Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Montreal, 2011

What’s gone wrong for Lewis Hamilton in 2011?

2011 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Montreal, 2011
Hamilton's tough 2011 season continued in Singapore

Lewis Hamilton has rarely had a season without the odd controversial collision and a few trips to see the stewards.

But this year there have been too many gaffes and too few of the top-drawer drives he is usually remembered for.

What’s gone wrong for the McLaren driver this year?


Hamilton’s father and former manager Anthony expressed a clear view about the root of his son’s problems in the aftermath of the Singapore race:

“You look up and down the pit lane and every driver, except for Lewis [Hamilton], has a driver-manager in his life, not people from a company.

“I am sure his management are very good ?ǣ I don?t know ?ǣ but Formula 1 drivers need people personally involved in the driver?s life because it is a big pressure. They have got to be here and I don?t think you can do the job by sending someone else.”

The elder Hamilton obviously has a vested interest in making such remarks. But we shouldn’t be quick to dismiss them – Hamilton enjoyed his greatest successes in Formula 1 under his father’s management.

Paul di Resta, Force India, Singapore, 2011
Anthony Hamilton now manages Paul di Resta

And his father’s new young charge, Paul di Resta, is clearly thriving, finished one place behind Hamilton in Singapore.

Hamilton is not the only driver without a conventional F1 management team. Sebastian Vettel doesn’t have one at all, and it clearly isn’t holding him back.

But you have to wonder why Hamilton specifically chose an entertainment company to represent him.

Hamilton has defended his right to pursue interests outside of Formula 1. Even so, it seems they are a more consuming part of his life than they are for his rivals at the sharp end of the grid.

Nor can it be said that his closest advisors have helped him handle his recent problems well: recall his notorious outburst at Monaco and his vanishing act last Sunday having failed to given an account of his latest blunder.


Jenson Button, McLaren, Montreal, 2011
Button celebrates victory in Canada

When Jenson Button joined McLaren at the beginning of last year, the widely-held view was that he was risking his reputation by joining ‘Hamilton’s team’.

Hamilton has never finished behind a team mate in the world championship. But Button has beaten him in all of the last four races. With five rounds to go he is 17 points ahead – a gap that would be far greater without his car problems in Britain and Germany.

Of course, Hamilton is no stranger to having a top-line driver in the other car. His F1 reputation was built on that stunning debut season alongside Fernando Alonso.

But while Hamilton has Button out-classed on Saturdays (10-4 this year, 13-6 last year), in the races it is increasingly a different matter.

As was expected before the season began, Button has usually been able to coax more life out of Pirelli’s soft rubber than Hamilton. This has clearly helped him in some races this year.

But there’s more to it than that. Like Hamilton, Button has had to make his way through the field at times this year, and has done so without falling into the traps his team mate has.


Lewis Hamilton, Mark Webber, Montreal, 2011
Button benefits as Hamilton hits Webber in Montreal

Whatever problem Hamilton is having, the result is a growing number of costly mistakes that have ruined his season.

While Button’s two retirements this year were caused by car problems, Hamilton’s were the result of crashes.

In Canada, a race he could have won, he had two collisions in the space of four laps – one with Mark Webber followed by terminal contact with his team mate. He was also in the hunt for victory at Spa before colliding with Kamui Kobayashi.

On top of that are the detail mistakes: the wrong tyres and the spin in Hungary, not putting a banker lap in during qualifying in Monaco and so on.

The result has been five race penalties, more than any other driver. He’s been punished for weaving in Malaysia (having been warned over exactly the same thing last year), two collisions in Monaco and another in Singapore, and that hasty spin-turn on the racing line in Hungary.

Felipe Massa, Lewis Hamilton, Singapore, 2011
Hamilton hit Massa in Singapore

Some have chosen to see this as evidence of the stewards being unduly harsh on Hamilton. I don’t buy that.

Yes, the decision three years ago to strip him of his deserved victory at Spa-Francorchamps was plain wrong and I said as much at the time. But in almost every other instance he’s deserved a penalty.

These kind of mistakes are not a new feature in Hamilton’s driving. Even in his championship year he had that notorious collision with Kimi R??ikk??nen in the Montreal pit lane, and copped another penalty in the following race by going off the track while passing Sebastian Vettel.

Completing this study of Hamilton’s F1 career in microcosm, the next race was the washout in Silverstone where he pole-axed the opposition, crossing the finishing line a minute before anyone else.

