Hamilton: “No one controls me” after leaving McLaren

F1 Fanatic round-up

Lewis Hamilton, Ron Dennis, McLaren, Interlagos, 2008In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton says no one “controls” him now he has left McLaren.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Free at last: How Mercedes switch has left Lewis Hamilton relaxed and ready to win again (Daily Mirror)

Hamilton talks about how he feels free of the control exerted by his father and Ron Dennis, and refers to an incident three years ago where “in my personal life I was having someone saying things to me which was really affecting me… and unfortunately, it did affect me”.

Fernley: Gains hard to find (Sky)

“Apart from McLaren, who we know will come back and be as strong as always, for the rest of the teams there is not much left in these cars as they are today.”

Renault: no backing off for V6 switch (Autosport)

Renault Sport F1 deputy manging director Rob White: “We are very conscious that all the teams we currently supply expect us to be fully engaged and committed. I strongly believe that it needs to be business as usual on the race track in 2013.”

Bouris facing judgment, too (The Age)

“Some time in 2012, Delta Topco’s shareholding structure changed. The individual shareholders disappeared from the register and the company now has four times as many shares on issue, held in the names of a bewildering assortment of funds associated with CVC, JPMorgan, US vulture fund BlackRock, asset managers Waddell & Reed and insurer MassMutual.”

Vettel and Webber ‘will clash again’ (BBC)

John Watson: “I think the team have shown incredible weakness by not penalising their number one driver and they have now created a rod for their own back.”

Lewis Hamilton explains how an F1 steering wheel works (F1 Fanatic via YouTube)


Comment of the day

Sonia Luff has a particular reason to support Jack Harvey in GP3 this year:

I?m following Jack Harvey as he is a local boy for me. I don?t know him well personally but have met him at a friend’s house. He seems like a good lad and is really focused on his career.
Sonia Luff (@Sonia54)

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Peter Dixon!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Mike Spence lost his life on this day in 1968. He had taken over Jim Clark’s entry for the Indianapolis, Clark having lost his life earlier that year.

Spence was struck on the head by a wheel from his car after hitting the wall during practice at the speedway.

He had finished on the podium in Mexico three years earlier. Over the next two seasons Spence scored a series of fifth place finishes in a Reg Parnell-run Lotus and later for BRM at the wheel of their chronically unreliable H16-engined car.

Image ?? McLaren/Hoch Zwei

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132 comments on Hamilton: “No one controls me” after leaving McLaren

  1. Tango (@tango) said on 7th May 2013, 8:13

    I must say, some of the comments here (as always with Hamilton), sometimes get on my nerve.

    Somehow, we all lament that we do not have a James Hunt on the grid anymore. But as soon as a great driver acts naturally (and by that, I mean, like a human being), we, as in “the fans”, fall on him like a ton of bricks.

    At the time, Hunt could get away with smoking, boozing, having sex with the entire world, -allegedly- sniffing rails of powder, hitting marshalls and drivers alike and wow, what a likeable man he was. Hamilton has a “serious girl friend”, a dog, and the most extravagant stuff he does is recording his music and wearing a cap the wrong way round. Suddenly he does what we have all done many times (namely, ranting about parents / former boss, which we are indeed grateful for, even if it doesn’t stop us ranting anyway) and wow, what an ungrateful brat he is. He doesn’t even get half the leeway Webber or Raikkonen get. And lets be honest, most of the time, Kimi is just being plain rude.

    I believe great athletes can’t be what we (and their sponsors) would like them to be (perfect). So if for once, one of them would even try the slightest to act normally (or even extraordinarily, I don’t care), I’m all for it. And if by doing so he feels better, happier, it doesn’t even matter if it makes him quicker or not, it seems fair.

    • Yappy said on 7th May 2013, 10:17

      Gone are the days when a sportsman had 3 goals. To be good, money, lots of tail. You could get into a car drunk choofing a cigar with your pants at your ankles and win a race. You were called a man. Nowdays you have to be a role model. Apparently that’s what all the young talented people want to do. Be a role model and maybe play some sports on the side. Political correctness, when will it end?

    • Traverse (@) said on 7th May 2013, 11:24

      You sir hit the nail…on the head.

    • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 7th May 2013, 11:30

      @tango – Great comment. F1 is still a very conservative organisation, so whilst the Stewarts, the Mosses and Ecclestones love Button, “the Frome charmer”, “hip-hop Hamilton” is viewed with that alienated sense of suspicion more commonly seen among Mail readers. So whilst we embrace the “individuality” of the broody Alonso, opinionated Webber and rude Raikkonen, we claim that the celeb lifestyle of Hamilton is a “distraction”. There is something about Hamilton that will always be subjective, and I fear it is the very fact that Hamilton’s triumphant “rags to riches” tale has not come full circle, with his current glamorous lifestyle being incredibly removed from the working class one of his childhood. However the flak he gets from Moss and Stewart is something much more simple: jealousy. I was there at Autosport International when Jackie Stewart claimed that Hamilton’s lifestyle was an “immense distraction”, but instead of an experienced individual talking about a subject he loves, I saw a man depressed by the inevitability of coming events. In the coming years Lewis Hamilton will replace Jackie Stewart as the most successful British racing driver ever, that is now a certainty. I going to come clean. I voted Conservative, I also read the Telegraph, have a sizable rural abode and enjoy the great refreshing taste of a cucumber sandwich, but listen up Jackie, because I am loving seeing Hamilton being Hamilton. I don’t like tattoos, rap music or Nicole, but if Lewis does, then good for him. Rant over.

      • Traverse (@) said on 7th May 2013, 12:33

        You sir hit the nail…on the head.

      • kbdavies (@kbdavies) said on 7th May 2013, 13:37

        Well said Sir! Lewis always seems to get flak anythig he does, or says. You really have to start wondering why. He certainly is not the rudest driver (Kimi), nor the one with the worst attitude (Montoya), nor the laziest (Kimi), nor the most arrogant (Schumacher/ Vettel), nor did he ever live a playboy lifstyle (Button), nor the most scheming (Button/ Piquet), nor the most adept at playing mind games (Alonso), nor the most outspoken (Villneauve), nor the most boring (DiResta). Hell, he is not even the prettiest (Britney) …so why does he receive so much flak?? You really have to start wondering as there are no forthight clear answers.

        So is it ethnic background? His popstar girlfriend? His rapper friends? His inner city upbringing? His “swagger”? None of these answers are politically correct, so if anyone can elucidate me on a clear unprejudiced reason why Lewis Hmilton is so much disliked, and gives a reason that no other driver has ever been guilty of, then i would very much appreciate it. Thanks.

        • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 7th May 2013, 20:39

          @kbdavies – I’m sorry to tell you this, but no matter how much society paints itself as the liberal-lefty land of love and compassion, there’s still a whole load of prejudice out there. So unfortunately whilst you can search for factors beyond the ones you outlined, you will struggle to find one, other than the simple dynamic that is jealousy. Also both society and the media likes the moral of a “rags to riches” to be that its always better live an innocent life away from the corruption and complexity of a wealthy and glamorous lifestyle. Unfortunately this hasn’t been the case for Hamilton, so we all have to slump back into the crushing reality of how brilliant wealth and fame is when compared to obscurity and being poor. Oh, what a wonderful world we live in.

          • Jon Sandor (@jonsan) said on 7th May 2013, 21:03

            I’m sorry to tell you this, but no matter how much society paints itself as the liberal-lefty land of love and compassion, there’s still a whole load of prejudice out there.

            No kidding!

            “I hate that shiver of guilt, betrayal and personal disgust I have just experienced when I voted for Sebastian Vettel, which is something I have never done before.”

            Wow. Just, wow.

          • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 8th May 2013, 8:39

            @jonsan – Not getting your point. All you’re pointing out is my hatred of Sebastian Vettel, which I would’ve thought would be pretty obvious given my avatar. And at no point did I say I was a “liberal-lefty”; I’m quite the opposite, in fact I’d put myself closer to the Top Gear presenters on the political (and social) spectrum, than Ed “Wallace” Miliband.

        • Traverse (@) said on 7th May 2013, 23:38

          Excerpt from an interview Mark Webber gave the Independant in March 2008:

          “Also, his career has gone off like a rocket ship, but it won’t always be like that. He’s young and he’s black, which makes him unique in this sport, but that’s got a shelf life. He won’t stop being black but it will stop being a novelty. And he’ll find that some of the column inches, maybe even this season, are totally negative and totally incorrect. That’s not easy to deal with.”

