Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, 2012

Hamilton hushed over Sutil criticism

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, 2012
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, 2012

In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton keeps quiet as Adrian Sutil brands him a “coward” for not appearing as a witness at his trial in Germany.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Sutil: Hamilton is a coward (The Telegraph)

“Lewis is a coward, I don’t want to be friends with someone like that. For me, he is not a man. Even his father sent me a (text message) wishing me luck at the trial. I got nothing from Lewis. He changed his mobile number. I couldn’t reach him.”

McLaren gag Lewis Hamilton after Adrian Sutil brands him ‘a coward’ (The Guardian)

“A McLaren spokesman intervened and said: ‘We’ve been told Lewis shouldn’t really go there because it might go under appeal, so can we move on to the next question”, to which the 27-year-old Hamilton added: “I’ll listen to him.'”

Pay-drivers ‘absurd’ – Massa (ESPN)

“Today, there are only four teams that can afford to operate without drivers that bring money. It’s an absurd situation and I don’t think it’s good for F1 and especially the young drivers. Even if you get very good results in the formulas below (F1), you either have to be lucky or have money in order to get a seat. That’s not F1.”

Tittle-tattle from the F1 world (Joe Saward)

“The latest rumours from the F1 world suggest that Giedo Van der Garde is about to be named as the Caterham F1 Team test driver, unless Vitaly Petrov comes up with money to take over Jarno Trulli?s drive. The word is that there was a deal between Petrov and Caterham, but that the promised money has yet to arrive from Russia. It is said that one of the reasons that Petrov lost his job at Lotus F1 Team (the old Renault F1) was that his money took a long time to appear.”

Maranello white-out (Ferrari)

“It now looks as though there is little chance of carrying out the planned promotional filming featuring action shots of the car at the Fiorano track: even if the snow was to stop it?s hard to imagine that the escape roads could be cleared of their blanket of snow which is gradually building up.”

Follow F1 news as it breaks using the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app.

Comment of the day

Joey-Poey on Martin Whitmarsh’s hope F1 will crack the American market:

Amusing that he chose to mention both soccer and F1 (and called it soccer, I thought it was football to you guys?).

Neither of those “world sports” have truly permeated the American consciousness yet. We?re aware of them, no doubt, but ask an average person off the street to name one player or driver and you?re likely to get a blank stare.

I do agree with him that if they want to tackle it and really corner the market, they’ve got to promote it more. But more than that, it has to be made more accessible here.

Of course NASCAR is popular when most states have a race and you?re likely to get more than one opportunity to be within driving distance of one. Two races a year will work to start with since the hardcore fans will make the journey.

But if it’s going to get bigger than that, it?s going to take a combination of being accessible by location and mentally/culturally accessible. Drivers don’t live and work over here. They don’t even show up much over here (The Tony Stewart/Lewis Hamilton car swap was a great idea to give F1 presence).

Even the teams rarely have a car over here. Red Bull are the only ones I can think of who?ve brought one for people to see: out at the new Circuit of the Americas and bringing the RB7 at the Detroit Auto Show. Two Grands Prix will at least give them the incentive to improve the accessibility to American fans and I hope they capitalise on it.

From the forum

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On this day in F1

The Lotus T128 was seen in the flesh for the first time on this day last year:

Image ?? McLaren

158 comments on “Hamilton hushed over Sutil criticism”

  1. I read that same rant by Sutil in the Sun as well. not sure whether to believe the ‘coward’ and ‘he is not a man’ comments as well. Hamilton’s got enough on his plate to focus on at this time, though…

    1. Typos were responsible for that poor grammar…

      I’ll also jump in before someone criticises Massa – I agree with him! When he says 4 out of 12 teams like it helps you realise.

      1. I will be surprised if Massa doesn’t join their ranks at the end of the year. Might be why he’s taking a sudden interest!

      2. “Today, there are only four teams that can afford to operate without drivers that bring money,” Massa told Totalrace. “It’s an absurd situation and I don’t think it’s good for F1 and especially the young drivers. Even if you get very good results in the formulas below (F1), you either have to be lucky or have money in order to get a seat. That’s not F1.”

        Felipe says only 4 teams (presumably the top 4 from 2011) pick purely on talent, but:

        Lotus are fielding a former champion known for demanding high wages and last year’s GP2 champion (a “young driver”. I’d say they were picked on talent shown in past F1 seasons and in junior categories.

        Force India picked Hulkenberg, the driver ditched by Williams because he wanted to be selected on his talent.

        STR’s former and present drivers get Red Bull backing- given to them largely because of their potential.

        And although Caterham aren’t the wealthiest of teams, weren’t Trulli/Kovalainen hired because they are race-winning veterans? There are a few “pay-drivers” on the grid, but not all of them are unworthy of being in F1, and well over half the grid in my opinion, were picked purely or mostly on talent.

        There has always been an element of luck involved when someone gets into the sport ahead of similarly gifted drivers, because there are always more drivers trying to get in than there are seats available. It’s just up to the driver to perform in whatever machine they get to use in order to get promoted, or fail and get sacked. That is F1.

