Lewis Hamilton’s behavior and comments across the course of the Monaco Grand Prix weekend have certainly ruffled a few feathers, with John Surtees and Derek Warwick becoming the latest figures to condemn his actions.
Hamilton was left fuming after losing pole position to teammate Nico Rosberg under controversial circumstances. Whilst on provisional pole, Rosberg made a mistake on his final flying lap, taking to the slip road at Mirabeau after locking up.
However, this brought out the yellow flags, and meant that none of the drivers behind him – including Hamilton – could improve their time.
Rosberg denied doing it deliberately, and despite the stewards agreeing with him after an investigation, Hamilton seemed sure that it was an intentional move to deny him pole position. He went on to finish the race in second place behind Rosberg, but did not congratulate the German on the podium.
Derek Warwick was the lead FIA driver steward in Monaco, and told British newspaper the Daily Mail that Hamilton should “man up” and accept the decision his team made.
“I understand that Lewis was upset,” Warwick said. “Possibly he would have gone faster than Nico on that lap. Arguably the incident cost him the grand prix.
“I don’t want to give him advice really. He has won umpteen races and a world championship, but if I were to say anything, it would be to man up and concentrate on the next race in Canada.
“We had all Mercedes’s data, including Lewis’s data to overlay on Nico’s. We had the FIA data. We had onboard shots, overhead shots, circuit shots. We had throttle traces, braking traces, everything we needed to make, hopefully, the right decision.”
John Surtees concurred with Warwick, saying that Hamilton’s behavior in the wake of the defeat was disappointing.
“I have no doubt about Lewis Hamilton’s driving ability, but I didn’t like what I saw and heard from Monaco,” the 1964 world champion wrote in his column for Motor Sport Magazine. “I can understand the frustration that Lewis must have felt in not having that opportunity on the last lap of qualifying to get pole.
“But I think his reaction to his teammate and team was wrong.”
General consensus in the paddock is that Rosberg’s error was exactly that – an error – and that Hamilton’s frosty reaction was a little uncalled for. However, in the bid to win a second world title, the Briton is clearly pushing as hard as possible.
It will be interesting to see how the intra-team relationship has changed by the time of the next race in Canada, but judging by the fall-out in Monaco, we could be set for a spectacular battle at Mercedes in 2014.