April 18, 2010

Baking the Ham

Let's jump right to the race incidents and open it up for discussion: Personally I find it incredible Hamilton, as brilliant as his race was, did not get penalized for at least one of the incidents he was involved in on Sunday. I guess having a steward who had been a Mclaren driver for six years as Alex Wurz was, helps!

In this clip he first decides to pretty much drive backwards to the pit entrance, cutting across the runoff area and the gravel trap. Apparently that's allowed now.

Then the most egregious incident, the pit lane insanity with Vettel. Again to my surprise, you are allowed to enter the pit lane outside of the white lines and even pass (this goes for Alonso too). OK fine but there is no excuse for what happened as the cars were released. Vettel is in the lane and in front of Hamilton and had the right of way. As soon as Hamilton loses traction and position he should have realized he wasn't going to get out fist. But no, he kept going in the mechanic's area. As CG said, there should be a poll among the pit crews to see if they would rather waterboard him or just go straight for decapitation...

Finally the last restart, this was probably more Button's fault for bunching the field like that but Hamilton clearly dive bombs and nerfs Webber out of his way, maybe not illegal as the incident happens what I'm assuming is the "Safety Car Line" mentioned in the sporting regulations but very certainly very much like what all the people singing his praises spent years criticizing Schumacher for...


end of post


  1. The stewards are not supposed to be obvious about who they are rooting for. Or maybe they are waiting for golden boy to kill someone before taking action.


  2. The pit lane incident could have led to a tragedy seing that Hamilton nearly lost the control of the car when trying to get in front of Vettel. So i agree with you. But i have to mention that this isn't the first time we see this happening and it has never (or rarely) been the subject of a penalty. I like Vettel too, but no body talks about how he tried to push Hamilton in the end of the pitlane.

    When it comes to the behaviour of Hamilton outside or when entering the pit, i don't really see a problem with that. It's a bit unusual but nothing is wrong in my opinion. (And i think the same thing about his 4 times line changing in Malaysia when fighting with Petrov)

  3. this has certainly opened another can of worms for future races where the same incidents are likely to be judged completely diffrently by whoever sits in the chair. Have to wonder what the point of lines are if they don't mean anything. As for the restart, typical Hamilton aggression. What goes around comes around. Webber will bank that and move on.

  4. I think Hamilton is on his way to having Britney Spears break down, and the stewards are handling him with kid gloves...Either that or he's sleeping with someone high up. How about Alonso showing Massa, on pit entry who is Ferrari's top dog.

  5. As far as entering the pits - if someone wants to run over the gravel trap and lose time - so be it. They should make all pit entries so there is only room for 1 car. Then this nonsense of passing on pit entry would be negated.

    As with ALL sports - Rules are meant to be pushed to the breaking point. Remember - Its not a penalty or a foul just because the the rule book says so. Its only a penalty or foul if (a) you get caught and (b) the refs enforce what the rule book says.

  6. The head of the FIA is a former ferrari employee. Please don't bring Wurz into the equation. You're grasping.

  7. There's room in the fast lane for two cars side by side, but Vettel deliberately didn't leave any, gradually moving further and further right. Both cars left their respective boxes at the same time, so Hamilton wasn't specifically 'released' in the path of Vettel, he just got a poor getaway and ended up alongside.
    On the restart, agreed, Button was going ridiculously slowly, however, everyone else has to go at the speed set by the lead car. As long as he didn't brake check anyone, no issue there. Again, however, Vettel and Hamilton both were down the inside of Webber in the last corner. Hamilton couldn't have been any closer to the apex due to the presence of another car. Maybe Mark should read the rule book, then he'd know to defend the inside a bit better after the safety car line. Vettel and Hamilton were equally accountable in both situations, so I'd rather that neither or both were penalised.

  8. "But no, he kept going in the mechanic's area. As CG said, there should be a poll among the pit crews to see if they would rather waterboard him or just go straight for decapitation..."