        1. I believe that you are correct with regard to Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes.

          The second seat at Lotus is known to have carried a price tag of €2-3 million due to an interview with Bruno Senna by the BBC in Brazil last year – mild by pay-driver standards (and enough to enable talent to be a partial factor), but still a pay driver. I suspect they could have had two drivers on modest salaries but they opted for one very expensive driver and a subsidising driver instead.

          Force India doesn’t have any pay race-drivers now – Adrian Sutil was definitely a pay-driver in his early years, partly due to a pre-existing contract, but it’s not clear if he was still one in 2010 and 2011. Paul di Resta partly got in because it helped the team negotiate a reduction in its fees to Mercedes – not a traditional pay driver role, but some may interpret it as such. Jules Bianchi probably is bringing some funds to the table as 3rd driver.

          Toro Rosso are a strange case. They’re probably pay drivers, but the sponsor is in the same group as the team and has a wide choice of drivers. The only sense in which talent may be impaired by the funding is if a non-Red Bull-backed driver couldn’t get in – at which point it’s a problem of politics, not pay as such.

          Williams, Sauber, Caterham, Marussia and Hispania appear to be under varying levels of compulsion with regard to taking pay drivers irrespective of talent. Caterham is parlaying that problem for the moment by having a small army of paying testers (something Lotus also does), but unlike Lotus would probably have to continue doing so irrespective of who it picked for its race drivers. Sauber could probably take one driver on a modest salary, but given how its two small-scale-pay-drivers are doing I don’t see much point. The other three teams now appear to need two pay drivers of the type traditionally associated with the term (with regard to funding, at least – Pedro Diniz proved that lots of money does not always equal an absence of talent).

          If Felipe meant there were only 4 teams taking all their drivers on pure talent, then he’d be right. However, the picture elsewhere is more complicated than implied by his comments.

          1. MagillaGorilla
            2nd February 2012, 21:57

            Also let’s not for get that Petrov was a pay driver along with Senna, the comments from @David-A are a bit skewed. Pastor is the worst one of the pay drivers, didn’t show much the first year but we can blame the car this time but this is the same guy that was in GP2 for quite some time compared to those he is on the grid against. Vitaly, Senna, Sutil, Buemi, Algasueri, Grosjean (nationality is a factor too), Pic, Perez is on the same level as Pastor when it comes to sponsors. However, I do believe that Perez is a good driver that can become a force. I think the four teams Massa is talking about are HRT, Virgin, Sauber and Williams as far as those who need pay drivers to live in F1.

          2. @MagillaGorilla – Massa was referring to four teams that don’t need pay drivers- Ferrari, Red Bull, Mclaren and Merecedes.

            But considering the drivers I pointed out, and that you’ve only come up with 9, I stick by the assessment that much less than half of the grid are true “pay drivers” who were picked more on sponsorship than on talent.

      3. Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari, Mercedes, Lotus, Force India, Sauber, Toro Rosso and Caterham don’t have pay drivers, in my opinion. Maybe you could count the STR guys as pay-drivers because they have RBR sponsorship, but their results in lower series are impressive.

        1. Torro Rosso? No, but they are only there to feed Red Bull.

          Hate to say it, but that’s like being paid to pay the team.

    2. @electrolite Well, if the whole thing was caught on CCTV, I doubt Hamilton could have done much for him but offer morale support.

      1. They say that a Mclaren PR guy even stop question about it to Hamilton. I wonder if Sutil maybe wanted him to tell a little “lie” to help his friend and Mclaren after the Australian GP events 2 years ago might not have been happy with that view and gave clear instructions to Lewis or in general they didn’t want him to be messing with such things.
        The video is also an issue. If there is a video no testimony really matters now does it?

        1. @solo I guess a video doesn’t record the audio (or with any degree of trustworthy quality) so witnesses could still be called to see how things escalated, how the argument transpired etc…

        2. @Solo

          Hamilton didn’t go, he didn’t support his friend.

          I don’t blame Sutil one bit for being angry. And I’ll be honest, I find your accusation offensive. Unless you can show me some significant evidence to support your claim, I think it’s a bit much to accuse people of that.

          1. Not going is one thing. Not explaining why is quite another. A quick call to say “Sorry, my team won’t let me come – good luck!” would have gone a long way.

          2. I made no accusation and you finding anything offensive is ridiculous since you are not involved.
            I don’t get why i should show evidence of anything, besides i wasn’t making an argument than that’s what it is but i was simply wondering. You are the one that’s certain that Sutil is right then you are the one who needs to give the evidence.
            We all know that Hamilton didn’t went but we know nothing of why.
            For all we know him testifying might have done more harm than good to Sutil.

    3. The coward bit and “he’s no man” are actually proper translations of what Sutil said to the german tabloid “BILD.”
      He seems genuinely ******.

      Here’s the actual german article.


      The article also mentioned Lewis sent a written statement, in which he claims to have seen nothing in that very moment.

  2. Doesn’t Massa’s saying crash against those from Ferrari? I mean, after all, Ferrari left the FOTA over disagreements with the RRA.

