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. Icemangrins
    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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

    1. Icemangrins
      29th May 2011, 16:50

      are you out of your mind?

      1. Thank you Icemangrins…

      2. 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.

  4. 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.

    1. +1 some social scientist should get a phd for all this double-talk!

  5. 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.

    1. 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.

  6. I’m done with this, cant be bothered to talk to people that already have there mind made up. Possibly one of the last times I bother to read comments on this site which is disappointing.

    1. cant be bothered to talk to people that already have there mind made up

      You haven’t made your mind up yet?
      Should I waste my valuble time trying to
      convince you that Lewis showed some poor driving today and poor sportsmanship after the race?

      1. You think it was poor driving, I think he did fine and that it was the others that were poor. How was it bad sportsmanship after the race? because he stated his opinion and I in fact agree with it, all the hate he gets cant just be because of his driving style and supposed “arrogance”.

    2. You surely can’t expect everyone on this website to think the same way you do? People will interpret certain issues in different ways and you need to respect that.

      1. I know that but when people wont even bother to hear other explanations then there is no point, thats what I was saying.

  7. I remember him being warned for mouthing of towards and about rulings and officials. If he get’s suspended or further penalized it’s his own fault. And he wasn’t the only one being penalized for his driving style today.

    1. They all run their mouth towards the officials if you haven’t noticed. The problem with these penalties is that they are against the spirit of racing. I can understand if they were unsafe passes. The fact is they were both incidents. Massa is a hippocrite. Making bogus comments when he has had his fair share of “incidents”.

  8. Also to be fair on Hamilton, I think he did give us the best overtake of the race, taking back the place that Schumacher took from him on the first corner.

    1. That was a good move. Unfortunately he won’t be remembered for that in this race.

      1. i will remember that he started 9th finished 6th – actually most records will show that so he will most likely be remembered for having a reasonably good race

  9. reddevilandy10
    29th May 2011, 16:50

    Does anyone perhaps have a video link to that interview? I’d love it see his face.

    As paranoid as he sounds here I love the fact that he is speaking his mind. I hate all this PR management crap that the drivers are obliged to nowadays.

    With that said… what an awful race he had!

    1. It;s on the BBC website

  10. I’m glad Lewis got that off his chest, out in the open. I’m white so I’ve no idea what it’s like to have to deal with anything else. Day to day evidence suggests that it is still an issue with plenty of people.

    I’ve no doubt there will be individuals in the stewards that are not entirely blind to the colour of a persons skin. However I also imagine (hope?) that they are professional and will not allow it to cloud their judgement when asked to do their job.

    As for Lewis’s race conduct, well, this is Monaco. Slivers of opportunity appeared and like the brilliant racer that he is, he went for them. All moves at Monaco carry with them a hugely heightened risk element so some moves inevitably didn’t pay off.

    I thought a great ballsy drive from a difficult position.

    1. ok lets agree you are white , i have to commend you on your point of view . People on this site act like there is no racism/prejudice out there .you don’t need to ask if these folks are white , you’ll already know .

      Anyway great comment mate .

      1. Is racism a white only affliction?

        1. Yes, because racism (rather than xenophobia etc.) is inseparable from European colonialism and evolutionist theories of white supremacy, combined with the still existing socioeconomic disparities between different colour and ethnic groups in most ‘western’ societies.

        2. Though that doesn’t stop racist attitudes being absorbed by people of any colour.

        3. No, definitely not. But as genetic science has stated, racism is a bit absurd, as we all are the same race, developed in Africa some 170-200.000 years ago.
          I guess racism is just an easy way of creating a “We versus them, the strangers!” scenario. If You can point at an obvious difference, then You don’t need to check if people are nice or not – You can start to hate them straight away.
          I read somewhere that it would take around 300 generations to adjust skin-colour to the level of sun-light, i.e. to obtain coloured skin or become non-coloured.

          1. So the result today was determined by evolusionist theories and socioeconomic disparities. And here I thought it was about traction.

          2. Palle is right – racism like etnicity or tribalism is absurb: hating somebody by reason of skin colour, language or where they came from rather than for more logical reasons like them doing bad things. Many times they do not even disagree with your views – which would be the basis for religous bigotry. Anyway that is off topic – hopefully the likes of Lewis will help the world realise how absurd racism is.

  11. What a jerk – playing the race card. Even if it was a joke, it was a stupid thing to say. Using his stupid logic, white drivers are at a disadvantage cuz they can’t blame racism for their problems. Loser.

