Lewis Hamilton doesn’t want Michael Schumacher’s “tainted” legacy

Hamilton says he 'would like to be remembered in the best way'

Hamilton says he 'would like to be remembered in the best way'

Michael Schumacher’s grilling at the hands of the media over the 2006 Rascasse controversy provoked many comments on F1 Fanatic yesterday.

Several of them drew comparisons between Schumacher’s track record and those of other drivers like Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton. Today Hamilton said he wouldn’t want to be remembered in the same way Schumacher is:

To be potentially tainted by something like that would be really devastating for me. That is definitely something I don’t want to be remembered for.
Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton has, of course, had plenty of brushes with controversy of his own – most infamously in the Australian Grand Prix last year, where he apologised after lying to the stewards over an incident with Jarno Trulli during the race.

Hamilton told Reuters he wanted to be remembered for his race craft:

I am not really bothered if I am remembered or not. But clearly I am going to be remembered. I am part of the sport, I’m part of its history, I am a world champion.

I think as I am going to be anyway, I would like to be remembered in the best way and the best light. I want to be remembered as a fair driver as a clean driver and one that always drove with my heart and battled through thick and thin to score the points and the championships I will hopefully earn by then.
Lewis Hamilton

You can read the quotes in full on Reuters. Hamilton added that racing against Schumacher “doesn’t do anything for me whatsoever” whereas having the chance to race against his hero Ayrton Senna would have been “special”.

It’s fascinating to hear Hamilton speak this frankly about his own reputation and have a bit of a dig at another driver – especially someone with Schumacher’s record of success.

Do you agree with Hamilton’s assessment of Schumacher’s reputation – and his own? Have your say in the comments.

Michael Schumacher still refuses to explain 2006 Rascasse controversy

Image (C) www.mclaren.com

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203 comments on Lewis Hamilton doesn’t want Michael Schumacher’s “tainted” legacy

  1. soulmonkey said on 13th May 2010, 18:22

    It is sad that this article is purely for commentary. Keith, you could have let this one go. We get enough negative Hamilton opinion expressed to allow this one to slip.. I am sure Hamilton did not mean to belittle Schumi with is comments. But like planetf1, F1F fans seems to relish the opportunity to just express their opinions on Hamilton. (just adding to the 150 count)…

    • BasCB said on 14th May 2010, 8:31

      What is negative in it for Hamilton. Good for him not to want to have a tainted image. I am glad he cares (something i am not sure Schumi cares about). It is up to him to try to behave like it as well.

      He has to put down his admiration to Schumi. First his experience with im on track was not as thrilling as expected as Schumi was not having his day. He never had that experience with Senna!
      Next to that, every possibility to get a direct competitor down are needed, especially as Schumi is now getting up to speed.

  2. Ivan Vinitskyy said on 13th May 2010, 18:32

    Am I the only one who doesn’t find anything wrong with what Lewis said?

    • Glenn said on 13th May 2010, 18:56

      Comments of a strong competitor. If I was his Team boss I would want my driver to be no other way.

      • LondonRacer said on 14th May 2010, 10:37

        THANK YOU

        he can walk the talk most of the time… and he is a one nice guy…

        and of course he has had his share of accidents… if he was in Williams and named Nakajima, nobody would have cared… in my opinion, the latter was one of the most reckless drivers out there

        Lewis’ racing style is very different from many others – without him F1 would have been just plain boring, if the cameras were following the rest of the top guys during the races (we’d have fallen asleep, with all the downforce and lack of overtaking)

        Many racing drivers like winge about Lewis because secretly they wouldn’t want him to be staring at their cars’ rears

        Ferrari: “Lewis is behind you”
        Alonso: “I don’t want to hear that”

        And Alonso is a two-faced arrogant driver with very big cojones – he spoke out against his teams in Spanish many times (behind their backs)

  3. Kaz said on 13th May 2010, 18:32

    For Christ sake Lewis!! Don’t get sucked into these silly and pointless questions!! These questions are asked to lower you into comments that they will take and blow out of proportion.

    Don’t let them get the better of you brother.

  4. Brawn said on 13th May 2010, 18:53

    whats it like up on that high horse lewis?

  5. Oh my god keith, what have you done? the lewis haters have come back in force with this article…nooooooooooo

    jk btw.

