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Join Paul and me as we review the Formula 1 Mexican Grand Prix. We cover each team as they finished and each driver as they finished…which seems obvious…and we hand out awards. We also discuss the the, in Paul’s mind, very reality that perhaps Seb did purposefully clout Hamilton and much more.

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An F1 fan since 1972, NC has spent over 25 years in the technology industry focusing on technology integration, AV systems integration, digital media strategies, technology planning, consulting, speaking, presenting, sales, content strategy, marketing and brand building.
  • p1ngu

    Donkey Of The Day?

    NC, I think you’re reading a little too much into this. Unless there are other quotes, what I saw was this:

    “I want to go out at the top …I could do the easy thing, like obviously Nico did, which is just stop and retreat with these four titles. But I think there’s more in me. I think there’s more to come, more of a challenge. There’s harder times ahead and I like that, I love that. That’s challenging and it would be so boring without it.”

    I don’t quite get where you see that as Hamilton attacking Rosberg because he’s a father, that somehow fatherhood is easy. After all, Seb Vettel has kids, Grosjean does, Massa … probably loads that I don’t know about. It’s not about being a father, and I’m not sure it was even Hamilton attacking Rosberg (though I concede that it might me). It was simply Hamilton saying that retiring, walking away as a man with more money than God and no need to work another day in his life, is something he can’t conceive of, that it would just be too easy.

    I completely fail to see what raised your ire, I have to say. Seems entirely reasonable to me that someone so laser-focussed on his career couldn’t possibly understand that others – in this case Rosberg – would have different motivations, would want other things. And that level of near-obsession is what drives multiple world champions.

    • Paul Charsley

      I wouldn’t call it an attack, and i don’t think it was perceived as so, it was just a statement of why bring up Nico and how he “retreated” and did the “easy” thing (which was not easy at all). Just thank everyone for another title and move on, keep it all in the positive rather than take another opportunity to take a dig at Nico, i don’t even know why he is even thinking of him at this time

      • p1ngu

        OK, maybe attack’s a bit strong. But I’m not sure he was even having a dig; it’s certainly not how I read it.

        The fact is that Nico DID walk away, DID decide to take it easy. I mean, why not; he’s happily married, has a lovely kid and has other things in his life. He also has a well-stuffed bank account and no need to work again, ever. And whilst the decision to walk away may have been hard, the life he’s now leading is waaaaaaaaay easier than before.

        I imagine all that Hamilton’s looking at is the binary choice he has to make, pretty much immediately: walk away, or re-dedicate yourself to yet another campaign. As the last person to walk away from F1 at the top was Nico, it’s hardly surprising that he’s the example Lewis would use.

        • Achim

          I think the remark shows how much Nico got under Lewis’ skin by winning the WDC last year. And apparently Lewis is still not over it.

        • “I could do the easy thing, like obviously Nico did, which is just stop and retreat”

          I think that’s a very clear dig at Nico and very ham-fisted to be honest. How does he know it was the “Easy” thing? None of us know what went through Nico’s mind, the pressures he may have. You’ve mentioned a couple times about his wealth and easy lifestyle, that’s a big assumption. Lewis’s life and wealth aren’t factor here? The guys who have families and children and who are still racing are amazing. Kimi, Massa, Vettel to name a few. It’s not easy being away from your children and spouse.

          Nico didn’t “retreat” or take the easy way out as implied here by Lewis. He made a lifestyle choice and chose his family over F1. He may race in other series or do something else in time but for now, this is the choice he made and walking away from F1 had to be a very, very difficult decision.

          We can parse words and ascribe intent but on the face of it, having just won his 4th title, bringing up Nico as an example of how he isn’t going to lead his F1 career because it is an easy road or retreating is just heavy handed. Why mention it at all?

          Regardless, the comments were buried in the press anyway and no one is talking about it because I think the press know it was a ham-fisted comment that’s not very defensible. They would rather focus on the most successful British driver ever and ignore the goofy things that seem to always put his foot in his mouth.

          Regardless, what an terrific achievement from Lewis. Congratulations to him, it’s not easy holding it all together but that bobble from Ferrari was enough of a window for him to attack and take his 4th and that’s what champions do. Nothing easy about that at all and Lewis didn’t retreat when Seb was in the points lead. Neither did Nico in 2016. ;)

          • p1ngu

            “I took my decision on Monday evening. After reflecting for a day, the first people I told were Vivian and Georg, followed by Toto.

            ‘The only thing that makes this decision in any way difficult for me is because I am putting my racing family into a tough situation.”

            Nico himself didn’t seem to think it was that difficult to make the decision.

