Remember Mark Webber’s controversial interview on ITV after his retirement at the Japanese Grand Prix?

It’s kids, isn’t it. It’s kids with not enough experience, and they just go and fuck it all up!

At the time, most people — myself included — thought that he was referring to Sebastian Vettel. But my brother brought up an interesting point to me today. He didn’t say “it’s a kid”. He said, “It’s kids.”

Was he laying the blame on Hamilton as well as Vettel?

His most recent comments — that “Hamilton did a shit job behind the Safety Car” — are pretty scathing about Hamilton’s role. As far as I can see, he has made no criticism of Vettel since Sunday.

Given the announcement that Hamilton is now being investigated by the FIA stewards for his role in the crash, Webber’s quote now takes on a new meaning. Isn’t it funny how most of us assumed he was just talking about Vettel when he could have been talking about Hamilton as well?

28 comments

  1. Minh

    No, it’s not funny, since it’s blimmin’ obvious to anyone with half a brain that Hamilton was not at fault.

  2. John

    Perhaps, but to those of us in possession of more than half a brain it’s clear there’s a case to answer. Even at the first start Hamilton’s driving was borderline – the on-board shots from Alonso were quite unnerving as he sped up and slowed down, and that’s from second place – the effect further down the grid with the stop/start wave moving down the pack plus the lack of visibility must have been bad.

    But the Webber incident was so unnecessary – the safety car wasn’t coming in, there was no restart, and no need to drive so unpredictably. Still – why take my word for it – at least Webber, Vettell and Button agree, in fact unanimous out of the drivers we’ve heard from (plus Alonso, but we might consider him to have a vested interest…!)

  3. Korsowan

    Yes it was kids, and it was Hamilton and Vettell: if you watch the YouTube video, Hamilton has certainly got a case to answer. He braked so hard that from being alongside the Safety Car he goes to at least 17 lengths behind – the Safety Car was a round the next bend before Hamilton finished rounding the bend on which the accident occured. He had to stay within 5 lengths – he is going to have to come up with an answer, or start 10 places back on Sunday.

  4. Tom

    Looks like the stewards are not investigating Hamilton after all. This from rasf1:

    David Croft has just been on R5L stating that the stewards in China
    have stated categorically that there is no investigation into
    Hamilton’s actions at Fuji.

    The original story came from the FIA who issued it to the media without
    referring it to the stewards in China.

  5. This is the way it should be. It is not the job of the stewards of the Chinese Grand Prix to investigate something that happened at the Japanese Grand Prix.

    Instead, it is going to the FIA Court of Appeal next week.

    Update: Wrong about that last sentence, I misread a story (the appeal is actually for the Sutil thing).

  6. Tom

    Ok, here is what Hamilton thinks:

    “I don’t really think much of it to be honest. I did the best job I could under extremely difficult circumstances with the rain, and I did the best job I could to stay out of everyone else’s way.

    “It’s the first real situation I’ve been in in the wet behind the safety car having to manage a gap between the guy in front and look out for everyone around you.

    “Your visor’s completely fogged up, your mirror’s completely fogged up, you’re just scared of crashing into someone else, you’re just trying to get out of the way and they’re trying to put blame on me.

    “If you look, I did it every lap, that’s the line I raced on because it was the dry line and that’s probably why I won.

    “There was less water there but I always caught the pace car up. I pulled up alongside him, obviously I can’t overtake him so I braked which was also giving me more heat in my brakes and my tyres.

    “I waited for him to go away and all of a sudden Mark appeared up alongside me, I decided to accelerate and the next thing I hear is a big thud.

    “He’s allowed five car lengths behind me, I don’t know why he was so close.

    “I had a good weekend, I don’t think I put a foot wrong and I didn’t do anything to harm anyone else or put anyone else in danger but I’ve come away to China and no doubt I’m going to be punished for something.

    “I just think it’s a real shame for the sport. Formula One is supposed to be about hard competition, fair and that’s what I’ve tried to do this year, just be fair.

    “If I’ve been in the wrong, I’ve been the first to put my hand up, or apologise at least, and I don’t mind being given a penalty but there’s been some really strange situations this year where I’m made to look the bad person or by the looks of it this weekend could be given a penalty.

    “It’s just a shame for the sport and if this is the way it’s going to keep going then it’s probably not somewhere I really want to be.”

    Exactly.

  7. Interesting how Hamilton thinks that the “five car lengths” rule applies to Webber but not to himself. As I said, I’ve seen plenty of races in the wet, and nobody has driven like Hamilton behind the SC that I can remember.