But of late the costly mistakes have far outweighed the command performances. Both his wins this year – in China and Germany – were from the top drawer. Those aside, there’s been little for Hamilton to cherish in 2011.

A single answer?

When trying to work out what’s going wrong between a driver’s brain and the steering wheel, it’s tempting to fall for single-line explanations: ‘his team mate’s rattled his cage’, ‘he can’t make the tyres work’.

The heart of the matter is rarely that simple or convenient. And there’s always much more going on beneath the surface than the glimpses on show at a race weekend.

At the end of last year Hamilton spoke of looking forward to a better season having put problems in his personal life behind him. Whatever he’s changed it doesn’t seem to have had the desired effect.

There are enough worrying signs around Hamilton to conclude that something fundamental is amiss here. Are we looking at a driver whose team mate is putting him under pressure, who can’t make his racing car behave the way he wants it to – and perhaps doesn’t care about it quite as much as he should?

Whatever the root of the problem is, it threatens to turn the career of a driver who produced one of the greatest rookie performances ever seen, into a case study in squandered potential.

2011 F1 season

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Images ?? McLaren, Force India/Sutton, McLaren, Red Bull/Getty images, Singapore GP/Sutton

245 comments on “What’s gone wrong for Lewis Hamilton in 2011?”

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  1. I think the problem with Lewis is driving for a top team for his whole career. It is rare to see someone driving in a team as fast as Mclaren straight from his debut. Sure, its wonderful that he got such an opportunity, but he got arrogant in a sense and believes that he is exempt from getting poor cars, and penalties. Glock understands that to move forward he had to move back, although he overdid the moving back part, I completely agree with him. Its not only about showing up and giving your best but also encouraging your team and helping them move forward in hard times. Hamilton shows up, wrecks the car and then insults the team because the car isnt fast enough.

    1. I can’t imagine how anyone can seriously think, given how many penalties he’s had so far, that Hamilton goes into any situation expecting not to get a penalty.

  2. We can only guess what the causes of Hamilton’s problems are, maybe those closest to him and even Hamilton himself don’t really know, and it is probably not just one single thing but a combination of factors.

    I think some of it may be down to the frustration at not having a car capable of competing for the title yet again.

    In 2007 and 2008 McLaren were easily the best along with Ferrari but Ferrari were probably ahead overall in both years. The MP4-24 in 2009 was terrible at the start of the year but McLaren did manage to develop it and achieve some wins before the end of the season.

    But in 2010 and 2011 Red Bull have been well ahead and it was only down to unreliability and other mistakes on Red Bull’s part that allowed the 2010 title to go down to the wire.

    If McLaren had enjoyed the level of competitiveness they enjoyed in 2007 and 2008 in the following seasons, not necessarily the best but not that far behind, Hamilton would almost certainly have won at least one more title, instead Vettel has come along as the new wonder kid who is set to comfortably become a double World Champion, without looking up the figures I think it was only after the second race he already had a race win gap in the championship.

    As for management and life outside F1, the same style of management probably won’t suit every driver, but if every other driver has their manager with them at every race and it also worked for Hamilton during his early years, it is something which at the very least should be taken into consideration.

    The fewer distractions any driver has in their life the more they will be able to concentrate all their energies on F1. At the top of any sport the difference between winning and losing are usually small margins, so the small things can make a big difference.

    Hamilton’s mistakes in Singapore and Spa have been silly mistakes which you would class with Canada 2008 and which he really should not be making at this stage of his career.

    If McLaren give him a car capable of competing for the championship from the first round and if Hamilton can sort himself out and regain the consistency he had when he first came into F1 then he will surely win more titles, but I wouldn’t be surprised if at least until the next round of major rule changes Red Bull and Vettel continue to dominate the sport.

  3. I agree Hamilton really does need a manager or friend at each race that can stand up for him, head off the press etc, and help him get his head together.

    But for me I think it was Monaco that has upset his performance this year.

    Twice he proved, both times with Michael Schumacher that if the leading driver recognises that the driver behind, at that moment is quicker, it is possible to stay out of the way and continue racing.
    The way Massa closed the door at Loews and then refused to admit defeat and try and drive over the marbles through the tunnel, just shows Massa’s lack of brain power.

    And at Sainte Devote I’ll put that down to Maldano’s lack of experience in F1 and say no more.

    But in both cases I think punishing Hamilton was over the top and has affected his performance for the rest of the season.

