Lewis Hamilton has ‘delivered everything he could possibly do for Great Britain’, lauds Formula 1 legend Damon Hill after record Silverstone win

15 Jul

Formula 1 legend Damon Hill has hit back at claims Lewis Hamilton is ‘not patriotic’ following his record British Grand Prix win at Silverstone.

The Brit overtook Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas to storm to his sixth victory at his home race – taking him over closer to a sixth world championship title.

But, while the 141,000-strong crowd at Silverstone were delighted by his win, Hamilton faced criticism in some quarters following his landmark triumph.

Hamilton looks unstoppable in his pursuit of a sixth world title
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His incredible achievements in the sport have not stopped the online haters, with the Stevenage-born ace often criticised for taking up residence in tax-haven Monaco and accused by some fans of ‘not being British’

But Hill insists Hamilton has flown the flag for Great Britain with pride and has ‘delivered everything he could possibly do’ for his country.

Speaking to talkSPORT host Jim White, the 1996 F1 world champion said: “It’s difficult to come up with more superlatives; the guy is dominant in his era and he’s had everything thrown at him and he’s delivered on every level.

“It’s very difficult to think what else he can do, apart from of course beat Michael Schumacher’s record of seven world titles.

“He has become a world recognised sports star and that of course means he’s more international, but he’s an English lad… he’s from Stevenage and he grew up in this country!

“He does try to convince us he is very patriotic and I think sometimes the more he does that the less we are inclined to buy that sort of ‘selling tactic’.

F1 driver standings

After 10 races, Hamilton is way out in front in the championship standings. But who comes behind Hamilton in the top 10?

  1. Lewis Hamilton – 223 points
  2. Valtteri Bottas – 184 points
  3. Max Verstappen – 136 points
  4. Sebastien Vettel – 123 points
  5. Charles Leclerc – 120 points
  6. Pierre Gasly – 55 points
  7. Carlos Sainz – 38 points
  8. Kimi Raikkonen – 25 points
  9. Lando Norris – 22 points
  10. Daniel Ricciardo – 22 points

“But he doesn’t have to worry about it.

“He’s delivered everything he could possibly do for this country – he is the highest-winning British driver and second highest in the history of Formula One.

Asked how he would have fared against Hamilton had they raced in the same era, Hill added: “It would have been very difficult to beat him!

Lewis Hamilton celebrates with fans after his victory at Silverstone, but he isn’t loved by all
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“To beat him, what I found from racing against people like Michael Schumacher is that I could do it, but I couldn’t do it all the time, and Lewis can do it all the time.

“He might have the occasional blip, but it doesn’t happen very often.”

Listen back to talkSPORT’s interview with Damon Hill IN FULL above!

‘If Lewis Hamilton wants to make Formula 1 less boring, bosses should listen’ – Damon Hill on talkSPORT

25 Jun

British motorsport legend Damon Hill has urged Formula 1 to listen to Lewis Hamilton, after the world champion called for bosses to make the sport more exciting.

Following his French Grand Prix victory – his sixth win in eight races this season – the Mercedes driver responded to the grumbles from F1 fans about his team’s domination.

The 34-year-old, widely expected to claim his third straight world championship title with the silver arrows, says neither he nor his team are to blame and instead pointed the finger at the sport’s bosses, particularly former chief Bernie Ecclestone.

Hamilton now leads the championship by a massive 36 points from team-mate Valtteri Bottas. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel is 76 points behind Hamilton in third.
Getty Images - Getty

“Don’t point fingers at the drivers, we don’t write the rules,” said Hamilton, whose team-mate Valtteri Bottas has won the other two races.

“We have nothing to do with money shifting, all that kind of stuff. You should put the pressure on the people at the head, who should be doing the job.

“This is a constant cycle of Formula 1 for years and years and years, even before I got to F1, and it’s because the way Bernie had it set up and the decisions they were making back then. It’s still the same.

“Until that management structure changes, it will continue to be the same, in my opinion. That’s not my job to do that. My job’s to come here and do the best I can as a driver.”

And, speaking to talkSPORT host Jim White on Tuesday, Hill insisted Formula 1 chiefs should sit up and take note, saying the structure and balance of the sport is wrong.

“I think they should [listen], he speaks from the heart,” said the 1996 F1 champion.

“I think what he’s referring to is not necessarily the current incumbents; I think what he’s saying is that the sport has never really taken on board the beliefs, the knowledge and the desires of the people who compete.

“In football you have the PFA, but in our sport the decisions about how the sport goes and the direction which things are done are predicated on what the teams and manufacturers want.

“F1 is divided into two championships – the Constructors’ Championship and the Drivers’ Championship. This is where the problem arises.

Hamilton is enjoying his best-ever start to an F1 season
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“The Constructors’ Championship has taken over in importance over the years, far more so than the Drivers’ Championship, even though the people who watch Formula 1 are not interested in the Constructors’ Championship!

“What Lewis is saying is the structure is wrong, the balance is wrong.

“What is needed is input from the athletes, the people actually in the arena doing the racing, to have an influence on the show, the event itself. There isn’t enough input.

“Obviously Lewis did another brilliant job at the weekend, he dominated the race, but unfortunately for all of us it was a big yawn.

Damon Hill says Formula 1 needs more input from the drivers to make the sport more exciting
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“I can’t complain, I also drove cars in a dominant era and every driver wants to have a bit of an advantage, but the races I’ve loved and the races people remember are the closely fought races where the cars are evenly matched.

“The thing that attracts young people to go and race is the racing itself. And the racing decisions, the way they try to bring about cars that are satisfying to race and spectacular to watch, both good for the drivers and good for the fans and, those tend to take second place to the other considerations.”

Listen back to talkSPORT’s interview with Damon Hill IN FULL above