    Wow, really?. Watch the video again and look at vettels blocking and all the room to his left. And as someone else said, we've seen this side by side racing in the pitlane before. I'd say it was egregious only because of vettel not giving hamilton room. I'm not a hamilton nut hugger btw.

    I do agree that the safety car restart incident was a little odd. But then again, look at vettel "clearly dive boming" hamilton also, as hamilton did to webber except that it is possible that hamilton lost traction due to the wet conditions, and vettel did not.

    Personally I thought it was one of the best races yet and we saw some exciting racing. Isn't that what we want?

  9. The pit lane entrance was what pisesd me off the most. I think it was Valencia of last year when Alonso came into the pits late and he cut across the white line. He got a drive thru I believe because of that.... I don't know if that white line that make it a "two lane" pit entrance MEANS anything on the Shanghai track but Hamilton was driving like a nut. I don't know what's wrong with that guy. The box exit; Vettel was, for some reason released late, by the time he got up to the McLaren box Hamilton had just been released (hard to tell without an in car) but the wheel spin on the painted surface killed any advantage Hamilton had. Really if he was smart, not arrogant and cocky he would have let Vettel pass and gone for the overtake on the track. He had the faster car of the two throughout the race. It was tough listening to the BBC stream online last night because of course they kept stroking Hamilton's ummm... "ego" all race long.

  10. There are too many Hami haters in here. Not enough of you actually realize he humiliated that entire field and if there would of been another lap Button would of been next on that list. Marvelous drive by him, not enough drivers race with that passion anymore.

    And Alonso's dive on Massa going into the pitlane was f'ing great too.

    Best race of the year so far.

  11. Hamilton drove again a marvelous race in China, but this does not mean that all rules for the purpose of safety have to alleviated specially for him.
    What I find more surprising is there are people blaming Vettel for not letting Hamilton in on the 'fast'-lane in the pit. Since when do you have to give way to other people when you are already there? Does this mean that Schumacher should have given way to Massa in the hairpin, rather then keeping the door closed, which meant that Massa went briefly of track? Oh wait ... it was KingHam. Sorry, missed that part. Special people, special circumstances.

  12. Agreed on the level of Hamilton hating going on here. Everyone's got their panties in a bunch, especially the author of the post! I know it's tough to see the rain fall and know that Hamilton is gonna have a great run, simply because he excels in this stuff. But take it easy on the whining just because the race is a little more exciting than usual.

  13. Honestly, as a Mclaren and Hamilton fan, I have to say, I'm starting to get tired of Hamilton's action of late. He's an incredible racer, amazingly fun to watch but he's been doing so many stupid things that opens him to much unnecessary scrutiny.

    The pit exit thing IMO is a big no no, keep the racing on track, not on the bloody pit lane. I'm all for good battles but not with all the pit crew that close to the cars. He needs to calm down or Button is going to walk all over him just by staying cool and consistant. It's extremely frustrating as a fan to see him self destruct.

  14. The pit lane entry and exit has those white lines for a reason. Going over the gravel traps and racing in the pit lane, not to mention the dramatic entrance into it, is neither kosher nor safe.
    That said this is a throwback to the glorious 80's Hamilton is a character and characters are good for the sport. He is not making any friends and one of the other racers will probably dish out payback soon.

  15. Taypciala...

    "Since when do you have to give way to other people when you are already there?"

    I don't expect anyone to give way, it is the fact that vettel turned into hamilton.

  16. I don't think it has anything to do with "Hamilton haters". F1 is supposed to be the pinnacle of motorsport yet we see completely different treatment of one driver over another eg webbers drive through during his first win last year, yet no drive through or time penalty for Hamilton. He is being outgunned by Button, Vettel and Rosberg and obviously doesn't like it one bit, but that should not allow him to get away with dangerous driving and clear as the video you see posted here rule breaking. As for his holier than though denial of any knowledge of any incident in the presser afterwards, what an absolute tosser.