    1. +1
      and a penalty for just touching massas tyre in singapore when schu just gets his knuckles rapped [ after the stewards admitted they missed penalising him in the previous race ]

      no wonder hamilton feels hard done by , there are different rules for him compared to others

  4. People say he has matured over the years, becoming a better driver. IMO, i think it is the opposite. His first season was great, his dad looking after him making decisions most probably for him along with Ron Dennis and Norbet Haug, 2008 i think he was starting to make his own decisions and becoming alot more aggressive, he should of won that season alot easier. 2009, it started off very poor with ‘liegate’ and not having his dad around, with the poorer car, he knew how other felt and he matured a little with that, but saying stuff like ‘not to race anymore’ in Germany 2009 because he got a puncture, that just isn’t right. 2010, he had a good car, but not a championship winning car, he was making his own decisions here and when he wasn’t, he blamed others, like Australia, a 2nd tyre change and he blamed the team, Monza, stupidly put his car in between a sleeping policeman and Massa’s car. But 2011 has been the worst, again making mistakes like Singapore, Belgium, Monaco, Canada and still relying on his team to make the calls when he should be learning, like Monaco qualifying and the tyre choice at Hungary (him and the team).

  5. Don’t know if anyone saw this but there was an article on BBC sport the other day looking at the same thing, and the writer was suggesting that the introduction of DRS along with Pirelli tyres which make overtaking easier have nullified one of Lewis’s greatest strengths over other drivers i.e. he is a fantastic overtaker, and that his instinctive driving style is not suited to them.

    It was quite interesting to think about and possibly another reason to consider. Here’s the article if anyone’s interested:


    I really thought Lewis had turned a corner in ’09 when his Mclaren wasn’t competitive from the go in terms of his maturity, but he seems to have gone backwards this year.

    I think the biggest problem is he sees himself as having the ability to be one of the top 3-5 best F1 drivers ever, he thinks he is better than Vettel, better than Alonso and definitely better than Button and he is trying far too hard and overdriving as a result.

    You can tell in interviews Hamilton can’t stand the success Vettel is having, it really is getting to him whereas Button seems completely at ease with himself. He is a world champion, has nothing to prove to anyone and consequently he is driving better than any point in his career. He should take a step back and realise he still has a long career in F1, relax and his results will speak for themselves. He is too talented for them not to.

    1. Indeed. Racing is now degraded to a lottery based on tyre strategies and of who can drive most careful on the tyres. Don’t push, don’t attack, but rather just wait till the finish.

      It brought some weak form of “entertainment” to F1, but it killed actual racing.

      This also means that Vettel’s car advantage cannot be overcome by Hamiltons driving skills. Makes sense that Hamilton is frustrated by that.

      1. that has always been true and made great champions like fangio and clark

    2. You cannot blame the 2011 rules for Lewis’s downfall.
      You will have to blame Lewis’s inadaptability to the 2011 rules for Lewis’s downfall.

      But I guess that is how fans will behave. I am not a Lewis fan and so I say, it is Lewis’s failure to adjust to the new rules is causing his mistakes. You as is fan would say the new rules are causing his mistakes.

      The truth probably lies in the middle. Lewis’s strength has been nullified by the new rules, but that alone cannot explain all the mistakes he has made.

      Keith, could we have a statistic that gives Lewis’s frequency of crashes before and after 2008. I have a feeling he did better with grooved tyres and smaller front wings than with the grippier slicks and front wings whose extremities are not seen by any driver.

      1. Did you read my comment properly? As it goes I don’t like Lewis Hamilton very much and there are other drivers I prefer.

        I never said the 2011 rules were to blame, that is another author’s view which I was passing on. Of course the drivers have to adapt, but I thought it was an interesting point to raise. Isn’t that the point of a debate?

    3. I think there might be some truth in that line of thought. Just think of how impressive Kobayashi was with overtaking last year, and what he has so far been able to show this year.

  6. If people don’t see that Hamilton DOES get punished more harshly than other drivers then they need to take their blinders off. Button rams Hamilton in the wall in Canada and het gets off because “He didn’t seen Hamilton”. Seriously! Then Button goes on to ram Alonso off in an accident similar to the accidents Hamilton had in Monaco (and got a drive through for) and in Button’s case, again, it goes unpunished.

    Drivers like Webber and Button get away with just about anything while Hamilton gets punished for everything.

