Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Monaco, 2011

Furious Hamilton calls penalties “a joke”

2011 Monaco Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Monaco, 2011
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Monaco, 2011

A furious Lewis Hamilton criticised the stewards after being penalised during the Monaco Grand Prix for colliding with Felipe Massa.

Hamilton is also under investigation for a later collision with Pastor Maldonado.

Hamilton said afterwards: “Out of six races I’ve been to the stewards five times. It’s a joke. It’s an absolute fricking joke.

“You know you can’t overtake here. Very, very rarely do you get an opportunity.

“I was quite a lot quicker than Massa, I went up the inside and the guy just turned so early and just turned into me so I tried to go onto the kerb to avoid him, and we’re stuck together.

“So it was just… and of course I get a penalty which is usual. He held me up in qualifying and I got the penalty. He turned into me, and I got the penalty.

“And I went up the inside of Maldonado and you can see on the screen he turned in a good car length too early to stop me from overtaking him and crashed into me. This stuff’s ridiculous. These drivers are absolutely fricking ridiculous, it’s stupid.”

Asked why he has had so many penalties he joked: “Maybe it’s because I’m black – that’s what Ali G says! I don’t know.”

He denied it was affecting his driving: “No, it’s not affecting my confidence as a driver.

“I just think the sport is… you know, people want to see my racing, they want to see overtaking, and you get done for trying to overtake, trying to put on a show. I’m trying to make a move.

“Fair play if I really feel I’ve just gone too late and hit someone, I put my hand up and realise, OK, I really have caused an incident and been the stupid one, but it’s not the case.

“I’ll just try to keep my mouth shut and enjoy the rest of the season which, I’m sure, is going to be an interesting one, but as you can see he’s walking away with it.”

He denied the result has ended his championship chances, saying: “No, it’s never too late, but it’s not looking great.

“I gave it my all today and the team did a great job to get the car back out and get it fixed for the last few laps.”

Update: Martin Whitmarsh says Hamilton has spoken to the stewards following his outburst: “Immediately after the race he was very down, and during a post-race TV interview he made a poor joke about his penalties that referenced Ali G.

“However, I?m pleased to say that he chose to return to the track a little while later to speak to the stewards about the joke. They accepted his explanation.”

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798 comments on “Furious Hamilton calls penalties “a joke””

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  1. Mclaren will have him back in line next time out, PR answers consisting of ‘fanatastic team’ or ‘no comment.’

  2. Yes the ham man. they be all up your face cos mans is black and tings. seriouly though vettel is probably the luckiest man alive and hamilton along with webber and alonso have been very unlucky so far this season. what i dont get is how vettle can get out of the car and pretend like he won the race on merit when it was probably 90% luck. he only got pole cos Q3 was disrupted so he was lucky there too. You could say you make your own luck but vettel did not cause the saftey cars or the red flag in qualy so he didn’t make his own luck he just lucks into things and people say how good he is. I also like how the bbc are trying to say f1 is interesting this year even though vettel has already won the WDC pretty much.

    In conclusion hamilton is right F1 2011 is a massive joke

    1. Try to remember last year, pal, all those misfortunes with Vettel, seems to me he deserved a change of luck, wouldn’t you agree?

      1. yer but he still won the WDC in the end so he was hardly unlucky you moron!

        1. Guilherme (@the_philosopher)
          29th May 2011, 16:32

          Time to tidy up the troll filter, Keith…

          1. +1

          2. Yes indeed. 6 Pages of comments so far and I can already tell they’re not worth going through.

          3. +1 I never see such blind, unceasing support for any other driver. Why do Hamilton stories bring in all the hate and idolatry? And I’m not just talking about today. Remember the Hamilton vs Brabham match-up in the Champion of Champions series?

        2. Let me get this straight… you win a championship despite having to abandon from multiple 1st positions and i am the m***n, and Vettel is a lucky pilot with no skills and determination, professionalism. You should probably run for president for the sake of it.

          1. yes he is lucky he has an easy car to drive and never really does any racing he just does laps in a car that is faster than any other car and leads from pretty much start to finish. the only person that should be able to get close to him is webber and webber is a slow driver so that will never happen

        3. Yes he was. He lost well over 70 points due to unreliability that Webber didn’t have. Last year would have looked pretty much the same if he had, had a car just as reliable. His misfortunes last year were outweighed by his (and the cars) speed, that is why he won last year. That was not due to luck. This year the luck is evening it self out, and a first pit stop that took 6.7 seconds is not really luck is it? Red Bull handed the win the McLaren, yet McLaren weren’t able to use the opportunity. That is not because Vettel is lucky.

