrate on that more, but I hope it’s not because of the hate thrown at him. He has to do all the sponsorship stuff, so to hate him for that is unjust.

    I suppose if you don’t like him/hate him, that’s your prerogative and I’m sure not all hate him because he’s black. But I am convinced that if he was white, he would not be as hated in his own country as he indeed is!

  120. Lady Snowcat, the ITV guy was near the “posh” seats (see my post above) and he was horrified by the behaviour there. There’s just no excuse for it.

  121. There’s no way I can respond to all these comments although I assure you I have read them all! I thought Sri’s comment #117 was quite telling:

    let me see Lewis make that charge at Brazilian Grand Prix with 2 punctures

    I’m guessing you’re talking about the Brazilian Grand Prix in 2006, when Schumacher started 10th, got up to fifth, fell down to 20th with a puncture, and rose back to finish fourth. (I counted one puncture by the way, not two).

    In last year’s Brazilian Grand Prix Hamilton fell to 18th at the start and raced back up to seventh. Yes, he didn’t make up as many places, but unlike Schumacher he didn’t have a car that was substantially faster than everyone else’s. Schumacher’s fastest lap was 0.8s faster than anyone else’s; the McLarens were no faster than the Ferraris in 2007.

    Hamilton has done some excellent driving, and some people choose to minimalise it because they don’t like him. That doesn’t make him different to any other driver of course.

    But here’s the point: you asked this question:

    Better than Schumacher, do i hear some say?

    In all honesty, I don’t think I can ever remember hearing anyone describe him as being better than Schumacher. Certainly I never have myself.

    This makes me think that those who don’t like Hamilton exaggerate how big a role the media plays in hyping him so they can use it as an excuse to hate him more.

  122. S Hughes, you may be right about him being hated in his own country. Not my laundry mate.

    About being unjust to him. Am sorry, he indeed said a few things he shouldn’t have. About how he’d like the world champions trophy, visiting Senna’s grave(which the pompous so and so could still have had). We all do. As a consequence we are liked/disliked by people around us. What is there to not understand?

    I do not hate/dislike him for doing some sponsorship related work(am pretty sure 99% of the world is sane and they don’t as well). For all i know, i still am a huge fan of Michael and for the record he was the highest paid sports-person(should i add ever???).

    There’s a world of difference between Schumi/Kimster and Hamilton. Schu for instance donated 10 million of his own money for Tsunami relief in Asia(in ’06 and does a heck of a lot more). This only became public, when one of his friends informed media of the same, couple of months later. For all that he hated, he still does so many promo’s for road safety and others for which he does not charge even a penny. Do you see Michael talking about anything? Perhaps some people wonder why this chappie mouths off so much, without accomplishing much.

    Just my $.002

  123. one edit… i meant to say.. “for all that he’s hated..”

    my bad…

  124. Lady Snowcat
    5th May 2008, 12:45

    Hi S Hughes…

    I wasn’t saying that there wasn’t a bit of cat calling but it was absolutely nothing to being at the first corner at Monza when Alonso came to grief in 2006…

    And sitting in amongst the expensive seats I had no worries about the crowd reactions at all for the various Lewis fans that were sprinkled in the seats around me, often accompanied by a fan of another hue…

    There were a large number of Ferrari fans as well as those supporting Alonso…

    I think that the ITV guys were playing it up for the home audience…

    I was very impressed by the security guys who wouldn’t let people stand in the walkway at the front of the stand as that blocked our view… they were firm but fair and probably the best organised I have come across… and I think they were there to react in case any real trouble…

    So from personal experience, rather than hearsay, I can say that apart from a small amount of partisan behaviour of an incomparably lower level than at an average football match it was fine…and the crowd really was very good natured…

    I am intrigued about the ITV comment about Lewis in the pitlane on Friday as with the Macca garage being opposite a blank area Lewis wasn’t really viewable from the grandstand except on the big screen ….

    I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend attendance at Catalunya next year or at Valencia on the basis of my experiences… even if you are a Lewis fan…

    I was, of course, extremely happy as I support the Kimster….

  125. Keith… you’re right about the puncture bit… another slow-down was something related to fuel pump. My bad.

    Hmm, McLaren did win a few races(8 to be precise in ’06) and they ought to be good, in order to achieve that. Now, we all know Michael is the one and the only guy who did a race on 4 stops and make it work. So i would not shy away from saying, that he perhaps was there making the difference more than the car itself. Do you not think it to be possible after all those years of winning in dogmatic Ferrari’s(96-98)and underpowered Benetton’s(92-94)?