    1. Button was on the racing line, Hamilton pulled alongside him far too late and and in spray. Compare it to Buemi-Heidfeld in Germany where Heidfeld drew alongside much sooner and Buemi was clearly to blame.

      1. Button wasn’t on the racing line. He was off the racing line. Probably to cool his tyres. The racing line was that dry line to the right of him.

        The stewards report clearly put the blame on Button, but let him off because he “didn’t see” Hamilton.

      2. I think with Canada it was too wet to be able to blame either driver. Similar to the Vettel/Webber accident at Fuji

    2. The name of the problem that LH is having now is: End of Impunity.

      For way too long LH has got away with murder and he’s got used to it. Now that he is being punished for it just like everybody else and there are no more cranes to put him back on track, everything goes wrong for him.

      1. Now that he is being punished for it just like everybody else and there are no more cranes to put him back on track, everything goes wrong for him.

        This is just as inaccurate a view as the opposing claim that the stewards have it in for him. With just as little evidence to support it.

        1. Just tell me someone else who has been put back on the track with a crane, ready to go on with the race. AFAIK never, ever.

          1. So? No rule was broken. And it doesn’t even come close to proving what you claim it does.

          2. They changed that rule after that race in response to that move. It was legal then, it’s not now. Simple enough for you?

  7. Good article Keith, I think you’ve handled this very well.

    Singapore was a mistake, nothing more. You could argue the rest of his mishaps have been mistakes, but I don’t think he was being selfish, careless or over-aggressive on Sunday.

    What he needs to do is assess his racing craft over the next 5 races. He can’t win anything now, that’s a mathematical certainty. Whether or not he think’s he is hard done by is besides the point, he needs to make a change and it will be a test of his maturity as to whether or not he does that. Clearly, plenty of people think he needs to alter his mindset and he would do well to listen to that. People will respect him more for it.

  8. Hamilton has amazing speed, car control and overtaking ability, but there has always been more than that to being a great racing driver. Maturity, ability to pace and nurse the car, strategy, knowledge of what is required at the time. These are all there in all the top world champions and to date these are lacking in Hamilton. At the beginning everyone said, “He’s young and will mature and develop”, but he hasn’t, he’s driving very much as he did at the beginning, I don’t think he is any worse, just less lucky perhaps, plus other drivers are probably giving him less room. I love watching Hamilton, but more and more he is beginning to remind me of Andrea de Cesaris, driving far too often beyond what is required.
    His radio question this weekend about was he still in the hunt after the crash rather summed it up for me. A Prost, Lauda, Senna etc would never have come out with a question like that, they would have known. Until Hamilton develops race maturity he is going to keep making the mistakes. Unfortunately I now rather doubt that he is able to do so.

    1. Come on – please don’t make assumptions about what the likes of Prost would or wouldn’t have said or done. The simple truth is you have NO idea whatsoever.
      I do recall a certain Prost being sacked from Ferrari because he over-criticized the car…

  9. Does no-one remember Monza??! He drove a cautious race and everyone slatered him for it. He just can’t win. It’s a load of ******** tbh. Webber has had some bloody stupid drives these past 2 seasons and been off the pace in qually… but where’s his rabble of press saying that he’s failing as a driver? I could say the same for Massa as well.

    Just let it go already and let him drive his own race.

    1. Does no-one remember Monza??! He drove a cautious race and everyone slatered him for it. He just can’t win.

      If there’s no middle ground between breaking your front wing and getting stuck behind a Merc for 27 laps, then indeed, he won’t win.

      And the reason Massa and Webber don’t get all this is because they haven’t set standards as high as Hamilton’s in the past.

      1. I think Massa (he’s been written off by press and fans alike) and Webber have had their fair share of stick.

  10. What has happend to lewis?

    Heres my opinion guys.
    Lets just analyze his F1 career. Lewis came into F1 as the underdog with a double WC Fernando Alonso. I am not a fan of Lewis at all however, his first season was very impressive and since that he won a WC. In recne ttime people have criticised him for losing his edge or something. I think that as a young F1 WC he expected too much from his career at such an early ageand I believe its fristration that is creeping in. Since Jenson joined the team in 2010 eceryone expected him to be the leader and this season would not seem to be the case. If you go back to 2009 when Mclaren were looking for a driver when Kovalinen left. Lewis categorily stated that he didnt want Kimi Raikkonen as his team mate. Lewis expected to be the leader of Mclaren but this season he has not, I think it is clearly getting to him and errors are being made.