    If they cap the budget from those teams, then it’d not be that necessary for drivers to bring money…

    (TBH, I didn’t care about FOTA-Ferrari/Red Bull and all the fuss about the RRA back then so I’m no expert on the subject… but just saying!)

    1. Even if you get very good results in the formulas below (F1), you either have to be lucky or have money in order to get a seat. That’s not F1.

      That is F1 Felipe, I’m afraid to say!

    2. @fer #65, The danger as I see it is that F1 ownership is being marketed as an entertainment production, just like a movie with the ultimate goal of making a lot of money, given that attitude even a spending cap will not stop owners looking to maximise income by having drivers pay several million dollars to drive for them. A spending cap just makes it easier for them to project how many millions of dollars they will be taking out of the sport each year and this will drive up the value of teams regardless of their results. This of course is short term thinking which is rife in these days of “Brand marketing” and performance bonus’ and “golden parachutes” and will lead to the demise of F1 as the ultimate development series in motorsport and make it just another motorsport circus.

      1. Well, if they promoted themselves better (as I said earlier in the Whitmarsh post), they’d get more money and everything.

        FOTA, FOM, FIA, should hire an american from NASCAR to promote F1.

        1. @Fer no.65 Sounds like you and Bernie should get together and think up bigger and better special effects to entertain the fans, like track sprinklers, a wall of flame etc.

  3. I agree with Joey-Poey. I think it would also go a long way to growing the sport in the US if a few more races were scheduled at a reasonable hour of the day for the majority of the country, as it is, the majority of races are on at 8AM on the East Coast, but for those of us on the West Coast they’re at 5AM. That may be fine for diehard fans, but try convincing someone who’s not into the sport that they should get up at 4:30 on a Sunday morning to catch the grid walk before the race. Maybe a European night race?

    1. @US_Peter, I also agree 100% with Joey-Poey but I don’t think TV scheduling is a problem because if you have SpeedTV, the F1 broadcaster ( cable ) in the US, you have the ability to record the program to watch at a time that suits you.

      1. That’s not actually true. Many people (myself included) with SPEED have a DVR, but there are plenty who have the channel who do not have DVRs. I don’t know about Comcast, but both DirecTV and Dish network offer receivers that don’t have DVRs built in.

        1. Yes, I have SpeedTV and no DVR. It doesn’t really matter in my case, though, because I must watch all sessions live. MUST. ;-)

          I’ll admit, though, that the early-morning-race issue is one of the main obstacles I’ve encountered when trying to turn my friends into F1 fans. I personally don’t get why people would be interested in doing anything else early on a Sunday morning, but some people are strange that way…

        2. If you are going to pay $50+ a month for cable or satellite the extra $10 for a dvr equipped “box” is a no-brainer.

      2. I have to disagree with DVRs being the answer to the time issue. Yes, DVRs are in a large number of homes in the US, bt the race times are a biggest problem for US adoption. With 2 US races, Canada and Brazil, that makes only 4 of the races during a “normal” US time. I think this (not the EU culture or the road circuits) will be the biggest problem with F1 catching on in the US. When people are flipping channels and catch the race, that’s great. They can get interested and maybe next time they will record it. But if it’s not on at a normal hour, they won’t even know it was on.

        I think the only way to help this situation is that Fox (Speed’s parent) has to show ALL races on a time delay to attract fans. To appease the devoted, show it live on Speed and then later on Fox. Fox did show a couple of races time delayed this year. But they seemed to get their feet wet only. They need to jump all in and show them all. That way fans get hooked, tell their friends to start watching and then you build a fan base. FOM desperately needs to get in touch with Fox and figure out what it will take to get all the races broadcast during the day. Likely it will take some $. If they don’t, all this talk about building the US market and fan base is a load of crap.

        I got 6 more people interested in F1 last year having them come over to my house and watch DVR recorded, time delayed races (the BBQ and beer helped). 1 to 6 ratio is pretty good I think.

        1. I really think it was easier for me to follow F1 when living in Guadeloupe (East coast time zone) than it is now. Nothing better than a Sunday morning breakfast while enjoying F1. It doesn’t break the week end up as a 14H00 or 16H00 Grand prix does. I feel for the west coast though, as European races are too early to be qualified for breakfast, but at least for a third of America, I don’t think the time zone is an issue.

    2. Sports franchises seems to be completely oblivious to time problems. The NFL also keeps wanting to make itself popular in Europe, but a lot of games are at completely unacceptable times (SuperBowl at 01:30 CET? Wut?)

      1. Totally agree with that. There is talk of a Super Bowl in London. What time do you suppose kick off will be? 11pm local time? Right now kick off is 6:30pm Eastern so everyone can get good and drunk by the start.

    3. I need to start by saying that I love the US and the people, I have visited over 20 times and will be back again in a few weeks. I know how frustrating it can be to watch an F1 GP given the time difference. I watched the Singapore GP 6am CST in a bar in Nashville with some other fans so it is possible.

