After blaming a slow car on his dismal performance 2 weeks ago, Lewis Hamilton now says sponsorship obligations are the reason for his poor driving.
I just finished watching qualifying at Silverstone and this is looking to be another dramatic weekend in Formula 1. The British Grand Prix is tomorrow afternoon and neither of the two hometown McLaren boys are in the first (or second) rows of the starting grid.
This weekend has been plagued with unpredictable weather, which has made consistency difficult for all teams. The new performance regulations have also caused lot a of controversy, specifically between McLaren and Red Bull. Red Bull remains on top with Mark Webber taking his second pole of the season. Right behind him, are teammate Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, rounding out the top 3.
There’s been a lot of speculation that Ferrari has something to do with the new engine performance regulations the FIA implemented over the weekend. This stems back to an older event in which Ferrari couldn’t get their active suspension to work properly, which was soon banned from the sport. Nevertheless, Ferrari has continued to be increasingly competitive in the last few weeks.
But the big story is McLaren. What the hell is going on with this team? After two awful performances by Lewis Hamilton, he qualified 10th on his home track of Silverstone. The weather is certainly a factor for his lackluster Q3 session, but I think there are much larger issues brewing for Hamilton, both on and off the track. UK newspaper, The Guardian printed this article, in which Hamilton blames a stacked media schedule as his latest cause for bad performance on the track.
While I can agree with his frustration, it’s all a bit confusing. I’ve been following Lewis Hamilton on Twitter since his race in Montreal and in the 2 weeks leading up to Silverstone, he’s been very positive about his preparations for this weekend and his busy media schedule. He’s even been posting pictures from various press events and tweeting about how great it felt to be back in England. So you can imagine, it’s tough to know where his head is at, especially with all of these new revelations about needing more free time and slapping McLaren with list of demands for his contract renewal next season.
Lewis Hamilton is no doubt looking for things to blame as a result of the MP4-26’s poor performance on the track. His teammate Jenson Button has even come to his defense on numerous occasions about the performance of their cars. Despite both teammates being unhappy, Button has taken a much more conservative approach in the media.
A lot of people are growing tired of Hamilton’s attitude and his brash comments. He’s embarrassed his team on more than one occasion already this season. I can’t blame the guy. He’s frustrated because he’s being limited by the car. After spending an entire race at Valencia conserving tire wear and a DNF in Montreal, you’d expect the guy to be a little miffed. I think at this point McLaren shouldn’t even be thinking about World Championships. They just need to focus on winning some races. Finish the season strong and work on fighting for the top in 2012.
Red Bull isn’t going to stay fast forever. Mark Webber is in the later half of his career and Sebastian Vettel has yet to prove how good he really is. Driving the fastest car with no one to overtake doesn’t say much in terms of driving skill. I’m just waiting for the day that Hamilton comes up and snaps off Seb’s index finger when he does his stupid I’m number one again pose for the cameras.
It’s going to be a very interesting British Grand Prix tomorrow and I can’t wait.
Photos courtesy of Getty Images.