  6. Still said on 13th May 2010, 19:17

    Nice joke Lewis:)

  7. Icthyes said on 13th May 2010, 19:24

    Sorry Lewis, but it’ll never happen. You can win 6 more WDC and have no more incidents (as if that’s ever possible for any multiple WDC), and there will always be those who will bring up your mistakes, twist every 50/50 situation against you, and flatly deny your talent and personality because it’s in their best interests to do so. It’s the world you live in.

    Your only consolation is most of your detractors will have taken their stance before being “shocked” by your controversies anyway – assuming you don’t do a Piquet, Senna, or Schumacher, which would make everyone lose respect for you, and rightly so.

  8. OEL said on 13th May 2010, 19:33

    Hamilton’s driving at Monza in 2008 says it all, doesn’t it…?

    • Patrickl said on 13th May 2010, 22:17

      Yeah that was superb. Amazing how he almost won that race.

      and then some dumb people whine about how he overtook Glock and took the line insted of letting him sit next to him through a corner … *sigh*

      • OEL said on 13th May 2010, 23:19

        He pushed Glock on to the grass! without having to let Glock repass him. In the same race, Massa passed Robberg fair and square, but the stewards forced him to let Rosberg pass. And Hamilton also pushed Webber to the escape route in the very same race. I son’t understand how the stewards think, if they actually are…

        • LondonRacer said on 14th May 2010, 10:38

          If you had another car on your left, (i.e. no room to give to Webber), what would you do?

          Noone pushed anyone.. Webber is just not nearly as skilled… If you get overtaken in the corner, fight for it or let go. Happens all the time

          • Brake Bias said on 15th May 2010, 1:36

            Yep, Webber is not skilled again. Think about this, if Webber had not conceded the line then HAMILTON would have hit him. Then the likes of you would be moaning that Webber was not skilled enough to get out of the way!!!!

            It seems that Webber is damned if he does and damned if he does not.

  9. I think it’s a shame that some Hamilton fans today, as with some Schumacher fans yesterday, think their driver is immune to criticism.

    In Schumacher’s case, he did something stupid and is rightly taken to task for it. It was three years ago, yes, but the fact that he has never admitted fault nor apologised for his actions makes it still relevant. He has never answered the questions, so of course people are going to keep asking them.

    For Hamilton, he has opened his mouth (again) and said something that he perhaps shouldn’t have. Talking about Schumacher’s “tainted legacy” when he himself has been accused of pushing other drivers off the track, and various other allegations of unsporting behaviour, was not the wisest move in the world. If he didn’t expect to draw some criticism for it, then he isn’t very bright.

    The point is that public figures like Schumacher and Hamilton are going to be held to account for what they say and do. That’s not a weakness of the media (including Keith, who has come in for a fair bit of flak from the fans over the past day or so), it’s a strength.

    • Cacarella said on 13th May 2010, 21:17

      Sorry Andy, I politely disagree.

      I don’t think an apology from MS will make a difference in this case and nor do I think that anyone can make him accountable. This is a sporting incident and he was held accountable by the stewards of the even and penalized three years ago. Everyone knows what he did, Everyone saw it. I don’t need him to be the politician that stands at a podium with his wife and children at his side, pretending to wipe away tears as he apologizes for having sexual relations with a twelve year old Nicaraguan boy in the bathroom at the train terminal.

      An apology means nothing when you know deep down that given the opportunity he will re-offend. As will Lewis one day.

  10. Mr JoeBlack said on 13th May 2010, 19:42

    Well I really can’t understand one thing.
    if shumi is so bad and he have a bad reputation, so why every on in the formula 1 world, including the media are talking all the time about him?

    for Lewis, i would say ” on what scale u choose, Shumi is 7 time by far better than u”

  11. matt90 said on 13th May 2010, 19:49

    Everybody seems to be being very unfair to Hamilton here, saying that he’s being a bit hypocritical. But top be fair, he was only asked about Schumacher’s monaco incident. He says he wouldn’t want to be tainted by something like that. And he hasn’t been. Most contriversies concerning him aren’t related to him performing such a blatenly pre-empted offense. I can’t recall Hamilton parking on track to prevent other runners from setting a time or deliberately hitting competitors. I’m not saying he hasn’t seen controversy, but not as badly or of the same sort as Schumacher. And he be fair he never said he was perfect, just that he didn’t want to be remembered for parking on track.

