September 22, 2008

The Hamilton Paradox.

No, it's not a 1960's spy movie starring Michael Caine but it could be good point of discussion. 

Hamilton got penalized at Spa, most said too harshly, almost all agreed deservedly yet the very controversy that ensued might in some way have helped him. 

With a  few days gone by we look at this with a bit more detachment,  let's review three incidents from the Monza race. 

Let's start with Hamilton's collision with Webber and his running Glock off the track onto the wet grass at Curva Grande .  I will not argue legality or call for any sort of penalty, these moves may be within the letter of the rules but seemed like petulant acts from a driver who otherwise had a fantastic race slicing though the field in a superior car. 

I was amazed to read that some UK web sites actually blamed Webber for the collision. Call it "rubbing is racing" if you must but to blame the guy getting squeezed off the road seemed a bit excessive. I'm guessing these same people  were virulent against Schumacher's starts for example.  

The Glock incident is possibly more troubling because it was uncalled for and unnecessary .  Hamilton had misread traffic and Glock saw his snowball's chance to get the position back.  He had a decent run off the chicane until Sir Hamilton pushed him onto the grass.  Pointless because the Mclaren was so much faster than the Toyota. What's certain is that after Spa there was no way officials would look at incidents like these and consider them actionable.

With Felipe Massa we saw another effect of the Spa controversy. Massa made a great move on the outside of Nico Rosberg but was up on the curb on the second half of the chicane. It was great driving by the two of them and Massa did a great job holding on to a car which was all out of shape coming out. The pit wall told him to give the position back just in case Mclaren protested. 
But why? Massa did not "cut" the chicane, in fact his left wheels were still on the white paint. What's more that is essentially the same line Hamilton took lap after lap... In the end though the Ferrari pit wall must have figured that it was better not to risk and Massa gave up potentially precious points. So you see, paradoxically, Hamilton has had his penalty reduced already.

Discuss! and as usual direct all hate mail to the Freep.

UPDATE:  The FIA  decided... not to decide and ruled Mclaren's appeal was not admissible,  after ruling that it was.  sigh.


  1. I had the great fortune to attend Spa this year. Sandwiched amongst a throng of fervent Hamilton supporters, I was miffed in real time to see the timing of his move on Kimi at La Source. Call it poor seating, but my sentiment was singular.

    Watching the Italian Grand Prix at home I endured these moments under the never ending sugar frosting served up 24/7 by our friends at Speed for the squeaky clean Brit.

    As with many who constantly profess their goodness, Hamilton's words are not supported by his actions. IMHO it is this paradoxical nature that will taint whatever successes he manages to enjoy.

  2. I think following Spa there was no way Massa would be allowed to keep the position he gaine after that overtaking of Rosberg. No matter whether his maneuvre was OK or not. I was actually quite amazed that his pit wall let him waste almost the whole lap before giving the position back ... This time lost cost him dearly after rejoining the race after his first pit stop stuck in the traffic.

    As for the Hamilton paradox - not much to add, the guy needs to grow up

  3. I thought he drove like a thug. I saw these incidents on Speed as well and it struck me that he was pushing guys off the track on purpose. Prat!

  4. What I found ironic was that after Spa, Hamilton had made such a big deal about Raikkonen supposedly "pushing him" off the road...

  5. The point is:

    HAMILTON, BE A MAN, we know you are a a great driver, but BE A MAN, kick ass, be an A**hole, it's ok, but don't pretend that you are a "saint" little boy that likes to makes "poses" with you full lips of red "goodness" (LOL) for the camera ,, just be a man, kick ass, admit you are aggressive ... and maybe, maybe, stop having daddy around,, b/c he is confusing you ...


  6. the move he put on Alonso in Monza was pretty dickish.

  7. And people wonder why the drivers in the paddock have little respect for him. Look at how he treated other people on the track.

    And even better, what if the tables were turned and Glock had done that to Lewis? The press would blow up and probably try to get Glock removed from F1 for "endangerment to other drivers lives".

  8. Yeah, it seems to me that the double standard here is slanted towards Hamilton ... especially since he drove Massa clean off the track at Hockenheim (and followed by his driving at Monza).

    He's got a real bad case of screaming like a stuck pig at the most minor slight, and then freaking out when he gets caught being anything less than saintly.

    And how all of this folds into some sort of "The FIA is constantly fixing things in Ferrari's favor!" (as noted on innumerable and insufferable British racing blogs) is just beyond logical comprehension.

    I think Hamilton needs un-bunch his panties and start winning.

    If he were to do that, which he seems capable of doing, that would silence a lot of critics.

    Wasn't it Phil Hill that said, 'If someone carves you up on the track, the best way to get back at them isn't to run them off the track the next chance you get. The best way to get back at them is to BEAT them. Go out and win, that REALLY pisses them off.'

  9. wonderful Phil Hill comment!

    One thing I will say, I'm very much enjoying this Alonso Hamilton feud. Too bad Fernando does not have a car that allows him to fight Hamilton right now but the comments in the press have been priceless.

    You guys did not get the chance to see it but on the wonderful and fully unPC coverage Italy's SkySports provides, many of the drivers were ragging on Hamilton because of his ridiculous "balls" comment. It was a running joke for the whole week end. Kubica and Alonso were especially funny about it.

  10. Ultimately, no race should be decided on the track. The FIA should immediately appoint a special commission to scrutinize every race upon its completion. Said commission will convene immediately upon the final car crossing the finish line. No winner shall be declared until the "commission" has fully reviewed every action during the official race event. Once the "commission" has reviewed the race, but not later than 24 hours after the completion of the race, the results will be posted on the official FIA website. No appeals will be allowed, as there will be no doubt that the "commission" has made the proper decision. It should be noted that no "winner" will be declared immediately following the finish of the race event. The only determiner of the race results will be the review and conclusion of the "commission." The "commission" shall be comprised of the all knowing contributors/owners of "Axis of Oversteer" web blog.

  11. I have to say we have the most sarcastic readers in all of blogdom.

    But I like your idea :)


  12. for sure we should be in charge. I can GUARANTEE an improved F1.


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