  17. I'm a massive Hammy fan BECAUSE of all the "controversial" stuff that happened in this race (among many others). I'm sure most of the people crying about him loved the crazy battles in F1 when Schumacher was in prime form, and lets not forget all the asshole (ie: awesome, entertaining) moves he pulled during his career.

    It's about time F1 had some drivers with some balls again, that weren't afraid to race, be pushy, be aggressive, break some rules, and put on a show. He embarrassed half the field out there with that drive. I say good on him, and I hope he delivers stunning drives like that for the rest of his career. He's a wonderful mix of brilliant, clean, amazing races dotted with immature, over the top stunts and asshole aggressive moves. I wish the entire field was just clones of him, at least F1 would be exciting and interesting to watch again.

  18. ^^^^^^^^ Could not have said it better myself. Well put. I too wasnt that big of a hamilton fan until this race.

  19. Complete and utter rubbish and you seem to be woefully misinformed. Hamilton was ahead of Vettel for several laps before the pitstop and then Vettel tried to overtake in the pitlane entrance - Hamilton was giving Vettel room in case the German was not entering the pitlane. That's right, the driver attempting to do the same as Alonso and overtake in the pitlane entrance was Vettel not Hamilton.

    Also, why was Vettel forcing Hamilton into the Mechanic's area - not very sensible from Vettel either.

  20. At the restart, you carefully neglect to note that Vettel was on the inside of Hamilton forcing him wide and towards Webber.

    I get it, you don't like Hamilton.

  21. From 55 seconds into the video (and several laps before that) Hamilton is leading Vettel and yet you think Hamilton is the one trying to overtake Vettel? What utter crap.

  22. Without reading all the comments and making mine comment about the original post..... feels like a bit of Hamilton bashing to me.

    Released from the pitlane a mere fraction of a second after Vettel, the release is not his responsibility. He finds himslef with interlocking wheels being squeezed into others teams wheel guns but can't easily back out as wheels interlocked.

    It was fantastic viewing.

    As for Webber. Bad luck. Vettel was inside Hamilton. Who is more to blame?

    All the things he is being critised for are things that are making F1 exciting. We're having our cake and eating it too.

    Relish the last few races and their incidents, rather than pick one driver who has been a breath of overtaking fresg air ever since he arrived in the sport.

    Far more interesting (and equally I'm all for it) was Alonso forcing team-mate onto the grass by dive-bombing on the way into pit lane. Brilliant stuff but all of them.

    Long may this spirited driving continue.

    Love it all. And so far this season, pretty good job by the stewards too.

  23. At the end of it I was most happy for Jenson Button taking the victory. I'm rooting for McLaren to take the titles this year. Alonso is a controversial figure and his overtaking of Massa at the entrance of the pit was disparaging to Massa fans like me. :-) It makes rooting for Ferrari all the more harder. Ferrari blows in the race strategies but is ready to decide which driver should win the title? I guess not.

  24. The decision by the FIA to introduce drivers as assistants to the stewards was a huge mistake. There have been multiple incidents this season where drivers should have been penalized but they were not (ie, Webber should have been penalized for crashing into Hamilton at Australia). Hamilton and Alonso should have both been penalized for what they did in the pit lane.
    Now I'll just wait for someone to tell me how "i hate racing" or something ridiculous.

  25. i'm sorry but this is real Ham-Bashing to me aswell, and it's something i'm gettin' used to reading Axis, wich i love btw.
    on the first manouver well, let it be it, he even lost 1 place for that, enough said.
    Then for the overtake at the entrance of the pitlane, i don't see anything wrong since there is no rule wich actually says that drivers can't overtake in that place, sort of a grey area ready to be covered by the nanny-FIA i'm sure.
    Then Vettel was pissed like i don't know what and squeezed Ham onto the guns, that's something you have to penalize, i remember at least 5 or 6 episodes with drivers going side by side in the pitlane during the exit, Vettel was angry and made a dangerous move by pushing Hamilton to the right, that's all.
    In the end, at the restart, again was Vettel's fault since he was on the inside of Hamilton who could'nt do anything not to hit Webber.