    • Rock or Something

      Sorry to disagree P1ngu but, while I mightn’t have gone as far as donkey, I really do see Todd’s point. To me I don’t see it as offensive as much as I see it as sad, that Lewis can’t be proud of himself with all that he’s accomplished, and is still obsessed with other people and other times, at a moment when he has as much reason as he’ll ever have to be proud and enjoy right now. I suppose it’s part of what drives him to the heights of performance we love watching from him, but seeing what looks like a soul incapable of self satisfaction or peace and still harboring imaginary slights from years past is so discordant with the moments in which he displays it, it really is a tremendous disappointment to me at least. It’s of a piece with the desperation with which he yanks the camera back onto himself when presenters try to talk to other podium finishers. I swear if you spoke to another driver and ignored him and left him standing in a pool of gas with a match I’m afraid of what he’d do to tear the focus back. It’s just so sad and so small.

      • Schumi Toronto

        VERY WELL SAID!

        • p1ngu

          No, I’d say you were the only one.

          He parked where he was asked to, he was interviewed, he celebrated. I agree that the podium was somewhat overshadowed, but the crowd in the amphitheatre wanted to see a champion crowned, and Liberty had organised that they should see precisely that.

          • Rock or Something

            I think he’s referring to ‘over the season’ not just in Mexico. In Mexico, Lewis is the big story and deserves all the attention he got.

  • johnblair7

    I think Lewis was a bit shocked that Nico retired, probably because he wanted a chance to beat him this season. It doesn’t compute to him why Nico would retire. However Nico said last year that he had to dig deeper than ever before and probably do things that didn’t sit right with him. He didn’t want to do that again and I don’t blame him when he’s got a young family.

  • Rock or Something

    1) admire Paul’s analysis of the race start very much, well done.
    2) happy for Todd about the engine news coming out of the FIA, they listened to you! (at least some)
    3) Lance Stroll – it’s really looking very solid people. It’s as hard on me as it is for all the rest of the world’s underfunded motorsports fanatics and members of the general population who’ve seen that mug once and daydreamed of slapping it, but these are races and results are what matters and he’s really hauling the mail. Way to drive Lance, very nice.
    4) David Hobbs I love you, I have many times rubbed your lap record plaque for good luck walking out of the Lime Rock driver’s room, but that blue flag thing, I just wonder how interesting it would be to have Jolyon Palmer or Jensen or that Aussie boy with the sunken cheeks or – can we even handle it – Davide in that seat. Might be time.

  • JG

    So, this is a super weedsy comment, but I think the value of Lewis’s pass on Alonso is being slightly discounted, by a lot of folks. Once Hamilton made it up to 9th, even if Vettel had been able to finish second, Lewis would have still clinched the championship. Lewis would have been ahead by 50 points, with 50 points to play for. Since Lewis also had the tie breaker, having won more races than Vettel, even if Vettel won out for the rest of the season, there would be no way for Vettel to pass him in the championship.
    I don’t want to over emphasize the pass since by the time Lewis passed Alonso it was going to be nearly impossible for Vettel to even catch up with Kimi, but it does seem like an important active step to regain control of the championship.

    • Good point, my bad. I didn’t do the math(s). thanks for pointing that out. AND…it was great fun to watch.

  • Schumi Toronto

    Todd – Thank-you so much for pointing-out Hammy’s words vs. Rosberg. I don’t know how I missed that, but as you pointed out, there is a big difference when you are actually a Dad! If this guy gets a knighthood, I am going to PUKE!

    • p1ngu

      Why so angry? And what does being a father bring to this discussion? There are lots of fathers on the F1 grid, all of whom were puzzled by (though supportive of) Rosberg’s decision.

      The only people offended by Hamilton’s comments, it would appear, reside on this website. Hamilton’s remarks were widely reported – they’re still on the BBC website, for example – and other than on here, the only comments I’ve heard were that it shows Hamilton to be a racing obsessive who still can’t understand why anyone would walk away as Rosberg did.

      • So by suggesting Nico took the “easy” way out and “retreated” is the kind of denigration it takes to prove Lewis is obsessive about racing? If you have to tear another down to make your case stronger, you’re doing it wrong.

        Being a dad and husband are bigger priorities to Nico than continuing at Merc with Lewis as a teammate. He made that pretty clear. That’s his decision and calling that decision of choosing fatherhood and his wife over racing at Merc doesn’t mean Nico isn’t racing obsessed or easy or retreating. People can justify it all they want but it’s still a ham-fisted comment at Nico’s expense and I find that to be base behavior minutes after winning a title.

