Hamilton evokes a Senna memory from 1988


Nico Rosberg achieved three back-to-back wins in Monaco, something not seen since the streak of Senna victories between 1989 and 1993.

However, Lewis Hamilton appeared to evoke his own Senna memory – this one was from 1988.

Ayrton had been almost invincible during the 1988 Monaco F1 weekend in his McLaren Honda. He had qualified a whole 1.5 seconds ahead of his world champion team mate Alain Prost.

Senna led from the start, with Berger overtaking Prost when the Frenchman momentarily could not engage second gear.

The race was incident packed as Alex Cafi put his new Dallara-Ford into the barrier at St Devote, Philippe Streiff retired from 12th place with a broken accelerator cable and Nelson Piquet collided with Eddie Cheever – all on lap one.

Lap 33 saw Alboreto take out Nigel Mansell at the swimming pool and on lap 51 Phillipe Alliot collided with Riccardo Patrase’s Williams car at Mirabeau.

A frustrated Alain Prost managed to pass Berger on lap 54 down the main straight, retaking second place – but he was now 50 seconds behind his team mate Ayrton Senna.

The two McLarens then traded fastest lap after fastest lap, but Prost managed to reduce the gap by 6 seconds after Ron Dennis sent a message to Senna to slow down and ensure the 1-2 finish.

On lap 65 Senna lost the car into the barrier at Portier, the suspension was badly broken, so Ayrton abandoned the car and walked straight back to his Monaco home.

The team didn’t hear from him until later that night.

On the parade lap after yesterday’s race, Lewis Hamilton stopped his car on the outside of Portier for what appeared to be an age. He clearly wasn’t admiring the view of the Mediterranean because the drivers cannot see above the barriers.

For that half-minute or so, seasoned F1 observers wondered whether Lewis was about to jump out of and abandon his silver arrow – before heading off to his Monaco home.

Of course Lewis dutifully returned to the pit straight and took his place on the podium, and the poignant moment had passed.

17 responses to “Hamilton evokes a Senna memory from 1988

  1. He probably would have done the same has it not been the end of the race with a podium finish.

  2. Remind me, how many grid places was Alboreto penalised for taking out the 4th running Mansell? Surely Alliot got at minimum one race suspension for eliminating Patrese while being lapped? And what about Cheever vs Piquet? They can’t all have been “racing incidents”?

  3. I think he stopped there to talk on the radio. What he had to say was a bit to long to take place on the rest of the lap 😂 and due to too many curse words we didn’t get to hear that message on the telly

  4. What a propaganda moment that was. His cool down lap was like the “Sympathy for Hamilton Tour”, the Senna stop, the snails pace drive from there to the podium, the solitary (middle of the track) moment after receiving his trophy, it was one big sympathy play and he played it to the fullest. He didn’t behave like a double world champion, comfortably leading the title chase, he looked like a B movie actor playing from a script.
    Why didn’t Hamilton, passer of passers, make a Ricciardo, full balls, type pass on Vettel? The whole post race performance was in keeping with a man who new he made the wrong call.

    • i think that (maybe with the exception of kimi) every driver would have been distrought had this happened to him and behaved in a similar way. it was neither petulance nor unprofessionalism, but exactly the type of emotion people want to see when they see sporting events.

      as far as the overtaking move goes, he couldn’t pull it off risk free, and crashing out while trying to force a highly improbable overtake would have cost him the championship lead. this slotting into third was damage limitation and a sign of maturity.

      • When he said “I can’t win” before the restart he had admitted defeat, the emotion after that was self pity. The Hamilton I most often hear quoted wants the great challenge, the champions victory, here was opportunity, where was he?
        I guess risk free, damage limitation drives are sometimes necessary, but so early in the season, in this situation, an effort at a Champions drive to recover was in order. To me that would be the mature behavior, not quitting and the post race pout fest.

        • “I guess risk free, damage limitation drives are sometimes necessary, but so early in the season, in this situation, an effort at a Champions drive to recover was in order. To me that would be the mature behavior, not quitting and the post race pout fest.”

          the only thing he could have done remotely resembling a recovery is to try and crash into both vettel and rosberg immediately after the restart, in order to ensure that neither of his two closest championship rivals score more points than him. overtaking was simply not possible and vettel had less to loose than hamilton, so he could risk a crash, while hamilton couldn’t.

          • Hamilton gave up so we will never know what might have been. It was disappointing to see one of the worlds great racers quit rather than fight the good fight. Where was the Hamilton who tells us he relishes the epic battle? Race 6 out of 20, leading the championship by almost a full win, it was the perfect time to take the big risk and he wimped out. I don’t think that Vettel would be any less likely than Hamilton to try and avoid a collision, he doesn’t want to lose ground in the points race, in his car making up missed points is difficult. I would bet he would be less concerned with Hamilton passing him then letting the points for third slip by.

      • Totally agree, I thought Lewis was incredibly dignified in defeat, my nan used to say “if you have nothing constructive to say, say nothing”, he could have torn the team to shreds in the podium interview, but he didn’t, he simply said that they win together and lose together, if those are not the words of a champion, I don’t know what is.

        • I don’t know what he would have torn the team to shreds about, Hamilton was the one who ventured to the pits with a dozen laps to go. Why would he give up track position at Monaco, he was unable to pass Alonso in 07 or Rosberg last year, so why was he worried about Rosberg or Vettel passing him now?
          I don’t see that his canned response on the podium was as showing as his cool down lap and actions after receiving the trophy.

        • Sometimes he manages to remember his PR training. Then his body language and facial expression do a magnificent job of completely contradicting what he’s saying. Very entertaining!
          Running into the “3rd place” marker board when pulling into the podium parkplatz was eloquent too.

    • I agree. Hamilton’s last lap was full-on Hollywood. It can get a bit much to take.

  5. It reminded me of the 92 gp.where mansell lead from the start,until,a few laps from the end he had to pit and simply couldnt get past senna to retake the lead.

  6. I guess he was frantically tapping his pockets only to realise that his keys were at the garage. Then thought of climbing via the balcony of his neighbours but thought the better of that because it was probably packed with models who would’ve insisted on a selfie with him while he only wanted to sit and cry with Roscoe in his lap… Whom he – damn – also left at the garage.

    ‘There’s no escape. Let’s face the music’ he murmered and shifted to first gear.

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