    They are both 20 or so years old and they want to win like noone else in the field, i can agree there's the need to calm them down but seriously, i hope you're not suggesting it was hamilton fault for what happened during the race are you?

  26. 1) Vettel was trying to overtake Hamilton going into the pits, not the other way round. He'd been behind Hamilton for a while.

    2) Look at the still before you load the video, notice that Hamilton is mostly off the road, and yet Vettels rear tyre is in behind, not to the side of, Hmailtons front. If Hamilton breaks, he hits Vettels rear tyre and has a huge accident. If he goes to the right, he tangles up in the air guns, and has a huge accident. Who was responsible for Vettels position? It was Vettel, not Hamilton. He had plenty of room, and yet he chose to go so far to the right that they had interlocking wheels. Therefore it was Vettel, and not Hamilton, who caused the main danger at the time. And it was he who later lied about it ("I don't know why he was so keen to touch me" Why was Vettel so keen to touch him?)

    And yet, in all the racing side by side incidents that we've had in the past (Including one with Vettel shoving Alonso out of the way in Germany 2008... seriously go and look at it, the positions are reversed, Vettel joins at alonsos side, and doesn't back down and at pit exit shoves him out of the white line), no ones mentioned anything, but the moment Hamiltons involved, there's a huge outcry. Why does this not surprise me.

    3) Again, Vettel was running into Hamilton after the safety car. Funny how it's still Hamiltons fault, and not Vettel, who apparently is faultless.

    I'm sorry, but in all three incidents Vettel is at least as, if not more, guilty of wrongdoing. But, hey, it's more fun to blame the ex-McLaren driver.

  27. Don't bother starting the video, just look at the caption at the bottom. Hamilton's pit stop 24.4, Vettel's 24.1. 0.3 difference is next to no difference when it comes to releasing drivers from the pits. The only thing they did wrong was in not backing down, and both were equally bad - or rather Vettel was worse as it was eventually Hamilton who conceded position after Vettel tried to push him into other teams' wheel guns.

    But don't let that stand in the way of a good Hamilton bashing.

  28. Glad we could get in some god Hamilton bashing. Makes some people feel better. YAWN.
    The 'let's wind-em up comment "I guess having a steward who had been a Mclaren driver for six years as Alex Wurz was, helps!" COULD have been written better. So easy for the ignorant to fall for that one.

    But, your readers are much smarter than that judging by the quality of the comments.

    Know your readers, we are not football louts.

    Still enjoyable here.

  29. Sorry Axis but this also strikes me as yet more hating on Hamilton. I dont really need to add anything else about this race as all reasons have been discussed above.

    I will however comment on the punishment, both SV and LH being reprimanded for the incident. I feel that, as with the Petrov swerving, the punishment fits the crime. Perhaps in retrospect it shouldn't be allowed and i'm sure the FIA will look to bolster their rulebook to advise on that. But at the end of the day, they all finished the race, and one hell of a race it was too.

    If anything i'm not looking forward to the European tour as Red Bull really should wipe the floor with everyone assuming we get some consistent weather.

  30. Interesting. Did this blogger have the same attitude when Kimi raced alongside Kubica in the pit lane during Canada 2008. In fact Kimi was on the garage side of the blue lane. Even worse than Lewis.

  31. As far as the pit lane incident, Hamilton fan boys should just realize that as soon as he lost traction he lost the position and should have slotted behind, Why in the world should Vettel have given him room on a one lane pit road so that hamilton could have the inside line into turn 1?

    The exit is one car at the time not 2.

  32. Clearly Vettel gave no quarter on the right side of the pit lane exit . . . why should he? . . . he had no requirement to do so. Hamilton lost the slot and should have fallen behind. Case closed.