      The US and Canada are important world markets but not everything can be organised to suit North American demand, there is the rest of the world to think about!

      Die hard fans, like me, will get up at any time to watch F1 and travel half way across the world to attend an event. Trying to capture the hearts of the casual fans is a challenge, but across the whole world not just in North America.

  4. I think it’s laughable that Sutil has the nerve to call Lewis a coward… isn’t he the one who glassed Lux in a nightclub because Lux didn’t take kindly to him making a move on his girl? And what did he do afterwards? He jumped on a plane & hightailed it out of China! & then he did everything humanly possible to avoid apologizing in person! You don’t stab someone in the neck (24 stitches worth of stabbing, dangerously close to the carotid artery) and send emails saying you’re sorry… yeah, Adrian… that’s brave… Besides, they have security footage of the incident. Maybe Hammy’s testimony would do him more harm than good. He sure as hell wasn’t going to lie under oath about it, was he?
    Lewis has had more than his day in court (over things he wasn’t directly involved in or responsible for) and has had his reputation severely damaged over incidents he was wasn’t directly responsible for either (people are still calling him a liar over the whole “lie-gate” fiasco, & all he did was what his team told him to do). Coupled with a somewhat dismal showing last year, the last thing he needs is to get involved in an assault case. I’d be extremely surprised if the legal team over at McLaren haven’t advised him to stay the hell away from it also: they need him focused on his driving this year & away from any negative publicity & distractions. Plus I don’t think it was a made up story that he had contractual obligations, with the launch of the new car coming up: unlike Sutil, Lewis has an F1 drive this year, & has his own career to worry about.
    I don’t blame Hamilton one bit for avoiding this mess. There’s no rule that says when a friend makes a bonehead decision you’re supposed to follow him off the proverbial cliff, or stand up in defense of his actions… especially if you don’t agree with or condone said actions. Adrian screwed up, & is now looking for someone to throw stones at. That’s all this is, IMO.

    1. isn’t he the one who glassed Lux in a nightclub because Lux didn’t take kindly to him making a move on his girl?

      I don’t know — is he? Where did you hear/read that? (The part about the motive, I mean.)

      1. I have hear and read a lot of rumors… they were fighting for agirl, for F1 results and even over their sexuality… I think we will never know.

        I don´t know about why Hamilto really wasn´t able to attend the court … I agree that it seems that Sutil was counting on his testimony.

        One thing is for sure, If I were in the middle of a trial I would expect my friends to be by my side, or at leas give me a call or answer my phone calls….

        1. MagillaGorilla
          2nd February 2012, 22:07

          If you’re innocent, then yeah I can see why you’d want that. Anyone who is in that situation would. If you’re guilty and you want people to come to your side to lie or detract from what really happened, well the moral are warped. Sutil is a grown man and better yet had an F1 drive, so why is it that he’d do such a boneheaded move.

    2. If what you say is true, then don’t you believe a “friend” would have explained the situation instead of cutting all contact to the extent that he changed his number? The decision may have been the correct one, but the way Hamilton handled the situation is unacceptable considering that they “were” good friends.

      1. Bull. It’s called “prejudicing” a trial. You keep silent until you can or if you make an appearance. Contempt of Court charges are never funny.

    3. you sound like lux’s lawyer, you are only giving one side of the story. sutil has his side of the story, and its obvious that he needed hamilton as a witness to help his case. and since hamilton is a friend of his, that makes him a coward in my book also. you would probably say the same thing if you had a friend that you needed to attend a court case to help you, and then he doesnt show and you get a seveer penalty. for all we know hamiltons testimony might have put sutil in the clear, otherwise sutil would say these things. hamtilton being a coward may just have ruined a career of a great driver.

      1. The thing is Lux ended up with a glass in his neck. The question who put it there. If the prosecution was able to prove it was Sutil that put it there, then what is the point of Hamilton showing up to testify the same thing?

        1. What Pinball said.

          If Hamilton turns up and says Sutil is my mate and didn’t do it the glass disappears from his neck and everyone forgets what happens?
          When you glass someone – (a real cowards move) you lose the right to take the moral high ground.
          Why would Lewis Perjure himself to protect Sutil? He’s 27 years old and has learned his harsh lessons enough to stop doing obviously stupid things, maybe Sutil should follow suit?

        2. The question never was who put the glass in Lux’s neck. Sutil never denied the incident. This was all about whether it was Sutil’s intention to cause harm to Lux. Sutil claims he wanted to throw champagne in Lux’s face but ended up cutting Lux by accident. Here witnesses can help to give their view on the plausibility of this explaination.

          1. MagillaGorilla
            2nd February 2012, 22:12

            If it was such an accident, then why hustle out of that scene and not try to explain it more clearly? Reading the your comment and the actual articles from it last year the way it went down from Sutil’s words doesn’t make any sense. Also it still shows a poor judgement of character no matter what it was, I could be fluffy freakin pillows it doesn’t matter. Sutil acted out and is old enough to realize that he should just walk away.

      2. Cases in real life are not like cases on TV. It makes sense to follow orders especially coming from your High Profile employer. Ever heard of Breach of Contract.

