It’s no secret that Lewis Hamilton is trying to be a global figure as opposed to just a racing driver. His constant appearances all over the world, his massive Instagram following, and his lifestyle are on public display constantly and he shows other interests outside of Formula 1. This might piss some people off, but that’s his life and he has the right to do what he wants. To the purists, it’s a distraction and some say that the talent is muddied with those types of ventures.
One such purist, racing legend Jackie Stewart, took Lewis to task over some of these endeavors. While not specifically calling out the things Hamiltons does, Stewart went off on Hamilton’s decision to slow down in the final stages of the race in an attempt to take the championship away from Nico Rosberg.
“I think he [Hamilton] can be a little ballerina,” Stewart told the Press Association. “Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda are not stupid people, and neither is the Mercedes chairman who often comes to grands prix.
“You cannot threaten a multi-national corporation of that size by one man who is just not doing it the right way. Give him the option of ‘either do it our way or you have to be excused’.”
Stewart says Hamilton, the best-paid driver in Formula One, has no excuse for disobeying a team order, even if a world championship is at stake.
“Lewis was refusing their instructions, and he was going against the management team. Now, I am sorry, but when you are paid between 20 and 30 million pounds a year and you are told to do something you have got to do it. I don’t care who you are.”
The jury is still out on that decision. On one hand he is a racing driver and tried everything he could to win, which is the point. On the other, there’s nothing you can really do when you’re in first place of a grand prix. Some see it as dirty tricks, others true passion for racing and winning.
Maybe all of his activities outside of the cockpit are turning Hamilton into a ballerina and a primadonna. Maybe not. Either way, some of the greats are taking notice ON the track. It’s frustrating for those that raced many years ago to see someone with so much talent not be 100% focused on their #1 job. Stewarts message should send a shock wave to Hamilton’s brain though. That message will be to push harder because the world is watching.
That’s the world we live in. Love him or hate him, Hamilton’s got the talent. Let’s see if he can get another title in 2017. He may have to stop dancing to do so, though.