Posts Tagged ‘hamilton’

Lewis Hamilton painted in motor oil

June 11th, 2009 No comments

Lewis Hamilton painted in used motor oil by David MacalusoNew York artist David Macaluso has painted a portrait of Lewis Hamilton using oil taken from the McLaren MP4-23 Formula One car Hamilton used to win the 2008 World Championship.

Commissioned by McLaren partner Mobil 1, the painting will be unveiled at the British Grand Prix next weekend.

Apparently next week is National Oil Check Week and Mobil will be running a competition where you can win one of 50 limited edition prints of the portrait.

Macaluso has been working with used motor oil for some time and has even painted a series of portraits of Barack Obama.

Apparently the Mobil 1 oil was ‘extremely smooth and very particle-rich’, making for a  ‘great painting medium’:

I’ve been recycling used motor oil into paintings since 2005, so it was exciting to do a portrait of Lewis, and it was a privilege. When people look at my portrait of Lewis Hamilton, I want them to know it contains the Mobil 1 that circulated inside his Mercedes-Benz engine.

Lewis Hamilton liked the results, too:

I’ve always known that the Mobil 1 in my race car is an important component that can give us an edge over our rivals in some circumstances, but I’d never have guessed you could use it to paint with; the oil gives this picture a unique look and feel.

Another McLaren partner has also been busy making automotive art.

Ever wondered what would happen if Lewis Hamilton’s Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 car was driven through 1,200 liters of paint?  AkzoNobel has.

After months of planning, Hamilton’s MP4-24 was driven through pools of red and silver paint.  Unsurprisingly this resulted in paint being sprayed everywhere with the splashes captured on two 50 square metre canvases.

I’m not sure the results are as impressive as Macaluso’s portrait but take a look at the making of video below and see what you think.

Categories: News Tags: , , ,

Ferrari fastest in Malaysia practice, Hamilton sorry for ‘huge mistake’

April 3rd, 2009 No comments

Lewis Hamilton apologises at a press conference in MalaysiaThe big news of the day is the fallout from the McLaren-Trulli affair in Australia.

On Friday morning, McLaren sporting director Davey Ryan was sent home by team boss Martin Whitmarsh for his role in misleading the stewards at the Australian Grand Prix last weekend.  Ryan has been with McLaren since the seventies but it looks like his exit from the team will be permanent.

Ryan is taking the fall because for some reason as he and Hamilton walked to the stewards office after the race Ryan told Hamilton to withhold the fact that the team had told Lewis to let Jarno Trulli through in the final safety car session of the race.  Lewis was clearly uncomfortable with doing this but wanted to follow the senior team member’s instructions and went along with it.

Later on Friday a clearly emotional Hamilton apologised in front of the world’s media, saying:

As soon as I got out of the car I did the TV interviews at the back of the garage and straight away I gave a good account of what happened during the race.

Straight after that we were requested by the stewards, and whilst waiting for the stewards I was instructed – and misled – by my team manager to withhold information, and that’s what I did.

I sincerely apologise to the stewards for wasting their time and for making them look silly.

I’m very, very sorry for the situation – for my team, for Dave, who’s been a good member of the team for many years and whilst I don’t think it was his intention…he’s a good guy.

When I went into the meeting I had no intention of… I just wanted to tell the story, say what happened.

I was misled and that’s the way it went.

Some might say that Davey is a scapegoat and Hamilton has got away lightly.  But I do believe that Lewis was just trying to go along with what his team wanted out of a sense of loyalty.  In the days that followed Lewis obviously regretted what he’d done and I think the following statement goes some way to explaining how it happened:

As a human being and as a man it’s right for me to stand in front of you and put my hands up. I want to say sorry to all my fans. I am not a liar or a dishonest person; I am a team player.   If the team ask me to do something, I generally do it – but I felt awkward and uncomfortable. This is not an easy thing to do, to step back and realise I was in the wrong – but I was in the wrong. I was misled. I don’t know what else is going to happen in the future.

I still think it could have all been avoided if race control could have provided guidance to the drivers and teams at the time.  Neither Lewis nor Trulli did anything wrong on the track and if the race organisers had sorted out the proper race order at the time instead of handing Trulli a ridiculous 25 second penalty none of this would have had to happen.

But with all the controversy we shouldn’t forget there is still a race on Sunday and in Friday practice the Ferraris of Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen topped the timesheet despite Kimi suffering a problem with KERS and a fire in the cockpit.