    4. Nonsense. That’s as one sided comment as can be. Besides, it’s an axiom that friends are known not in the time of good life, but in times of hardship. I completely agree with Sutil that Lewis proved himself not to be a friend. This is the type I most hate: those who are happy to hang out with you, but when you’re in trouble and really need something they disappear, “change their number”.

      I’m not defending Sutil and what he has done-he shouldn’t have had. But Lewis should have been there with him and tried to help him. That’s what friends are for if they’re indeed friends.

      1. Let’s say I have a friend, a really good friend. One day I see him stabbing someone. It’s bad, but the worst part is, that it looks like it’s not an accident. It looks to me like that’s what he wanted to do. Granted, my friend is drunk and the other guy is an *******, but still.

        Now, as a friend with a conscience, what should I do? Should I go to court? What should I say there?

        1. In that scenario, I’d go to the court and tell the truth, kindly but without contradicting what I understood to have happened. Your friend might not thank you but it is more likely to be forgiven than the assumptions generated by absence (or indeed perjuring yourself).

          Of course, McLaren may not have wanted Lewis to speak to the court at all (it certainly sounds that way), which would have limited Lewis’ options. This is where staying in contact can help remove misunderstandings. Even if you and your friend cannot discuss the case (and a quick explanation of why discussion is not possible helps), unrelated topics would surely be possible…

      2. Yes your friend should help you but if you are a friend too you should ask from your friends help that you know it won’t bring them misery for helping you. If Sutil wanted Hamilton to help him by putting himself in a bad position of making a not completely truthful testimony that could bite him back then Sutil was a bad friend too and maybe that’s why Hamilton wrote him off as a friend and changed phone numbers.

      3. You know what friends don’t do to each other, either?

        They don’t glass somebody in a nightclub and then attempt to drag their mates into the situation.

      4. Drama at it’s finest. Oh what fun.

        Thing is you can label Lewis as a coward, but if Sutil considered himself his friend, why do expect him to attend in a trial where Lewis could do no help, while hampering his new season preparations? I wouldn’t expect my extremely busy friend to fly through half of Europe just to sit and listen as i get sentenced.

        We don’t know what exactly happened here. If for instance Adrian would make a move on Lux’s girl and then to make matters worse threw a glass in his neck, i certainly wouldn’t say a word in his defense even if he was my friend.

        I’m not judging, i just try to say that all those comments on who’s the real coward are pointless until we won’t know what REALLY happened there.

    5. +1
      The fact Sutil can’t seem to accept responsibility, shut up and show some contrition, or a bit of humility that he nearly killed someone through his own recklessness and was lucky not to get landed a jail sentence, makes his public condemnation of Hamilton very hollow. Even if he feels let down, it’s cheap to tell his supposed (former) friend this via the media when he knows Hamilton probably can’t reply.

      1. Adrian already did the “accepting responsibility and showing contrition” bit; that happened soon after the incident came to light. The case has always been a matter of mitigation. And by the sound of it Lewis hadn’t given Adrian much choice in communication channels…

        1. We’re talking about someone who left a huge gash in someone’s neck, requiring two dozen stitches, and walked away. Like I said, he’s lucky he’s rich enough to pay for the lawyers to ensure he’s not now in prison. I’ve no idea of Hamilton’s motives in not going to the trial, aside from those publicized, but turning this story into another Hamilton bash is seriously pathetic all round.

    6. A bit off the topic here, but @Franz

      people are still calling him a liar over the whole “lie-gate” fiasco, & all he did was what his team told him to do

      Which was to lie, so, to me, he’s a liar. That’s no excuse…

      Massa also did was his team told him to do in Germany ’10 and he was – rightly – criticized by that.

  5. Aww Poor Sutil.. Your a big boy mate you can handle ya self. It was a good thing lewis didnt go, it would be a media Frenzy and turn the light on lewis if he did go.. And who’s adrian anyway the angry man doesnt have a seat?. Well Done ADRIAN.

  6. The word is that there was a deal between Petrov and Caterham, but that the promised money has yet to arrive from Russia.

    Petrov’s backing comes from the Russian government. Right now, the Russian government is under the spotlight of scrutiny as there have been democratic protests across the country. They’re probably a little bit more concerned with getting their house in order than they are with funding Petrov’s career.

    It is said that one of the reasons that Petrov lost his job at Lotus F1 Team (the old Renault F1) was that his money took a long time to appear.

    The money being paid to the team was being used to pay off Genii’s debt to Vladimir Antonov, a Russian banker based in Lithuania (who was later arrested on fraud and embezzlement charges), and so the Russian government probably wasn’t enthusiastic about the idea. The Malaysian government suspended the payments from Group Lotus to the team for the same reason. It’s the main reason why they dropped Nick Heidfeld – the team needed the money frmo Senna’s sponsors to pay Antonov.

  7. “Today, there are only four teams that can afford to operate without drivers that bring money. It’s an absurd situation and I don’t think it’s good for F1 and especially the young drivers. Even if you get very good results in the formulas below (F1), you either have to be lucky or have money in order to get a seat. That’s not F1.”

