x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Hamilton is no stranger to controversy

While no world titles have come Hamilton’s way in the past five years, he has been involved in several controversial incidents and here are three of his main ones, writes Graham Caygill.

Mercedes-GP driver Lewis Hamilton starts the 2014 Formula One season as the early favourite but the 29-year-old Briton has a lot to overcome if he wants to secure his second drivers’ championship. Tom Pennington / Getty Images
Mercedes-GP driver Lewis Hamilton starts the 2014 Formula One season as the early favourite but the 29-year-old Briton has a lot to overcome if he wants to secure his second drivers’ championship. Tom Pennington / Getty Images

While no world titles have come Lewis Hamilton’s way in the past five years he has been involved in several controversial incidents. Here are three of his main ones.

March 2009

In his first race as world champion, in Australia, Jarno Trulli’s Toyota passes Hamilton behind the safety car in the closing laps.

Hamilton and McLaren-Mercedes deny they deliberately slowed to allow Trulli through, and the Italian is penalised and Hamilton moves up a place to third.

However, post-race radio transcripts show Hamilton telling McLaren he had slowed, and he is disqualified for giving “misleading evidence”.

May 2011

Hamilton is twice penalised during the Monaco Grand Prix after being found to be at fault for collisions with Felipe Massa and Pastor Maldonado that led to each crashing out of the race.

When asked to as why he was being targeted by stewards, with it having been the fifth time in six races that he had been to see them during a race weekend, he quips in a BBC interview, “Maybe it’s because I’m black.”

Hamilton swiftly apologises to the stewards and does not receive any further penalty for the comment.

September 2012

Hamilton and McLaren make a mistake on set-up in qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix, leaving him only eighth on the grid, more than a second slower than teammate Jenson Button, who takes pole position.

A frustrated Hamilton posts to Twitter an image of his telemetry sheet, normally information guarded with great secrecy by teams, to explain the gap between himself and Button.

He is ordered to delete the tweet immediately by McLaren, with the team principal Martin Whitmarsh saying Hamilton had “misjudged the situation”.

gcaygill@thenational.ae

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