    1. let me hwl you with the white stuff (pun)

      white drivers, white stewards,white journalists , white marshalls , white engineers, white mechanics, white race director,white team principals , white fia officials *sigh*.

      if one world championship title, makes you a loser .yes he is a loser lol

      go lewis

      1. You forgot one, white mother.

      2. Not all the other drivers are white.

        1. Kamui must be outraged, or not.

  12. I thought F1 was about racing! If a driver (like Lewis) holds back because he’s worried about a penalty, then F1 is being robbed of the most spectacular driver currently in formula one. I’ve followed F1 for 40 years and I’m sick of stewards making rulings which some years ago would simply have been “racing incidents”.

    1. I do wonder if stewarding has gone too far in modern F1.

    2. Times have changed. Di Resta did the same thing and took responsibility for his actions. Hamilton just thinks that all of the incidents he has are someone elses fault.

      He can’t expect other drivers to just let him through or risk having a crash all of the time.

      1. I dont think the DiResta hairpin incident is the same as the Hamilton/Massa one. It was just 2 cars with DiResta, and he went far too deep too late. He put his hand up and fair play to him.

        I still think Hamilton made a move on Massa when Massa was out wide approaching the hairpin. Massa then took a late call to make a move on Webber, turing in harder to undercut Webber. Hamilton was already alongside Massa at this point. The rest is history – and for me, a racing incident.

      2. exactly.

  13. good job lewis for trying to do something other than a precessional race.

    Entertaining as allways and once again lewis will get all the attention because he is the most intresting/controversial driver in F1

  14. Hi, I am Lewis “Banzai” Hamilton. Please tell me why i am being penalysed so much. I mean, come on 5 trips to the stewards already? whyyyyy??

  15. Commendatore
    29th May 2011, 16:55

    Hamilton finally showing his true face! What a pri*k! :)

    1. So you want people to only show their “untrue” faces?

  16. That wasn’t good for Hamilton on so many levels.

  17. I’m all for Hamilton speaking his mind, but for someone in their fifth season in Formula One, he really should be handling his frustration a lot more maturely.

    1. He’s gonna have that sinking feeling tomorrow morning, thats for sure.

      1. if he believes what he said is the truth, he is going to have a feeling of liberation, of having finally gotten some uncomfortable stuff off his chest, of being able to be himself and race the way he likes to regardless of whether he gets penalised or not

  18. I think the only ‘joke’ is Hamilton’s childish behaviour. I haven’t seen Paul Di Resta making a fuss about his penalty that was exactly the same as Hamilton’s. Hamilton’s words are what i’d expect from a football player mouthing off about the referee in a post match interview.

    1. I think Hamilton’s incident was worse than Di Resta’s. Definitely. He didn’t relent against Massa. Silly.

  19. his week-end was very messy. he made a mistake in qualifying, and his race was the one of a desperate driver. he is in his 4th season and every year we see this kind of week-end or mistake from him. he just doesn’t handle pressure well and on a street circuit, the pressure is huge.
    Vettel, compared to last year has became far more mature…so far.

    lots of drivers have had bad week ends though, it can happen, with penalties (ask schumacher) or misfortunes (alonso in valencia or abu dhabi last year), some have had “extroverted” reactions on the moment (alonso to petrov for instance) but, correct me if I am wrong, I never heard a post race comment like “These drivers are absolutely fricking ridiculous, it’s stupid.” that is just arrogance from a bad loser or a spoiled child.

  20. Steven Burns
    29th May 2011, 17:02

    A few mentions of Schumacher here already, and I think all those who are vilifying Hamilton should look at the two overtakes involving Schuie and Lewis:

    1 – Into the hairpin on lap one, Schuie dives down the inside of Lewis, who, see’s this and doesn’t turn in, conceding the place. Contrast this to Massa/Hamilton – Hamilton makes an identical move to that of Schumacher, but Massa turns in on him.

    2 – Hamilton’s pass on Schuie into the first corner – Lewis gets his nose up the inside, and Michael, knowing he’s beaten, concedes the place. Roll on 70 laps to Maldanaldo, and in an almost identical situation, the Williams man closes the door and causes an accident.

    If stewards continue to give penalties like this everytime someone attempts to overtake then it won’t matter how bad the tires degrade, or how many new DRS style wings they come up with, overtaking will just not happen as the new generation of F1 drivers are already being trained not to try anything remotely risky (See Di Resta’s comments post race)

    1. Agreed!!!

      I think its got to do with different drivers race crafts the defending driver shouldn’t be able to turn in on people and then the attacking driver become responsible and have to work both ways.

    2. Than you Mr Burns.

      The similarities are plain to see but commentators – even Brundle and Co – are so biased they refuse to believe the obvious.

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