        Aside from that, I find Lewis’s drive this year to be brilliant and one for the record books regardless of Ferrari’s failure. That’s all part of it. Fernando can say Lewis had it easy and yes, he’s in the best car but getting in that car is something Lewis managed to do and apparently Fernando isn’t very good at because he’s still at two titles to four. It’s the entire package and Lewis has it.

        • p1ngu

          “Ham-fisted” is a term you’ve used a lot. OK, his name’s HAMilton, but the joke gets old really quickly.

          I’m a father (as are many on here) and frankly I don’t obsess over Saint Rosberg’s choice to leave F1. I love my kids dearly but there’s no way I’d have walked away if I’d just become world champion. You see his departure as being to do with fatherhood, I see it as being a tacit admission that he got lucky and would never be able to match his achievement. My view (and it’s purely that) is that he did retreat, he did run away. No shame in that – if you know you haven’t got it in you to do it again, and you prioritise other things, go and do them. And as Rosberg said himself, making the decision wasn’t in the slightest bit difficult.

          Hamilton was asked whether he’d be ‘doing a Rosberg’ or whether he’d be back to defend his title. He then came out with the words you see as being so offensive.

          In a previous post you said that people can “parse words and ascribe intent” – I think you should probably reflect on whether you’re guilty of this yourself. My view, as I said in my first post on this, is that you’re reading far too much into it. Your choice, your podcast, your blog. Just don’t expect everyone to blindly agree.

          Note: not everyone who doesn’t agree with your view in this is part of the Hamfosi.

          • We simply see if differently. I don’t believe Nico lucked into the title just as I don’t believe Lewis lucked into this one.

            By the way, I say Ham-fisted quite a lot and it is not meant as a joke because it has “HAM” in it. Only Hamfosi would think that. ;)

  • rob

    i think lewis made those remarks as a direct response to nicos article in f1 racing magazine that came out before the mexican gp , the headline was “how i psyched lewis out to beat him ” or words to that effect .
    if you think what lewis said about nico was wrong read the article for context , and maybe if todd and paul would stop with the character assassination of lewis at every opportunity
    there podcast which on the whole is good and professional would rise above the rest

    • That’s a big supposition isn’t it? I haven’t spoken to Lewis about that article to know if that’s what prompted his comment (assume you haven’t either)…I’ve never seen that article nor has most of the world but what we did hear is his comments slating Nico. Also, news and magazine headlines in that rag are meant to stir readership so some liberty is taken when writing the headline. That’s been that way for a long time at F1 racing mag. I stopped reading it years ago.

      Also, you may have missed all of the “Drive of the Race” awards I gave Lewis or praise that he’s driving better than I have ever seen him or the comments I made about him driving through balance issues and really getting on top of tire management or that I think he’s done more to promote F1 than any other driver. Tell me again how a comment of him being ham-fisted about Nico is character assassination? I was on TalkSport radio and said that no matter who you are, you have to recognize Lewis as one of the greats in F1. Period. Again, how am I engaged in “Character assassination”? I don’t think Lewis needs my help in that department.

      I’m not clear on why Hamfosi feel that Lewis is beyond reproach and that any comment other than praise or worship now becomes a hater or character assassination. I called Vettel a dork for the Baku incident, that was a bone-headed move. I’ve defended Lewis driving Nico off track due to his aggressive style and I’ve said the same of Vettel and Fernando. I like their aggression to be honest. I like that about Max too.

      But minutes after winning your 4th title and becoming the most successful British driver in history, you have to slate last year’s champion? I find that really odd and in poor taste. That’s all I said. Does that make Lewis the worst person in the world or the worst driver? Of course not. I think Lewis would be a fun guy to hang out with but regardless, it was not a very classy act.

      • rob

        lewis isnt beyond reproach far from it , {he’s human all drivers are }
        there’s no doubt he’s eccentric and has the sartorial elegance of Quentin crisp long lost cousin . but also he doesn’t deserve half of the crud and vitriol he gets from people like the poster below either , and that is a direct result of one sided views on every thing he says and does that doesn’t fit the norms of more conventional drivers , i see it all the time with mr brundle when lewis is tetchy on the radio , mr brundle calls him petulant , but if its another driver say mr alonso then its all ok . i must of listened to your podcast on and off for about 4 years or so and for you to say you don’t take an active role in the constant drip feed of negativity towards lewis is quite frankly hilarious and is worthy of the great orange cheeto in the white house , sorry if you don’t see it that way but its the reality i get while listening , oh and giving someone praise one week while also getting in the occasional dig doesn’t square it up neither ,if you are still unsure on how you come across just read below poster

        • The last four years, Lewis has given us ample opportunity to praise and criticize him. When he’s a dork, I mention it, when he’s awesome, I mention it. If you were listening way back when you would have really loved the Turkish opera criticism or his dad crashing into a children’s playground in a Porsche.

