Lewis Hamilton won the race in Hungary, but you wouldn’t think it. The level at which he’s subtly and not-so-subtly swiping at Rosberg’s pole lap at the Hungaroring isn’t just irritating at this point, but shows vulnerability.
If you’ve got beyond that opening paragraph, well done, you’re officially not a rage-quitting fanboy/girl/amoeba. Hamilton remains publicly critical of Rosberg’s pole. He’s brought it to Hockenheim with him, and it’s a bit out of character really. Lewis Hamilton has been outspoken in the past, but has been relatively calm and comfortable in the past few seasons.
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) July 29, 2016
But the games are starting to play out again. News emerged today that the FIA have changed the qualifying regulations so that a red flag will replace a double-yellow. Surely, by the power of Greyskull and everything sacred, Hamilton will be cool with that? He’s the guy who all of a sudden cares about driver safety, the voice of reason in times when grey areas emerge because nobody seems to understand that a purple sector on a drying track doesn’t equate to dangerous speeds.
In reaction to the rule change, that happened today, a week after he won the race in Hungary, as he sits top of the driver standings, Hamilton said,
“So that means when Fernando is facing the other way around the other day it will be red flagged? We just need to obey to go a lot slower. Take caution. That is what it is supposed to be. It is just different to what we had in the past. It was different last weekend and it is different again. As long as it is clear.
You are not supposed to go green or purple. You should be a certain amount slower than your previous lap. Stopping the session guarantees it. It still doesn’t address what happens after a yellow flag, which you can kind of cheat and people will cheat. It needs to be thought out more.”
– Lewis Hamilton
Nico, what have you done? Pissed in his cornflakes? Nico… You have spilled Lewis Hamilton’s pint.
It’s unbelievable that a racing-driver with 23 years of racing experience is deliberately averting the issue that the purple sector was set on a wet track that the previous Q3 times confirmed was drying at a rapid rate.
Had Lewis been in Nico’s position on the track that day, he’d have done the same thing and would have been praised as a tactical genius. Despite Hamilton getting a lot of stick for taking the issue to the FIA himself, I think he was well in his rights to do so, because he wouldn’t have known the exactitude of the situation. So that’s fair game, there are World Championship points at stake…
But to bring a juvenile mindset to Hockenheim shows that as much as the press (especially SkySports HAM) like to think that Hamilton brings a psychological A-game to each race weekend, the inability to get over last weekend (a weekend in which he won the race!) will only serve to prevent him from focusing on extracting 100% performance out of his side of the garage.
Let’s face it, both driver’s have f*cked each other over at some point this season, but the more amiable driver will be the one that saves the big statements for the track.