Red Bull and Williams looked quite strong again but it seems Brawn GP won’t necessarily have it all their own way on Sunday.  Rubens Barrichello will take a five place grid penalty for changing a gearbox.

Other teams like Toyota and BWM concentrated on setup rather than lap times so they may do better in qualifying than their Friday times would suggest.

Here are the times from the first two practice sessions:

First Practice

Pos Driver Team Time
1 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 1:36.260
2 Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 1:36.305
3 Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes 1:36.430
4 Rubens Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes 1:36.487
5 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:36.561
6 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:36.646
7 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:36.699
8 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:36.703
9 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:36.747
10 Timo Glock Toyota 1:36.980
11 Jarno Trulli Toyota 1:36.982
12 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Mercedes 1:37.025
13 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 1:37.039
14 Nelson Piquet Jr Renault 1:37.199
15 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:37.241
16 Fernando Alonso Renault 1:37.395
17 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:37.634
18 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:37.640
19 Sebastien Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:38.022
20 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 1:38.483

Second Practice

Pos Driver Team Time
1 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:35.707
2 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:35.832
3 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:35.954
4 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 1:36.015
5 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:36.703
6 Rubens Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes 1:36.161
7 Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes 1:36.254
8 Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 1:36.290
9 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 1:36.397
10 Nelson Piquet Jr Renault 1:36.401
11 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:36.515
12 Jarno Trulli Toyota 1:36.516
13 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:36.628
14 Timo Glock Toyota 1:36.639
15 Fernando Alonson Renault 1:36.640
16 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:36.875
17 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 1:37.267
18 Sebastien Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:37.278
19 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Mercedes 1:37.432
20 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:37.930

Australian GP Stewards Decision – The Evidence

April 2nd, 2009 No comments

Lewis HamiltonThe FIA have released a summary of key considerations in their decision to disqualify Lewis Hamilton from Sunday’s Australian Formula One Grand Prix.  The press release also includes recordings of the radio transmissions between Lewis Hamilton and the McLaren team in the closing stages of the 2009 Australian Grand Prix.

There has been a lot of confusion about what exactly happened on Sunday, but here is the rough order of events.

  1. During the final safety car period Jarno Trulli was in 3rd and Lewis Hamilton was in 4th.
  2. Jarno Trulli ran off the track (probably because of cold tyres) and so Hamilton had no choice but to pass him.  This is allowed under the rules.
  3. McLaren weren’t sure if Lewis should have made the pass under the safety car and so they asked him to let Trulli take 3rd position back.
  4. Hamilton seemed to think the pass was legal but slowed to let Trulli through anyway.
  5. Trulli sees Hamilton slow down and thinks he has a problem so he passes the McLaren.  This is allowed under the rules.
  6. The race ends with Trulli in 3rd and Hamilton in 4th.
  7. During a hearing after the race Lewis Hamilton and his team manager David Ryan are asked whether McLaren told Hamilton to let Trulli through.  They denied this was the case.
  8. Trulli is handed a 25 second penalty for passing under the safety car and so Hamilton is awarded 3rd place.

There were two reasons a second hearing was held in Malaysia.  Firstly, after the Australian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton told reporters that McLaren had in fact told him to let Trulli through and secondly, it seems the stewards did not listen to any of the radio transmissions before making their decision to penalise Trulli.

Here is the recording of the radio transmission between Lewis Hamilton and the McLaren team:

Audio MP3

Here  is the recording of the radio transmission between Jarno Trulli and the Toyota team:

Audio MP3

Here is the interview given by Lewis Hamilton to the Media immediately after the race:

Audio MP3

McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh doesn’t think the team did anything wrong:

We, the team, made a mistake.  We did not provide a full account of a radio conversation which we believe was being listened to in any case, and we don’t believe was material to the decisions being made by the stewards. At that time, we did not know that Trulli was right off the circuit and Lewis was asked to give back the place to Trulli. That was a team view, having not seen it, and we thought it was the safest thing to do.

Hamilton did not agree but attempts to get an answer from Race Control failed and the the race ended under the Safety Car. McLaren assumed in the hearing that the stewards were aware of the radio exchanges that had taken place but it seems they were not.

The whole thing has been a huge fuckup and it is ridiculous it has taken the FIA so long to come to a definitive decision on the controversy.  Speaking to German broadcaster RTL, Former World Champion Niki Lauder called it “the biggest joke of all time”.

The stewards made a mistake in Australia and the statement that Hamilton “acted in a manner prejudicial to the conduct of the event by providing evidence deliberately misleading to the Stewards” just sounds like they are trying to weasel out of a complete failure of the sport’s adminstration.

