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””

  1. I think mr SILVERSPOON hamilton,everything handed to him on a plate since a child,needs to grow up.
    The uk is full of people playing THE RACE CARD when they do not get their own way.
    Take a leaf from paul di resta..he went for it and admitted his mistakes.
    I think mr hamilton has lost a lot of support today.
    Button however just grinds on,great drive jenson,very unlucky..

    1. wee man greg
      29th May 2011, 17:29

      Spot on buddy.

    2. The only thing Lewis was handed on a plate was god-given talent. McLaren wouldn’t have spent thousands (millions?)funding his racing education if he weren’t something special. If any other driver (or their fans) question why or take issue with the fact that they (or their favourite driver) didn’t get such treatment, they have to look at themselves: they weren’t good enough. They weren’t special.

      1. The only thing Lewis was handed on a plate was god-given talent.

        and one of the best teams in F1, that support him, continuously build and update the car and always stay competitive. If Hamilton hadn’t gone into a competitive car as a rookie we would not be talking about him as much as we are now. It would be something like Rosberg and Petrov or Kobayashi (who I believe are equally as gifted)- Instead we would know him as being fast and entertaining, but not significant enough to make the headlines all the time. Lets face it, nobody knew Hamilton was some gifted god child you paint him to be (and i don’t think he “is” that anyway). Since his rookie years Hamilton has indeed had everything handed to him on the plate, the best technology F1 can offer to begin with and I also think the best support F1 can offer. When it doesn’t work his way, he blames the car, team, and/or other drivers, not realizing that everyone is in the same boat as him. Schumacher used to be arrogant, but he never complained about anyone or made any racist remarks – nor did he compare himself to Senna as Hamilton often likes to do. Sorry, but andy has a good point.

        1. Swap Lewis for Rosberg and Mclaren is today’s Mercedes Benz. Good car but no competition.

          Mr Smooth driving style lost 2nd place cause he did not not try. That is the difference between Lewis and Jenson.

          Lewis needs to give up sometimes but he gain 3 places on the grid with the worst driving of his career.

    3. Just like he said, it is because he is Black

  2. Boy, where to begin. There are many issues going on with this string of comments some good and some bad. But I hope to share my thoughts and maybe all of us can feel a bit better. Lewis did have a bad weekend, but his actions are showing a lack of trust in his team. there is already a breakdown going on there and he is loosing his patience. Mclaren unlike Red Bull and Ferrari have decided to run two drivers equally, this certainly reduces his chances of being on top. Next there is the events of Q3, which were terrible in every way, but again Lewis had already given up, when it is clear to me that a little confidence and one of his stellar drives would have landed him 3rd or 4th at the end. As far as the race thing I would give him a very wide birth. In four year he has associated himself with being nothing but British, and this has been a smack in the face to Black racing fans outside of the U.K. In this regard Lewis carries a far greater level of stress. He must be not only a great driver but a perfect gentleman, etc. etc. We are all probably asking too much of him when we compare him to people that drove with on button on the wheel. And, some of you certainly ask too much when you expect that he is not affected in his own way by adversity. His driving was average for Lewis, but he was still one of only a few drivers in front to pass. In the past, many top drivers would have just hit the rails and sat on a yacht drinking champagne. Lewis is a racer, he has a boss, and if he is not that intellegent to some than maybe it is because he has spent most of his life with a wheel in his hand and not a text book.

  3. Lewis is quite right. When a driver makes a move into loews, if the overtakee doesn’t let the position go (as Lewis did for Schumi and Rosberg did as well) then there is an inevitable crash. Lewis gave Massa the choice: let me through or cause a crash. Massa, not the brightest chap, decided for the latter. It was a 50-50: it was a racing incident: no penalty.

    Lewis is understandably annoyed: he had a terrible race. A race he could so easily have won – had he qualified where he should…had Massa not held him up…

    I can only hope that when the special exhausts are banned, that RBR fall from grace. I’m getting deja vu about an overrated German winning all the time because he’s got the best car by miles and special treatment over an average team-mate….

    1. Yep, I think Massa forgot he had a brake pedal.

    2. Yes, keep hanging onto the two mistakes Vettel made last year, while he romps to another title.

    3. You Hamilton fanboys are disgrace to UK racing. A real man admits a mistake. Hamilton is not a real man, just a whining kid, but ok. You? Keep defending him at all cost, no matter what was going on? Saying that Vettel is overrated? Do you know he went throughout the whole race with Webbers tires, which were mistakenly given to him at his 1st pits? He had to ride all those laps on softs, change tactics, slow down to keep them working as long as he could. Thats class. He got lucky with the red flag in the end. Not like Maldonado, who ended up with a ticking bomb called Lewis at his rear wing.