    The irony of this statement is that teams are forced to take pay drivers because costs are so high. And costs are so high because of the manufacturer spending wars; there was a time twenty years ago when you could start up a team for as little as $500,000, but today you need at least $50,000,000 in order to get settled. It’s ironic that Massa should say this, because he drives for Ferrari – the team that regularly spends more money than anyone else on Formula 1. So for Massa to criticise teams for taking pay drivers, it’s a bit of a “let them eat cake!” moment.

    1. @Jason you are by far the most knowledgeable person I have met on the interweb

      1. Everytime Keith put a new article I will look first the comments of Prisoner Monkey. Can’t find him now but wait here’s Jason :)

        1. Confusing innit!

    2. That’s not F1.

      Actually, I think that’s very much F1!

      1. I might be Sparta as well.

    3. Perhaps the drivers like Massa could chip in and take a pay cut. Isnt he on about 20 million euros?

    4. It has always been a part of F1. It is probably the most expensive sport in the world and as a result needs cash flow. This is the case in F1 I am afraid and it is odd that Felipe Baby has only just realised that this is how it is.

  8. Wouldn’t it be great to have an FIA run team to put a local hero in as a wildcard every race :)
    Obviously with how competitive this world is and how much investment is needed to build a car it’s not possible.

    Or a 3th Ferrari for Tony Stewart in the US GP :)

  9. Joey-Poey’s thoughts about US appearances got me wondering…how often do the drivers and teams pass through the USA on the way to and from races. Not just Australia but I’m sure there are weird and wonderful routes for the Chinese and other Asian Grands Prix.

    Wouldn’t take much to fly a demo car out and get some drivers to meet up with it for a few events…would it?

    1. I doubt they would pass through the USA for any races apart from perhaps Brazil and Canada – but even then they will probably have direct flights.

      From Europe to Australia, the USA is a long way out of the way, they would probably go through Asia or the Middle East as basically all Australia-Europe flights go.

    2. I would say maybe once tops, which would be for Canada, if the direct flights were too full. For every other GP there would be flights aplenty from Europe.

  10. you either have to be lucky or have money in order to get a seat.

    What Massa is saying is sad indeed, but I would say he falls into the lucky category. He has never impressed me throughout the years and never really thought he deserved that Ferrari seat. I may be a bit harsh but I will at least say he should race in F1 in a midfield team.

    1. Massa is right that he never had to buy a seat.

      His manager happened to be the son of the Ferrari boss. So, totally beyond any possible reproach then.

  11. I remember the last driver to make a comment about “pay drivers” was Jarno Trulli

    Two drivers that bring all the talent of a pay driver, with none of the money.

  12. i don’t think attendance is the critical factor in evaluating f1’s success in the states. many times more people will watch sports on tv (home/pub/whatever) than will ever attend an event in person. speed’s level of commitment to f1 coverage all these years has been abysmal compared to itv, then bbc, and now will be humiliated by their sister-company sky.

    speed’s priority isn’t sports coverage – it’s a profitable, repetitious malaise of ultra-cheap content and more advertising than you can comprehend. to compound it, some “premium” events like monaco are carried over the air by fox and retain the negatives while speaking to people as if they’ve never watched a car race before.

    i think tv and car racing go together exceptionally well. now that fom has joined the 21st century, it’s time to expect much more from the US broadcaster.

    1. I agree. For such an advanced nation, the availability on demand for SPEED subscribers should go without saying. More extensive pre and post race coverage would go a long way to growing interest as well. Hopefully NewsCorp will realize the profits from Sky and show a little more love for F1 on SPEED… not keeping my fingers crossed though.

      1. I agree ever since Rupert bought Speed to challenge ESPNs coverage of NASCAR it has become a crap TV station with really bad habits like advertising that it broadcasts ” every minute of the action in F1 ” during live coverage of F1 races, Hobbs and Matchett are excellent commentators but I suspect they will lose their jobs to synchronized broadcast of the Sky coverage. If Speed didn’t have F1, MotoGp and WSB, I wouldn’t subscribe .

  13. Lewis is a coward, I don’t want to be friends with someone like that.

    Maybe Lewis doesn’t want to be friends with someone who glasses other people.

    1. Yep. I bet he just doesn’t want to get involved after all the stuff last year. Also, perhaps he actually saw Sutil glass Lux and so doesn’t want to go under oath and say otherwise.

      I used to like Sutil, but he has been prosecuted and needs to shut up basically.

    2. Yes looks like the ex-F1 driver and convicted criminal was expecting Ham to lie in court in the name of “friendship” rather than attend the most important media event of the pre-season.

      I just hope Hamilton simply ignores the guy totally and remains focused on the job in hand.

      1. +1 Lewis should just walk away the better person at the end if lying because of ‘friendship’ was the case.