    No, there was no criticism of yours or your work as far as i remember. Read it again. Why yes there are people who proclaim him to be Messiah, Tiger Woods of F1 blah blah and yes “greatest ever”. Just google it, there’ll be a lot to read.

    About not liking Hamilton for getting all that much more coverage, i did write to F1racing, to remind them that Kimi was champ(in December, when they had Lewis on cover) and at other times reminding that there were other drivers. However, hating Lewis for that would be stupid, me thinks. I hold F1Racing fully responsible for that(ITV for their broadcasts).

  126. One question, is it true that Hamilton said that he garantee podium for the next races till the end of the Championship??? That is what I heard in Spain

  127. I think the like and dislike for Lewis Hamilton is more balanced then it sometimes seems. For all the people that dislike Lewis there are just as many that like him, it all depends on where you look.

    But if I would have to guess about the reasons that some people don’t like Lewis, I would have to go for the Media, Personality type and his fans.

    Because we are on the internet the whole day we interact with different people and everyone wants to prove their point and at the same time convince everyone that their convictions are right. The problem is that many fans often go to far or tries to discredit others to make their statements more valid, or at times overvalue or overestimate their favourites. Which is exactly what often happens in the case of Lewis and Alonso, it is like a bad cycle. Someone makes a statement, and others has to agree and disprove it, and so it goes on and on. Lewis obviously has talent but to proclaim he is at the same level or even greater then some of the best throughout the years, is a bit premature. He still has a long career ahead of him where many things can happen. This is also properly just placing extra expectation on him which is not necessary so early in his career. You must also expect that if you do have the “foresight” to make predictions such as these you will come under fire if it doesn’t materialize, just like you will properly be smug in the end if it does materialize.

    The problem with the media is that some reporters will rather publish their opinions or the popular opinion then just sticking to the facts. This just leads to extra controversy among the internet dwellers (which is exactly what they want). I also get the ITV feed, and I have often wondered, does the other countries/TV stations pay ITV for the feed or is it for free? If other countries has to pay for it then I believe ITV has a responsibility to produce a program that extends more towards international needs. However, if other countries receives the feed for free then ITV properly has no obligation to provide something more suitable for international viewers. I will say that although ITV’s nationalistic undertones can at times get out of of hand, I don’t believe their coverage is that bad. (I have heard and seen worse.)

    It seems (to me at least) that Lewis has a very “me, me, me” type of personality, which is properly useful when you are a racing driver. If you want a good example of opposite personalities at display you just have to watch the post race presentation at Barcelona. When Kimi speaks his first sentences are about Heikki, and about his concern for Heikki also when he speaks he doesn’t refer to himself he usually uses “we”, always implying his whole racing team. On the other hand Lewis doesn’t immediately comment about Heikki, and when he does he almost immediately reminds everyone of his own accident. Personally I don’t have a problem with it (I have many friends exactly like this), some people just like to talk about themselves and are more comfortable doing this. Many of us properly knows someone like this. And like all different personality types some people will find it acceptable and likeable and others will find it selfish or unlikeable. People just respond and click differently with different personalities.

    I personally feel very neutral towards Hamilton, I first have to wait and see before I make a judgement about him, I will not be influenced by the media or the fans. But what I cant understand is why are some people giving him this much attention, if they don’t like him? If you don’t like him don’t read news about him, articles about him, threads about him and don’t comment about this all the time, in other words just ignore him.


    As a side note the fact that Lewis isn’t liked by many British people or his own nation, is not such an uncommon phenomenon. It might be that many of our own socieceties with the help of media exposure are in themselves creating a “hate” culture for successful individuals. They build the individuals then systematically take them apart again. Interestingly if you look at Alonso for example the exact opposite is true, he is much more appreciated almost to a hero status because of his success, he is viewed with national pride. While for instance Kimi is almost in the same boat as Hamilton, where many Finns have commented that Kimi is much more appreciated and liked internationally by for example the Italians then in Finland.

  128. @114 Pink Peril: Sure, go ahead.

    I think it’s noteworthy that the two posters who have actually met Hamilton, S Hughes and Pink Peril, both report that he seems to be a genuine and friendly guy. More reports like this and I am prepared to change my opinion that he’s two-faced.

    But nothing will change the fact that he’s a disappointment. He seemed so promising the first few races of last year — a genuine star in the making. A hot young racer who would keep the established stars on their toes. No more Schumi *yawn* inevitable victories. Now they would have to fight to be first.

    But guys in his position are supposed to do it the old-fashioned way; with guts and with heart and the energy of youth allied to a blazing natural talent. Somewhere along the line an element of manipulation and calculation and skewing of the odds seems to have crept in, and his star is tarnished now. Maybe I’m wrong, but I really think Ron Dennis tried to influence things in an underhand manner, and Hamilton colluded in it.

