Hamilton acquires Schumi's bad habit

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 09 June, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 09 June, 2011, 12:00am


Often the measure of a man is how he deals with adversity. On this, Lewis Hamilton is less of a world champ and more of a chump. Let's hope this weekend's race in Canada has less bleating from the man who has more reasons than most to be happy, but who didn't smile much in Monaco.

A team player he is not. When Sergio Perez's crash wrecked McLaren's qualifying strategy, Hamilton found himself lining up on the grid in seventh when he thought he had the pace to be on pole.

He felt the team should have put him out early in the last qualifying session to get a 'banker' lap in. It's an argument that's not without merit, but the argument should have been had behind closed doors, not via the media.

The race was an utter disaster, with the Brit taking on the mantle, previously held by Michael Schumacher, of 'wrecker in chief'. Two penalties issued by the stewards for his less-than-subtle racing left him not contrite, but fuming.

In an astonishing post-race interview he launched a broadside against the stewards of whom he's been seeing a lot of recently. It was, he said, a 'frickin' joke'. Plainly he feels picked on, but his joke (and it was a joke) that perhaps it was 'because I am black - that's what Ali G says' was woeful.

It doesn't make you warm to the guy. Stop blaming everyone but himself for his misfortunes might help. So might finding a mentor figure to get valuable advice from. Now his father no longer manages him, somebody to counsel calmness and caution is essential.

Elsewhere in the world, the Bahrain Grand Prix is back on. There are at least 40 million reasons why it's being squeezed into the calendar and they're all wrong reasons. We're talking US dollars of course, and that's what Formula One would have lost if it didn't take place.

Apparently, it's all fine and dandy in the Gulf state now. It must be, because the sport's governing body, the FIA, has been on an inspection tour to see for itself. Of course, it was shown around by the government so it wasn't the most balanced of experiences. The ruling family also lifted the state of emergency a few days before the visit which I'm sure wasn't a coincidence.

State of emergency or not, not much has changed. Take the actual race circuit itself. It is reported that a quarter of the employees have been arrested in the unrest. There are 108 local employees at the Bahrain International Circuit. Reuters said that 28, all Shia Muslims, were detained and five are still in prison including the chief financial officer.

It's madness to reinstate the race. Don't take my word for it; listen to some of the more weighty figures in the sport. The drivers are against the idea.

Take the always principled Mark Webber who said 'when people in a country are being hurt, the issues are bigger than sport'. Or how about former world champion Damon Hill who claimed the sport 'will always have the blight of repressive methods used to restore order'. Even Max Mosley, the former president of the FIA, has expressed his reservations.

The teams are against it for a number of reasons. There are safety worries, insurance issues and the small matter of staff burn-out. The calendar has been wrecked to shoehorn the race back in, and the season won't end until December. I suspect the mounting pressure from all sides will see the race cancelled this season once again. If it isn't, the sport should be thoroughly ashamed of itself.

Let's try to end on a slightly more positive note by saying the Canadian Grand Prix this weekend should be a cracker. The new regulations are continuing to produce great racing and, praise be, even overtaking at Monaco! It seems that tyres are proving more critical than the rear wing DRS system. Uncertainty rules, great for us the fan, horrible for the teams.