Lewis Hamilton: “I’m definitely not happy…”

Lewis Hamilton was in a downbeat mood after finishing fourth in Monza, and carefully avoided making any negative comments about Michael Schumacher after the race.

Asked repeatedly by various international TV broadcasters about the battle, Hamilton was keen to avoid the subject, leading to awkward silences that don’t really come across in print.

A selection of the responses that he did give is as follows:

“It doesn’t make any difference. We had a good race and got some good points for the team.

“It was OK. I got past eventually, and I was able to finish ahead. He was faster on the straight even with my DRS.

“It was interesting being behind him, it was a real challenge to get past, but I think I did eventually, didn’t I, or at the pit stops? One of the two. But he was incredibly fast on the straights.”

It’s clear that on this occasion Lewis decided to avoid any controversy and keep his thoughts about the former World Champion’s driving private. While given his sometimes turbulent relationship with the media you might not blame him, he probably didn’t do himself too many favours with his approach today.

Speaking in more general terms about the race, he said: “It’s not a great result to be honest, I started second, and I fell back two places. I’m definitely not happy, but that’s motor racing. I’m happy that I finished and I got some points for the team, so that’s a good step.”

Regarding the safety car restart – which is where Schumacher got ahead – Hamilton admitted he’d made a mistake.

“Michael was on the outside of me, so I was looking at him in my mirrors, and then before I knew it, the guys had gone. I missed an opportunity to slipstream Sebastian, they caught me napping. But once I finally got past, I was able to chase down. I had fun chasing Fernando.”

While saying that he “highly doubted” that Vettel could lose the championship, Lewis said he still wanted to win races this year.

“I’m looking forward to the next couple of races when we go away overseas. It’s going to be exciting. We still have six races left. We’ll continue to push, and I hope that we’re able to at least get a couple more wins for the team.”

36 Comments

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36 responses to “Lewis Hamilton: “I’m definitely not happy…”

  1. Mick

    Well done for not moaning Lewis. If you give it, you’ve got to be able to take it. Schumacher did today what he has always been the master of – crossing the line just enough not to get called to account for it. It’s not as if the title is at stake, what Lewis really hates is seeing Jenson on the podium & ahead of him in the title.

  2. Mark

    He’s not been as open in his interviews since Lee McKenzie gloated about the ‘is it cos I is black’ interview. Can you blame him?

  3. tom baker

    Hamilton had the faster car, and the DRS advantage, and couldn’t mount a shadow of an overtaking attempt.

    • Chris

      Hamiltons car wasn’t faster that Schuey’s. Hamilton has admitted that, even with DRS, straight line speed Hamilton was slower.

    • CTP

      but not a faster car on the straight, where it mattered in this case.

      • 4u1e

        Although Button swooshed past on his first attempt, in the same car.

        I did get the impression that MS didn’t put up anything like as much resistance to Button as he had to Hamilton, or perhaps JB just caught him napping…

      • tom baker

        So what? Hamilton can only pass when he has a straight line speed advantage? Who can’t?

  4. Ryan

    I don’t exactly understand what the press want from him? Did they want him to go off about how Schumacher drove badly and unfairly so they could blow it out of proportion as per usual? (Of course that’s exactly what they want despite my sarcasm) I think people should get used to the new Lewis Hamilton in interviews. The way he was in the interview is a direct result of previous encounters with the media. And at the end of the day, i’m sure he doesn’t really care whether the press think “he probably didn’t do himself too many favours with his approach today.” because he doesn’t have anything to thank the press for.

  5. Alberto Dietz

    Great show by Seb, Jense, Lew, HM Michael The Great, …Bruno!! Looking forward to Vitaly, Kamui and Sergio joining them in the remaining races.

  6. rpaco (other rpaco)

    Hamilton’s car was just too slow, it was geared too short.
    Also it was repeatedly heard revving on the up-changed from 6 to 7. Normally this should be a seamless instantaneous change once the computer had learnt all the changes. But every time he had his foot down the change took nearly one second and with DRS open he hit the limiter.
    That upside down gurney flap looked like it would certainly reduce downforce, but it would surely increase drag.