    • Sri said on 13th May 2010, 20:20

      Yes, but he lied to the stewards… He knew, but only admitted to it when the telemetry was shoved in his face. Then there’s more which some other chap recounted in the beginning of the comments… Please do read the first comment.

      • matt90 said on 14th May 2010, 2:13

        Yes and my comment says that Hamilton has done wrong, but not in the same way as Schumacher. He clearly views the Monaco incident as worse than Hungary or his lie. But I’m not trying to say whether Hamilton or Schumacher is worse anyway. I’m trying to say that what Hamilton said was justified because, whether he is tainted or not, he does not want to be tainted by something as severe as Schumacher, and the question Hamilton was asked was relating to Schumacher’s incident, not any of Hamilton’s past ones.

      • BasCB said on 14th May 2010, 8:35

        Nothing wrong with Lewis not feeling good with being remembered for negatives, it is not saying he did nothing wrong in the past. For sure he did do nothing of the magnetude that Schumi did, or Senna for that matter.

        He has all chance of the world to impress with his driving without too much controversy and be remembered that way in generations to come.

    • plushpile said on 14th May 2010, 1:32

      Not sticking up for Schumi here, just playing the devil’s advocate.

      How do you know that any of his offences were pre planned and not just “oh s@*$, i’m about to loose the WDC here” or whatever

      • matt90 said on 14th May 2010, 2:05

        By pre-planned I mean committing an offense on the track, knowing what you’re doing, whereas Hamilton’s lie was a blunder off the track- he didn’t pass the Toyota thinking ‘I’m going to lie about this.’ I just mean that what Hamilton did was different and, in my view at least, not as serious (although I don’t pretend that it wasn’t still very serious).

        • Sri said on 14th May 2010, 5:07

          @matt90

          Trust me, if Schumacher were British, most of the media would have been singing a different tune… :P

          Well, i think when you said that Hamilton was being treated unfairly… it is utter jibberish… Button has been doing so well this year again… What is the media doing? Hamilton is in the limelight all the time, with which i have no problems. It only goes to prove that the media loves him and is giving him ample coverage… Then again, if it were any other driver who was caught lying, it would have been a different scanrio… Punishment, trust me, would have been different… In many ways what Hamilton did was equally worse or may be more… As by the time he made his statement, stewards already knew that he was lying… He then turned on his team-mate and blamed him for his own stupidity… Simply brilliant…

      • LondonRacer said on 14th May 2010, 10:40

        back in those glorious Schuma days, the FIA and Ferrari were pretty crooked anyway… why revisiting the past if everyone was aware of the general bias, with Mosley in charge?

  12. spawinte said on 13th May 2010, 20:05

    I didn’t know f1 drivers were into internet trolling.

  13. Electrolite said on 13th May 2010, 20:08

    Keith when I first read this I assumed it was putting Hamilton in a positive light, he obviously wants to win and prosper in a dignified manner and it’s obvious he regrets he hasn’t got the cleanest slate.

    Now I’m really not a Hamilton fan at all, but all the hateful comments on here soon made me see the whole article in a different light. And all the things that have been said have only been done so before. Hamilton will be Hamilton and say these things! And in the light of the GP coming up, the comparisons between the two drivers is a talking point whether anyone likes it or not.

  14. The Limit said on 13th May 2010, 20:10

    I think Lewis is just stirring things up ahead of this weekend’s grandsprix, nothing more and nothing less. Michael Schumacher, not without reason, always had a long chequered history with the media and past ‘incidents’ inwhich he was accused of cheating. Hamilton is just jumping on the bandwagon, pouring salt on a old wound, playing the old mind games routine. As for how Lewis will be remembered, I guess that depends who is telling the tale. Some will remember him as a hero, a driving genious, and some will remember him as a cheat and an egotist. Like with all drivers, it depends on which side of the fence you are sitting.

  15. DaveW said on 13th May 2010, 21:13

    Well, I’m not seeing the reliable set of comments that Keith is a raving British jingoist who aims single-handedly to restore the Empire by libeling the non-British racing world.

  16. BeenDun said on 13th May 2010, 21:24

    You have to love it. Lewis is not even a shadow of the driver that Schumacher is and he’s talking about not wanting a legacy like his. It’s just plain funny. Hamilton has one WDC that he won by one point. Luck is what it is called. Schumi has SEVEN WDC’s and pretty much every other meaningful record in F1. Hamilton will never come close. Except of course, in the imaginations of his deluded fans.