      1. Well if your right (which your not) and he went through the whole race with Webbers tyres, then can you explain why he hasn’t been disqualified yet, as the regulations are quite clear that your only allowed to use your 6 sets of tyres for qualifying and the race.

        Using your teammates would equal disqualification in the same way running an illegal rear wing does.

  4. Enjoy vultures! Your feast will be short lived. You all will be quiet as church mice when He turns it around. He will turn it around. One grotesque display does not a bad driver make. It was not His weekend. He already has a win here, so We all know his capabilities. His detractors actually know best. That is why they are so afraid. That is why the “cuz I’m black” comments sting so badly. I am Black (among other things) and I think that peoples dismay at the mere mention of any sort or racial inequality, speaks to their TRUE attitude regarding tolerence. Having said that, I also wanna tell You lot to give it a rest. HE WAS JOKING! But, do I think those thoughts enter His mind? Of course I do. Is there perhaps an element of truth to the theory that He receives undue punishment, much more intense scrutinizing from fans, stewards and the f1world in general? Of course He does. Don’t be dim People! People such as Myself, My President, and Lewis Hamilton have no need to play race cards… The deck is already pretty much stacked in Our favor. You call it arrogance if You want, but a certain level of confidence is to be expected if You are GREAT at what You do. This sounds terrible and I would normally only say this in the company of like individuals, but being ordinary doesn’t give one insight into the plight of the extraordinary. Full stop as the English say

    1. No one is putting in doubt his driving abilities. Just he was wrong this time and was more furious than when he was a victim.

      1. @Fixy Webber drove into Lewis in Australia 2010 and got a reprimand (Alonso drives into Lewis in Malaysia 2011 and both get Penalties) – so what Lewis said today has been stated many times by Hamilton fans.

        He knows he is not a victim (you do not need to tag him) – 20+ million dollars buys him out of victim hood. But his treatment by Stewards over the years calls for scrutiny. The problem I see here is that he has to be the one to ask the question even in Jest?

        1. Hamilton got his penalty in Malaysia 2011 before he was hit by Alonso, and he got it for defending his position more than one move, i.e. weaving.

  5. What colour is stupid?

    1. Yellow helmet paint.

      1. that would be Aryton Senna?

        1. That would be Lewis Hamilton this weekend?

  6. This article has more than 5 times more comments than the race review.

  7. Hamilton again displaying his obvious sense of entitlement to success in F1. His comments seem increasingly volatile of late and I wonder whether as a result his relationship with Mclaren might be deteriorating behind the scenes. Since there is little prospect of him sitting in an RBR next season he would be better off working with his team to find a way to beat Vettel on a regular basis.

  8. Massa did not hold Hamilton up, there is nowhere for a Car to pull over before the place he did, just after Casino Square, that’s part of Monaco, deal with it. Schumacher passed Hamilton cleanly because his nose was first into the Hairpin, Di Resta and Hamilton crashed into the people they were trying to pass because they did not have track position. They were on the inside, but they were over the kerbs, which is not part of the official circuit, and therefore they shouldn’t have been there. The marbles then caught Massa out, but I am sure the contact would have affected the car too, so Hamilton contributed to Massa’s accident. Then, Hamilton gets caught up in the midfield battle, and his rear wing is bent. If the race wasn’t red flagged, he would have been out, as by the last lap before the red flag it was wobbling dangerously. Fortunately for him the race stopped and the team replaced the wing. When the race restarted, Hamilton decided to stick one up Maldonado, but again as they got to the apex of the corner, Maldonado was still ahead, and Hamilton was off the confines of the circuit. If the Armco of old was still in place there he would have ploughed into it. The resulting contact directly resulted in Maldonado’s retirement, so that is 2 people he has helped to put out of the race, he is fortunate to still be out there with a working car anyway, and then he has the audacity to claim the Formula 1 world is against him?

    My suggestion to Hamilton is this, go back to racing hard and fast, but just because you have this reputation of a fast driver doesn’t mean people will just jump out your way, and if you make a mistake in the future, try and learn something from the more mature people around you, and own up to it!

  9. @curedcat the Spanish Fans were clearly being racist( in case U weren’t being sarcastic) as well the Spanish basketball team took pictures holding their eyes and making them slanted when they were in China (ironically) mocking the Chinese squad. When called on it they said they meant no offense. At worst racism, at least racial insensitivity. Just to let U know

    1. I guess you are implying that the stewards are a bunch of goons? Really! Your comment is about as thoughtful as Hamilton’s.