    For me, Hamilton has a lot to prove; more than the fact that he is a quick driver.

  129. RunningMule
    14th May 2008, 20:25

    Obviously, people who hate Hamilton are losers in life… only winners love winners… :)

  130. How ironic… I’ve been an Argentinian fan starting from the Fittippaldi’s era, and I support Hamilton, and hate his rivals JUST FOR THE FACT I CAN’T STAND the local TV commentators (Fernando Tornello and “Tano” Fazzini) praising Alonso and Ferrari, everything Fernando does (including hitting the wall under Mt.Fuji’s rain, etc.) is RIGHT, you can hear them speculate if “el morenito” (Lewis) will make it to Q3 at EVERY qualy session, and so on. Ferrari are absolute geniuses, McLaren are just plain fools, Ron Dennis doesn’t have a clue… you know, the flip side of what appears to be happening in Britain. So I “have no choice” but to be a Lewis fan (but I acknowledge that nor him -neither Alonso- are anywhere near Ayrton or Gilles, for instance).

  131. I no longer watch F1. The reason? Lewis Hamilton. He must be one of the most irrating people around. I don’t believe for one minute that he is as “nice” as he, and the press, would have us believe.

    I never liked Michael Schumacher but I never felt the need to stop watching F1 because of him.

  132. SBH, what are you doing on F1 Fanatic then? Surely if you have given up watching F1 you shouldn’t be trying to follow it any where else, otherwise you are going to bump into LEwis Hamilton. Doesn’t it defeat the purpose?

  133. David Watkins
    18th May 2008, 19:58

    The misinformation and outright slander of Hamilton in the Spanish “press” (especially MARCA) is a continuing disgrace. Every story about Hamilton is deluded with profane commentary (much of it extremely racist)

    After the Malaysian GP LH was asked how he was feeling during the muffed pitstop. Lewis said “I could do with a beer”. This was translated by MARCA as “I could have done it with a beer” thus creating a totally false insinuation.

    MARCA also had a go at Ed Gorman who had called Alonso a “miserable Iberian” (in an end of season review) The tone of the sentence was sympathetic to Alonso but unfortunately the Spanish word “miserable” translates into English as “despicable” or “disgraceful”. So MARCA, quite deliberately, ignored its true meaning and published an attack on EG which illicited a predictable reaction. Marca and its readers are obsessed with the British press for some reason and the paper skilfully exploits the chips on both shoulders of the average Spanish F1 fan that reads the paper.

    I think I’m gonna start an official Marca watch. Their lies are appalling.

  134. Peter Moore
    26th May 2008, 18:44

    I’m tired of the ITV sycophants who praise this youngster throughout their coverage of qualifying/race day.

    He’s not your bog standard ‘rookie’. He’s very privileged in that McLaren have been funding him on £1 million a year for the 10 years leading up to his F1 introduction last year.

    Tired of seeing his father or younger brother’s face flashed across my tv all the time. We’ve all got dads and brother ffs!

    Put him in a Force India – Ferrari and see how great he is then!

    He has to have a few seasons under his belt before we start comparing him with the likes of the past masters. Cut the Senna crap, please! Yellow helmet and all that!

  135. Who writes an autobiography after 1 year in F1?
    What a joke, that is one book I will never read.

    Lewis Hamilton has gotten way too big for his own good.

    He needs to stop acting like a spoilt brat and think about how lucky he was that Ron Dennis decided to financially supported him.

  136. Stealthman
    7th June 2008, 9:53

    Lewis is not my favourite F1 driver, but there’s no denying that he is good at what he does. Sure, he may be acting cocky and all, but he’s not paid to do that. I think it is silly that Hamilton’s and Alonso’s fans are getting fired up because of their driver’s or team’s nationalities (watch the A1 Grand Prix series for that) or their way of doing things. Formula One drivers are there to drive a car and win races, because that is their occupation. It’s what they do for a living. Lewis is endangering no-one by acting the way he does because of McLaren’s enveloping cocoon, so why should anyone care?

  137. I posted this on the `Lewis Hamilton Fan and Inspiration Site` in April, I think I hit the nail on the head.

    I do not foresee a championship with the Hamilton name on it, the reason I say this is because of glimpses into your `character`, that revealed at times of stress a well developed `ego`, capable of distorting your arrogant behaviour into the mistaken belief of being a `maverick`. Your failure to listen to the experience of team members, and the pouting and prancing, turned a conceivably sure-thing into an absurd nothing.