          1. it doesnt matter how many points he won it by he still won the WDC because he has the fastest car for 2 years running. its not like when ferrari and mclaren were always winning at least it was 4 potential winners instead of just the same winner over and over again because the red bull is miles faster than any other car

  3. Iwas quite a lot quicker than Massa, I went up the inside and the guy just turned so early and just turned into me so I tried to go onto the kerb to avoid him, and we’re stuck together.

    There’s a turn there Lewis, of course Massa turned in!

    Just because Schumacher caught you napping doesn’t mean you can dive inside anyone you want…

    1. At least when shumacher dived up the inside, Lewis gave him room, yeah in hindsight, lewis’ move might not have been ideal, but massa completely closed the door and lewis’s wing was definitely inside before the corner, so the penalty is arguable to me, but I can see why hamilton is so upset. He went for a gap, better than just waiting for pit stops to me.

      1. Massa hit Webber in that turn, so there were no space for him to go unless he wanted to bury his front wing in Webbers rear wheel.

        1. Yeah that’s the key point in that move. Massa couldn’t turn because he was in a little too deep and too close to Webber. Hamilton steamed in and gave Massa a choice of hitting Webber and not making the corner or taking the corner and connecting with Hamilton

  4. Sergio Perez
    29th May 2011, 16:23

    This is why I like Hamilton. He drove like a real fighter, a champion. Never settle for less. This is what the greats do. Hamilton was closer than Diresta on the hairpin overtaking move, and I also agree, Pastor Maldonado slammed into Hamilton when he was already in next to him. I don’t consider this reckless driving, but true racing. Good job Hamilton, you’re part of what makes f1 still watchable. An extra word of praise to Kobayashi. Fantastic race! Give him a competitive car!

    1. Well said Sergio…hope your recovering well :-)
      That said I believe Lewis spoke his mind and said things that everyone knows to be true but are too “diplomatic” to say. It was about time he let this burden off his shoulders and speak his mind. At least next time the stewards make a penalty call on him, the call has a chance of being 50% unfair (minus the racial consideration) as opposed to 100% unfair (plus racial consideration)

      1. +2 Hamilton and Alonso are the best out there. Put Kobyashi in Webber’s car ot Button’s car.

  5. Well tbh he does have a point. The entire race was a joke. I cant believe they still keep monaco on the grid. Talking about safe tracks and bringing excitment to viewers, well monaco has nothing of those 2.
    Stewards are a joke now, i cant believe that they pennilized hamilton and di resta for those attempts to pass.
    Getting ridicilous

    1. thought i was the only one who wondered why monaco and barcelona are still on the calendar . Monaco in particular is a no-overtake race ,so why the hell is a race being held here ?

      1. Monaco glitz wants F1 and Stewards wants fast parade laps not racing nor overtaking … esp it it involves Ferrari they get very irritated!

      2. Because of it’s history, and status similar to that of the Indy 500.

  6. His driving was the joke. And how dare he play the race card, that is downright unfunny and rude.

    And I hope he knows Ali G is Jewish because I don’t think he does.

    1. what does being a jew have to do with anything?

      at least he tried to race instead of just following vettel around all day like the others.

      monaco should be removed from the calender cos its not a race track its a parade!

    2. what do you mean jewish , Ali G is jewish ,so is jeff goldblum but this guys can hide their “jewishness” ,lewis can’t hide his colour ,unless he does a Jacko lol.

      go lewis .

    3. Duchess, he can ‘dare’ play the race card because slavery was banned in the UK, at least, a few centuries ago. Okay by you? Thanks.

    4. And I hope he knows Ali G is Jewish because I don’t think he does.

      No, Ali G is a fictitious character, he does not exist in the real world. And I thought being Jewish was a religion not a race of people.

  7. I want to see this interview, sounds like a classic.

    Have to disagree with him on the penalties. I think today he drove very poorly and wasn’t far from the scene of an incident. He collided with Massa during an overtake which just wouldn’t stick, punted off Maldonado who already had the corner, and was involved in the pile-up, in which he took avoiding action from Sutil which meant Alguersuari made contact with his rear, which ended up forcing Petrov into the wall.