    3. More than likely there are legal reasons for Lewis’ silence.

  14. If I can buy pay per view of boxing from around the world. If I can pay to watch full test series cricket. If I can buy packages to damn near watch every EPL game or baseball from Japan. If I can do all these things as a US F1 fan, then why in the world can’t I get a channel that can offer me all three practice sessions, qualifying, the race and the podium commercial free? I’ll even do this online but that seems something of a waste of the beautiful HD picture presently on offer.

    1. SPEED On Demand? Get me Fox’s number!

  15. Massa’s obviously wouldn’t including Ferrari in his 4 teams considering how Alonso got his drive!

    1. In that case, If I were the team owner, would have hired 2 pay drivers (of that caliber) then

    2. Are you honestly trying to imply that Alonso’s seat is not based on merit and that he had to buy it? 0.o

      1. Well it is factually correct that he required Santander money to buy out Kimi’s contract, but of course his seat is based on merit as well.

        Maybe my original sarcasm was too subtle.

  16. Sutil’s quotes only confirm my impression that he’s a guy who desperately wants to show the world how brave and masculine he is.

    Talking about Massa’s attitude towards pay drivers, I think the issue is a bit more complicated than that. Is Schumacher nowadays a pay driver? Seemingly not, of course. But Joe Saward, for example, believes that Mercedes keeps Michael just because he helps the manufacturer sell more road cars, not because he’s still a good driver. I think Saward might be right. And would Massa still be with Ferrari if the team really wanted to have the two best drivers that they could get?

    1. And Hamilton’s behavior only proves my impression that he’s not a real person, but a Mclaren created and guided racing robot who knows nothing about real life and needs to be guided how to act by the Mclaren PR machine, instead of by normal human concepts like, say, true friendship.

    2. For me this are the words of a person that feels hurt and scared… heck I will be if I were him…

      My point is if Hamilton, why he himself wouldn´t call Sutil and explain himself?

      1. @celeste I think Adrian’s definitely very disappointed and probably feels hurt, too. I also don’t blame Adrian, actually I like him but simply have got the impression that he’s afraid to show any weaknesses when finding himself in the public eye.

        There could many reasons why Hamilton didn’t go to the court or call Adrian but I don’t think it’s just because McLaren told him what (not) to do. I wish I could have been in that Chinese nightclub on that April night so I wouldn’t have to speculate :) I guess this also reminds us that it’s hard to stay friends in such a complex and competitive world as F1 is.

  17. Sutil doesn’t get it.

    Mclaren determines where Hamilton can go or not go. That is the contract he has. Which is why you don’t see Hamilton paragliding or jet skiing.
    Mclaren may also feel that association with such a case might be dmaging to their image. It doesn’t matter if you participated or not, the press will distort it to make it seem like their driver was party to it.
    If you attend once you are then compelled to attend whenever you are required to, which could coincide with one of Mclaren’s event which can include races.

    Immediately after the incident, Hamilton had said he didn’t see what happened. Of what use is his testimony?

    1. Your job doesn’t preclude going to court, Especially if your excuse is a press conference. Hamilton could have gone but chose not to (Rightly in my opinion)

    2. I don’t think how what you said contradicts Sutil’s opinion of Hamilton. If you choose not to help a friend, because your employer (illegally) tells you not to, then you indeed are a coward.

      I’m not sure if Hamilton could have been any use to Sutil, and I certainly do not want to judge his decision, but my personal opinion is, that they both make a bit of fools out of themselves.

      Sutil for wasting his career in a disco-brawl and Hamilton for once again acting like a corporate doll by saying he has press duties to fullfill.

      1. Just ‘turning up’ at a trial doesn’t help anyone. If he actually had some contribution to make to the case he would have be called as a witness. The fact that at no point has anyone said he was called means he almost certainly wasn’t of interest to anyone involved.

        Has Sutil called all his friends in the world and called anyone who wasn’t at the trial a coward? Has he not got any other friends? This has either been taken out of context or has been made up.

        Now the armchair experts are analysing the minds of Lewis and Adrian because of something written in the Sun. Seeing as none of us actually know what happened for sure these comments just show where people’s prejudices lie…

        1. He was called a witness. And he gave a written statement, that he didn’t see anything in that moment.

        2. Giving a written statement would have been to the police, who would have interviewed him after the incident. If his written 9and sworn) statement says he didn;t see anything he would be of no value to either the prosecution or the defence so would be unlikely to need to appear in court.

          Was he actually served with a subpoena? If so, I can’t see McLaren refusing to allow him to attend, that must be a breach of law??

      2. And what happens if the next court appearance is on the same date as one of his races?
        If he doesn’t appear in court he has a whole new problem including the risk of imprisonment, if he goes to court and snubs the race, he hasn’t fulfilled his obligation to his employer and sponsors.

        So much for friendship, why didn’t Sutil wait to find out if he was abducted by aliens before making his comments.

  18. I’m not sure what to make of the Sutil/Hamilton situation. Sutil clearly feels betrayed, but I’d like to know why Hamilton has decided to cut off all sources of contact with Sutil. I think Hamilton could have at least said something to Sutil. If Hamilton doesn’t want to be friends anymore, then he could tell Sutil rather than leaving him in the dark.