      1. If you have somehow found a way of misinterpreting Malibu’s comment … well that says it all

  10. Jeez, soapbox central here today. The racism thing will surely get blown way out of proportion as the press latch onto to it like the vultures they are.

    All the haters and armchair fanatics that have lost “respect” for him = One question have you never had a bad day and said something in the heat of the moment????? He is only human and emotion is natural.

    It could be said that the reporter asking the question “so why do you think you have been to the stewards so much” was clearly angling to get a controversial response, and they got it in the form of sarcasm.

    Peeps need to wind their necks in and get over it, stewards are getting a little silly with all these penalties, this is racing and racers will go for gaps. Senna once said, “if you no longer go for a gap; then you no longer a racing driver” so its inevitable that contact will happen.

  11. Avais Ibrahim
    29th May 2011, 17:50

    Come on guys it was a joke.Please dont get all critical about it.

    People like us ( and i mean fans ), we cant understand how frustrating it is when you have a fast car and you cant qualify due to other events outside your control.Race drivers if you look into the history were always hot headed and that’s a trait drivers have.Hamilton is very competitive he knew he could have won. Try to put yourself in that position and then speak.I agree about the hairpin incident with massa but the maldanado incident well lets say if he is penalized then that means that stewards indeed are biased ( not racist ). I personally feel drivers should speak their mminds but carefully but at the same time not too cautious.

    Besides who here thinks Seb is the luckiest guy this season.In all fairness either button or alonso deserved.

  12. Okay some good comments here, some bad

    I am quite a fan of Hamilton however his antics on and off the track were out of order.

    Lets have a look at the two racing incidents, the Massa crash and Maldonado crash.

    When Lewis attempted to overtake Massa at the slow hairpin, it was similar to the incident involving Di Resta and he put his hands up and said it was his fault. Yet Hamilton blames Massa and few people have mentioned that Webber was also beside him so Massa would have been compromised because of that, Hamilton should have backed off.

    However his incident with Massa in the tunnell wasnt his fault, Massa ran over a load of tyre marbles and here perhaps Massa should have backed off.

    Than we go to Maldonado, more of a racing incident this I think (gutted to see Maldonado go out after a fantastic race btw)I think Maldonado was simply unaware, but there is always an element of risk overtaking at Monaco so unlucky for both drivers. In terms of the race it was just a bad day for Hamilton, what really annoyed me were the comments after the race.

    Yes penalties are harsher these days but the same rule applies to ALL drivers so thats just the way it goes, to assume the stewards are racist is just pathetic. The worst comment of them all though was labelling all the other drivers ridiculous. This comment just smacks of pure arrogance it suggests that:

    A) He is above everyone else
    B) He doesnt care about his fellow drivers

    Come on Lewis these are not AI drivers from a computer game. He is acting like he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, Im pretty sure it was a heat in the moment comment but thats still no excuse he needs to change his mindset.

    1. The worst comment of them all though was labelling all the other drivers ridiculous. This comment just smacks of pure arrogance it suggests that:

      A) He is above everyone else
      B) He doesnt care about his fellow drivers

      I have to agree with that. That is the major component for me. The racist “joke” as some people like to say, is only a reflection of what he holds in his mind, which is his own problem. But oh well, if he continues to think that about other drivers and members he will simply lose the support of brilliant engineers that make it possible for him to be competitive in the first place.

    2. I have gone through a lot of comments on the forum and from the initial looks it appeared that Hamilton was at fault but I found one important argument missing reg Massa and Hamilton’s collision at the hairpin!! TYRES!!
      When Shumi went pass Hamilton in the hairpin, Shumi was on super soft rubber and has more front end grip compared to Hamilton who is on Harder tyre. If you watched the race you will see that who ever is on the harder tyre took a wider line at the hairpin. Hamilton did not collide into Shumi but allowed him to pass.
      Now looking at Massa’s incident these roles were reversed. As Massa just came out of the pits with harder rubber (a lap before the incident, he was taking the wider line at the hairpin. So Hamilton OPTMISTICALLY took the inside line as he is on softer rubber, hoping Massa cannot possibly turn in. But Massa did intentionally turn into Hamilton. This could have been avoided! Also if Massa gave a little bit more room to Hamilton it would not have mattered much as Massa will have the inside line for the next turn after the hairpin!

      1. Great points. Those were my quiet observations as well.

  13. kenneth Ntulume
    29th May 2011, 17:53

    Hamilton has a good case!
    Way too many penalties, almost predictable in a 50/50.
    and FYI, the “bcoz am black comment was a joke”,
    reason some people are holding it against him,
    is the possibility that he might be right!