    I think if he doesn’t receive further penalties, he would be getting off rather lightly.

    1. “in which he took avoiding action from Sutil which meant Alguersuari made contact with his rear, which ended up forcing Petrov into the wall.”

      You said it yourself…he took avoiding action. How can you turn that into his fault?

    2. If a driver makes up places that is supposed to be good driving – if a driver DNFs when he could otherwise have used a cooler head and stayed in the points that is bad driving – that is how i have come to undestand things but you guys are getting me all confused up now!

  8. Fair play if I really feel I’ve just gone too late and hit someone, I put my hand up and realise, OK, I really have caused an incident and been the stupid one, but it’s not the case.

    It was, in both occasions, him the one attacking, on the inside, at tight turns when the driver ahead had already started turning. It was almost like Barrichello on Rosberg in Australia, only he started much closer to the defending driver.

    1. He wasn’t the one attacking when he fairly gave Schumi enough room around the hairpin.

      1. Got caught napping on that one.

        1. The Last Pope
          29th May 2011, 22:01

          Oh god how many times did Coulthard say that during the race?.

  9. He wasn’t held up in qualifying, he was at fault for the Massa collision, and the Maldonado collision was very sloppy driving from Lewis.

    I’m struggling to remember his penalties this year, but I can only remember the Malaysia penalty, which was rubbish. But every other summons to the stewards I recall (yellow flags in Turkey, pit lane in China) were only worthy of reprimands or nothing at all. And a reprimand is basically no penalty (or at least until that new three strikes rule is brought in).

    Watch for the Ali G comment to be blown out of proportion though.

    1. The Last Pope
      29th May 2011, 22:09

      I don’t think you understand how overtaking happens. Driver infront needs to know when to let the place go. You have to be agressive to overtake at monaco and you have to hope that the guy infront doesn’t want to brake his car by cutting you up.

      1. Toro Stevo
        30th May 2011, 2:01

        I understand how overtaking happens. The drivers, and the stewards, know even more about it than I do. And he was penalised by said stewards.

        You’re lucky if you can ever overtake at Monaco. Just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean you throw the book out to be able to do it. Massa was under no obligation to give the spot away, had Hamilton poked his nose in front at the corner then yes he should have moved to avoid collision, but Hamilton’s nose was about mid-length on Massa’s car when Massa took an early apex, which is what a defending driver should do to protect his position. The onus was on Hamilton to avoid the collision at that point.

        1. The Last Pope
          30th May 2011, 3:00

          Doesn’t matter if you are ahead or not. You don’t drive someone off the track, or drive into a position to cause an accident. Brake checking for example, thats a fine right? Its the driver behinds job to avoid the collision? nonsense.

          1. Toro Stevo
            30th May 2011, 5:40

            You don’t drive someone off the track, or drive into a position to cause an accident.

            Agreed, and the latter of those is exactly what Hamilton did in Monaco, twice. Massa didn’t drive him off the track, he did what any driver who’s in front is allowed to do, use a wide racing line. If Hamilton was in front while at his side, it would have been Massa’s fault, but at no point was Hamilton close to passing Massa there.

            And if it’s not the following driver’s job to avoid a collision, then by that logic Hamilton is at fault for the Alguersuari crash later on.

  10. I’m with Lewis and absolutely share his exasperation.

    The F1 sport is clearly schizophrenic if, on the one hand, it wants more overtaking for a better spectacle and, on the other, enthusiastically penalizes Lewis Hamilton race after race for taking calculated risks from which other drivers shy away.

    I agree though that Lewis was ambitious to expect Massa not to turn in at the hairpin but Massa’s shunt in the tunnel was entirely his own fault. Maldonado was asleep and clearly didn’t see Lewis on the inside of him at the end of the straight. It’s a shame the Williams went out but Maldonado was the architect of his own demise.

    Chin up Lewis. You will prevail if your fans have anything to do with it.

    1. They weren’t very well calculated though.

      1. Well, they were. He made it to the flag.

        1. Here here Broxter…Go Lewis!

  11. Sorry the guy is a tool.

    He has been very lucky up till now. His aggressive driving isn’t that great. He has been really lucky other drivers make space for him previously or just lucked a lot of his passes.