          When he puts himself out there in social media, it has an impact and I’ve argued quite a lot that he’s done more for F1 than F1 has done for itself from a marketing a brand awareness standpoint. One might argue that it is these actions that, as you say, aren’t conventional and does place him in a highly visible situation. With that, comes praise and criticism. The new F1 owners love this about him as do his fans…I think it’s terrific!

          I have no axe to grind with Lewis, I don’t know him. I will say that it sometimes seems as if there is a Lewis echo chamber. As long as you are praising him, the comments go unnoticed by Lewis fans. The only thing that registers is the criticism and then it gets unsavory.

          Regardless, There is one person alive who knows exactly how I feel about Lewis and that’s me. I think Lewis is terrific. I’ve stated the myriad reasons I think that. If folks have a hard time being critical or hearing people be critical of something they love, there’s not much I can do to help but I am fully capable of liking Lewis and being critical of him in the same sentence. I can do that with Fernando, Vettel, Max and every other driver on the grid. To be fair, I wasn’t quite as balanced with Nick Heidfeld but that goes without saying. ;)

          Brundle is right, Lewis can be petulant. He can be a dork sometimes and he can say things, like the Nico retreat, that are simply boorish. That’s just Lewis. Some dismiss it and justify it, some hate it and loath him. I do neither, but I do call it out as being a heavy-handed move and completely unnecessary. Does that mean I hate him? Of course not. I don’t know him. I am pretty sure I’d really like him if I met him, he seems like a nice enough guy.

          • rob

            I think your missing the point I was trying to say is that if Lewis is being a dork as you put it then fine call him on it but this is where I have issues not just with you but some parts of the f1 community is balance , why not call out the others drivers the same , when fernando or kimi or Sebastian have hissy fits on the radio or talking to the media it gets passed of as understandable frustration or amusing buy likes of Croft or brundle ect to single out Lewis as petulant I find odd when is see no difference in tone or content . , you often go on about the mobocracy when social media and news outlets jump on a driver or team for a perceived incident, especially if you personally have an opposing view , unless you live in an alternate universe you will notice that Lewis is often on the receiving end of this , there are still large parts of tifosi that put Baku 100% at Lewis fault for no other reason than he wasn’t driving the red car , Anyway your show your podcast , and on the whole I do enjoy your takes on most things , i might look at life through slightly silver tinged sunglasses , so lll leave it at that and hope you continue with your podcasts , it wasn’t my intention to upset or annoy just add my take on what I see and hear
            Rob

          • I get that. As for Baku, that wasn’t Lewis’s fault. He jammed up the field, caught Seb off guard and Seb punted him. Bonehead move on Seb’s part as was telling Charlie to eff off. Dork. I’ve met and ridden 185mph with Seb, he’s awesome! But he’s not without his moments just as Lewis isn’t.

            Now, to be fair, and it could just be me, but the mobocracy is normally berating me in defense of Lewis so if you say it’s usually against Lewis, I’ll have to take your word for it. I don’t see that as much.

            I’ve had words about Max, Bernie, FIA, teams, drivers and the whole lot. Some personalities I find more appealing but that’s human nature. Very much the same as our podcast. Some people like it and they love Paul and Grace but dislike me, that’s ok. I’m fine with that. Certainly personalities resonate with certain people. That happens. Thanks for listening though. ;) Even if you feel like I am secretly a Lewis hater…or not so secretly. I can assure you, I’m not.

  • jakobusvdl

    Wow! An hour twenty race review podcast, that eloquently covered the all the teams as they finished, lots of exciting passing, Renault p.u’s granading every lap, Paul planting trees for Halloween, an awesome race win for the plucky (former) teen, exciting first corner controversy, amazing fightback through the field, a world championship settled, and all the comments are debating a criticism of Hamilton’s character……hummm
    Come on F1B fans there’s more to F1 than debating the soap opera of driver ‘personalities’

    • Paul is quite the horticulturalist.

      • jakobusvdl

        I’ve heard people say he’s a real hor-ti-something or other ;-)

    • Yep, It is a bit odd that folks have a hard time understanding that I can praise Lewis and criticize him in the same sentence. They only hear the criticisms and the praise never registers. Impartiality can be confusing to fans and that’s normal I guess. People accuse me of hating Lewis over the years but perhaps the biggest giveaway in my ability to stand back from an issue is my criticism of Ferrari.