    1. Way too many penalties

      way too many penalties because he continues to drive arrogantly and disrespects other drivers, obviously now we know he thinks he is above everyone else, and of course expects everyone to move over for him as is the case during this race. It is also equally likely that the “black” comment was not a joke, but lets pretend that it was…

  14. I was at the race and they were all over aggressiv. Sutil pushed a Sauber, Alonso cut a chicane and shoved Button off. Schumacher pushed Nico aside exactly how Hamilton pushed Massa aside. Besides, when Hamilton got the drive through, the crowd booed. He didn’t touch Massa and left a gap for him to pass through. If Hamilton is to stop doing what he did, races will become really boring. I was seated next to a Brazilian couple and what they said is quite true : Senna would have been banned from today’s F1.

    1. georges10099
      29th May 2011, 17:57

      exactly! nobody likes people who are better than their favourite, but today hamilton did nothing wrong, except his comments where a bit rash, but acceptable in the situation

    2. Interesting to hear what the crowd’s reaction was on hearing about Hamilton’s drive through.

      I’ve just watched the overhead replay a few times and it looks to me like Massa does suddenly turn in a lot more sharply than expected – I presume to try and get out of the way of Webber, or make a move on him. I can see why Hamilton might claim that was a racing incident.

    3. Schumacher pushed Nico aside exactly how Hamilton pushed Massa aside.

      Schumacher pushed Rosberg aside without touching him?

  15. Why all the attention only on Hamilton’s move? Massa knocks chunks off Webber’s car but that’s considered acceptable because he crashed out.

    1. he hit Webbers car because he was getting pushed by Hamilton look at the footage.

      1. Pushed???? lol

        1. u know what i ment

          1. I don’t

          2. @ Motor_mad

            fair enough. I had a look again and your correct. Somehow the incident doesn’t look so dramatic on repeated replay.

  16. @infy : I believe Lewis won at the game both times

  17. This is what Alonso said :

    “There was nothing to lose for me. I am not leading the championship. I will try and win the race and if we crash, we crash.”

    Had it been Hamilton who said it…

    1. georges10099
      29th May 2011, 18:05

      good point!

    2. saying and doing are two different things. besides Alonso never did moves like Hamilton and has great respect for other drivers including Hamilton himself.

    3. What Fernando meant was that due to tyre strategy his tyres were going to be in better shape than Sebs during the last 5-6 laps of the race, so he would have more of an advantage to make a pass on him during the final stages. Lewis was trying to make up positions during periods of the race where he had no great tyre advantage over those he was trying to pass, and made both of those attempts at unusual places for Monaco. St Devot and the Loews hairpin are not seen as easy places to attempt overtaking! #:)

  18. I loved the way Lewis drove today. Clearly as a F1 fan this is what I pay top dollars for overtaking, thrills and spills. This wkend has been Vetel’s and Alonso’s lucky 1, let’s see when their luck gonna run-out. The stewards are clearly against Lewis because of his undying aggression in bringing racing back to F1 even when Perilli’s tire performance screwed the race for the fans.

    1. Exactly ans the race which was already boring would have been even more without those Hamilton’s move. He was the only one pushing hard and racing from start to finish.

      They should try and modify Monaco’s layout or simply take it out of the calendar. Imagine what would have happened to Perez if he had hit that barrier with the car facing…

      What does RACING mean? If it’s impossible to overtake.

      1. Monza last year hamilton was out on lap one and after that real racing was over for that round.

        Love him or hate him, Hamilton makes F1 intresting.

        1. I’ve heard many times today things about Monaco. That the track is old-fashioned doesn’t have fast corners and straights.
          All this is nonsense. Monaco is by far the most challenging track in F1 for many many years. Drivers simply adore it. As JB said everybody who loves racing loves Monaco. I simply can’t imagine F1 without Monaco. It’s something else.

  19. The worst thing about Hamilton’s comments? The overreactions from the fans.

  20. To summarise IMO!:
    1)lucky Vettel (but you always need it, see Hamilton 2008)
    2)drive of the day Alonso and Button
    3)nice fair move Hamilton on Schumacher
    4)Hamilton and DiResta moves on the hairpin (it never works there and the should now that already at least Hamilton, they never been alongside before turn in to the coner)
    5)Hamilton on Maldonaldo overoptimistic he wasn’t in the position like with the Schumacher
    6)last part of the race Ruined by the stupid rule that allowed to change the tires

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