F1 2011 Monaco Grand Prix: Hamilton apologises for remarks
PUBLISHED: 21:14 31 May 2011 | UPDATED: 10:08 11 June 2011
FORMULA 1 driver Lewis Hamilton has apologised for his post-race remarks following Sunday's 2011 Monaco Grand Prix.
The 26-year-old Vodafone McLaren Mercedes star from Herts blasted stewards after the Monte Carlo showpiece, having twice been penalised for causing collisions with Felipe Massa and Pastor Maldonado.
Speaking to BBC One straight after the race, an aggrieved Hamilton said: “I’ve been to the stewards five times out of six races. It’s a joke, an absolute joke.”
When pressed further, Hamilton replied in jest: “Maybe it’s because I’m black. That’s what Ali G says. I don’t know.”
However, an apologetic Hamilton has since taken to Twitter to say sorry for his comments.
"I was racing my heart out and just wanted to put on a good show for everyone."
He tweeted: “Hey guys. I wanted to apologise 4 last weekends performance & also my comments after, I never meant to offend no1.”
Lewis also tweeted: “2 Massa & Maldonado, with the greatest respect I apologise if I offended u. Both of u r fantastic drivers who I regard highly.”
Hamilton was hit with his first penalty, a drive-through during the race, for crashing into the side of Massa’s Ferrari as he tried to pass him on the inside at the hairpin.
The 2008 F1 world champion was later handed a post-race 20-second time penalty for bumping the Williams of Maldonado off the track in the closing laps of an incident-packed grand prix around Monte Carlo’s famous street circuit.
In a McLaren statement, Hamilton added: “The penalties were frustrating: it’s really tough to overtake around here, and you rarely get an opportunity to do so.
“I was racing my heart out and just wanted to put on a good show for everyone.”
McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh doesn’t want to curb his driver’s fearless racing instincts.
Whitmarsh added: “Immediately after the race he [Lewis] was very down, and during a post-race TV interview he made a poor joke about his penalties that referenced Ali G.
2011 FIA F1 World Drivers’ Championship standings
1 Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) 143
2 Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) 85
3 Mark Webber (Red Bull) 79
4 Jenson Button (McLaren) 76
5 Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) 69
6 Nick Heidfeld (Renault) 29
“However, I’m pleased to say that he chose to return to the track a little while later to speak to the stewards about the joke. They accepted his explanation.”
Watched by US X Factor girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger, Hamilton eventually crossed the finish line sixth as world champion Sebastian Vettel took the chequered flag for Red Bull ahead of Fernando Alonso.
Hamilton’s McLaren team-mate Jenson Button was third.
The F1 circus moves to North America next for the 2011 Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal on Sunday, June 12.
"Immediately after the race he [Lewis] was very down, and during a post-race TV interview he made a poor joke about his penalties that referenced Ali G."
Hamilton tweeted: “2 my fans lost & my fans won, I wish u nothing but love & happiness. God Bless u. Onwards & upwards, Montreal next. Lewis”