Okay, I’ll admit, I am far from the biggest Hamilton fan, but I am also far from being the biggest Nico Rosberg fan (Jodi Hall wins that one), however, when looking at the BBC’s review of the season just gone, looking at some of Lewis’s overtakes made me ponder for a while. In 2012 we heard Fernando Alonso famously say “All the time you have to leave the space!” after being pushed off the circuit by Nico Rosberg on the straight between turns three and four. I am not saying that Lewis is a bad driver, he is the exact opposite, probably one of the best on the current grid, but when battling this year, he proved to me that he wasn’t the cleanest driver around, despite Nico causing all the conspiracy.
Lets go back to Bahrain, in that epic fight between those 2 Mercedes drivers, there was no doubt that Lewis was the better driver that day, but some of his moves weren’t that clean to be honest with you. Coming onto lap 18 of the race, Nico made a diving move on Hamilton, he went too deep, Lewis went back past, but Nico had to swerve to avoid Hamilton clipping him, which had he not swerved out of the move, there could’ve been a Spa like scenario. Lewis cut the German off, which Rosberg complained on the radio to “warn him, that was not on.”
It was not over then, after the Safety Car came in after Gutierrez and Maldonado’s incident, the 10 lap stint to the end was an absolute dogfight between the two Mercedes teammates, Lewis eventually won the battle, but a number of times at Turn 4, when Nico tried to go round the outside of Lewis, Lewis forced him off the track, ensuring that Lewis stayed ahead, and almost making contact on Lap 52.
Moving further on in the season to Hungary, in the latter part of the race, after the controversy of Lewis being told to let Nico through, which he denied (and he did the right thing to disobey team orders), Nico had made another stop, and had somehow once again closed right up to his struggling Teammate and also Fernando Alonso. Nico tried to make a move similar to the one that Daniel Ricciardo did on Lewis a few laps prior, but Lewis pushed him off the circuit and onto the grass, losing Nico a good couple of seconds.
The incident I shall next talk about is probably the biggest controversy of the year, Spa. Now, I’m not saying that it was Lewis’s fault, it was far from Lewis’s fault, but it also wasn’t really Nico’s fault either, which is why I am happy with the stewards in that they called it a racing incident. Despite Nico thinking twice about turning in, he could’ve easily missed the corner, alike Vettel had done the lap before. Instead, he turned in and the Mercedes rivalry heated up, with Lewis left to do two thirds of the longest lap on the calendar with a puncture. I’d say it was more Nico’s fault than Lewis’s, however I do think that had Lewis left a bit more room for Nico, none of this had ever happened.
My final piece of evidence, your honour, is the United States Grand Prix, when Lewis overtook Nico for the lead. Lewis made a dive-bomb move, no contact was made, but Nico was forced to go wide, meaning that Lewis forced his way up into the lead of the race, that he eventually won.
I hope what I have shown you has made you look at Lewis differently, but I think Lewis’s driving is much better than it was, because if you look back to 2011, Lewis was involved with a lot of incidents with 2008 title rival Felipe Massa, and some other drivers, most notably Pastor Maldonado, this sent him to the stewards I believe 9 times by the end of the Monaco weekend.
Lewis is a fantastic racer, and one of the quickest F1’s ever seen, however, a few of his moves aren’t really the cleanest.