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Is Hamilton's victim complex the flaw in the perfect driver?

Is Hamilton's victim complex the flaw in the perfect driver?



Is Hamilton's victim complex the flaw in the perfect driver?

Is Hamilton's victim complex the flaw in the perfect driver?

There is no doubt Lewis Hamilton is one of the greatest drivers in Formula 1 history.

You could say Hamilton is perfect. Fast in qualifying, fast in the race, excellent with car and tyre management, while he provides detailed feedback in briefings to help improve team and car as a whole. If you were Toto Wolff, you couldn't ask for more.

His inspirational action in recent times in pushing for equality, both in the sport and society, prove how level-headed and passionate he is. Almost single-handedly, he has convinced the rest of the grid to join him in his battle.

Hamilton, however, has one problem - and it could be argued it is his only problem - his victim complex that rears its ugly head on occasion and is engaged 10 minutes before the start of a race and for around an hour after it.

We have become accustomed to his constant musings on the team radio over the years, whether it be about the condition of the tyres, why the team opted for a certain rubber or pitted him a particular time, strategy calls, et cetera. These discussions, however badly they come across, seem to provide inspiration during difficult periods of races.

But Hamilton went just one step too far during the post-race interviews in Russia. After effectively losing the race - one which if he had won would have seen him equal Michael Schumacher's tally of 91 victories - through two five-second penalties, the reigning six-time champion suggested: "They [the FIA] are trying to stop me, aren't they?"

It was an ill-judged comment from someone held in such high regard, who is meant to be a role model to up-and-coming racers.

Hamilton may have held his hands up on social media two days later, blaming the tension being high and stating he is "only human".

That may be true, but in the end, Lewis has no one else to blame other than himself and Mercedes for what unfolded at Sochi.

In fact, the same can be said for the 10-second penalty that cost them the victory at Monza. There is an unerring parallel between the two incidents.

The position of the practice starts area at Sochi, and the pit-closed signs at Monza, were outlined in FIA race director Michael Masi's event-specific briefing notes rather than the rule book.

So what was Hamilton doing in these briefings, and what is Mercedes doing across a weekend in order to fail to pick up such directives?

The situation is even more baffling when you think the team and driver communicated as the situation unfolded, believing it was perfectly within the guidelines to coast to the end of the pit exit before his practice start.

On the topic of the rule book, Hamilton needed reminding that due to the penalty being served so early in the race he could not simply add it to his time at the end. It is not a good look when one of the most experienced drivers in the field is blissfully unaware of such basics.

On the flip side, Daniel Ricciardo received praise for his reaction to a penalty of his own. The Renault driver picked up a five-second addition for missing the kink at turn two, but instead of complaining he simply apologised and drove faster to make up for it.

"It was actually quite good in hindsight. It lit a bit of a fire under my bum and I just got on with it," said the Australian.

The main thing was that Ricciardo placed the blame squarely on himself and no-one else.

I understand why Hamilton and Mercedes thought the penalties applied were harsh but would they have thought the same if the AlphaTauri emerging out from the pit lane had run into the back of his stationary car? If he had stopped in the same location during the race a safety car would have been deployed for safety reasons.

Ross Brawn, one of the men responsible for Hamilton's swap from McLaren to Mercedes, advised in his weekly F1 column he "would go away, lick my wounds and think about how I could prevent such incidences again in the future," if he was in Hamilton's position.

In fairness, there is some substance as to why the Briton would have a 'them against me' mindset at the moment. The new engine regulations surrounding 'party modes' was, to some degree, seemingly an attempt to quell Mercedes' dominance.

But it may be time for Hamilton to realise the FIA don't take sides and if anything, it is actually swaying towards his at the moment. The organisation, along with F1, is desperately trying to lay the foundations to aid Hamilton's push for equality and diversity in the sport and rightly so.

The sport tends to distance itself from any political movements, demonstrations or the likes, yet Hamilton was not penalised for his Breonna Taylor t-shirt in Mugello. Again, rightly so. Any punishment for that would have been absurd but we must also remember it was contrary to FIA statutes.

Motorsport's governing body was willing to bend for Hamilton on that occasion, you would assume due to the positive message he has delivered overall in ending racism, although has now updated its guidelines for the future.

Leaving Sochi, Hamilton remains on course for a seventh F1 title as his lead of 44 points to team-mate Valtteri Bottas is a commanding one. It is not as if the penalties he has received of late have whittled his cushion down to virtually nothing.

Petulant, throwaway comments, akin to those after the Russian Grand Prix, unnecessarily blot a quite outstanding copybook.

Before you go...

Red Bull confident of cure for "sensitive" Albon's car issues

Schumacher a "champion in the making" - Alfa Romeo boss

Comments (7)


This article is less than impartial. There is no reference to Bernie Ecclestones shameful comments in regards to Hamilton or Hamiltons penalty points after Sochi being rescinded as an indication that the penalties were too harsh.

I stand with Hamilton. He is a hero and a legend in the sport. The best ever. Having watched F1 for more than 30 years I can understand that some rulrs are enforced more for certain individuals or teams. Hamilton understands that when you put your head above the parapet you can expect to get shot!

The ten minutes before the race you refer to and the hour after is a platform Hamilton uses to transcend the sport. He uses this platform to push for equality and criticism surrounding his actions shows a reference for the status quo and a push against equality.

Why not post an article surrounding Raikonens Irom Cross and his implied bigotry surrounding the evolution of a racing driver meme....

11 0  Reply
Tinashe Dennis

This is a pathetic article crowned by the patronising back handed compliments. You don’t come from a normal background to being a 6 Time World Champion and record breaking race driver with a victim mentality. Believe me. You’ve taken the comments and ran with them too far, throw away comments aught to be thrown away.

11 1  Reply

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