Date:Monday May 30 2011
It was fair to say it was an eventful weekend for McLaren's Lewis Hamilton in Monaco.
Having looked good in all three practice sessions and during the early stages of qualifying, the British driver looked set for a front row start for yesterday's race.
But a combination of getting blocked by Felipe Massa and the red flag caused by Nico Rosberg's smash in Q3, left him with just one shot at qualifying and after waiting at the exit of the pit-lane to make sure he had track position, Hamilton was left with cold tyres and he was only good enough for seventh and even then, that was by short-cutting the Swimming Pool chicane.
That time was duly deleted by the stewards, leaving him even more frustrated and starting ninth on the grid.
A poor start by Michael Schumacher meant that Hamilton could gain a place by the first corner, but the seven-time World champion managed to hit Hamilton up the back under-breaking damaging the McLaren's wing and diffuser.
With Hamilton also fearing a puncture, Schumacher over took Hamilton going down into Loews Hairpin, Hamilton realising the position was lost choose to not cut in early and collide (like many other drivers would throughout the course of the race) and the pass was made cleanly.
Later in the race after a few laps behind Schumacher, Hamilton used a combination of the DRS down the start-finish straight and KERS to throw his McLaren down the inside of the first turn, again, much like Hamilton earlier, Schumacher avoided the collision by giving Hamilton enough room for both cars to get around the corner unscathed.
The next couple of incidents that Hamilton was involved in however were slightly more controversial.
Having already seen Force India's Paul di Resta get given a drive through penalty for mounting the curb at Loews, Hamilton attempted a similar move on Felipa Massa, which left both cars tangled coming out of the hairpin.
Hamilton's view was that Massa cut in on him and to share his view, the Ferrari driver did take a different line to the Red Bull in front, however a drive through penalty was probably a fair decision as the pass always looked a bit ambitious.
After the red flag Lewis Hamilton again felt a bit racey and made an ambitious move on Williams driver Pastor Maldonado going into the first corner.
Again from Lewis's view Maldonado could have given Hamilton more room like Schumacher had earlier in the race, but Hamilton wasn't completely alongside him and his 20 second time penalty after the race was again probably the right decision.
However after being on the end of previously overzealous stewarding in the past, Hamilton let his feelings known after the race to the BBC.
'It's an absolute frickin' joke, I've been to see the stewards five times out of six this season.'
'Massa held me up in qualifying, I got the penalty. He turned in to me [during the race], I got the penalty. These drivers are ridiculous. It's stupid.'
'People want to see racing, But you get done trying to put on a show, trying to make a move. Fair play, if I feel I've gone too late I'd hold my hand up to admit I've caused an incident. But it's not the case.
Our current VitalF1.com poll asks: Was Hamilton unfairly penalised in Monaco?
Currently 50% believe that Yes, the penalties were unfair, while 50% believe that No, the penalties were fair, while no-one as yet has voted that he should have received stricter penalties for causing two avoidable accidents in one race.
Date:Monday May 30 2011
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