F1 needs Lewis Hamilton’s ‘dirty tactics’

Lewis Hamilton There’s been a predictable outcry over the so-called “dirty tactics” deployed by Lewis Hamilton as he attempted to upset the odds and win the Formula 1 driver’s championship. But I can’t see what the problem is.

A bit more Dick Dastardly is what the sport requires

Hamilton had to win the last race of the 2016 season in Abu Dhabi and hope his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg finished lower than third in order to pip him to the title. The plan didn’t come off as despite Hamilton winning, Rosberg came home second.

As anticipated by many pre-race observers, the British driver slowed down during sections of the track in order to bunch up the field and give himself a better chance of claiming the main prize.

For the F1 viewer it made the last ten or so laps actually worth watching. If the lead driver switched his pace around a bit more the audience might be treated to a bit more action involving the top teams.

It’s a shame the sport’s bosses can’t introduce these “dirty” tactics every race. A bit more Dick Dastardly is what the sport requires to liven it up.

For armchair fans it’s far more exciting watching the top drivers at the head of the field bunched up and getting edgy than having to settle with watching the battle for 15th and 16th position. Where’s the fun in that?

Tactics of course play a huge part in all sports. Hamilton did what he felt would give him the best chance of winning, he still had to keep his car on the track and win the race. It was no different from a long-distance runner slowing the pace – it’s tactics.

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It’s perhaps a very British trait to be uncomfortable with tactics that could be viewed in some quarters as dishonourable. It probably also accounts for some of the nonsense surrounding Hamilton’s reaction to missing out on the title.

Despite live television images showing him embracing and back slapping Rosberg after the race, more was made of the pair’s frostiness and lack of anything approaching conversation in the driver’s room afterwards. I don’t recall a clamour for Damon Hill to humbly congratulate Michael Schumacher after the German driver had shunted his car into Hill’s to claim the championship in Australia in 1994.

Yes, it’s nice to be humble but expecting your leading sports competitors to immediately be hugging and kissing their rivals after a heated battle is a touch misplaced.

Photo credit: Jen_ross83 Lewis Hamilton via photopin (license)

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