    1. That’s the bit I don’t understand either.

      “Listen Adrian, I didn’t see anything, because I looked the other way. Sorry, can’t help you. Good luck.”

      What’s the problem?

      1. Exactly what I think…

        1. “but I’d like to know why Hamilton has decided to cut off all sources of contact with Sutil.”

          If my mate bottled someones throat, i dont think i’d wanna be their mate either, let alone goto court and lie on his behalf.

          Anyone saying Hamilton is a coward _seriously_ needs to take a good look at themselves. You are pathetic. In NO other circumstances would you people be saying that its acceptable to big up someone who CLEARLY did something TERRIBLE.

          1. What makes you think that Hamilton would have to lie???

          2. That’s not the point and makes no sense.

            If Lewis knew Sutil did something terrible, then a proper person would testify against him. If he chooses not to -> coward.

            If Lewis saw it wasn’t Sutil’s fault and he decided not to testify -> bad friend AND coward.

            If he didn’t see anything to begin with, I don’t understand why couldn’t just simply tell him and had to cut the contact completely.

          3. Because at the end of the day, Lux got bottled, he needed **** loads of stitches in his neck, and he didn’t do it himself. Sutil did a terrible thing and in different circumstances, could have killed the guy. I’m pretty sure Sutil’s life wasnt in danger when he did it, which is the only circumstance i could ever defend someone who would do such a thing.

            At best, all Hamilton could have said was ‘lux was all up in adrians face so adrian retaliated.’

            Even if thats the case, Sutils actions are still not defensible.

            Hamilton does not need to associate himself with people like that.

          4. “That’s not the point and makes no sense.”

            It _is_ the point because im sure Sutil didn’t call Hamilton a coward for _not_ testifying _against_ him….

          5. So basically what you’re saying is that Lewis is no coward, because after Sutil ‘clearly’ (whatever…) did something terrible, Lewis bravely decided not to testify and then – even more bravely – decided to change his phone number so doesn’t have to explain himself to his former friend.

            Did I understand that right?

            I’m not calling Lewis a coward, I just don’t understand the situation, because clearly everyone here is missing something from the picture. Now cut the pro-Lewis flaming…

          6. “So basically what you’re saying is that Lewis is no coward, because after Sutil ‘clearly’ (whatever…) did something terrible, Lewis bravely decided not to testify”

            The point im arguing is that Sutil is calling Lewis a coward for not defending him, while now, people with their own agendas are trying to call Lewis a coward for not testifying _against_ him, basically, people are using any amunition they can to rubbish Lewis. Which is probably the reason why Lewis has kept away from this mess, he dosnt need to be dragged down with it.

            and while i’m here, why are you presuming Lewis changed his number because of this? where are you plucking that from? Is this another straw you’re grasping onto?

            It’s things like this that must make Lewis think ‘why do i bother’. someone does something in Lewis presence, has nothing to do with him, and yet its him everyone is now focusing on and using anything they can to bring him down.

          7. Oh dear… I have no agenda to “rubbish” Lewis. He’s very good at that himself. So he didn’t change his number because of that… Maybe. So what? He still didn’t find it necessary to talk to Adrian – a friend – why.

            Just on a sidenote, it has indeed something to do with him if he was the witness of an assault. You can’t walk by a crime and act like you didn’t see anything. That’s a crime in itself, IF a lie. Now please don’t (on purpose) interpret my wording as another try to talk Lewis down, because I’m sure it is entirely possible he didn’t really see how the fight broke out. I’m just saying…

          8. @N your argument sits on weak foundation. You say that Hamilton was right to cut all ties with Sutil? All well and good but why now? He didn’t cut ties with him straight after the incident and they were friendly throughout the season. Before the trial Lewis’s father sends Sutil a “good luck” message but Hamilton suddenly goes into hiding. No telling Adrian “sorry mate, you’ve made this mess-you’re on your own”, nothing. How’s that not cowardice? As I said your argument falls like a house of cards.

      2. “Listen Adrian, I didn’t see anything, because I looked the other way. Sorry, can’t help you. Good luck.” This is the typical attitude of a coward. If Sutil knew that Hamilton did’t see anything, i don’t think that he counted on his help. On the other hand, playing the victim in this problem won’t help Sutil at all. He wanted, i repeat, nothing but the truth.

  19. Sutil’s upset is very explainable. He didn’t ask Hamilton to do him a favor. Adrian wanted Hamilton’s testify in court because there is a place where THE TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH must said and perhaps, his testimony could change the sentence. But he was very comfortable …who knows…. maybe one day in the close or far future he could drive for Renault and….life is long. He is or he is not a coward ?

  20. One of the reasons f1 needs pay drivers is becasue teams like ferrari spend such gargantuan amounts. they have a team of 600 to build a car to finish 5th in a race. But massa is also wrong about f1 and pay drivers. Its always had them, its more that in the last 15 years the sport had moved away from them but post credit crunch has had to look at them again.

    Poor old Lewis, he cant buy a quiet life can he.

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