Crazy week in the desert for Hamilton

PUBLISHED: 18:17 08 April 2008 | UPDATED: 21:53 26 October 2009

Lewis Hamilton at the Bahrain International Circuit Pictures courtesy of www.mclaren.com

Lewis Hamilton at the Bahrain International Circuit Pictures courtesy of www.mclaren.com

BBC 5-live F1 commentator David Croft gives us his exclusive take on events in Bahrain at the weekend WHAT a crazy week in the desert! A bizarre time where we learnt more about the private life of the FIA president than we really cared to. And then saw

Lewis Hamilton

BBC 5-live F1 commentator David Croft gives us his exclusive take on events in Bahrain at the weekend

WHAT a crazy week in the desert!

A bizarre time where we learnt more about the private life of the FIA president than we really cared to.

And then saw him stand defiant in the face of some pretty hefty calls to stand down.

We learnt that Lewis Hamilton is far from keen on open water for fear that he'll get eaten by a great white shark.

Not the most startling revelation of the week, but it gave us all a moment of light relief.

And we learnt that when he puts 57 consistent laps together, Felipe Massa is a decent driver after all.

Not sure where the Massa from Melbourne or Malaysia got to in Bahrain, but Ferrari will be far happier with this version.

We also learnt that when he needs to take some personal responsibility Lewis Hamilton is up for the job.

Firstly, he apologised for causing his crew a long night on Friday after crashing into a tyre barrier.

They were at the track until 4am I understand.

And secondly, he gave this appraisal of his race after finishing 13th.

"I feel really disappointed and that I've let the team down," he said.

"I messed up at the start and I didn't engage the correct engine setting so the anti stall kicked in.

"It's a big, big disappointment but I've had such a good run in F1 until now it was almost inevitable that at some point things would go wrong."

An honest appraisal, something not always seen in Formula 1, where to admit a mistake is often seen as a weakness.

Thursday also saw a couple of honest answers to a question posed by Ed Gorman of The Times.

In the official press conference Ed wanted to know whether the four drivers present agreed with a statement from Honda that senior figures need to maintain the highest standards of conduct in order to fulfil their duties and whether they felt that Max Mosley by remaining in his position was upholding those standards.

Jarno Trulli and Nick Heidfeld sadly chose not to comment, so it was left to the youngsters on the panel to give their views.

Nico Rosberg said that in general he agreed and that a good example should be set.

Lewis added his backing, saying that young people especially were always looking up to someone to show them the way and set a good example.

Good answers and well done on the two drivers for saying it.

Finding a public comment on the situation regarding the FIA president hasn't been the easiest of tasks this week, but privately the feeling is that he can't continue given what we now know about his private life.

His argument is that his private actions shouldn't have been made public, but they have and that argument is now irrelevant.

What is relevant is the public perception of the FIA and their president in the future, especially in Formula 1, a sport where image is paramount.

I've been looking at re-runs of last weekend's race since I got back from Bahrain, not the whole 57 laps of an unremarkable race, just the few which contained the majority of the incidents.

Those incidents of course included the moment when Hamilton ran into the back of his former team-mate Fernando Alonso, prompting the question 'Did Fernando slow down deliberately and brake test the Hertfordshire driver?'

In other words, was the accident as Lewis ran into the back of the Renault driver coming out of turn three a little slice of payback for last season?

The instant feeling in the 5-live commentary box was that it was a possibility.

Lewis certainly arrived at the rear of the Renault very quickly, which could be down to the double world champion lifting off the throttle momentarily.

But looking at the videos, I disagree with my initial thoughts now.

On the previous lap Lewis hits the back of the Renault at turn four, just a mere glance but enough to initially damage the front wing.

Then on the run down to turn eight the top part of the wing tears off, something which will now affect the aerodynamics of the car.

On the next lap, coming out of turn three, Lewis runs straight into the back of Fernando and effectively it's race over.

Renault showed telemetry evidence that Fernando wasn't at fault.

McLaren said it was because of the front wing damage and for once I'm going to believe both teams.

No need for journalists to rake up last year's grudges on this one, something we don't need given that it's the Spanish Grand Prix next and the reception for Lewis will hardly be the most convivial anyway.


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