    His luck has run out.

    1. how can you say hamilton is lucky. have you seen vettel lol

      people complain when theres no overtaking and when someone tries, they complain still. when drivers dont speak there mind people complain and when they do people still complain, WHAT THE HELL!

      how has hamilton ever lucked into a pass least he overtakes unlike vettel. its agressive driving like that that makes f1 fun to watch rather than watching a parade and them being careful on there tyres and going slowly. F1 should be about driving fast and racing not driving slowly and being at the front in the fastest car all the time

      1. yo t-moaney… you goota drive fast without crashing into others…

        1. yer but vettel does crash when he tries to overtake, Spa 2010 for example lol. and that was one of vettel few overtaking attempts and he still mucked it up. most of the time lewis makes the moves stick and while i will say the massa overtake attempt was abitious maldanado was the one who was reckless on the second attempt

          1. And Vettel got penalized for that, why should it be any different for Lewis when he causes accidents? Also the amount of blind fury coming from you has made my day, thanks =D

          2. your welcome HxCas. i like to see people get annoyed at someone they dont know or cant see. even though i clearly doing it just to get a reaction lol annoying people is fun….and yes i am very very bored lol

        2. Lewis and Schumi did not turn into each other while making their overtake manouvers.

          Massa chose a wideline which did not workout for him, Lewis did not crash into Massa until he turned into Lewis. Massa could have avoided the incident, just like Lewis avoided schumi and vice versa.

          Now for all those who want to stick the race card on Lewis. He was joking but hey many a truth is said in Jest so what is wrong with his statement – can you all say that the stewards have not used Lewis as a scapegoat (or the drivers have not singled Lewis out for complaints that neither Ayrton Senna or Schumi receieve drivers that were far more agrresive than Lewis (Sato and Kobayashi are unskilled when they crash but Vettle and Algesuari are young and passionate)?

          By the way Lewis is penalised both for driving into people and for other people driving into him (Alonso on Lewis in Malaysia 2011)- Stewards not racist sure not but one man’s arrogance is seen as another man’s passion (one man’s racists is another’s kindred spirit).

          Anyway many people have had incidents with Lewis without getting penalised Webber in Australia 2010 (reprimand) – One man’s crash is another’s racing incident.

          It may just be because he is Black.

          1. Miamibase: Re Malaysian GP 2011, Alonso did get a penalty for making contact with Hamilton. Hamilton got his penalty for making more than one move in defending his position.

    2. His aggressive driving isn’t that great.

      Well, sure was when he got past Schumacher. So too the pass on Petrov that was missed because of the mayhem that ensued just after.

  12. Someone please throw the toys back into Hamilton’s cot.

  13. After watching today’s race, I seriously thought Lewis had completely lost it. It’s not the kind of driving one would expect of a world champion. After reading this interview though, I went around looking for clips of the concerned incidents and came up with this:

    MAS/HAM :: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66V6l88cytM

    At 0:10 freeze frame and you can see the usual turn in point for drivers round that hairpin. Freeze frame at 0:11 though, you’ll see just how ridiculously early Massa turned in. Massa himself almost took Webber out there. Very very marginal, but there is ABSOLUTELY NO DOUBT that Massa turned in early. (Whether Hamilton could have made that overtake is a different issue).

    HAM/MAL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DcUZtwv9zY

    Freeze frame around 0:02 : Very ambitious indeed by Hamilton, but didn’t Maldonado still turn in a tad early?

    Please note I’m no racer, this is just my opinion, which I think I’m entitled to give and you are most welcome to correct.

    1. Well, I agree partly with you: that Massa incident was a little bit beyond Hamilton’s control though. Massa was himself trying to have a look up the inside of Webber and two theoretical overtaking maneuvres in this corner just won’t work.

      But there is no excuse for the Maldonado accident, the Williams was perfectly on the racing line and Hamilton should have backed off. Any penalty he gets for the Maldonado accident is fully deserved.

  14. to be honest, he said the ali g joke tongue-in-cheek as he laughed after it. still, hes right about what he said – the sport wants there to be good-to-watch racing and then they go and have a go at people for racing. i mean, where’s the sense in that? ive got a theory that this year will be like 09 for brawn, and vettel wont win anymore this season.

  15. Hamilton – The only man who is willing to TRY an overtake in monaco.

    Senna would be proud.

