Surtees: Hamilton reaction to Rosberg was wrong

Surtees: Hamilton reaction to Rosberg was wrong

World © Octane Photographic Ltd.Formula 1 legend John Surtees feels disappointed in Lewis Hamilton following the Briton’s far from gracious defeat at the Monaco Grand Prix last weekend.

Hamilton was left fuming after a mistake by teammate Nico Rosberg during qualifying meant that the German driver had inadvertently given himself pole position. The yellow flags shown to denote his off at Mirabeau meant that the drivers behind Rosberg could not improve their lap times.

Although the stewards deemed it to have been an innocent mistake, Hamilton was convinced that it was deliberate. For the rest of the weekend, relations in the Mercedes garage were cold, with the Briton not congratulating Rosberg on his second consecutive Monaco GP victory.

Surtees – the only driver to be world champion on two and four wheels – expressed his dismay over Hamilton’s behaviour in his column for Motor Sport Magazine.

“I have no doubt about Lewis Hamilton’s driving ability, but I didn’t like what I saw and heard from Monaco,” he explained. “I can understand the frustration that Lewis must have felt in not having that opportunity on the last lap of qualifying to get pole.

“But I think his reaction to his teammate and team was wrong.”

Like the stewards, Surtees believes that there was nothing sinister behind the mistake, and that Lewis should have cut Nico some slack. He also believes that the Briton’s comments about Rosberg’s upbringing – intended to rattle him – actually had the opposite 0965LB1D7715effect.

“Considering the speed that Nico Rosberg had been able to exit Casino, and the way the road down to Mirabeau moves the car around, and the fact that having decided to abort the corner he went to the end of the slip road, I would have given him the benefit of the doubt,” he said.

“Lewis had said earlier that he had more motivation than Nico to win the world championship because of his upbringing in a flat in Stevenage, where incidentally I used to lodge when starting my career racing the Norton, as against Nico growing up in Monaco.

“If Nico wasn’t already inspired to win his first world championship then Lewis certainly would have provided some material for him to dig even deeper.”

Surtees is certainly not the only figure to lend his support to Rosberg, with Derek Warwick, the FIA steward who ruled in Monaco, telling Hamilton that he should “man up” and accept the decision.

Images courtesy of Octane Photographic.

Luke Smith

Luke Smith

Luke Smith is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Richland F1. Having started the website in March 2012, he has gone on to become one of the youngest members of the Formula 1 paddock after joining American broadcaster NBC Sports at the beginning of the 2013 season. Luke now works as the network's lead F1 writer, supporting the TV coverage on nbcsports.com. Luke's work has also been featured on NBC News, Yahoo! Sports, Driven Magazine and the Bahrain Mirror, and he has also appeared on CNBC's TV series "One Second in F1 Racing".


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  • Heslig

    If you are going to criticise a driver then get it right. Hamilton did not say this about Rosbergs upbringing. He was careful in answering a question from a journo and made a point of saying they will all consider themselves more hungry than the rest.
    Surtees answer presumes that Lewis is wrong. He has not got all the inside information that Lewis has. Look at the situation again on the basis that Lewis is right and it looks different. The truth is we don’t know.

  • AlexL

    Their point is Hamilton is out of line comparing where anybody hails from whether someone is more or less fortunate. if Hamilton simply said he is hungrier, period, that’s fine.

    What Hamilton said about the above and talking south Senna in general shows a lack of class and maturity.

  • Martin

    With all due respect to the great John Surtees, it’s easy to say that Hamilton over reacted when you’re already a world champion. And there are still a great many people in the paddock that don’t necessarily buy Rosberg’s explanation of the events. Asking the people that don’t buy into Rosberg’s excuses to set aside their suspicions is a bit pompous IMO. Hamilton is a consumate professional and will act accordingly. But I’m sure he feels the way he does for good reason. Now let’s get on with the season!

  • Tony Clifton

    @ Martin. ” it’s easy to say that Hamilton over reacted when you’re already a world champion “. Hamilton already has a championship under his belt. His behaviour post qualifying and after the race was completely immature and an embarrassment to Mercedes. Lewis constantly forgets that he is a representative for a large Mullti-billion euro automotive corporation. He needs to act like a professional inside and outside the car and grow up. The issues he had should have been aired behind closed doors not out in public.

  • Tony Clifton

    If Lewis spend more time with his mouth closed and less time trying to be like Senna he might be better off… His fixation on Senna is beginning to get scary… Be your own Man!