    1. Lewis categorily stated that he didnt want Kimi Raikkonen as his team mate.

      Have you got a quote that shows that?

      1. See this is what the Hamilton-haters have a consistant history in doing:

        They are so bitter that they have to resort to making up drivel just so they can pretend Lewis is as bad as they would like him to be.
        They spend most of their time trawling the internet every day all day looking for any Hamilton stories to comment and slate him on by conjuring up rear-end baked theories & assumptions that are so baseless that even The Sunday Sport would be too embaressed to print.

        Theres nothing wrong with Lewis or his race craft etc…..He wouldntve won every championship (F1 & pre-F1) – hes just having dip which all sportsmen go through during their careers.

        I think the thing that will help him most if the all the vulture F1 media groups (especially the Brits) get off his back & leave the guy alone.

        But no..mark my words…you will see the usual ridiculous treatment of Lewis by the media….by the end of this week the Hamilton articles will have clamed down…BUT as next weekend is a GP…in the week to run up to that GP…the Brit media agencies will step up the Hamilton articles which seem like they are written to try and mess with Lewis’ mind for the coming GP and keep that negative focus on him.

        Im glad and relieved to see that a majority of people who comment here are decent and seem to support Lewis very strongly.

        People and the media in particular need to get off Lewis’ back!

  11. Despite being an Alonso fan, i get no pleasure seeing hamilton on such a low. Whats happeing? In my opinion it is severe bad luck that is leading to and exaggerating his struggles:

    Singapore: Excellent start but then gets swamped into first corner due to him having to pull out of throttle.
    + Tyre puncture in Q2, Fuelling issues for second run in Q3 (From the sector times it is guaranteed he would have been a front row starter if not have challenged for pole, in first run he lost 2/10ths in middle sector to JB due to AlO being in close company, + he would have gained time from his tyres being up to temp compared with first run, to prove this, ALO gaines 7/10ths in his second run from tyres being up to temp).

    Monaco: Again in Q3 was guaranteed a front row start if not challenge for pole, and it being monaco starting 7th or whatever prevented him for challenging for victory causing him to get over aggressive and incidents etc.. which led to more Criticism post race.

    Monza: Mostly his own fault but again nothing going his way, getting stuck behind the rediculously fast Mercs of SCHUMI and thus not being able to challenge for victory.

    and the list goes on…….

    Overall, the bad luck he’s enduring currently is denting his confidence as he is recieving ever more criticism after pretty much every race.

    Hamilton is not just a world champion, he’s a potential all-time legend, and that’s why these wasted seasons provide such acute frustration for him.

    A man capable of humbling a mighty talent like Alonso in his rookie season, and winning the title in only his second year in the most heroic of fashion, delivering some of the finest wet-weather wins in F1 history along the way.

    His driving at the moment is not wild, it’s just a little rough at the edges.

    He hasn’t been endangering rivals with crazy swerves or zero-percentage moves, he’s just had a couple of races where he’s slightly misjudged where the extremities of his McLaren are, with costly consequences for his points tally.

    But if he really was the whirlwind of chaos his critics are claiming, there would be more than 16 points (barely a third place) between him and his apparently flawless and heroic team-mate Button – but there are not.

    Hamilton hasn’t lost the plot, hasn’t become a menace and isn’t being blitzed by Button.

    I again repeat, Hamilton is not just a world champion, he’s a potential all-time legend, capable of dominating this era with his sparkling talent.

    1. Sorry, i am a Hamilton fan, it was a typing error, true fans are those who stick by him in good, great, horrible, disastorous times. It angers me when i ask somone who do you support, reply is usually hamilton, yet they know nothing about the sport. Other online “fans” also disgust me, on a different forum, majority of people had hamilton avatars (pictures for their profile) and had names such as “Hami4ever” ect, and after the canadia GP, they all suddenly became JB fans, disgusting.

      The guys going through a rough phase, sooner or later his brilliance will bring and end to the whole issue of “What’s happeing to Lewis Hamilton”?

      1. Well, people do tend to end up at F1 Fanatic for the generally balanced views of the community.

        Being a “fan” is a pretty strange state of mind if you think about it. But nothing about being a “true fan” (whatever that is) precludes admitting that your hero makes mistakes, or acknowledging the successes and skills of others.

        “Alonso” for “Hamilton” though – that’s a big Freudian slip!