    • matt90 said on 14th May 2010, 2:22

      No, he’s saying he doesn’t want whatever legacy he does have to be tainted by something like Monaco.

  17. Sam said on 13th May 2010, 22:02

    I know this is turning into a lewis hating charade, but rightfully so. I am a lewis hater, ill be the first to tell you that. But not because his color or nationality. Its in his personality, arrogance, and his driving style. Okay, schumacher use to adjust his race line to block people off, but one several occasions lewis has overtaken and ran people off the track. And i have seen him do it with way more frequency than michael did. I was die hard into schumacher and ferrari and i will be the first to admit he did do some shady things. I didnt sit there and blatantly lie and say oh no he didnt do that, or sit there and overanalyze it so it seems like its not his fault. Thats why alot of people dont like him, not just me. I mean im not a button fan either in anyway, and i wasnt nearly as mad when he got WDC…..Why? Bec he got on with his driving, didnt have to drive people off the track in the process, and didnt go home with something stupid to say afterwards. Thats why nobody ever talks about him and i can respect that. Ok now im done, haha.

    • BasCB said on 14th May 2010, 8:43

      I saw Lewis drive in GP2 and was instantly sold. His behaviour in 2007 tainted him as well as Alonso, even if not in the same degree.
      This had me lose some of the awe for both of them.
      Lately both have come out saying they did things wrong that year, they know it and have gone on to behave differently in the future.
      It made me respect them both a lot more, for learning from mistakes offers respect and shows they can improve.
      Schumacher did not say he learnt from his mistakes. I am looking forward to seeing he did by supporting his team to improve for both drivers, building the team, helping Rosberg improve and getting wins and maybe an 8th WDC in doing it.
      Now his most positive legacy at Ferrari must be bringing the team back to be competitive (team effort) and mentoring Massa to get to a very high level.

      • LondonRacer said on 14th May 2010, 10:47

        yup… unlike Alonso and Lewis, who said the past is past and they aren’t holding any grudge for each other, Schuma never actually apologised (sincerely)…

        then you have people who hate Lewis for his “personality, arrogance, and his driving style”… ok, what about his driving style? he’s a distinguished racer in a dangerous sport and has a decent bag of tricks most drivers are envy of. arrogance? i say you’re lost in translation – the guy is so nice but when it comes to racing, nice guys finish last, so he has to race till the end like a ninja

  18. Harv's said on 13th May 2010, 22:07

    Well buy the amount people talk about hamilton, im pretty sure he will be remembered!

  19. SkinBintin said on 13th May 2010, 22:44

    You all think Lewis isn’t aware of his already colourful past? He’s simply saying he would rather be remembered as a great driver, than a dirty one. He isn’t saying he IS a great driver and NOT a driver with a cloud of controversy hanging over him.

    • Electrolite said on 13th May 2010, 23:09

      That’s precisely what he means.

    • LondonRacer said on 14th May 2010, 10:51

      I think if the FIA let people do what they are supposed to do – RACE and not drive around in an orderly fashion – from 2007 or before when Lewis joined the pack, we wouldn’t be having these discussions.

      Mind you I have heard many people who don’t follow F1 much saying the other drivers must be just jealous of the guy who is so different and skilled (you dont want to see Lewis behing your car during a race). He also has many driver friends (young ones) and has inspired many people. How many people is Schuma friends with given he rarely says “sorry” when he means it?

  20. Salty said on 13th May 2010, 23:13

    Not being funny, but if Lewis doesn’t want Schumi’s rep, he’s on a hiding to nothing. Not driving is his only option.

    He is a ruthless and aggressive driver who is not going to be polite on the track – quite right too.

    He drives for a top team which, in itself, will disenfranchise 60% of the fans. “He walked into a top team…” Pathetic. I couldn’t do what he does, neither could you.

    Success. People are congratulatory, then jealous, then negative. Success breeds contempt.

    Race. And not talking about Sunday’s main event. There is no denying that there are sad elements within our societies that think colour changes what we are within. People are people. Bigots are, by definition, not part of our society. This IS an issue sadly, but wish this wasn’t part of our sport.

    • LondonRacer said on 14th May 2010, 10:52

      Nobody wants Schuma’s rep. He’s just saying what most aspiring racers out there already know – you want to be a great racer and not a cheater.

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