29 May 2011
Hamilton: Maybe it's because I'm black...
An angry Lewis Hamilton was in no mood for pulling punches after what he described as a 'shambles' of a 2011 Monaco Grand Prix, during which he claimed some of his rivals were 'frickin' ridiculous' and the treatment he received 'an absolute joke'
Following what he conceded was a weekend to forget in Monte Carlo, an angry Lewis Hamilton has launched a scathing post-race attack, slating some of his rivals as 'absolutely frickin' ridiculous', describing the penalties he has received this year as 'a shambles' and 'an absolute joke' and quipping that he is seemingly being singled out for persistent victimisation by stewards 'maybe because I'm black'.
Hamilton – a former Monaco Grand Prix winner – was in the wars from qualifying onwards in the glamorous Principality during the 2011 edition of the world-famous race. After being denied a proper shot at pole position in qualifying by Sergio Pérez's Q3 accident and subsequently being demoted to ninth on the starting grid for cutting the chicane, the McLaren-Mercedes star went on to make contact with no fewer than four of his adversaries on race day.
Having been mildly nerfed from behind by a slow-starting Michael Schumacher into Ste Dévote for the first time, the British ace subsequently clattered into Felipe Massa into the Grand Hotel Hairpin on lap 33, with the pair's side-by-side duel through the tunnel culminating in the Brazilian's retirement just moments later and earning his assailant a drive-through penalty for his misdemeanour.
Hamilton then found himself assaulted from behind by the Scuderia Toro Rosso of Jaime Alguersuari after Adrian Sutil's brush with the wall at Tabac prompted the late-race chaos that claimed both the Spaniard and Vitaly Petrov, and brought out the red flag. Upon the resumption of competitive hostilities, it did not take long before the 2008 world champion tangled with his next victim, the luckless Pastor Maldonado, who – having driven a superlative grand prix for Williams – had been justifiably on-course for the first points of his fledgling F1 career.
Whilst the Schumacher and Alguersuari incidents were not of his own making, those with Massa and Maldonado palpably were, prompting BBC F1 commentator Martin Brundle to acerbically muse: “It can't always be the other guy's fault.” Predictably perhaps, Hamilton disagrees.
“Maybe it's because I'm black!” the 26-year-old told BBC Sport in a post-race interview. “That's what Ali G says. I don't know... You know what, out of six races, I've been to the stewards five times – it's a joke, an absolute frickin' joke.
“You can't overtake here, and very, very rarely do you get an opportunity. I was quite a lot quicker than Massa, I went up the inside and the guy turned so early and just turned into me. I tried to go over the kerb to avoid him and we were stuck together, and then of course, I get the penalty, which is usual – he held me up in qualifying, and I got the penalty; he turned into me, and I got the penalty.
“Then I went up the inside of Maldonado, and you can see on the screen that he turned in a good car-length too early to stop me from overtaking him and crashed into me. It's just ridiculous. These drivers are absolutely frickin' ridiculous. It's stupid.
“People want to see motor racing, they want to see overtaking, and you get done for trying to overtake, you get done trying to put on a show, you get done trying to make a move. Fair play, if I really feel that I've just gone too late and hit someone, I'll put my hand up and realise, okay, I really have caused an incident and I've been the stupid one, but that's not the case.”
Monaco Grand Prix
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