I have always liked my Formula One racing, back in the days of Prost, Senna and Mansell I was a regular attendee at Brands Hatch, Silverstone and Donnington (only the once unfortunately).
As a sport it has always appeared somewhat more ‘grown up’ in nature when compared to Football or other professional sports. The stars have normally managed to ‘behave’ and set a good example to their fans. That is until Lewis Hamilton came along…..
His first ‘incident’ was a few years ago when he reportedly ‘told un-truths’ on the instructions of his team. We put that down to being young, and gave him the benefit of the doubt. There is no doubt that Lewis is a great racer, he has huge natural talent and is capable of being one of the greats – but only if he calms down!
He has however in my view reached new levels this weekend with his furious attack on stewards after twice being penalised for incidents during his race to sixth place in Monaco. He said;
“It’s an absolute frickin’ joke,I’ve been to see the stewards five times out of six this season.”
Asked why that was the case, he said apparently in jest:
“Maybe it’s because I’m black. That’s what Ali G says.”
These comments could land him in trouble with F1’s governing body, the FIA, who may consider Hamilton has contravened the rule saying competitors must not bring the sport into disrepute. I hope they do – the comments are not acceptable on a number of levels, but in particular in relation to the last one, he of all people should know better!
Hamilton argues that he is trying to give people a spectacle to watch – fair enough, but behaving like a spoilt child is not acceptable for someone in the public eye.
Recent actions by the likes of Rooney, Giggs and now Hamilton give totally the wrong message to the youngsters who watch them. Is it not time to try to reign in the superstars and get them to behave?
Financial penalties for any of these stars for their misdemeanors are pointless – dock points from the Teams in football and points from the driver and team in motor racing – they would soon learn to behave!
I think BBC Sport’s F1 commentator Martin Brundle has got Hamilton’s problem sorted – 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.”
Too right Martin!