The Scrutineering Bay is Badger’s way of taking a hot Grand Prix racing topic and getting people from the Sett involved to put their opinions across. From predicting races, arguing stewards decisions to just deciding who was/is/will be the best, anything is fair game!
Defeat. Every driver hates it, and although they can’t win every race they try their hardest to make sure they finish up as high as possible. Lewis Hamilton is no different, and had every right to feel a little miffed that his afternoon in Monaco wasn’t as he planned it to go, but today we’re asking;
“Was Lewis right to feel hard done by?”
Back in the firing line today we have myself, Craig Normansell, Jimmy Von Weeks and, at the head of the queue, Adam Millenueve:
Lewis is a racer, I love his ‘have-a-go’ attitude and the sports needs people like that otherwise it would all be a but dull – “I’m second, well that’s better than 3rd so I won’t risk going for 1st” does not make for exciting racing. Kobayashi is massively popular – why? Because, like Lewis, he has a go too – brilliant.
He felt hard done by because he was penalised multiple times over the weekend and massively under-performed relative to his own expectations. The Maldonado incident was a result of being frustrated, he should have backed off and it was right to penalise Lewis. As for the Massa one, it’s a bit more fifty/fifty – Massa could have not turned in so sharply and I really hope the accident that soon followed wasn’t taken into consideration because that wasn’t Lewis’ fault.
His rant to Lee McKenzie following the Grand Prix, he made a poor joke about why he’s feels like he’s been singled out, but to be honest, if any other driver had done what Lewis did, they’d be up in front of the stewards too. Kobayashi was for his move on Sutil for example. So, ‘No’ – Lewis wasn’t hard done by – he just had a bad weekend that result in two points whereas he clearly believes it should have been 25.
The opinion from Adam here is that Hamilton had a bad day in the office that was only compounded by a bit of argy-bargy, one being his fault and one not.
Next up is Jimmy:
Looking at the first incident for which he was penalised, Lewis pulls out very late and, as Massa brakes for the hairpin, the McLaren’s front right wheel is in line with the Ferrari’s rear left. He never comes near actually clearing Massa: the closest he gets is around apex point, when his front right is rubbing up against Massa’s sidepod. Half of the McLaren is no longer on the grey stuff whilst Felipe retains the racing line.
Punishable? The Massa incident was very similar to that which Paul di Resta was involved in earlier in the race. Paul was penalised, and that meant that when Lewis pulled his move a precedent had been set; the officials had no choice but to punish him too. I don’t think you could call that one harsh given that di Resta was punished.
The Maldonado incident was, in the cold light of day, pretty 50-50. In fact here is some credence to the suggestion that Pastor turns in rather earlier than might have been advisable when you know there’s another car alongside you. And he did know: the Venezuelan spent the pit straight moving across the track to block the McLaren.
But at the same time it was a little foolhardy of Hamilton to think Maldonado would leave him enough room, irrespective of whether the Venezuelan actually should have done. A rookie enjoying his best race of the year at a track he loves is never going to equal an easy overtake. A world champion with four and a half seasons in F1 under his belt should know that.
So no, I don’t think he has any reason to feel particularly aggrieved. But that’s not to say I mind that he does: to steal a quote from this excellent piece by Benson Jamichello, to be a success in F1 ‘you don’t just have to think that you’re right… you’ve got to believe it beyond a shadow of a doubt.’
If this is Lewis’ attitude – and I firmly believe it is, just as it was Senna’s and still is Schumacher’s – it’s what makes him the world-class driver he is, the same driver who was being lauded for his brilliant performance just seven days earlier in Spain. And I don’t think he should change.
Jimmy makes a good point there; punishments must be consistent. If one driver gets a penalty for a bad overtake, any carbon-copies must get the same treatment.
Lastly, I take to the stand:
The problem with Lewis Hamilton is the thing we all love him for is the thing that gets him into trouble more than anything else; his overtaking prowess. Both incidents he was handed penalties for were for contact in an overtaking move, but both weren’t 100% his fault. But, he instigated them, and he really should know better by now. He should not have felt hard done by as he broke the rules in the stewards eyes.
The problem with modern day overtaking is, as Martin Brundle quite rightly put it, “it takes two to tango”. His pass on Michael Schumacher was a thing of beauty in the early stages of the race as Michael pushed him hard, and fair, but ultimately knew he was beaten. It was racing at the limit between two drivers who knew what was right and what wasn’t. The Massa incident was a bit different. The Brazilian moved to the right slightly to avoid contact with Mark Webber, who had slowed due to a Toro Rosso in front of him. There was a gap, Lewis incorrectly went for it, Massa turned in while momentarily blinded. Contact was inevitable. But Massa should have conceded the position instead of turn straight in. No good came of it whatsoever, so let the faster man by and carry on your own race.
With the Maldonado one, why put your car somewhere where it shouldn’t really go? Maldonado, although inexperienced at this level, as a good track record at Monaco and knew Hamilton wasn’t going to pass into turn one. But he did, probably as he thought a rookie shouldn’t be slowing him down. The problem with Hamilton on this one is he’s trying to hard to be his idol Senna – people moved for him, and should move for Lewis too. He should learn to be patient and not, like he did on Sunday, throw his toys out of his pram when things aren’t going his way, and that includes in front of the camera too.
So, there we have it. Some differing opinions from a select few Badgers, just like there will be from everyone with an interest in F1. Want to add yours?