While I credit Lewis Hamilton’s recovery drive as a serious potential for drive of the race, there was that moment when the champ tried to make a pass on Plucky Teen Max Verstappen into the final chicane. Many argued he moved under braking which is being naughty by Formula 1 terms. He did get aggressive in the braking zone although Lewis wasn’t alongside of him so the 3-time champ avoided touching the Red Bull by bailing out and taking the escape road at the corner.
It seems that Lewis struggled with social media as much as he did his start at the Japanese Grand Prix as 90-minutes after the race, Mercedes filed a protest over Verstappen’s move. Mercedes argued that Verstappen had “erratically and in a dangerous manner” per Article 27.5 of the FIA Formula 1 sporting regulations.
The stewards convened to consider the matter but both drivers had already left the circuit and couldn’t provide details from their perspectives so they had no choice but to delay any review until the next race in Austin. That isn’t the strange part, the odd issue was Lewis Hamilton’s Tweet which said:
“There is no protest from either myself or @MercedesAMGF1. One idiot said we have but it’s not true. Max drove well, end of. We move on.”
That tweet was then deleted and replaced by this one:
“There is no protest from myself. Just heard the team had but I told them it is not what we do. We are champions, we move on. End of!”
The team then made it clear to the press that they had made the decision to withdrawal the protest saying:
“in the interests of establishing a final official result this evening once it became apparent the hearing cannot be concluded today”.
What’s even more odd is that I read that Lewis was on the plane with Niki Lauda and Toto Wolff, presumably, when he sent the tweets. Not sure how the three of them didn’t quite get their story straight.
I’m not entirely clear on who the “idiot” is in Lewis’s statement but presumably the inner workings of the F1 press know who he was referring to. One thing I did gather from this weekend’s social media fueled brow beating is that Lewis is not at all happy with certain folks in the print media. As such, it’s not going over very well when you penalize all media while trying to send a message to certain individuals. Maybe Lewis should just sit down with the folks that are making him angry and talk it out?
I remember when the worm turned for Schumacher, Vettel and Alonso in the press and it’s not an easy thing to deal with after you were the darling of the media for so long. Each driver manages it in their own way and Lewis is getting resistance about the way he is choosing to deal with it.
So, back to the actual block. I tend to agree with Martin Brundle’s on-air comment about the block. I don’t think it was worthy of a penalty. That’s easy to say from a couch and if I were Lewis, I would be slightly miffed as moving under braking is not a popular thing via the FIA rules. Still, I’m not sure I see a penalty there but many have argued that it’s not allowed and now everyone will be doing it. Do we want them to race or would we like to micro-manage every lap of a race to determine the outcome?
How did you see the block? I think I know how the Dutch will see it and how #TeamLH will see it but as a member of neither mob, I think it was a racing deal. I feel sorry for the “idiot” as he’s on Lewis’s S*** List and that’s probably not a good place to be.