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

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

  1. 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?

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

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

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

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

  9. 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?

  10. 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.

  11. I think everyone I seeing past the fact that Schumacher and Ferrari were in with the FIA, Schumacher regularly pulled off dangerous moves and nothing was done about this…remember him nurfing Damon off the track? Cheating much?

    Lewis drives fairly. Also everyone seems to blame him for the Alonso tiffs because everyone loves Alonso so much (despite being a complete prat :D) They were both at fault but it was Alonso who cheated, not Lewis.

    Yes, Lewis makes some mistakes, but quite frankly he can’t do anything right without someone randomy deciding they hate him.

    • Mike said on 14th May 2010, 10:02

      I hate Alonso, complete prat,

      I think you need to remember, that the standards have changed, back when Schumacher did stuff in 94 and so on, moves like that were relatively normal! Look at Prost vs Senna and you see a great example of this.

      What I’m saying is that times have changed, Schumacher got in such trouble in 2006 because of this. Hamilton has to race nicely, because everyone has to, side by side Hamilton has done nothing like Schumacher did, but in reality, they are somewhat the same in their attitudes towards the rules.

  12. MS never said he was an angel he never admitted to being a devil. LH thinks he himself is an angel.

  13. Fascinating thread – I only meant to skim read but got engrossed and made it through to the end!

    I have to laugh however, for a knowledgeable bunch, regardless of your preference for one driver or another – how you can begin to compare Michael’s incidents with what’s happened in Lewis’s career is totally beyond me.

    Ok the Australia 09 incident was a blot on the copy book for sure – I don’t think there’s any excusing the way either Lewis or the team acted and they paid for it.

    I ask you though, what other incidents have there been where Lewis has displayed “dirty” tactics!? I think you’re getting mightily confused with instinctive, aggressive racecraft.

    It seems to be the incident singled out so does anyone seriously think his defense of Webber’s dive down the outside of T1 @ Monza was dirty!? Where was Webber going to go exactly!? I wouldn’t criticise Mark for giving it a go and piling on the pressure, but it was late as hell, it was in the wet, he had room to his left that he didn’t use and we’re talking about a margin of perhaps an inch here! LH didn’t clatter into the side of him to take him out, he squeezed the bloke on the outside which is exactly what any driver worth their salt should at that level. In fact you’d expect this at any level, unless we’re talking historic festivals!

    I’m not going to argue Lewis isn’t controversial in terms of the letter of the law, but there’s a big difference between things like remaining alongside Vettel for example, than deliberately taking people out, parking your car up to stop qually and so on.

    Am I delusional or something – it’s absolute night and day to me!?

    • Mike said on 14th May 2010, 7:05

      The easy argument to Lewis “instinctive, aggressive racecraft” is that you has just described Schumacher as well…..

      The argument can be put both ways.

      And I think the Schumacher has big friends in the FIA, although possibly true, is irrelevant. We are discussing their driving habits, not how they got penalised. Correct me if I’m wrong.

  14. Mark in Florida said on 14th May 2010, 1:00

    Lewis Hamilton is prattling PRIMA DONA.His sudden sainthood would be humorous if it were not so sickening.What a media suck up jumping on the lets hate Schumi bandwagon.Lewis has no integrity at all he is a cheat just like everyone else.I can`t wait till the media turns on his bratty backside.He can`t help being a screwup it`1l strike again before long.Hamilton is not worthy of holding Michaels used jockstrap.At least Alonso is more circumspect and reasonable when he talks.Thank God for Webber he is always a straight talker even about his own mistakes,much less trying to look like he`s better than someone else.

  15. ode_nobunaga said on 14th May 2010, 1:58

    I think the Schumacher’s problem is that he won too much too easily for way too long… if you went back to his road for championship, 94′ was already screwed after 3 races and schum involved in too many affairs (hidden electronic, justified or unjustified punishment, the final race crash…), 95′ was cleaner, then 97′ final race again, and from 1999 (he might have won this championship without his injurie) to 2004 where he was “help” by any possible actor in F1 : unjustified punishment for his opponents, number 1 driver, way better car that other teams, unpunished crazy starts or defenses… anything was done (on purpose or not) to make him win races and championship very very easily (if i remember well in 2002 he clinched the title during summer…)
    Schum is (or was) a great driver, maybe not the best (compare to hakinen or villeneuve at some point) but he was in the best team, a team totally dedicated to him personnally and with a huge technical/performance advantage (but legal at all points), and even with that he was doing his foolish and dangerous starts, manipulated the race… I didn’t like him from the beginning but i always respected the driver until around 2001/2002… in 2002 there was no races, we already knew the winner at each start and ferrari just made the result they wanted (1-2 in any order)… in my opinion that’s what hurt schum’s reputation that he often (and not always) won very unfairly because of ferrari’s manipulations… the opposite argument is that 2005/2006 made a lot for schum’s reputation whereas he was winning that much, he became a little more popular than he used to be during his winning streak.
    Or maybe is it that we all like loosers…(?)

    • David A said on 14th May 2010, 18:51

      “maybe not the best (compare to hakinen or villeneuve at some point)”

      How was Villeneuve ever better than Schumacher? The 1996-7 Williams was ridiculously faster than the Ferrari, yet Villeneuve was very nearly beaten to the title by the inferior car. When Schumacher had the fastest car (like 2001, 2002 and 2004) he won easily.

      “but he was in the best team”

      It certainly wasn’t always the best team. Like 1996-1998 for example. He, and the technical staff at Ferrari worked to become the best team. He didn’t just magically walk into the fastest team with the best car, you know.

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