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Lewis Hamilton Plays the Race Card After His Monaco Grand Prix Penalties

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - OCTOBER 30:  Championship rivals Lewis Hamilton (L) of Great Britain and McLaren Mercedes and Felipe Massa (R) of Brazil and Ferrari meet at the drivers press conference during previews to the Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix at the Interlagos Circuit on October 30, 2008 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Mark Thompson/Getty Images
Barry RosenbergContributor IIDecember 25, 2016

The clear fact that Lewis Hamilton was totally deserving of his penalties apparently carried no weight with the McLaren driver. It seems also that the 2008 Formula One World Driving Champion feels no remorse over having ended a rather good race for Ferrari's Filipe Massa and Williams driver Pastor Maldonado.

“It's a absolute frickin' joke!” Hamilton bellowed when he stormed up to see the stewards, one of whom was British sportscar driver Allan McNish. When asked why Lewis believed the panel of four was victimizing him, Hamilton barked, “Maybe it's because I'm black.”

Later, as McLaren set about trying to control the damage he caused, Lewis returned to the stewards to attempt to make amends.

“I've been to the stewards to make peace,” Hamilton announced. “What I said was a bit of a joke, which wasn't funny at the time. I made them aware that when emotions are high, and it's very intense at the end of those kind of races, you don't always say the right thing, and the joke didn't come at the most appropriate time.

“So I went there, made that clear to them, we've made our peace. They accepted my explanation, they understood. They said: 'We've all competed before and we understand the passion, where you are coming from.'

“Like I said, I was trying to be funny, but it wasn't funny. You're not always right when you're trying to be funny.

“Sometimes you really put your foot in it and you offend people, and I did not really set out to offend anyone. It was said at the wrong time.”

This sweetheart of a driver destroyed Massa's weekend at Loews Hairpin and Maldonado's at Ste. Devote. The second penalty was 20 seconds added to Hamilton's total elapsed time, but it did not lower his sixth place finish.

This observer would like to know, from Hamilton, what would have been the right time to say, “Maybe it's because I'm black.” I'd like to know what part of it is funny.

Lewis Hamilton has the same feeling of entitlement that Ayrton Senna had—as if God was on his side. I hope he doesn't end his career the same way Senna did.

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