        1. Well, people do tend to end up at F1 Fanatic for the generally balanced views of the community.

          Always good to hear :-)

    2. I agree. I don’t see the need to over-analyze Hamilton’s season. He’s made mistakes, he’s won two races and he’s had bad luck a couple of times. It’s funny to see that no one even seems to remember he got a puncture on Saturday in Singapore in qualifying AND a fuel rig problem. Both incidents were not his fault (and they were not due to not having proper management or any of the numerous issues everyone is listing). But they left him heavily compromised for the race in terms of grid position (I have no doubt he’d have grabbed second if he’d had another run) and tyre strategy. As a result, we’re all here talking about what’s gone wrong with him. Nothing.
      As an aside, imagine it was Hamilton who’d ignored the blue flags for a whole lap (Kobayashi). How many comments and internet traffic would that have generated? I find the F1 community has an abnormally high level of interest in Lewis which leads to everything about him being scrutinized, praised, complained about etc way too much. That’s why Keith has published this article instead of one on the amazing performance of Vettel over the year or Webber’s inability to unlock the RB7’s potential

      1. Please give “sebsronnie” comment of the day, the writers article was good but your comment was insightful! …the very points people keep over looking… the expectations on lewis from fans and none fans is so great that any minor error is blown up to !………

        love it all!….

  12. Prisoner Monkey said it well. Lewis has enormous talent and is the best overtaker in the sport currently. However, he appears to have a sense of entitlement, that other drivers should give way, and many wont. And finally, he doesnt seem to accept that it could be his fault.

    1. It’s more the self entitlement of drivers who feel they should not be overtaken in a non-DRS zone.

  13. I think this is a good article by Keith but we need to look at the big picture.

    I go back to 2008. At the last race in Brazil, almost all the drivers were in support of Felipe Massa over Lewis, with some even being bold enough to say that they would do all the could to help Massa win the title (Alonso, Barichello).

    In 2008, apart from the nonsensical penalties that were handed down to him, I don’t think he had too many altercations with other drivers (apart from the brain fade that happened with Kimi). So, there was obviously some bitterness towards this young guy who came up, clashed infamously with Alonso in his first year (almost winning the championship), and was on his way to winning it the second year. There was a feeling that he had not gone through the ranks and as such, did not deserve to be in the position he was in.

    Also, Hamilton is pretty out of touch with the politics of F1 management (FIA) and even fellow drivers. Some of his statements tend to alienate him from other drivers (a typical example is when he did not acknowledge Button, his own team mate, as being one of the top 3 drivers). As such, some drivers (in particular Felipe Massa), will make it as difficult as possible when the McLaren of Hamilton comes up to overtake them.

    Another aspect we need to look at is the issue of collisions and blame. Mark Webber had a collision with Massa in Monza. Had this been Hamilton, an investigation would probably have come up and there would have been a lot of stuff being said about his mindset and how he keeps making mistakes. Also, if the positions were reversed in Canada, he would definitely have been investigated during the race and given a drive through penalty for RAMMING Button into the wall. This is not to say that Button deliberately rammed him into the wall but all of us armchair experts would have blamed him. Instead, all of us and the so called professionals found a way to twist it around to lay the blame at his feet for trying to pass his team mate. Picture the headline in your mind’s eye: “HAMILTON FORCES TEAM MATE INTO THE WALL AT CANADA”.

    Hamilton has become an easy target and the other drivers know this. As such, they will take risks with him (Schumacher, Monza 2011) knowing that if anything happens, he will definitely be the one to take the blame. This point is butressed by the fact that Massa feels that he needs to constantly remind the FIA to do their job of penalising Hamilton for every incident.

    Keith says that he performed a disappearing act instead fo responding to the Massa incident. After qualifying on Saturday, Massa accused Hamilton of not using his head. After the race and all the incidents, did he really think Hamilton would stop to discuss?? I think not. Incidents should not be taken in isolation if not a warped view will be produced.

    Finally, lets look at the radio communication during the race. Hamilton asked what he was racing for. It was interpreted as being a state of mind and how he seems to have lost zeal. However, I interpret it as being left alone by his race engineer. He should be giving encouragement and lap by lap information to his driver, giving him the big picture. It seems like the race engineer is a bit too cordial with Hamilton. He needs to be more deliberate, and where necessary, hard on him. A good example if Rob Smedley or Vettel’s Engineer in Canada 2010, telling him not to even think about setting a fastest lap.

