I’ll give Lewis Hamilton the benefit of the doubt here and suggest that he had some issue to attend to and needed the time off to see to them. Why else would the champion ask to be released from testing duties last week in Austria handing valuable seat time to Nico Rosberg?
Sure, he was posting pictures of himself and celebrities (Pharrell Williams) during that time frame but who knows? Maybe his personal issues happened in the evenings or early morning? I have no idea why Lewis asked to sit out of testing for a second time this season but I’m not alone as Derek Warwick seems equally stumped:
“He was off the pace all weekend in Austria, he had a bad start, I’d want to be trying that start out again, checking my clutch is ready for the British GP,” Warwick told Sky Sports F1’s The F1 Show.
“I just find it bizarre that he would say ‘no’ and go off and be in Monaco with whoever he was with. As a racing driver you want every second you can in the car, if anything to keep the other driver out. It is obvious to me.”
Nico Rosberg even made light of the fact that he was running on the days Lewis was slated to drive saying he was doing Hamilton’s work for him. Maybe his new contract allows him to skip testing or he just really had things he needed to do.
Regardless of all the speculation, Hamilton may have had a lackluster performance in Austria but he tends to be able to bounce back and do well in just about anything he climbs in to. Having said that, I testing is severely limited in F1 these days and any chance you can get to have seat time and work with your engineers on the chassis has to be a positive and missing that can’t help your efforts.
Before you get critical, keep in mind that this is what Bernie Ecclestone probably likes most about Lewis, he’s out there in the media hanging with celebrities and bringing Formula 1 a lot of attention so good on him.
Hat Tip: Sky Sports F1