    Vettel has now had his penalty reversed, which I think is the correct outcome.

  8. “It’s just a shame for the sport and if this is the way it’s going to keep going then it’s probably not somewhere I really want to be.”

    wow, not that Im too surprised. Too much is being decided in FIA courtrooms and not on the track.
    Maybe Hamilton should just win this year and then bugger off to America – Im sure thatd suit all you with Hamiphobia.

  9. I’m not even sure why we’re listening to Mark Webber – he’s achieved absolutely nothing in the years he’s been in F1 other than moaning… moaning about Jaguar, moaning about Williams and now moaning about the “kid” who’s beating him.

  10. Tom

    The stewards have announced that no penalty will be given to Hamilton.

  11. probably not somewhere I really want to be

    Remember that Alonso said something similar last year!… Everybody feels like a victim. Mind you, Alonso just broke a fakey rule, while Hamilton broke an actual rule.

  12. Tom

    Hamilton clearly did not break any rules in the view of the FIA, otherwise he would have received a penalty.

  13. Yeah, but like I said in the other post, Hamilton is the new Golden Boy in the eyes of the FIA, filling the void left by Schumacher. Just like Michael Schumacher, Hamilton will be able to get away with more than most.

    Besides, they’ve removed Vettel’s penalty, so they must have thought that Hamilton did play a part in the accident. They just don’t have the guts to punish him for it.

    I maintain that if Schumacher tried to brake-test somebody during a Safety Car period, or used a crane to re-start his race, the British media would have castigated him. But of course, it’s eh-okay when Hamilton does it.

  14. Hamilton is the new Golden Boy in the eyes of the FIA
    How on earth can you think that? Ferrari is the constant goldenboy in the eyes of the FIA, apparently commanding a 50% importance in FIA the decision making process – but McLaren and Hamilton are being lambasted at almost every race by the FIA for one thing or another.
    Where does this Hamiphobia come from?

  15. It’s about hypocrisy. Like I said, if Schumacher did the stuff that Hamilton does, he would have been criticised for it, and rightly so.

    All too often when you press somebody on Hamilton’s behaviour it descends into nationalism. Well he’s British. Woo-hoo, good for him. But I think Britain’s had enough world champions and it dominates F1 anyway. Why not give other countries a shot?

    As for the FIA, their pro-Ferrari bias is not in doubt (I’ve covered it extensively on this blog). But for the past three or four years that has manifested itself as anti-Alonso bias as well. When you look at the things the FIA has stuck its nose into, they have affected Alonso more than most. I think there is a resentment among a lot of people about the fact that Alonso was able to beat Schumacher fair and square when Schumacher didn’t have an excuse.

    Hamilton was hit by Kubica at Fuji and Kubica got a penalty. But Alonso was hit by Vettel and got worse damage, but Vettel went unpunished for that incident.

  16. All too often when you press somebody on Hamilton’s behaviour it descends into nationalism.

    Maybe, but aren’t all countries the same.

    Well he’s British. Woo-hoo, good for him. But I think Britain’s had enough world champions

    How many is enough world champions? I dont see it myself, you can never have enough world champions.

    and it dominates F1 anyway.

    In the teams? Sure, theres good historical and technological reasons for that.

    Why not give other countries a shot?

    If theyre good enough they can manage it themselves, they dont need any favours. F1 is supposed to be the pinnacle of motor racing, not a charity hand out.

  17. It’s about hypocrisy. Like I said, if Schumacher did the stuff that Hamilton does, he would have been criticised for it, and rightly so.

    I must have missed all these things Hamiltons been doing which are comparable to driving into Hill in order to win and stopping in the middle of the track during qualifying – to name but 2. Enlighten me, please.

  18. Tom

    Removing Vettel’s penalty does not even remotely imply that they believed Hamilton to be at fault. The two are entirely unconnected. They have simply decided that Webber slowing down and Vettel losing concentration was a 50/50 racing incident and there should be no further penalty as retirement from the race is penalty enough. It does not have any bearing whatsoever on whether Hamilton was to blame or not.

    Regarding Ferrari, I’m starting to think that the decision by Schumacher and Brawn to move to Ferrari in 1995 (and not McLaren as was expected by everyone else at the time) was in part down to their calculation that the FIA was institutionally biased in favour of Ferrari, and that they (Schumacher and Brawn) could use that bias to their considerable advantage in the coming years. With the recent revalations surrounding the floor pan incident in Australia (the fact that the FIA knew it was illegal before the race), it seems even more likely that this was the case.