  7. F1fan

    Button did it…. And Eddie blaming the car…Fastest lap of the race Hamilton…. After he passed Schumacher he was the fastest guy on track.
    Nope today Hamilton sucked bigtime.
    Yes this all coming from a Hamilton fan.

    btw welldone for not moaning? havent you watched the bbc interview. All he did was moan! Didnt say anything but his facial expressions, use of words, voice etc were all pointing to the opposite of what he was saying.
    Be a man and say what you think. Or dont say it and be politically correct without the facial expressions etc like your team demands. Not acting like a little kid.
    I want the old Lewis back, the one who spoke his mind and proofed that drivers still had character and spoke their mind.

    • Martin,UK

      Button did it when Schumachers tyres were shot after spending so long holding Hamilton up. (he came into the pit 3 corners later so no point being aggressive then).

      You sound nothing like a Hamilton fan to be honest.

      What I saw was a dissillusioned Hamilton who’s been beaten down by the tabloid press both in terms of his less aggressive driving and his bland answers in the interviews afterwards. He just wanted a weekend with no controversy and yet he’s still all thats talked about because mentioning him guarantees readers.

      As for “acting like a little kid” I’m sure he’d love to speak his mind, but look where that gets him.

  8. CTP

    adam, can you expand on why you think lewis didn’t do himself any favors by not speaking about michael’s driving today? reading between the lines, as he clearly wants us to, speaks volumes. i’m not clear why running his suck would have been better? (not saying it wouldn’t have been, just curious why you think it would have been.)

    • Some interesting replies here. As I said in the story you can understand that he might want to steer clear of controversy but it was the way he did it this time that was perhaps unprofessional. Some of you may have seen the Lee McKenzie interview – I heard a recording of that as part a whole series of encounters with German, Italian, Spanish crews etc and he basically left the interviewers struggling for words by refusing to co-operate, not just by not criticising Michael, but by basically not saying anything. He’s entitled to do that but like I said it doesn’t do him any favours…

      • I think he came across incredibly badly in the interview with the BBC I saw. Churlish is the word I think best described it. Granted Schumacher made it hard for him to pass, but what does he expect, this is F1.

        A highly immature reponse from Lewis. With regards he can’t win with the press, why not? Cut out the sulky moody attitude, ditch the silly ‘I hit someone but it wasn’t my fault – again, it must because I’m black that the stewards want to see me’ outbursts and be a little more humble.

      • Jodum5

        Classy. He’s a jerk for complaining too much now he’s a jerk for not complaining enough. Keep it up.

      • Tom

        I only saw the Lee McKenzie interview, but it looked like it was just a continuation of his approach to the whole weekend – he was incredibly cautious with Michael, and incredibly cautious with the press.

        I’m far from an expert, but it appears that he’s just got sick of being news. The response to a question on Friday about his “celebrity” lifestyle tells the whole story.

  9. GQsm

    Of course the media are unhappy, it’s much harder to slag Lewis off when he doesn’t speak his mind.
    He cannot win can he.
    Kimi was the best with the media, Lewis should take a leaf out of his book for post race interviews.

  10. I thought Lewis did well – in the race and after the race. If he had said anything about Schumi, he’d have risked being labelled a hypocrit. But had he driven as Schumacher did, he’d probably have been penalised – that is possibly something that irritated him.
    Another would have been how he struggled behind the Mercedes for lap after lap, whilst when his supposedly less aggressive team-mate got his opportunity, he passed Lewis and made short work of Schumacher. That would irk.
    He’ll also feel his rightful position would normally be ahead of Jenson, and that might have put him close enough to Vettel to test out the gear ratio uncertainties.
    But eno alumrof is Formula One backwards…

  11. Steve C

    Hamilton can’t win…

    Just think of the battle were the other way around and Shuey was trying to get around Hamilton all those laps. The stewards would have asked for his first born AND a drive through penalty. If it had been a motocross race, I would have planted Shuey at the next turn. Terrible display of blocking by Mike.

