McLaren boss says Hamilton should have backed off in Maldonado duel

Jun.26 (GMM) Lewis Hamilton should have known better before going wheel-to-wheel with Pastor Maldonado in the dying stages of Sunday’s European Grand Prix, according to the McLaren driver’s boss, Martin Whitmarsh, after the British team’s driver fell 23 points off the championship lead at Valencia.

He crashed almost within sight of the chequered flag in a dice with Williams‘ Pastor Maldonado, and it was the Venezuelan who was penalised for the crash by the FIA. While Maldonado hit out at his rival afterwards, Hamilton’s measured reaction was an obvious case of resisting the urge “to throw a tantrum,” according to Times journalist Kevin Eason.

In the official post-race McLaren statement, Hamilton said losing the title lead to Fernando Alonso and Red Bull‘s Mark Webber is “not the end of the world”.

But “With hindsight you have to say if you are dealing with someone like that [Maldonado] then you maybe have to take a different approach,” boss Whitmarsh is quoted by British newspapers.

Triple world champion Niki Lauda, meanwhile, said in Kleine Zeitung newspaper that he hopes that the top drivers will soon dominate again in F1, “The winner in Barcelona? Who was that? Maldonado, but no one remembers.”

“Seven winners from seven races, which for you journalists is a hoot. But now I would like to return to some normality. The people who watch Formula One need their heroes,” the Austrian legend said.

Subbed by AJN.

  • Tamburello_1994

    I don’t know, Maybe I read it wrong, But I look at the statement by Whitmarsh as a slam on Maldonado more than anything else. Ambiguous at best Yalla, But that’s just, as always, one man’s opinion.

  • F1 Fan

    I think this season is just fantastic,the more different winners this year the better.

  • F1 Fan

    i think this season is fantastic the more different winners the better.

  • Hawk

    you are very right. what Whitmarsh is trying to say is that every driver should watch out for the mad man who absolutely has nothing to lose. that when you are dealing with Moronado, its different from any other driver. do not defend like you did with Kimi. but before Valencia, no one knew that! they only suspected. “with hindsight” he said. only with hindsight! not before. Now Hamilton has to pay the price by being the guinea pig. Cowards always live longer.
    Thank you very much Sir Frank Williams.

  • Barlow

    Hamilton is always pushing wide during a race on a turn if he can. This time Maldonado pushed back and Hamilton went into the tires. Karma’s a bitch. Maldonado ran Kimi wide at the start, Kimi wisely moved over, he lost some places but still finished 2nd. Hamilton’s tires were gone, he could have moved over and finished up front, but no, like he always does in a tight situation, he tired to push off at the turn, Maldonado pushed back. Hammy went into the tire wall, with a big DNF. Best shot of the race was of the Hamster pounding on his steering wheel, then chucking it about ten meters. Could be he started something. The F1 steering wheel chuck, could become a try out sport in the upcoming games!!

  • strassenversion

    The message here is Maldonado’s an unpredictable headcase who is going to seriously hurt somebody so don’t try and defend a lost cause against him- this is a criticism of Maldonado, not Hamilton, by Whitmarsh.

    He shouldn’t have been granted a super licence after what he did to that marshal in Monaco in 2005, never mind his performances this year.

  • McLaren Fan

    To me it reads Pastor Maldonado is not normal in the head and all should stay away from him

  • Kimi4WC


    Last year, maybe. This year Hamilton was driving superbly until that moment.

    Cold blooded decision would been let him pass and get points. But I think there is more to it, you dont want to be bullied by an aggressive driver as Maldonado.

    Maldonado will think twice next time – I think he will be forced to. Because even though he is beating crap out of Senna and had a win this year, he cost Williams almost same amount of points he has right now – and thats a bit disrespectful of him towards the team.

    And Hamilton acted like a champ after the incident (in-car emotions more then understandable), same cannot be said about Pastor.