      Everyone knows I am a Ferrari fan and yet no one gets upset about the numerous times I’ve been critical of the team. They only seem to get upset when I’m critical of Lewis. Not Ferrari. Not when I’m critical of Vettel or Alonso or Jo Jo. Just Lewis. I think there’s a lesson for them in that.

      If the criteria for being a Lewis fan is that you can never be critical of him, well, I guess I am not a fan because those rules don’t seem to apply to being a Alonso fan or a Vettel fan or a Max fan. I was critical of Max this year and the entire Dutch nation didn’t come down on me for being so. But dare I say something critical of Lewis, well then it’s #TeamLH on the attack. I get hate mail and scorned.

      That’s unfortunate and to be honest, it does Lewis’s brand more harm than good. Heck, I criticize Lewis and even in this commentary section I get accused of being Trump…what?? What is that? Not even sure where to begin with that.

      • p1ngu

        You need to lose the thin skin and the slight air of paranoia. You run a podcast and people are going to criticise; if you aren’t prepared for that then disable comments or delete the worst of the offenders.

        There are those who will hear no evil of Lewis Hamilton, but I’m not one of them. I’m not reacting to your words because they’re uttered about Hamilton, but because I think you’re simply wrong, and are projecting your own interpretation onto someone elses’s words. I’d have said the same if you were talking about any other driver.

        Note: If you’re really receiving hate mail, I can only sympathise.

        • It’s not think skin at all. I get it that you don’t agree, that’s perfectly fine. If you think my criticism was harsh based on what he said, I completely understand that. I’ve argued my counter thoughts on your critique of my critique, it’s not think skin.

          I’m not bleating on about people sending me hate mail about Lewis (yes they do) and I certainly am not unhinged about people not agreeing with me or having a different view. Perfectly fine.

          My above comment is simply trying to point out that I view all the teams and drivers with as much impartiality as possible. Praise where it’s due and critique where I think it’s warranted. You may not agree where I feel it is warranted and that’s perfectly ok by me. We just don’t agree…that happens. My comments are more in general about the types of feedback I get by and large from Lewis fans. You may hate the guy for all I know. If so, that’s perfectly fine by me too. ;) Just don’t let #TeamLH know or you’ll get hate mail. Just saying. :)

          • p1ngu

            Sorry to hear about the hate mail; that’s just unacceptable.

            Full disclosure: I’m a bit of a Hamilton fan. There’s the racing, but there was a time when my son was in a wheelchair and we were at Brands Hatch. At one point we happened across Lewis (his brother was racing in the Clio Cup series, we were in the team pits); no cameras, no sponsors, no hype and for short while he was the centre of an injured boy’s attention, asking how he was, assuring him that life would get better, and generally behaving as you’d hope. A real gentleman, told my son that the fans were the stars of any race meeting, and seemed properly authentic. He also pointed out that the wheelchair was set up for understeer and that the handling must be terrible.

            I’m sure he can be a total arse at times, but what I saw was a guy who just loved racing, loved being around racers, and who made my son’s day.

          • The email comes with the territory. It’s part of having a podcast and people disagreeing. No worries.

            That’s a great story. I have a signed hat from Lewis. Never met him though. I can imagine that was a massive thrill for your son to be sure. Those are the kinds of things that detractors most likely never see from Lewis or other F1 drivers.

            Some people aren’t big Juan Pablo Montoya fans but when I met him and interviewed him two years ago, he brushed his press handler off three times to stay and chat with me. They were trying to get him to leave as we only have a couple of minutes but he wanted to stay and chat about my questions etc. Very nice of him.

            When I met Seb, he couldn’t have been nicer. Took a lot of time with the media.

            I met Joey Logano and that guy stayed at a press event for over an hour longer than his schedule allowed so he could give hot laps for every single member of a college Eco Marathon team.

            Marc Gene was incredibly nice. Felipe Massa was too. All great stories from drivers who took time to chat with fans and I’m sure it their schedules are jammed and they’d rather be with their own families.

          • jakobusvdl

            Guess what p1ngu! It hasn’t been that hard to pick that you’re ‘a bit of a Hamilton fan’ – you need to lose the thin skin, and air of paranoia ;-)

            That’s a lovely tale about why you’re a Hamilton fan. It’s a shame that’s not the side of his character thats displayed more often.

      • jakobusvdl

        And still the discussion is about the Hamilton……..
        Wasn’t it fantastic that the Renault powered Red Bull’s were so competitive at Mexico?
        Presumably most of the problems with the other Renault p.u’s were cooling, because Verstappen in clear air didn’t seem to have any issues.
        Let’s hope McLaren don’t try to size zero the bodywork around the Renault p.u next year.