    This one upset a few people.

    “photo please, with my son”, you say as he blindly pushes past you because his championship is in tatters and the National Press are really on his back…then the excuses will come, he will take on a small part of the blame but will emphasize how difficult his task was because of a lousy car and lazy team, then off to the casino to show that he really is a winner…probably blowing more money on the many new vices that he can now afford, than we will ever see in a lifetime, sounds all too familiar…

  138. OK, so I love this thread and return to it often for the “kicks and giggles”.
    A few of the reader comments on the “Hamilton-centric” nature of the ITV commentary reminded me of something that I have to share.

    Waaaaaay-back-in-the-day (1984, to be precise), when I was a wee lad, I remember watching the Los Angeles Olympic games. As luck would have it, the country I was living in purchased the broadcast feeds for the Olympics from the Canadian Broadcasting Corp (CBC).

    To cut right to the chase, the only thing I saw of the entire ’84 Olympics, was US gymnast Mary-Lou Retton and her perfect 10, and endless replays of some Canadian boxer dude named Willie De Witt (?? – it has been a while…) who was beaten to a bloody pulp in his weight class and staggered to the podium to accept his bronze medal. It was one of the few Canada won.

    anyway, my point is…
    if the media is understandably nationalistic in their broadcasts, at least be grateful that the object of their coverage is at the front of the pack. it could be worse.

    I for one am happy to see Lewis on the grid and mixing it up with the best. Just as I am happy to see Nadal challenge Darth Federer, and I am happy to see the occasional challenger take a run at Tiger.

    While I appreciate the artistry and excellence and sheer poetry of a driver like Schumi, when any sport or competition get one-sided, they bore me.


  139. Yes, personally I think Hamilton is the most hated person in F1 and I loathe him with every bone in my body. I think it is partly due to Fernando Alonso (as I am a fan of his and did not like the way hamilton acted towards him), partly due to ron dennis (and how much he goes on about him) partly due to the media (for going on about him so much we cant turn the page without seeing his face)and partly due to the fact that he is arrogant, self-centered and so obviously fake.

  140. I know no-one is reading these comments anymore, and if they are, they’re probably not reading to the bottom of the 3rd page! I just thought of a nice way to summarise my feelings on Hamilton.

    I heard Ron Dennis describe Hamilton’s attitude like this a few times – “Confidence devoid of arrogance”.

    I disagree.

  141. You hate him because he has too much exposure. Is that his fault? No. You don’t like him for bringing out an auto biography. People like him so he thought he’d take advantage. Lots of people bought his book (including me) so don’t you see why he did it.
    :) Hamilton to win 08 :)

  142. It’ll be more interresting to post your real pictures so we’ll all see if those of who claim not to be racist are all non-white. Well Yes and No, the Hamilton haters do it for racism. I’m black but i do acknowledge Michael Schumacher as the best driver ever :-), but i really don’t understand y people still make it an issue the fact that hamilton started his f1 carier in a super team. Many have… Take Kimi for instance, he spent time blowing up engine when he was at McLarren and made it look like the most unreliable car. That picture change when Alonso and Hamilton joinned Mclarren. Still Kimi kept on blowing engines (Red ones this time). Let compare N. Piquet Junior’s performances Vs alonso’s this year clearly, piquet’s no where to be found. So we should give some credit to LH. I think the solution alonso’s problem is to get him a team where there’s only 1 driver (Himself) cause, in 2010 he’ll be on Felipe’s case.

  143. Why is it always the racism card? Is anyone who hates Lewis a white and a racist? This is insane and just a way for hamilton lovers to justify why people hate him and try to make us feel bad by accusing us of something we are not just because we dont like their hero.

  144. I agree with amy, but no black @least hates him, beside why hate a driver when this one is putting on a show… If you hate the kid, ask yourself this question:
    Have you ever REAllY hated any other driver?

  145. Well i think in my opinion every sport brings it own superstar, LH is only carrying on where schey left. Remember schey was still the most famous driver dispite being beaten by alonso twice :-(, i beleive hamilton is here to stay, at least for 5 more year.
    LH haters and Lovers have 1 thing in common, they all love to see him racing so they’ll have some to blog da next day….

  146. I really can’t stand Hamilton because he’s let fame get to his head. What with all the flirting around with Danni Minogue, and then PCD’s Nicole etc. it’s really repulsive. as a rookie driver, he should focus on doing his job well instead of publishing a book, flirting around, attending parties, and then telling newspaper that he likes nothing better than training and playing his guitar.

