Last Sunday, the start of the Monaco Grand Prix was delayed due to weather conditions amongst other things, and Mercedes AMG F1 driver Lewis Hamilton was on the record about not being pleased with the lack of racing whilst it rained. Of course, this was reported on, but Hamilton isn’t pleased with how he was portrayed and attacked the media.
A heavy downpour was falling on the track in Monaco and the FIA decided to prioritise the safety of the drivers by making them start later than planned. Lewis Hamilton spoke out about the decision after the race and his comments were seen as a criticism of the FIA. The seven-time world champion was therefore keen to rectify the situation later on.
After the race, Lewis Hamilton, who finished eighth, made comments that were quickly taken as a criticism of the FIA direction:
“We are Formula One drivers so the weather is not a good enough reason to justify the decision.”
Later on, Hamilton wished to respond to the way his comment was reported saying:
“So the media are saying that I criticised the FIA for the last race but that’s rubbish. I think they did a great job this weekend. Could we have started the race when it was supposed to start? Probably, but they should have stopped it soon after. We ran when it was safe and that’s the most important thing.
The British driver goes on to accuse the media of generating negative content from his comments saying: “Please don’t use me to create a negative narrative,”
However, this view is not really shared by everyone.
Hans-Joachim Stuck, a former Formula 1 driver between 1974 and 1979 thought it was preposterous that there were such long delays starting saying: “What the people in charge did at Spa 2021 and now at Monaco in the rain is fooling people.
“They are supposed to be the best drivers in the world and they are there on the start line – they should be able to drive in these conditions.
“The opportunity that Stefan Bellof used in 1984 in the rain in Monaco doesn’t come along very often. Starting behind the safety car is the worst kind of stupidity. Most drivers want to prove themselves, especially in Monaco. I don’t understand this approach of the race management at all,” said the former F1 driver.
Emanuele Pirro, former F1 driver turned FIA steward, made a similar observation:
“Safety is very important but we are talking about the best drivers in the world driving very powerful cars. I would have let the race start on time and only stopped it if the conditions were really extreme.”
Finally, former Mercedes director Norbert Haug believes the FIA will have to deal with this problem internally: “The spectator thinks his car runs in the rain but the best drivers and cars in the world can’t? Formula One would be well advised to find ways to stop this. I’m sure it’s on Ross Brawn’s (the current technical and sporting director of the Formula One World Championship) list.”