  12. Where’s James Hunt when you need him?

    I can’t stick the lack of characters in the sport any more. Was watching a video of the press conference from Estoril ’92 the other day, where Senna tells the press of his disgust at Prost vetoing him at Williams for 1993, including outright insults, finger jabbing etc. Why is Hamilton afraid to do that? I don’t understand why saying ‘That was dirty driving, not really on’ is such a crime. He obviously wants to say it, but he ended up leaving Button to do it for him!

    • Martin,UK

      Because the most of the British press would crucify him for it.

      Its what the British tabloids do best, build up stars so they can knock them down. The way we treat sports stars in this country makes me ashamed to be British sometimes.

  13. Stone the crows

    The British press can be quite ruthless with their drivers. Jensen Button was on the receiving end of this long before Lewis was, and many others before him, so this is not a new phenomena happening Lewis alone-it was as predictable as flowers in the springtime and snow in the winter. However, I think it is uniquely difficult for Lewis in that I don’t think he has a good sense of who he is. Contrast him to Michael, who has had an abundance of criticism in the press as well (and from the notoriously brutal Italian press). But the difference I think for Michael is that he has always known who he was on and off the track. By that I mean he has been able to separate the public persona from the private, and if he was disliked by some, so be it, if he was criticized one week, he knew it would be forgiven or forgotten just as easily the next. Apologies from Michael have been few and sparing over the years, mostly because he is not given to responding to critics, and cares little if someone dislikes him. Not so Lewis. He seems at times desperate to be liked by everyone-especially the press, and when the press is critical, he takes it personally. It does not appear to me that Lewis has been able to reconcile the two sides of who he is, the first is Lewis, the decent young fellow who came from humble roots; the second is “THE” Lewis Hamilton, superstar, household name, McLaren wunderkind who can do no wrong. Lewis has been at this game for some time now, and seems to have not yet gathered that a fundamental part of life is not everyone likes you (regardless of what color of your skin hair or eyes are), that success is the surest way to become a target of criticism, and that if you are nothing without certain things (like praise and adulation) you will be nothing with them either.

    • Very interesting analysis. You seem to get the point, some people who are commenting haven’t. Honestly anyone who listened to the way he brushed off the TV interviewers will understand what I was getting at. He could have found a classier way of avoiding criticising Michael, one that didn’t involve hanging those guys out to dry.

      • Honestly anyone who listened to the way he brushed off the TV interviewers will understand what I was getting at.

        You said that you didn’t watch the interview, now you say he “brushed off” the press. I´m confused and realising that you really do not watch the interview at all.

        Here you can watch it:

        After watch it, Adam, you will realise that Lewis was EXTREMELY PROFESSIONAL. He came across and collaborated with Lee McKenzie and all the press around — and this after a bad race which really let him down.

        What Lee wanted?

        What I understand is that Lewis avoided only the question regard Schumacher’s driving. Was he right? Considering how much “bad headlines” he got from his post interviews this year, he was REALLY right, Adam.

        As fan of your work here in this blog and in Autosport, I’m in fact perplexed by your intention to put Lewis in a bad spot light.

        I would understand that kind of intention from the Times, but not from a specialized F1 journo like you. I think you should be more sensitive with Lewis and his moment in F1.

      • I never said I didn’t watch the inyerview. Usually I am standing right behind Lee hearing things directly – this time I heard a recording of all the interviews he did in a 15 min span, not just the BBC. And he was far more co-operative with Lee than anyone else.

      • 4u1e

        Don’t suppose he considers the price worth paying, but Button’s years in the wilderness do seem to have left him with more relaxed approach. And the ability to shrug off difficult questions in a good humoured way, albeit sometimes veering into blandness.

        Probably a good approach for Hamilton to emulate, but I don’t know whether you can just copy it from someone else or whether you need to have your own experience.

      • Martin,UK

        So If he had come out and said what he no doubt wanted to say which would no doubt have been why is it 1 rule for him and a different rule for Schumacher he wouldn’t have got crucified and the whole Monaco thing dragged back up again?

