Hottest Online News Portal

Lewis Hamilton Rises Above Fix Talk As Jackie Stewart Questions Record

in Latest/Sports

IN the mischievous and Byzantine world of Formula One conspiracy theories are not always easy to dismiss with total confidence – but the idea that Nico Rosberg deliberately made mistakes to allow Lewis Hamilton to win Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix continued to attract scorn day.

Jenson Button was unequivocal: “I don’t think any driver would do that. No driver. It is a stupid theory. No driver would do that.” Hamilton, who apparently found the suggestion derisory, refused to comment.

The idea that Rosberg, under team orders, had taken a dive to atone for crashing into the Englishman in the previous race in Spa, was laughed off as “paranoid” by Mercedes’ motorsport chief, Toto Wolff, on Sunday evening. On Monday morning the team tweeted a picture of pigs flying alongside the caption: “BREAKING NEWS: Dramatic scenes in the skies over Brackley as #NR6 hands #ItalianGP victory to #F1 WDC rival #LH44…”, using the official hashtags of both drivers. Meanwhile Rosberg simply tweeted “I made a mistake.”

Sir Jackie Stewart, who had added some rocket fuel to the conspiracy theory on Sunday, sounded less than gracious when asked about Hamilton passing his tally of 27 grand prix victories. “How many grands prix has he raced in?” he said. “Clearly there are more races run today than when Nigel [Mansell, the leading British driver with 31 victories] or I was racing. It’s the batting average that really counts.”

Stewart had 99 starts while Hamilton has made 142. Stewart also seemed reluctant to welcome Hamilton to the pantheon of the truly great drivers. “He was created by McLaren, which at that time had one of the most successful teams in the world. As a young driver he had a wonderful position from the beginning. And then he’s joined Mercedes-Benz, again one of the most powerful and influential names in the history of motorsport. And he’s a very competent driver.

“The combination of a good car and a good driver is tough to beat. I think he’s earned it. He’s still only in his late 20s. I retired when I was 34. Michael Schumacher was in his 40s when he retired. So there’s a long future ahead of him. So he’ll accumulate a lot more victories because he’s a desirable driver for any team to have, particularly a multi-national.”

When asked which Mercedes driver he would put his money on for the title, he said: “I’m a Scotsman. I don’t put money on things like that. It’s very difficult to say. Nico has got less emotional baggage. Lewis is still quite emotional as we’ve seen since the incidents, whether it be Monaco or anywhere else for that matter.

“The mind-management issue is a big thing in my book. So in that respect Nico would probably be at a slight advantage. Lewis should be a multiple world champion by now but I think he will go and do that.”

Hamilton himself has more important things to think about after his victory on Sunday, his sixth of the season, cut Rosberg’s championship lead to 22 points with six races remaining.

Most particularly he is thinking about how Rosberg appeared to crack under pressure, going straight on at the chicane for the second time in the race to surrender the lead. Does he have the psychological edge? “I don’t have the points edge, that’s for sure,” said Hamilton. “But time will tell how the psychological battle will go.

“I came here with the same kind of positive energy I’ve had in the previous races. Maybe this weekend I had even more energy and just managed to push through everything. I had confidence before, so it’s not really changed. It kind of solidifies that confidence really. [Sometimes] the car might not be just right and you can’t catch up but we did a really good job this weekend as I think we’ve done for a while now.”

“This weekend I’ve had quite a few problems, missed almost a whole session in P2 then in qualifying in Q2 the car wouldn’t start again, but fortunately it started, and the start sequence which could have been a lot worse. That was the best it could ever be considering I didn’t have the launch. I’m just looking forward, head down and see no reason why I can’t be as fast moving forwards.”

This was a fine victory for the manifestly quicker Hamilton. It was just a shame that his exemplary drive was partly devalued by the distraction of the conspiracy-theory rubbish. – The Guardian


Latest from Latest

Go to Top