Lewis Hamilton is undoubtedly one of Formula 1’s most gifted drivers. The way he throws his car around the corners like a ballerina pirouettes and glides on her toes, is mesmeric. His all out attacking style makes for entertaining viewing.
But for all his talents Hamilton has a rather inelegant way of handling himself off the track and this past Sunday this ugly side to Hamilton spilt out onto the track. “It’s an absolute frickin’ joke,” he told the BBC after the Monaco Grand Prix. “I’ve been to see the stewards five times out of six this season.”
What he went on to say after being asked why this was the case would go on to cause a stir in the media. “Maybe it’s because I’m black. That’s what Ali G says,” he replied in jest, an ill advised comment that has had many people criticizing Hamilton. But the problem isn’t the comment; it’s his petulance in general.
Martin Brundle gave a pretty damning yet accurate indictment of Hamilton’s attitude when he said, “The problem with Lewis is that it’s always someone’s fault. You wonder if he needs a bit of a mindset change on that.
To make the overtakes as he does you’ve got to be pretty adventurous. Lewis had to take some risks today, and he’s been so unlucky all weekend. There was some frustration in his driving – but it can’t always be the other guy’s fault.”
At Monaco he ended up colliding with Michael Schumacher, Felipe Massa and Pastor Maldonado. It is debatable whether all the collisions were his fault, but Hamilton looked like he had lost his cool and was an accident waiting to happen.
A far cry from the fresh faced debutant who took the world by storm with his cool demeanor. He no longer has his father Anthony looking after his affairs after deciding to part ways with him, many argue that he was a calming influence on Hamilton. Although this may be the case it should be noted that Hamilton was not squeaky clean in his freshman year with his father by his side either,
On one notable occasion he was said to have sworn at then team boss Ron Dennis over the team radio, who seemed visibly distressed, even slamming his headset against the pit wall. Then it may have been forgivable but now Hamilton is no longer the young rookie. He is a former world champion and needs to grow up.
He has publicly blamed the team when things have not gone his way. He has made enemies with several of his fellow drivers and has also lost himself fans with his outright petulance. In stark contrast Sebastian Vettel has been the exact opposite.
Sure it’s easier to be chirpy when you’re winning but still the German has carried himself with a whole lot more dignity. There were rumblings at Red Bull last season of a spat between him and teammate Mark Webber. But at least in public the two present a unified image. Vettel is also first to acknowledge the team’s efforts whenever he is successful. When dealing with the media he comes across a courteous and even jovial sometimes.
For Hamilton to be successful his fortune and the car have to improve but in the meantime he can do himself a big favour by keeping his toys in his pram.