Hungarian GP: preview

Lewis Hamilton spends about 15 minutes with the written media as a matter of routine on the Thursday before each Grand Prix. The session is broken into three parts; international media first, reducing to the British daily press and then leaving about five minutes with the top British driver for the Sunday papers.

There is always a potentially tense moment when the ‘rest of the world’
journos are reluctant to leave at the first break, their British counterparts closely questioning and then banishing any interloper who chances his arm by trying to stay on for more quotes. This is watched with great amusement by Hamilton as the media carries out its self-policing, Lewis shaking his head with amazement as the competitive instincts that drive him on are displayed in a very different branch of the same sport.

The questions from the Brit Pack followed the expected routine – the confidence boost of two wins in a row, prospects for this race, memories of the tense atmosphere within McLaren in Hungary last year – before suddenly veering off into dangerous territory; dangerous for Hamilton, that is.

The Daily Mail’s Jonathan McEvoy, who had been quiet until this point, began to quote comments allegedly made my Max Mosley 50 years ago when referring to Britain’s immigrants. According to the quotes, Mosley’s views were less than charitable. Hamilton, asked for his views, made the correct reply by saying he was there to talk about racing, not politics.

When McEvoy persisted, it was clear he was on a mission. The Daily Mail was obviously out to diss Mosley and McEvoy had been instructed to obtain, by whatever means, the views of one of Britain’s leading sportsmen, who happens to be of mixed race. When Lewis, almost as an aside, quietly said such thoughts were ‘obviously a worry’, it was interesting to see how his response would be treated by the paper.

To be fair to McEvoy and the menacing intent of his bosses, it was handled properly, Hamilton’s remark being put in proper context.

More interesting is the thought that the Daily Mail, among other newspapers, is not going to bend over backwards – so to speak – by following the FIA boss’s assertion that all is sweetness and light following the decision by the court to find in his favour after the News of the World had made such a comprehensive hash of their case.

Mosley gave an exclusive interview to Autosport this week, the FIA president using his campaign for safety, ecology and cost cutting as the hobby horse on which to ride back to respectability. It is not going to be as simple as that; not if the general view within the paddock here is anything to go by.

Mosley remains the figurehead of a powerful international sporting body, a man who last year roundly condemned McLaren for ‘polluting’ the sport and who felt a ludicrous $100 million fine was not enough. It is no defence to say that his antics in a Chelsea basement were private. That, alone, is not sufficient. Unfortunately for Mosley, his behaviour is now public, regardless of the deceitful means employed by the News of the World.

It is difficult to decide which is the more worrying: the fact that the NotW has more readers than any other newspaper in Britain, or that Mosley appears to sincerely believe he can continue to operate in his high profile role as if his behaviour in that basement was normal.

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So, this is what passes for a GP preview? I have been more informed by the comments here (thanks Blayney) than by that article. If you want to write an article about Hamilton’s press conferences or the Mosley whatever, fine, just don’t have it in place of a proper preview.

I mean, any GP preview that mentions the Daily Mail more than any F1 team besides McLaren, or that only mentions the country hosting the GP (let alone track name and possible conditions over the weekend), is not a GP preview.

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Great article- makes you think what is actually happening behind the scenes- its all well and good hearing about different drivers’ preparations but the contexts that affect them all are more interesting to read about so it’s a good article, oh and p.s. Max Mosely? Are you joking?! If Gordon Brown went and had some lurid sex session with a band of militant prostitutes do you think he would really be able to maintain his position? Exactly, Max get your whip and go.

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Hamilton won Germany by making Heiki stop n the middle of the track. They may shout about no team orders, but its pretty obvious what loulou and mclaren are upto

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Link on main page, 2 first words: Lewis Hamiilton…
Bloq itself, 2 first words: Lewis Hamilton…

There is much more drives than Ham’, Ok, this is Britthis media, so why dont you some time spend 1000 on telling about what Buttons is doing! Or admire how Williams is giving… “not so” hard time to BMW!

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I hate Mosley almost passionately, and I support Hamilton to the same extent. That makes it all the more relevant when I say this: Stop making Formula 1 being all about Hamilton. It angers me because when he’s winning he’s given a hero’s welcome by the press, but when he loses he’s condemned as a loser unworthy of his McLaren position. Until you and the rest of the media stop being so biased and melodramatic and view the sport for the sport rather than JUST Lewis Hamilton or JUST Max Mosley, nobody is going to take a single word you say seriously.

That said, I think Mosley is a t**t and deserves every bad word the media can muster. Not because of his private life, but because he’s far too close to Ferrari to the point where if Ferrari doesn’t win it, he’ll collaborate to sue McLaren with trumped-up charges.

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Good grief!

Everyone has gone mad over the coverage of Lewis Hamilton and Max Mosley! People seem to forget that F1 is run by British people (Bernie and Max), has a lot of teams either based in Britain or with British Engineering personnel, has a few British drivers – one of which is doing very well at the moment and you’re reading a report on a British website written by a British reporter. Have people forgotten the coverage given to Jenson Button when he started? Or David Coulthard or Damon Hill? Mansell-mania back in 1992?

As for Mosley, he positioned himself as head of the FIA and was always seen at F1 meetings. Therefore, he was seen as representing F1. It was down to him McLaren were fined the amount they were for allegedly having things they shouldn’t, (even though the Italian courts aren’t pressing charges as they can find no proof of wrongdoing) as they brought the sport into disrepute. The News of the World may have found out the information the wrong way (in the Judges’ view) but he has still brought F1 into disrepute. Why is it one rule for the teams and another for him?

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I’m glad people found my comment of use :)

I’d do another one, but well… I’m sure most of you watched the qualifying today and know it anyway.

I will make a fewe comments though; Glock impressed me most, but Lewis was untouchable.

Also… I wasn’t fussed on Damons commentry.

To each their own I guess.

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Top Gear is a British show, a British magazine, and a British website. So obviously they would focus more on a British driver who happened to be doing well. This is normal practice in ANY media around the world.

so all those that are complaining, get a life, or try read the Spannish press which would focus a lot more on Alonso than anyone else, or the Italian press which would focus on Ferrari than any team else, and see what would you make of that.

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I’ve got 37 cars

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hi! i just watched the grand prix and i was so excited when felipe massa retired with 3 laps to go. also heikki kovalainen took his first win in his 28th race. lewis hamilton might not have won but i am just glad that a mclaren won because i just like hearing god save the queen being played. bye

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One alos agrees andy g

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o cock, one meant i also agree

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Best article you’ve written on here Maurice. Mosley’s antics are completely relevant to his position at the head of a worldwide orgasnisation. Well done.

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