Why couldn’t McLaren get an answer from race control?  Why didn’t the stewards listen to all pertinant evidence before making a decision?  And why has it taken so long for the matter to be decided?

A spokesman for the FIA has stated:

Given the seriousness of this matter, we cannot rule out further action at this stage.

Good grief!  What could the further action be?  Suspension from races or even the rest of the 2009 season?

Hamilton loses Oz points, Trulli gets his podium back!

April 2nd, 2009 No comments

Trulli leads Hamilton, Australia, 2009The Formula One circus continued today with the FIA stripping Lewis Hamilton of all the points he earned in Australia because he “acted in a manner prejudicial to the conduct of the event by providing evidence deliberately misleading to the Stewards.”  Toyota’s Jarno Trulli has had his third place finish reinstated.

Confusion has surrounded the result of Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix when Lewis Hamilton passed Jarno Trull under the safety car after Trulli ran off the track.  Trulli later passed Hamilton to reclaim third place but was later penalised 25 seconds for passing under the safety car and so dropped to 12th place.

The stewards original ruling suggested that while Hamilton’s pass was legal, Trulli’s was not but the Toyota driver has always claimed that Lewis Hamilton slowed to let him retake third position.  Toyota had planned to appeal the decision but later decided the appeal was unlikely to succeed.

A recording of the Toyota radio communications shows how confusing the situation was for trulli:

The statement from the stewards reads:

The Stewards having considered the new elements presented to them from the 2009 Australian Formula One Grand Prix, consider that driver No 1 Lewis Hamilton and the competitor Vodafone McLaren Mercedes acted in a manner prejudicial to the conduct of the event by providing evidence deliberately misleading to the Stewards at the hearing on Sunday 29th March 2009, a breach of Article 151c of the International Sporting Code. Under Article 158 of the International Sporting Code the driver No 1 Lewis Hamilton and the competitor Vodafone McLaren Mercedes are excluded from the race classification for the 2009 Australian Grand Prix and the classification is amended accordingly.

This is a bad start to the season and is only going to encourage the conspiracy theorists who think the FIA have it in for McLaren. Thank god Ferrari aren’t involved.

As I said before, what we need to see now are the “new elements presented” to the stewards. It has been nearly a week and we haven’t seen a post-race report from the stewards explaining their decisions. We have seen video of Hamilton passing Trulli and now we have Toyota’s radio transmissions but what we still haven’t seen is Trulli’s pass of Hamilton and, perhaps most importantly, McLaren’s radio transmissions.

I really hope we get to see all the evidence the stewards had when making their decisions. What is needed is openness and clarity regarding the rules and the stewards interpretation. Is it any wonder that McLaren were worried about Hamilton’s pass on Trulli after being so harshly dealt with at Spa last year?

Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa’s dad to drive for Ferrari in 2010

April 1st, 2009 No comments

Hamilton and MassaFerrari have unexpectedly announced that they are terminating Felipe Massa and Kimi Räikkönen’s contracts at the end of the 2009 season to make way for Lewis Hamilton and Felipe’s dad.

Neither of the two Ferrari cars finished the race at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on Sunday and despite both drivers having signed contracts until the end of 2010 it seems Ferrari have had enough of them both.

In a statement issued by Luca di Montezemolo the  Ferrari chairman said:

Australia was a terrible start to the 2009 season and neither of our drivers finished.  That’s just not good enough for Ferrari.  I mean, seriously, what are we paying these guys for?  Felipe’s a nice guy and all but I think it’s time we gave his dad a shot.

It is understood the two drivers will finish their season at the Scuderia this year although Massa’s dad is keen to step in as soon as possible:

I’ve spent the last twenty years preparing Felipe to win the Championship and when he finally gets the chance he blows it.  Well that’s it.  I’m going to show the kid how it’s done.

There had been rumours that Felipe’s dad would be making the move from race dad to race driver when Felipe said at the Australian Grand Prix:

He (Hamilton) is just another one, I don’t care. (MotoGP champion) Valentino Rossi as well and maybe my father will drive for Ferrari next year.

Despite previously saying he wanted to finish his career at McLaren, Lewis Hamilton was happy to make the move to Ferrari after the MP4-24 failed to live up to his expectations saying:

Yeah, I know the F60 doesn’t look too good at the moment but they drove a lorry load of cash up to my house.  I think that shows they are serious.

Categories: Drivers Tags: , ,