    In conclusion, I agree with most of what Keith has said. He needs a new manager and someone he can really trust who will be in the background at McLaren looking out for his interests and his interests alone. That is a job that will be done best by his father. But in everything, we need to look at the big picture. He may have had the most penalties. Other drivers have also had incidents but the media does not blow them out of proportion. Imagine if Hamilton had done what Schumacher did in Singapore. Jackie Stewart would have been the first to say that he is endangering the lives of fellow drivers. If he had hit Massa at Monza, Massa would have been all over him for it. Unfortunately, he has created an impression about himself and he is not liked by most of the drivers.

    A combination of all this is what sums up his season and not just his mind management, his calmer and more clinical team mate or his aggression. That said however, above all, TALENT ALONE IS NOT ENOUGH.

    1. I think the “easy target” is spot on. Brundle once said that Senna would put you in a position where you could either yield or crash. If you yielded he would know that you would do the same in the future.

      Whatever the position Hamilton has during an overtake (defending or attacking), he will be blamed for the incident. So the FIA has effectively put Hamilton on a permanent “yield”.

    2. Perhaps a new career for Mark Webber as Hamiltons manager, he knows all about bad luck and frustration and how to handle it.

    3. Another aspect we need to look at is the issue of collisions and blame. Mark Webber had a collision with Massa in Monza. Had this been Hamilton, an investigation would probably have come up and there would have been a lot of stuff being said about his mindset and how he keeps making mistakes. Also, if the positions were reversed in Canada, he would definitely have been investigated during the race and given a drive through penalty for RAMMING Button into the wall. This is not to say that Button deliberately rammed him into the wall but all of us armchair experts would have blamed him. Instead, all of us and the so called professionals found a way to twist it around to lay the blame at his feet for trying to pass his team mate. Picture the headline in your mind’s eye: “HAMILTON FORCES TEAM MATE INTO THE WALL AT CANADA”.

      I think Button was handed a penalty for the Hamilton impact. And Webber admited that it was his fault inmediatly after crashing with Massa (that and the fact that it was Webber first impact of the year are factors to not getting that most attention).

      A good example if Rob Smedley or Vettel’s Engineer in Canada 2010, telling him not to even think about setting a fastest lap.

      I most said I love Rocky (Vettel´s engineer) almost as much as everybody loves Smedley

      1. I think Button was handed a penalty for the Hamilton impact.

        No, he did get a penalty in that race but it was for something else. The stewards ‘took no action’ on the collision with Hamilton.

        See: McLaren: Button makes amends for collision with stunning win

        1. Oh! Thanks…

  14. It has not all been entirely his fault like you put it, Lewis has also had his fair share of screw ups from Mclaren, that should have been mentioned too. And I don’t think it has anything to do with Button’s performance, he was still doing the same mistakes even when he was ahead of Button in the points.

  15. Personally I think that LH is proving what I have thought for a handful of years now…I don’t think he can handle the pressure when it is at it’s greatest. He threw away a couple of WDC’s when they were his to lose, and when he won his WDC it was by a squeak and on that day FM did everything right when the pressure was at it’s greatest, and it took a ridiculously slow lap from another car to allow LH just a high enough position to rob FM of the WDC that he owned for half a lap. ie. the day LH won the WDC he did not stamp his authority on it.

    Now we see an LH with a competitive teammate and perhaps a lesser feeling that the team is all about him. So I think he is under pressure and when that is the case it falls apart for him. I think he will need another dominant package like SV has had this year in order to win another WDC. Without that ie. given a strong challenge for a WDC he will not keep it together if you go by his history.

    1. Well, Hamilton no longer is the absolute no.1 driver in the team. Imagine what would have been if Alonso’s or Kovalainen’s hands were untied during their respective McLaren years. :)

  16. Sorry Keith but all this rubbish about ‘Lewis being rattled by his team mate’ is yet another load of baseless rubbish.

    Lewis was having his nightmares way before button was near him on points.
    In fact you can say that had Lewis been pressured from button then the chances are that Lewis wouldve played his races much more safer in order to secure the points to get ahead of button – you dont need a blackboard and chalk to work that out!
    The evidence all points to the fact that Lewis infact has not even worried about jenson.

    This rubbish about Lewis messing up due to the pressure from button is just yet another fairytale being concocted by the button media fan club who tend to despise Lewis.

    Theres no evidence or record of Lewis messing up because of button.

