Excessive Apology Messages From Mercedes To Hamilton

Yes, Mercedes’ strangely excessive apology messages to Lewis Hamilton for their pit-stop gaffe is one of the key stories from the 2018 Austrian Grand Prix. 

The 2018 Austrian Grand Prix was a classic example of a race where the racing did the talking for Formula 1. After a few not-so-interesting races in Spain, Monaco and Canada (France too, to a certain extent?) the sport needed to deliver a hit and it finally did at the Red Bull Ring.
Thanks to the missing on-track action, it was the driver silly season rumours that made headlines. Will Kimi Raikkonen join Mclaren in 2019? Would Daniel Ricciardo join him there too? Charles Leclerc to receive a double promotion in 2019? These stories are interesting, no doubt, but ever noticed how fans would care less about them if the on-track action satisfies their dose of Formula 1?

Noteworthy stories from Austria:

  1. Max Verstappen and Romain Grosjean both needed a strong result and they got one. Verstappen’s first win of 2018 (he’s overtaken Bottas in the Drivers’ Championship) and Grosjean’s first points for 2018. He led Haas’ highest points scoring weekend by finishing 4th, ahead of Kevin Magnussen in 5th
  2. Valtteri Bottas can officially inherit the ‘unluckiest’ driver on the grid tag from Fernando Alonso – just so unfortunate!
  3. Lewis Hamilton’s claim that the Mercedes was the quickest package in Austria was true for Saturday, but for Sunday, it seemed that the Ferrari cars could have challenged for the win had we had a normal race (without penalties!). Kimi Raikkonen had an aggressive opening lap – I can’t remember when we last saw him this aggressive. Welcome, Kimi
  4. Mercedes’ Achilles Heel is their strategy on tackling the Virtual Safety Car period, but I still can’t get over their multiple apology messages to Hamilton. These things happen in Motorsport. Yes, in Hamilton’s case, this is a repeat error from Mercedes
  5. At least one Renault, Mercedes and Honda powered car failed to finish the race. In comparison, all Ferrari powered cars finished in the points!
  6. Mercedes’ tyre issues were akin to the issues Ferrari faced in Spain. The warmer track temperatures on Sunday caught Mercedes out. So much so that Formula 1 drivers turned spotters during the race!
  7. Marcus Ericsson scored points; his second points scoring finish this season. He even overtook Charles Leclerc on track
  8. Fernando Alonso went from pits to the points; his battle with Leclerc was fascinating to see – aggression mixed with frustration?
  9. Force India scored their first double points finish of the season – also their 200th Grand Prix
  10. Finally, with four potential top-10 finishers retired, it was time for the minnows to take home points and they all did – both the Sauber and a Mclaren!

And there’s more in this week’s episode of the Firstpost Pole Position! If you missed our special episodes in the midst of Formula 1’s first-ever triple header weekend, worry not, here’s the Inside Line F1 Podcast for your listening.

Kunal Shah is an FIA-accredited Formula 1 journalist who has been reporting on Formula 1 for nearly two decades. He worked with the Force India Formula 1 Team for 6 seasons in Marketing, Sponsorship and Commercial roles. As a former single-seater racer, he was responsible for Force India's grassroots talent program, One from a Billion Hunt. Presently, he co-writes a regular Formula 1 column for Firstpost, speaks on Inside Line F1 Podcast & Pits to Podium and produces broadcast/OTT content for NENT Group (Viasport & Viaplay).

2 comments On Excessive Apology Messages From Mercedes To Hamilton

  • I understand how you hate Lewis Hamilton – after all, you and people like you have always seen it in your best interests to exhibit, for your masters, extreme hate toward people who look like Lewis Hamilton. So, it makes complete sense that you’d attempt to say Hamilton was lying about Mercedes being quickest, though had Vowles not, inexplicably, botched the VSC pit stop, Hamilton coasts to victory.
    It makes even more sense that you’d go out of your way to label Mercedes’ apologies to Hamilton “excessive” which acts as a dog whistle to your fellow Hamilton haters to trot out and ramp up the usual subtle and overt demeaning-racist tropes about Hamilton. But some of us realize that for you to set the table for invective-laden sentiments to be aired about Hamilton, you have conveniently – for you -purposely omitted the fact that this is the third such Mercedes strategy error this season AND omitted the fact that after the last Mercedes faux pas Toto Wolff held a team-wide meeting dressing down the entire Mercedes crew for what he sees as a failure to pay attention to detail.
    So, keep up the good work in fomenting peoples’ – your and your partner’s, too – hate toward Lewis Hamilton. It just helps the rest of us understand exactly how morally corrupt you are — and are among the basest and intellectually disingenuous “fans” of Formula One.

    • Dear D. K. Wilson,
      Many thanks for your choicest adjectives – I think my work did bring out the best in you too.
      I must share a learning I have had (the tough way) in the last 7 years – the time since my blog and podcast have been out there. If we call HAM a great (which we have!), we will attract the bashers. If we bash HAM (although we bashed Mercedes here), we will attract the lovers. I guess this is what the Oracle meant when she said that there should always be a balance in the equation.
      Lastly, you should know that the Inside Line F1 Podcast is actually a fun and light-hearted take on the sport and business of Formula 1. The messaging that led you to hurl your adjectives towards us and our work was actually meant in good jest and humour. But that’s the learning – despite all our best efforts, we can almost never please everyone AND still, I stand by what we said – Mercedes’ apologies seemed excessive that day. Thanks for visiting my blog, consuming our content and leaving a comment. Here’s hoping that you’ll be back for more – not just when we’re talking about (or dissing at) HAM. Keep Racing!

Leave a reply:

Site Footer

Sliding Sidebar

Open chat
Let's Talk Formula 1
Happy to share my passion for Formula 1 with you. If you have specific queries about the sport, feel free to ping me.

In the meanwhile, I welcome you to subscribe to the Inside Line F1 Podcast for insightful conversations around Formula 1. We release an episode every week.