    Hamilton bashing? Don't think so. He's no victim, and questions regarding his behavior and not without reason.

    Hamilton drove an exciting race . . . but again over drove and destroyed his tires. For my money, Button's ability to again win at the slowest, calmest pace speaks volumes, and Alonso's recovery from his drive through deserves praise.

    I like Felipe, but its good to see Alonso state through action that he will not spend 2010 stuck behind . . .

    Great race

  33. @AC:

    i'm with you on that, LH should havo slotted behind and he did not, on the other hand tho SV made a VERY dangerous manouver to block LH.
    That's the whole point of this, Vettel did not need to push Ham since in the end he was going to end up first anyway since he could have released the speed limiter earlier than HAM.
    no need to put a lot of people in danger for nothing, LH raced, raced hard but fine, Vettel just made a dumb move that could have caused a big crash.

    the end

  34. Hey guys! Relax... We all know its good for the sport, and praise the fact that the new steward's system is allowing for more show, but it is a fine line before it all goes WWF (Staged wrestling for those on the right side of the Atlantic).

    In this case, I see no harm in Ham-ego getting no penalties as it doesn't change the outcome that his "slower" but clearly cooler and smarter World Champ teammate won the race.

    I'm all for pushing the envelope of the rules, and I condone and do it as I neither want to be the guy who lifts the most in a yellow flag or a tight restart and looses the race, plus I've gotten my fair share of drive deserved and undeserved drive-thrus and its all fair (but nothing beats still winning after a drive-thru!! :^) )

    However, Hammy just keeps doing dumb (and potentially) harming stuff that gets him nowhere (pitlane drag race was stupid), other than polarizing the fan-base and increasing his hate-mail. Hey, we almost saw "Hamilton Beach" the sequel! He clearly shows he cant think straight if Button is ahead, and he is just becoming the hated villain every good movie needs. A Far cry from the "loved villains" like Ayrton.

    It has nothing to do with his driving ability and skills, which IMO are Top 5 among this generation. He continues to prove he is bad person and a weak soul. I don't like the F1 WC to be like that. Just look at Alonso, a class act that gets the job done EVERY time despite mistakes and adversity (and no haters, other than Hamboy fans).

  35. CG>>"He continues to prove he is bad person and a weak soul."

    LOL, why should anyone "relax" when in that sentence you just posted one of the biggest loads of biased bullshit I've ever read? CG, the the ultimate judge of character.

    Hamilton is immature and far to coached, but some know it all wanker contributing to a blog ain't in no position to determine his overall character beyond that.

    Man, would love to see what ya'll would have said if Hamilton had told a reporter "tough luck" when all that reporter was trying to do was get an interview...but hey, everyone else can be assholes with no further discussions of their personality right ;)?
    Keep up the wonderfully biased analysis - it's what blogs are about...and thank your stars for the 'boy', he's helped create some of the most entertaining races in AGES (of course when the golden boy loses from pole, and Forza Ferrari fails again, I understand the blog owners have difficulty appreciating that).

  36. Fpol, didnt you know I am "professional judge of character"? That's most of what I do for a living... (I can tell a Maddoff as i can pick a Hamy from a crowd of 24).

    Cant complain about the entertainment factor.... keep it coming Hamy and I hope I can keep up with the opinionated criticism.

    Nevertheless, objectively the better driver continues to be Alonso. At the end is all about winning. 2nd is first looser...

  37. CG>>> "Nevertheless, objectively the better driver continues to be Alonso. At the end is all about winning. 2nd is first looser..."

    So that makes Alonso the third loser then (or looser if you really prefer)

  38. Button is the clear winner so far (that was the intention of my comment)
    He has made the best out of really bad scenarios without recurring to high drama or unnecessary antics and is coming back to Europe with the same points as Hamhead but without the higher hate count....


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