Would you get in a performance car with a man that you’d dubbed ‘Liar Lewis,’ ‘Houdini’ for his sanction avoidance – or even ‘a quitter’?
Well, all credit to some of Fleet Street’s finest, they did just that, on a wet day at Silverstone set up to repair relations between the reigning World Champion and some of the journalists that have been, er, less than supportive recently.
For a brilliant exercise in “it’s all about me!” it would be hard to beat this offering from The Daily Mail’s Jonathan McEvoy, an employee of the paper that spent the winter explaining how the ageing Jenson Button would have to accept the impending death of his F1 career.
McEvoy says: “He was in mischievous mood. â€˜Don’t worry, I’m not going to keep anything back now,’ he shouted in response to a small group of journalists who should have been charged with incitement to hatred as they egged him on from the pit lane.
“The unspoken subtext to all this was my expression of disappointment in Hamilton’s behaviour earlier in the season when he misled race stewards in the aftermath of the Australian Grand Prix. He took this as hurtful criticism and went into a long sulk.”
Remind us never to sit next to this self-involved chap at a dinner party.
Also along for the ride was James Allen, who writes amusingly about it on his blog, not least because possession of the initial A meant he got his turn first – while the track was still treacherous and untried. He says:
Hamilton wowed the journos with his sublime car control on a miserably wet day. I went first because they did it alphabetically and so it was a voyage of discovery as much for the driver as it was for the passenger on the shiny wet track. I can honestly say that the car was rarely pointing straight, apart from on the Hangar Straight. The rest of the time it was fishtailing around, as we hit the standing water at tremendous speed. Afterwards we were offered a cup of tea and a scone (yes, really) in the BRDC clubhouse.
And the photo of him apparently yelling for mercy while Lewis grins is a corker. He also had an interesting little chat with Lewis afterwards. See the picture and read the whole piece here >>
The standout bit for us was Hamilton’s remarks on the uncertain future of the British Grand Prix: “F1 would never be the same without a British GP. Personally I think it’s out of the question. I don’t know how they can even think about it.
“Last year was incredible… This one coming up I’m just going to make sure I enjoy it and embrace the fans that I have here, because they were so supportive last year. I could see them every time I came past they were cheering and waving the flags.
“You don’t feel the same excitement as you do on the old circuits. Silverstone has such a great heritage and the way that the track is laid out is unique, it has such a high speed combination of corners.
“When you drive here you are flat out all over the place, you don’t brake until turn seven at Stowe, then you come back here into the last complex and there is always a chance to lose it and go off into the gravel. It’s a technically demanding circuit.”
Hamilton to leave F1 alongside McLaren?
Also high up in the Hamilton news stakes this week was a report claiming he was readying himself to follow McLaren out of F1.
But actually, this one’s a little less than the sum of its parts. Here’s his actual quote: “I’ve got a contract with McLaren and I will go wherever they go. That’s the way it is. It is about the FIA and the teams. But it is my job to get in the car and drive.”
Sounds more like a case of “I just drive the car, mate, the politics are someone else’s problem” than “I welcome a breakaway with open arms” to us.