Furious Hamilton calls penalties “a joke”

2011 Monaco Grand Prix

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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804 comments on Furious Hamilton calls penalties “a joke”

  1. bearforce1 said on 29th May 2011, 16:30

    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.

    • T-Money said on 29th May 2011, 16:38

      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

      • bearforce1 said on 29th May 2011, 16:45

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

        • T-Money said on 29th May 2011, 16:56

          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

          • HxCas (@hxcas) said on 29th May 2011, 16:59

            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

          • T-Money said on 29th May 2011, 17:10

            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

        • MIAMIBASE (@miamibase) said on 29th May 2011, 19:28

          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.

          • mvi said on 29th May 2011, 19:57

            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.

    • David BR said on 29th May 2011, 20:00

      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.

  2. WildOz said on 29th May 2011, 16:32

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

  3. McLar3n said on 29th May 2011, 16:32

    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.

    • Klon (@klon) said on 29th May 2011, 16:45

      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.

  4. georges10099 (@georges10099) said on 29th May 2011, 16:32

    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.

  5. jesus said on 29th May 2011, 16:33

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

    Senna would be proud.

    • Cacarella said on 29th May 2011, 16:53

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

      Senna would roll over in his grave.

    • AgBNyC said on 29th May 2011, 19:57

      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…

      • Gustav said on 29th May 2011, 20:07

        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?

        • AgBNyC said on 29th May 2011, 20:20

          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…

      • mattr said on 30th May 2011, 10:22

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

  6. Adrian Morse said on 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.

    • Sid said on 29th May 2011, 18:37

      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” :-)

  7. snafu said on 29th May 2011, 16:36

    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…

  8. JohnBt said on 29th May 2011, 16:37

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

  9. Jian said on 29th May 2011, 16:40

    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.

  10. georges10099 (@georges10099) said on 29th May 2011, 16:40

    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

  11. Icemangrins said on 29th May 2011, 16:40

    I really don’t see any issues with this interview. You are allowed to speak your heart out and I never seen Lewis was ever this frank and candid. Tough weekend for him poor Lewis.

  12. robbiepblake (@driftin) said on 29th May 2011, 16:44

    It saddens me to say this as a big Hamilton fan but he needed to shut up right there.

    The Ali G black quote was obviously a joke but everything else, about him being victimised was embarrassing to listen to.

    Hopefully he’ll wake up tomorrow, apologise and carry on with the rest of the season with a clear head.

  13. Maksutov said on 29th May 2011, 16:44

    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.

    Wow…. haha.. I think you are ridiculous Mr Hamilton. True colours of ones personality always comes out to the surface .. no matter how much they try to hide it. What a disappointing thing to say.

    “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.

    Hmmm.. I wonder what colour are the people that want to see you race so much? (not to mention respect him, value him and cheer for him?!)… oops… shhhhhh!

    “I’ll just try to keep my mouth shut and enjoy the rest of the season which, ….

    too late for that

    • Icemangrins said on 29th May 2011, 16:50

      are you out of your mind?

      • pSynrg (@psynrg) said on 29th May 2011, 16:55

        Thank you Icemangrins…

      • Maksutov said on 29th May 2011, 17:02

        how so? … I am simply reflecting how Hamitons comment can be interpreted. Joke or not. For the sake of his fans (which I happen to be one of), whom large majority of them are of varying races throughout the world, he should not be making any jokes or comments that single himself out as a victim, especially not in a racist context.

  14. Gazman said on 29th May 2011, 16:45

    Love the fact that people criticise drivers for not trying to overtake and when one does he gets called a lunatic by some fans. Those same fans also claim there aren’t enough characters speaking their minds in this sport and when he does he’s called an idiot by them.

  15. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 29th May 2011, 16:48

    Oh, come on!

    I agree, the incident with Massa should not be penalized. But 10 laps earlier, Paul Di Resta made a similar move and he was penalized. So they HAD to penalize Hamilton, otherwise it’d have been ridiculous, 2 similar moves, one penalized the other not.

    Then with Maldonado, it was a very optimistic move! Maldonado was still ahead, and he turned because he had to turn right… there’s a corner there, Lewis. It was like Alonso at the start, getting close to Button but keeping the position.

    And now you blame Massa for your penality. But it was YOU who cut the chicane, hence why you got a penalty.

    I like you, and you do tend to get more penalties than the rest. But you’re also risking much more than the rest. Held back a bit and you might get away with it.

    • NDINYO said on 30th May 2011, 6:29

      I dont think he should hold back – this guy should stay with his driving style. The stewards need to adjust to the fact that this kind of aggressive-go-for-overtaking-gaps style is good for the sport. If he has to get penalties so that the sport can change then so be it.

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