  19. #16, I was being facetious. My point is that Hamilton does not just gain my respect because of where he comes from. In fact, I respect it a lot more if a driver comes from a country where F1 isn’t a traditional sport because he will have much steeper hills to climb than the average British racing driver.

    As for Hamilton’s controversial incidents, there was his moaning post-Monaco, instigating the Hungaroring controversy (conveniently ignored by the British media, who chose to direct their ire at Alonso) and the crane incident.

    Don’t forget that Hamilton has not even completed his first year yet.

    Schumacher crashed into Hill in his third full season, and stopping in the track during qualifying happened in his seventeenth.

  20. I dont see how even those 3 examples combined are equivalent to DRIVING INTO Hill.

  21. moaning… moaning about Jaguar, moaning about Williams and now moaning

    A whinging Aussie, say it ain’t so.

  22. Yeah, but nowhere have I said that Hamilton has done anything as bad as driving into Hill. All I have said is that he plays Schumacher-esque dirty tricks, and if Schumacher had done them he would have been criticised for it.

    By the way, why are you not so concerned about the time when Schumacher drove into Villeneuve?

  23. By the way, why are you not so concerned about the time when Schumacher drove into Villeneuve?

    Just because driving into Hill was more memorable, and a blatant ‘taking out’ manoeuvre from what I remember

  24. .. nowhere have I said that Hamilton has done anything as bad as driving into Hill. All I have said is that he plays Schumacher-esque dirty tricks..

    Isn’t that comparing Schuey and Hamilton? Aren’t my two examples Schumacher dirty-tricks? Nothing Hamilton has done can be compared to those two surely? Seems fair to question your comparison.

  25. Well, yes, my whole point is to compare Hamilton to Schumacher. What you have done is taken two of the very worst of Schumacher’s many dirty tricks and said, “well, Hamilton isn’t as bad as Schumacher then”. But I never said Hamilton was as bad as Schumacher. Like I said, Schumacher did not even play as many dirty tricks in his first season!

    I said Hamilton plays Schumacher-esque dirty tricks. And if Schumacher had played the same dirty tricks, he would have been criticised by the British media and fans for it. But he gets away with it because he is British! That was the only point I was making. You just keep on constructing straw men.

  26. Like I said, Schumacher did not even play as many dirty tricks in his first season!

    What are these dirty tricks? really? None of the examples you gave me were ‘tricks’ ; moaning – wow! see Webber for moaning (or any F1 driver); Not sure what the Hungoaring controversy is; and the crane – discussed to death, seems to me he just took advantage of a rule that no one else had the presence of mind to think of.

    I said Hamilton plays Schumacher-esque dirty tricks. And if Schumacher had played the same dirty tricks, he would have been criticised by the British media and fans for it. But he gets away with it because he is British! That was the only point I was making.

    So what has that got to Hamilton? Thats the media up to their usual tricks.

    You just keep on constructing straw men.

    No sir, I think it is you that is constructing the men of straw.

    British or not, why can you not be pleased that there is an exciting young driver in F1, the season would have been far less interesting without him – and its just a lucky coincidence that he’s British. Ignore the media hype and ITV’s (Allen’s in particular) sycophantic coverage (as is usual for ITV) and just enjoy the racing.

  27. Wow, if you don’t know the Hungaroring incident then you really must have been relying on the warped British media view of everything. No wonder you can’t see when Hamilton is in the wrong. Here is the story.

    As for the crane, just remember how much Schumacher was criticised when he was pushed out of the gravel at Europe in 2003. And remember also that when Heidfeld and Alonso tried to do the same thing, they were ignored by the marshals. Hamilton on the other hand did not just get pushed out of the gravel — he was helped by machinery as well!!

    What straw man have I constructed?

    I enjoy the racing, and as I keep on saying I think Hamilton is an amazingly talented driver. The difference is that I can recognise it when Hamilton has done something wrong.

  28. Wow, if you don’t know the Hungaroring incident then you really must have been relying on the warped British media view of everything. No wonder you can’t see when Hamilton is in the wrong. Here is the story.

    Ah, I remember the incident now. Didn’t Alonso’s physio stop him from going or was that media hype? It’s surely difficult to say exactly what happened there unless youre one of Hamilton, Alonso or Ron Dennis. There’s been so many stories and counter stories Im not sure I can choose a story to believe.
    Chalk it down to ‘fog of war’ maybe?