  • hillside

    MW is just trying to make an stupid excuse. its their RESPONSIBILITY to look out for LEwis. his tyres are gone, they fumbled in the pits, the least that they can do is to tell Lewis to keep away from this maniac and bring home some points!

    this guy Pastor would not care whether its free practice, qualy or much more in a race… everbody has too look out on their mirrors… thats how he was told to drive ” drive it like you stole it” lol im liking this guy

  • fools

    I think the announcers on t.v. said the same thing. That Coming from an ex-engineer and f-1 driver perspective.

  • Hawk

    Do not blame his engineers. They simply had no time to warn him. They were glued to the action and that’s not the moment to distract your driver. Maybe they would have if he had staved off that particular attack. And tell him to back off when the maniac hits again. But like MW said “with hindsight”.

  • Speshal

    And that quote is lifted from this – Talk about cherrypicking.

    “When asked if he thought Hamilton should have defended so hard, Whitmarsh said: “Clearly not, but you are dragging me into the conversation.
    “In my mind, you saw him defend with Grosjean and with Raikkonen, and he didn’t do anything different with Maldonado. It was a different outcome, but he didn’t do anything different with those drivers.
    “My own view is that it was Maldonado’s fault, and it is deeply frustrating – but he is a racing driver and that is it. I am sure in hindsight you have to say that dealing with someone like that you have to take a different approach, but you cannot anticipate it.”‘

  • tharris19

    Maldonado had multiple opportunities to pass Lewis but chose the spectacular. Totally outside his skill set. He is no Lewis Alonso or Kimi so he should work within his limitations. Silly little man.

  • wtf

    well, short sighted wisdom says if Hamilton loses the WDC by a couple points he can always blame it on Maldonado :)

    Lewis just wasnt thinking…again

  • Joe Kinnear

    Both were at fault. Maldonado should have backed off and wait a wee bit more… he KNEW Lewis could be taken as soon as after the corner, or just a few corners more. And Lewis SHOULD have backed off coz he knew his tires wouldn’t make it anyways, and he would get passed easily.

  • Nowhereman

    Hammy knew his tires were gone.
    He knew staying wide was his only chance to keep his speed.
    Maniac knew what Hammy’s intent was even though he could of used the “tires were gone” excuse.
    Maniac has sack and no one will argue that but, he should of backed off due to his bad positioning and picked Hammy off a little further up the road, which he could of easily.
    This is that age old adage of the immovable object meeting the irresistable force.
    Makes for good writing and is part of F1.
    Now, who wants to bet Ferrari shows up at Silverstone with a double floor. Hehehe

  • Hawk

    since when has a racing driver backed off on the penultimate lap?
    are you F1 fans or mere hangers on?
    Lewis knew his tyres were gone but for sure he didnt know the state of Maldonado’s tyres, so why not defend? and what if in the process Maldonado makes a mistake, like he did anyway? did you watch Sepang? how did Alonso survive?

  • Speedo

    To Whitmarsh, What is the purpose of the DRS zone. Could not Mad-donado backed off and overtaken just as Kimi did. What did Madonado do in Monaco to Perez. This is identical. He was off track he should have rejoined safely to barge into Lewis. I guess if it was Button you would have defended him?

    So! Whitmarsh is a racing driver now. You hug him in Canada and now this. What a hypocrite. I wish I had a boss who supports me like this.

    It is Hamilton who has curbed himself thus far to open out and say what he thinks of his car as the McLaren is no match when compared to the Red Bull, Ferrari, Sauber, Williams. It is a fact. It has got thus far due to Lewis with no help from the pit stops. The McLaren team are sleeping while the rest have got very far ahead.

    I like Niki Lauda’s comment though. What do you think of the comment Whitmarsh?

