MONTE CARLO // Lewis Hamilton could face disciplinary procedures by the world motorsport governing body after unleashing a verbal attack on race stewards at yesterday's Monaco Grand Prix.
The McLaren-Mercedes driver won in Monte Carlo in 2008, but finished sixth this time. He was later issued a 20-second drive-through penalty for an incident involving Ferrari's Felipe Massa, who was forced to retire.
He also tussled with Pastor Maldonado of Williams, a confrontation that resulted in the Venezuelan also failing to finish the 78-lap race.
The post-race penalty did not affect his finishing position.
Hamilton was called in front of the race stewards immediately afterwards and when questioned by the BBC replied: "It's an absolute … joke. I've been to see the stewards five times out of six this season."
When he was pushed for a reason as to why, he answered, apparently in jest: "Maybe it's because I'm black. That's what Ali G says."
Martin Whitmarsh, the McLaren team principal, said Hamilton had gone to the stewards following that interview, and had explained the Ali G "joke", and his explanation had been accepted by them.
An angry Hamilton vented his frustrations further: "You can't overtake here and very rarely do you get an opportunity. I went up the inside of Massa and the guy turned so early and just turned into me, so I tried to go over the kerb to avoid him and we're stuck together. And, of course, I get the penalty, which is usual.
"He held me up in qualifying and I got the penalty. He turned into me [in the race] and I got the penalty. Then I went up the inside of Maldonado, and you can see on the screen that he turned a good car length too early to stop me from overtaking him, and crashed into me. It's just ridiculous, man. These drivers are … ridiculous, it's stupid."
The outburst could lead to the FIA, motorsport's ruling body, deciding that Hamilton has brought the sport into disrepute, which would result in further punishment. Massa said the 26-year-old Briton's driving deserves further action from the authorities.
"He was too aggressive," Massa said of the passing manoeuvre that ended his race. "I think he needs to be penalised again, and in a good way - otherwise he doesn't learn. [The FIA] need to think about something for him, or he will not learn. What he did was unbelievable - not just with me, but with other drivers as well. I think he needs to be penalised again, and in a good way - otherwise he doesn't learn. [The FIA] need to think about something for him, or he will not learn."