    I can’t stand the way he thinks he’s all that. And the last straw was when he ditched his girlfriend Jodia Ma, who’s father helped pay for his career. He used her to help him get to the top level of racing and then after he got all the attention, moved on to hook up with famous stars. A nugget of info: Jodia always goes to the temple to pray for his safety before he drives each race. Tell me now if that doesn’t make you hate the cocky fella

  147. this kid is dangerous. he is going to kill someone!

    nothing clever in what he does!

  148. response to #148 Peter Moore

    and I love this kid!
    this is racing, not frikkin’ croquet!

    all the whining and snivelling after he executes a succession of daring and brilliant passes on more than just a couple of people this weekend (Monza 2008).
    I hope you guys were counting the names, cuz I lost count, but I remember seeing Kimi, Fisi, Glock, Webber, Kubica… all fall to his skill in the wet.

    no one ever seems to complain when another driver does this and is even more aggressive.

    Alonso at Nuburgring in 2007 against Massa.
    Piquet against someone I forget in the hairpin at Montreal (that was brilliant rubber to rubber execution and worth the price of admission alone).
    Alonso against Hamilton at Spa in 2007.
    and there have been more.

    this kid puts on a damn fine show.
    I don’t want drivers just tip-toeing along to hold on to their points.

    I want to see balls to the wall, every race counts, fights to the bitter end.

    they’re the very best. I want to see it all hanging out there when we put up good money to pay them to have fun.

    crying? there’s no crying in racing!

  149. The only negative issue I have in my head about Hamilton is the manner his F1 career started , as opposed to most F1 drivers who have to creep their way up the grid bit by bit. During my time of following F1 the only other driver I remember starting out in a top car was Jacques Villeneauve , with Williams , he almost won in the first year , then won it the next (1997) , and simply faded once he was no longer in the best car . I’m not saying that will happen to Lewis , but what I am saying he needs more time in the game , even if he wins the championship this year , it will take more to convince the loyal long time F1 supporters of his talent overall (ie. during the good times and the bad).

  150. Personally I think that one day when Sebastien Vetel comes to a better team than Red Bull and becomes potential champion wont be that much hated as Lewis.

  151. useless article.
    articles should be written as a way to dissiminate information to others not as a way to attack someones personal integrity.

    well… i would better not try to write ********* about others. but Keith, this is a learning phase for you and hopefully you will learn.

    Why did you not write similar story about other drivers or are you jealous of his success?

    1. I think you’ve either misunderstood the article or just read the headline and then gone straight to the comments. Where did I attack his “personal integrity”?

  152. I think the article is well written and actually describes the reasons why I beleive people dislike Hamilton quite well. From day one Hamilton was always going to be someone that you either liked or disliked, the same as happened with Schumacher – there doesnt appear to be many people who occupy the middle ground. This means that there will always be debate between fans.

    I also dont beleive that, in the vast majority of cases, racism has anything to do with it – the only comments on this article which mention anything to do with race are those from people accusing others of being racist, none from any people who dislike Hamilton. The incident with the Spanish fans at Catalunya was a very small group of people, and whilst was a completely unacceptable incident, is not a reason to generalise all Alonso/Spanish/non-Hamilton fans – just because a handful of people chose to display their dislike in that way, does not mean that all people who dislike Hamilton think the same.

    I admit, I am not a fan of Hamilton, (and I have briefly met him, admittedly pre-F1 when I actually quite liked him, and he was very friendly and willing to have pictures taken and sign our race tickets), just as I wasnt a fan of the previous controversial driver Schumacher – yet when I admitted to not liking Schumacher I wasnt under pressure to defend my decision like it seems to be like with Hamilton. It was just accepted that people didnt like him – so why the big problem with people not liking Hamilton. I have never judged anyone for who they like in F1, and I dont expect to be judged for who I like/dislike. Even supporting Ralf Schumacher I didnt get the surprised comments I get for not liking Hamilton. Just because I am British doesnt mean I have to support the Brit.

    There are plenty of drivers who I have disliked over the past, Hamilton is just one in a long line of people I dont support in F1 – he’s also not the only one currently in F1 I dislike – its nothing personal against any of them – its just whenever you support any sports person/team, chances are you will dislike their opposition – its all part of competition. Its taken me until last year to forgive Alonso for the ‘tunnel incident’ in Monaco the other year where he blamed Ralf!

    As for Parag’s comment ‘Why did you not write similar story about other drivers or are you jealous of his success?’ – Hamilton is the controversial driver of the moment – its topical, its how journalism works. There wouldnt be so much debate over someone who many people are indifferent to. Its not a personal attack on Hamilton it is an article suggesting reasons why people may dislike him.

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