  • Hawk

    if you read the article carefully and not the title, MW did not blame Hamilton albeit surprisingly since he has made a specialty of singing JB’s praises the reason he has been so silent of late. Even none of the comments below says that. Speshla’s comment actually says the whole story.
    I agree the reason mcLaren is even spoken of today is because it is a British team and Hamilton otherwise they have such a bad car!! Like I said sometime back the problem with Alonso and Hamilton is that just by looking you will not know how bad a car is!. but fortunately they have team mates who are more than keen to show and say how bad the car is. all the cars you have mentioned are much better than the Maccas. Actually JB puts the car exactly where it should be. Macca can only win on strategy like it did in Canada.

  • Harsha

    Remember Massa said about Hamilton in 2011 Singapore GP
    He doesn’t use his mind and Maldonado was same level and Doesn’t know his Mind and No Driver on earth would give a place So easily and back off it was Maldonado Fault he cost his team more points than he scored in this year and if Williams wants to do any thing right Sack Maldonado and Give his seat to Bottas they might loose Higher Grid Position but i believe this guy can get the Points more than That Mind less driver

  • Jody Renza

    Maldonado was in the wrong,he must find a way past the guy in front and clearly the was no way/space past Lewis. How many more crashes must Mad-donaldo have before he causes a massive crash that injures somebody..?
    Lewis is a racer & for Whitmarsh to say he must let the Williams pass him…that’s really silly to ask..even if it means he can score points..

  • Lauda Fan

    Can’t believe Whitmarsh is ripping off Lew’s face in public with this assertion. He was defending his position! Maldo was in the wrong and has been penalized for his misdeed in forcing Hamy off the track. No, I’m with Lew on this one…

  • wtf


    did you watch Alonso in Canada?

    ‘There are times that you give absolutely everything you have. Then there are times when you must HOLD everything you have’

    wise words :)

  • Hawk

    thank you.
    ‘There are times that you give absolutely everything you have. HAMILTON BECAUSE HE HAD NOTHING (READ TYRES).
    Then there are times when you must HOLD everything you have’ MALDONADO BECAUSE HE HAD EVERYTHING.

  • f1 fan

    This time it wasnt Hamilton, we being as spectators can always complain that who should have done what, but from a drivers perspective, that moment was difficult, hamilton misjudged the turn and Maldonado simply crushed him , when he could have avoided the incident by slowing down or moving a bit off track.!!
    12 races to go, Hamilton can still do it !!!

  • wtf


    did you go to school?

  • pitwall

    This is one of the big differences between Ferrari and McLaren… if one of the Ferrari drivers stuff up the scuderia back him to the hilt. They live and die as a team. I agree with what Whitmarsh says but its a huge mistake not to support your driver publicly.

  • Hawk

    shut up if you cannot comprehend English, especially WTF.
    MW did not criticise Lewis.
    And next time read the whole article maybe 3-4 times and also the commentary string.

  • Tamburello_1994

    As I said earlier on I think the statement is open to interpretation and people will see what they want to see. Obviously, the editors saw it differently as I, And that’s fine, I’m not sure there is a wrong answer here folks.

    It wouldn’t be too far fetched to think this was the intent all along, Was to stir debate and get people to think. That is what the forum is for, Right?

    Have a good weekend everybody!

  • wtf


    “‘There are times that you give absolutely everything you have. HAMILTON BECAUSE HE HAD NOTHING (READ TYRES).
    Then there are times when you must HOLD everything you have’ MALDONADO BECAUSE HE HAD EVERYTHING.”

    you must be trolling…but if your not here it goes

    That saying refers to the strategy that a thinking driver MUST adopt according to circumstance. Example: when you have grip and others dont then you have the upper hand = give everything you have

    when startegy hasnt gone your way for the day and others clearly have the upper hand the = hold everything you have (damage limitation)

    now hopefully you can work things out from there :)

  • Beau

    Maldonado,the fastest psychopath on the planet.
    He didn’t ta show a me de respectaco,”unbelievable”.
    Can’t wait for the payback.