    Keith instead of following the pied-piper of sad media groups who want to keep poking Lewis with a stick…surely YOU can understand that yeh..ok Lewis has had a tough season but you know what…it happens to all sportsmen who sometimes have certain dips.

    Also why do you people keep conveniently forgetting that Lewis has been in F1 now for 5 years whereas the guys hes being compared to have been in F1 for around 11 years.

    Also please dont forget that button himself had his long period where he dissapointed and even messed up bigtime which resulted in him not being wanted by other teams – they all mainly wouldnt touch him with a barge-pole.
    -They all were given a chance to learn and develop…why cant you media groups also extend the same curtousy to Lewis?

    Im just shocked and appalled at this ‘vulture-mentality’ from the British media to keep jumping over Lewis’ back – as if they are trying to sour his career.
    -The guy is human..he like us all can make mistakes!

    -Just get off his back….and allow the boy to heal!

    If the media left him alone for a while instead of tearing shreds off him every week then I have no doubt that his recovery progress would be alot more quicker.

    I cant get over the double-standards over Lewis compared to all the other drivers – It seems like when its Lewis everything is magnified 10 times more.

    And one more important FACT: Jenson is only doing better because Lewis is in a big dip at the moment – which jenson and his media chums should be grateful off.
    Im sure its not difficult to beat a team mate only when that team mate is having a nightmare – its not something to be too proud off.

    ALSO one last thing:
    Throughout all the times Lewis has been in front of jenson and finishing the season (2010) in front – All the media groups were continuing to believe that at mclaren there is NO team leader – But now even before the season is even over the button-club all now suddenly start to believe that mclaren DO have a team leader – despite the continual claims from mclaren since 2010 that there is NO team leader as both drivers are equal – which the media believed when Lewis was infront – but when button is in front..they all suddenly change their minds.

    – How pathetic and ridiculous and totally sums up the overhype when it comes to jenson!!

    1. yeh..ok Lewis has had a tough season but you know what…it happens to all sportsmen who sometimes have certain dips.

      He’s a professional sportsman currently performing well below the level we all know he’s capable of. I don’t believe “it happens” is a convincing explanation.

  17. The remedy for Hamilton’s bad and dangerous driving this season was the 6 race ban Jean Todt proposed after the Monaco incident/scandal.

    If it was applied (the ban), most probably we wouldn’t have to witness these new amateur errors from a great natural talent like Hamilton.

    1. 6 is too much. I will say one or two.

    2. Except he shouldn’t have got the two penalties and therefore would not have made the remarks. One of the reasons Todt is not going up in my view.

  18. I feel Lewis feeds of victorys, pole positions and accolades, he’s what John Watson described as a “hot rod”, who wants a fast car and wants to take it as fast as it can. When he doesn’t get it, he gets frustrated, commits errors, loses self confidence, doesn’t win, gets even more frustrated, commits even more errors….. ad infinitum. It’s an infinite loop that Lewis needs to get out of, by better mentality and self management.

    I think that you are correct, but I will said that young drivers are all the same.

    Teh worst time fir Vettel last year were after his car trouble at the beginning of the year. You could see he was desperate to gaing back the points that he has lost over this troubles. But I do think that RBR and his father, were better at supporting Sebastian at this time wich allowed him to gain momentum at the end of the year and win the WDC. Vettel has also gain a fair amount of adviser amount old school drivers, like Schumi, Marko, Lauda, Berger and even Bernie is at hand to give him advice.

    Hamilton has lost his support system. It must be really weird to talk with your dad about your troubles when you fired him. The Pussy Cat Doll his hardly a strong figure in his life (and I find so disturbing that they are together, but thats my problem). I also think taht the fact that Hamilton had a winning car sinc the start of his career didn´t give him time to mature and to know how to lose. Vettel spend time at Toro Rosso, Alonso was at Minardi and Button was in a lot of middle pack team.

    He will mature after this. Even when I´m not his biggest fan I can´t said that he will never win another tittle again.

  19. I don’t like Hamilton, never have and never will. For me one of the main reasons of his problems are the fact that he began his career in a top team. Not sure if there have been really succesfull drivers in F1 (more than one WDC) that have started their careers in a top team. And the reason is that you are spoiled from the get go, always expecting to be on pole and winning races and you get dissappointed and frustrated when things get wrong, specially with McLaren that are the most consistent top team on the grid.

    1. I think Fangio started in a top team immediately, didn’t he?

  20. His problem? Doesn’t look around of him.

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