          It would appear that Webber accurately predicted the intolerant and overly negative treatment that Lewis routinely receives (in comparison to other drivers).

          • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 8th May 2013, 8:45


            A Timeline of William Brierty’s Opinions on Mark Webber

            2012 British GP – I like Mark Webber
            2012 Brazilian GP – I like Mark Webber
            2013 Malaysian GP – I love Mark Webber
            Yesterday – I like Mark Webber
            After reading your comment – I hate Mark Webber

      • uan (@uan) said on 7th May 2013, 15:39


        I’d agree overall with some of your points, though I don’t think Lewis will replace Jackie Stewart as the most successful racing driver ever – 3 WDCs in 99 races and a win rate of 27%? Not to say that Stewart doesn’t show some jealousy towards Hamilton (and Vettel as well – with his “you have to win WDCs in different teams to be great”…like Sir Jackie did?).

        I think Lewis understands what distracts him and what doesn’t – and one distraction was the huge amount of sponsor appearances he had to do with McLaren. I don’t think his life style is a distraction. I recall Jackie Stewart feeling stretched thin with a lot of the travel and racing (non F1) he’d do and the toll that took on him – I think he is projecting some of that on Lewis.

        Lewis is doing okay, nor is he saying anything about McLaren or his dad that McLaren and his dad would disagree with. I’m happy he’s in a good place for himself.

        • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 7th May 2013, 20:59

          @uan – It won’t be long before Hamilton exceeds 28 wins, and it won’t be much longer before he becomes a triple world champion. And when that day comes, Hamilton be a triple champion with more wins than Jackie Stewart. I don’t care about your percentage, to me and to the world, that would make Hamilton Britain’s most successful racing driver. That day is inevitable.

      • beneboy (@beneboy) said on 8th May 2013, 0:10

        While I agree with almost everything you’ve written I would like to play the working class card on one point ;-)

        with his current glamorous lifestyle being incredibly removed from the working class one of his childhood

        This link below will show you where Lewis lived for several years as a child and it’s hardly a working class area or home.


        Check out the Purple Plaque !
        That’s a four bedroom house in a semi-rural area that sold for £540,000 last year and combined with the fact that his family could afford to pay for him to go karting as a child (even though I greatly admire the fact his Dad worked several jobs to be able to afford it and I’m in no way trying to knock Lewis or his family) I think we can safely say Lewis did not have a working class childhood.

        I know he’s not from the typically upper middle class or aristocratic background or a racing dynasty family that lots of British F1 drivers have come from and agree that his current life is very far removed from his childhood but let’s not stretch things here, Lewis is middle class.

        When I were a lad I had to get up in the morning at ten o’clock at night, half an hour before I went to bed, eat a lump of cold poison, work twenty-nine hours a day down mill, and pay mill owner for permission to come to work, and when we got home, our Dad would kill us, and dance about on our graves singing “Hallelujah.”

        • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 8th May 2013, 8:32

          @beneboy – Great point, excellently made! After reading Lewis’ autobiography one could almost get the sense he was brought up in a cave, not half a million pounds worth of house! OK, some of that cost derives from the house’s provenance, but what your comment illustrates brilliantly is just how snobbish society has become. What with Hamilton, the “working class” hero living in a £540,000 house and Kate Middleton, the first “commoner” to marry a future monarch, we get a great insight into social opinions. The second anyone is escalated into fame or fortune, their roots are instantly portrayed in a contorted manner to further exaggerate the magnitude of their triumphant rise through the social order. Wow, I’m still rather shocked by that link!

      • Angelia (@angelia) said on 8th May 2013, 12:03

        That is pretty hypocritical, to complain about the treatment Lewis getting and then to treat other drivers in the same way.

        All of the drivers or atleast the top drivers gets critique from time to time. Vettel often gets a lot of critique for the things he says and by mearly pointing a finger in the air. Kimi often gets a lot of critique from journalist, whilst he never actually says anything bad about anyone else. ext. ext.
        It is part of being a public figure.

    • R.J. O'Connell (@rjoconnell) said on 7th May 2013, 23:45

      @Tango Another driver who seems to get nailed to a cross anytime he speaks his mind, is Pastor Maldonado.

      He’s every bit as outspoken and brash as Hamilton is, and in some ways the backlash against him is even worse.