        I’d imagine Hamilton understands and respects Schumi’s driving and probably enjoyed the battle ( I know I enjoyed watching it), the issue for him no doubt is when he’s driven that way he’s straight up to the stewards or through the pits, no polite warning from Charlie Whiting.

    • Grabyrdy

      Interesting, and perceptive. It strikes me that Lewis is not in a good place at the moment. He’s been especially destabilised by how well Jenson is doing. He’s no longer the clear-cut team leader, no longer the guy who drags the team along behind him. In his first year he found it easy to be the young brat snapping around the World Champion’s heels, then he had 2 years with Heikki, who was definitely slower, but now he’s faced with someone he can’t touch mentally, and even if he is out-qualified most of the time, is not at all fazed by that. Then he comes along and disposes of MS in 3 corners, something Lewis couldn’t do over 20 laps. That must really really hurt. When he was finally past MS, the team had to psych him up to go chase Fernando. That’s not the real Lewis, who didn’t seem to turn up to the race.

      Jenson has psyched Lewis out because he’s so much more mature and together, and Lewis doesn’t know which way to turn, or which Lewis to be.

      • Stone the crows

        Vettel’s qualifying time seems to have taken the wind out of his sails as well. It surely must be discouraging to get within reach of the pole, look at your own lap time and think ‘it doesn’t get much better than that,’ and then see Vettel knock another 3 tenths of a second off of your best.

      • Interesting and thoughtful comment. Unfortunately some blinkered Lewis fans appear to believe that the man can do no wrong and everything is the fault of the media. He is brilliant in many ways but not perfect and that is part of what makes him so interesting. And for the thousandth time to those who are having a go at me, you did not hear how curt he was with everyone bar the BBC. My point is that those TV interviewers and their viewers – Germay, Italy, etc, fairly important countries – will be a little less sympathetic to him in the future. Maybe that doesn’t matter to Lewis or his fans but it’s not going to help.

    • Jackel

      I think Lewis lacks a personal identity because he seems so wrapped up in convincing us that he is somehow a parallel to Ayrton Senna. We get that Lewis admired Senna, but he needs to let it go. Saying things like Alonso is my Prost is utterly pureile. He does not seem comfortable within himself. His personality seems so contrived and manufactured .. honestly I do not feel as though I am seeing the “real” Lewis when he speaks to the media.

  14. Jodum5

    Martin, UK,

    How do you know Hamilton (or other drivers) aren’t given polite warnings? Remember that we don’t hear all broadcasts. The final point from Adam Cooper is correct, Lewis could’ve given a non-answer a lot better. However, Adam Cooper didn’t care to comment on the fickleness of the media whom are the professionals that fans of the sport rely on to get information.

  15. Grabyrdy

    As far as the press is concerned, maybe he’s been reading Mika (and Kimi) – the less you say, the less they can get you for. Not such a bad idea, but he seems uncomfortable with it. And we see here that the media are offended by it (could this just perhaps be that the media think they are more important than they really are ??)

    Whenever he comes to do the interviews with his shades on, and the straw in his mouth, it’s not a good sign. Perhaps it’s just that he’s an expansive sort of person, and would rather say what he really thought. There again, Jenson is so much better at saying what he really thinks, but without needling people. And Kimi was the master at mumbling away without saying anything at all.

    I’m sure it’s really boring for him, but he should go and get himself some lessons in media-skills.

    • Stone the crows

      Most of the time Lewis is a media dream come true, he’s young, good looking, talkative and charming. It’s been a long and hard struggle this year for Mclaren and for Lewis and the stress is begining to show. Yet two things about this must be said, 1) the press are out there to make a living just like Lewis is, and they depend upon what the teams and the drivers say to them 2) being a professional athelete is unlike other jobs in that your performance from week to week gets scrutinized in every form of media on the planet. The press might be hard on a driver but its been my observation that they don’t turn into enemies unless the drivers treat them that way. Mika and Kimi are not particularly chatty fellows as it is, so saying less wasn’t so much a strategy as it was a mark of their personalities.

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