    1. Schumacher – The only man who tired to overtake and SUCCEEDED in Monaco.
      (At 42 years of age)

      Senna would roll over in his grave.

      1. hamilton succeeded in passing schumacher with a brilliant piece of driving early on in the race.

      2. @ Cacarella-

        If not for Hamilton’s one successful overtake out of three, that would be COTD :D

    2. Unbelievable trying to compare Senna to Hamilton, especially after today’s over-optimistic drive by Hamilton. While exciting to watch, it’s a blot on Hamilton’s resume.

      Senna was aggressive but had the respect of other drivers… Hamilton has come across as simply selfish and too aggressive. Senna stopped his car in Belgium to aid another injured driver, would Hamilton do the same???? He probably would’ve blamed the driver for “impeding” or blocking him intentionally…

      1. If a F1 driver stopped his car today to aid another driver he would probably be expelled from the sport. Let the marshalls and track-doctors do their job, they are way better at it.

        Senna was most definitely known for having the “if you don’t move there will be an accident” attitude, is that different from Hamilton?

        1. That is so not the point – it shows the attitude and mind set… a lot of things are different in today’s racing.

          Even Alonso said, had there not been a red flag, he had a lot less to lose and would’ve tried passing Vettel “if we crash we crash” (I believe that’s what he said). That’s the attitude of a racing driver and no one batted an eye to his comments…

          There wasn’t simply one incident with Lewis today, there were many and his comments the whole weekend (the days before blaming the team – and after – blaming everyone else)… Lewis is very, very lucky to have any points – but long live fanboyism…

      2. senna once drove over a driver on purpose,so what the hell are you talking about?

  16. Adrian Morse
    29th May 2011, 16:33

    I feel I need to come to the defense of Hamilton’s driving. The move on Massa was a mistake, but he went to some lengths to avoid contact, and there wasn’t actually an accident – the penalties are for causing avoidable accidents, right? Massa and Hamilton merely did some wheel banging, no damage done.

    The move on Maldonado I saw only once from Hamilton’s onboard, and it looked like a racing incident to me.

    The post-race comments are not chic, however, and could land him in trouble which, quite frankly, won’t do his championship challenge any good.

    1. You see Adrian, that there is the problem. You expect Lewis to ” toe the line ” and make diplomatically correct or acceptable comments yet you yourself admit that the two collisions should have been considered racing incidents. Put yourself in his shoes…you too would be royally ticked off, I mean what other reason would you expect him to consider…perhaps he should have said ” is it because I’m dating a pussy cat doll” :-)

  17. c’mon guys…give him a break!
    he saw a gap and went for it…thats what racing drivers do…right?
    both massa and maldonado didn’t show him enough room when he was almost by their side…

    1. +1

      (I know I have posted this before, to different posters. Site error)

  18. Everything went wrong for Lewis today, but he’s sixth, so it’s not that bad.

  19. Let’s look at this objectively, are there racists out there? Definitely! Could any of the stewards be racists? Highly unlikely.

    That’s the issue for people of non”standard” colour (white), they know racism is there but if its not explicit then they can never prove it. That creates a feeling of vulnerability and sense that you don’t control your own fate. Imagine a f1 driver feeling out of control, in that context, in the heat of the moment, I can understand why Lewis made the joke, to vent his frustration.

    I don’t take offence and if you do, well haters gonna hate.

    1. good stuff there !

    2. +1 nicely put Jian

  20. just to say, theres sennas famous quote – “if you no longer go for a gap, you are no longer a racing driver” surely thats what everybody loved senna for… hamilton is just doing what he’s paid to do – race cars and try to win world championships. yes it may have been erratic, but it was nowhere near as bad as some of vettel’s mistakes last season, and i dont see the majority of you shooting him down

    1. Actually, a lot of people shoot Vettel down for Turkey and Belgium, and still continue to do so.

      1. Thats because Vettel tried to bully his way through which seems to be the only way he can overtake. He does not go for gaps he tries to push people off the track.

        1. He didn’t try to bully anyone. He lost control in the rain at Belgium, and misjudged how far ahead of Webber he was in Turkey. Plus he has made passes this year.

          Frankly I can’t be bothered arguing over this, since Vettel doesn’t need to overtake. He just doesn’t screw up in qualifying.

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