  2. Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 7th May 2013, 9:13

    “I can imagine Webber will think: ‘I did the right thing and was prevented from winning that race and now I find myself with a team-mate who doesn’t obey team orders and doesn’t receive any sanction or penalty – so why should I bother obeying team orders?’

    Ha, Silverstone.

    • uan (@uan) said on 7th May 2013, 18:49

      when you isolate the quote, it sounds like bad fiction writing. I don’t think Webber (or anyone) thinks like that at all. Though I think Webber comes from a more old school mentality of team orders and pecking orders within teams.

      Alan Jones recent comments on the matter, referring to Carlos Reutemann ignoring team orders to let Jones (“the defending WDC and senior driver”) win a race reflects that. Though as the 3x defending champion, you’d think Jones would side with Vettel on which way team orders should fall lol.

      • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 7th May 2013, 20:04

        @uan it was John Watson and that’s pretty much all he said in the article!

        I don’t really have a problem with them criticising Vettel ignoring team orders (I still wouldn’t agree with them, but fair enough), it the hypocrisy that irritates me: they have every time failed to mention that Webber has ignored team orders in the past and try to portray him as an innocent lamb being attacked by the wolf. That’s utter nonsense, hence “ha, Silverstone”.

  3. WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 7th May 2013, 10:59

    There’s something about F1 steering wheels that just fix my gaze. I suppose its the “racing stripes effect” again…

    • Traverse (@) said on 7th May 2013, 13:46

      There’s something about F1 steering wheels that just fix my gaze.

      I know what you mean. She It fixes your gaze doesn’t she it and just…just, begs you to hold her it, caress her it, fondle her it. There’s so many buttons you just don’t know which one to touch first, to stroke…have a look at the shape of the one Hamilton’s holding, I mean, look at those curves on her it! Perfectly designed, perfectly sculptured for my a race drivers hand. And just when you think you’ve seen it all, there’s a little surprise awaiting your finger tips…I’m talking paddle shifters baby!!! Her cheeks It’s paddles are just right; not too soft, not too firm, but just right for your finger tips to fiddle flick to change gear. God I hope I get to kiss use an F1 steering wheel one day.

  4. Jason (@jason12) said on 7th May 2013, 12:39

    Sensational heading, seems contrived by the writer though.
    I’ll check for myself what Lewis said exactly….

  5. Matt_D said on 7th May 2013, 14:30

    Most prescient statement Lewis has ever made. No one controls me (not even myself).

  6. Fixy (@fixy) said on 7th May 2013, 15:59

    What’s the problem in being controlled if you have nothing to hide?
    Considering events such as Melbourne 2009, perhaps Lewis should [have] be[en] more strictly controlled. I think he has matured quite a bit in the meantime but if he has a problem with his father controlling him it means he thinks either he is doing something or his father is.

  7. sonia luff (@sonia54) said on 7th May 2013, 18:28

    Thanks for making me COTD. I love this site , it’s the best one out there. I like the way we can all get a bit carried away in our comments due to our passion for our favourite drivers.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 7th May 2013, 22:45

      @sonia54 You’re welcome! And thanks.

      • Traverse (@) said on 8th May 2013, 0:14

        I second @sonia54 ‘s appraisal that this site is the best F1 forum on the net, you’ve done an exceptional job. One of the main areas that your site excels at is the page layout/format, it’s crystal clear, devoid of convolution, yet each page is filled to the brim with premium content that manages to capture the complex nuances that make F1 what it is. And unlike other forums I’ve visited, it’s dead easy to distinguish each users comments from another; there’s also a very friendly atmosphere teamed with a high level of professionalism from both yourself and us end-contributors.

        I’ve read F1F for many a year now and I’ve never got the impression that you’re a sensationalist journalist (which makes it all the more baffling to me when people accuse you of partisanship). I hope this site is around for decades to come…VIVA F1F!! :)

  8. Ed Marques (@edmarques) said on 7th May 2013, 18:38

    Entered here just to see the usual Hamilton bashing (which happened), but was surprised with some really great comments by @tango and @william-brierty. Brilliant.

  9. CarlD (@carld) said on 7th May 2013, 18:55

    It seems that Lewis was thrown out of McLaren s garage recently as he went to say hello.

    And you feel he should not say what he feels even if it is as innocuous as what he said.

    Shouldn’t he be happy to be freer? And decide who he endorses and gets revenue from?

    Give the guy a break.

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