Former World Champions John Surtees and Mika Häkkinen have attacked Lewis Hamilton following the Englishman’s behaviour in being defeated by Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg at last weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix.
Rosberg guaranteed himself pole position after accidentally slithering up the escape road at Mirabeau during the final minutes of qualifying, triggering the yellow flags that prevented anyone from better his lap time.
Hamilton was visibly frustrated after losing out on what he felt was a realistic shot at claiming pole, and repeatedly hinted – without every directly accusing – that the German had been deliberate in his actions.
Rosberg then went on to claim victory by converting pole into the lead for Sunday’s 78-lap race, keeping Hamilton at bay to reclaim the lead in the Drivers’ Championship standings.
Hamilton was again having a sulk post-race, refusing to acknowledge the victory and storming off the podium as soon as he could.
His antics had already earned criticism from Mercedes chairman and three-time champion Niki Lauda, and now Surtees and Häkkinen have joined the fray.
“I have no doubt about Lewis Hamilton’s driving ability, but I didn’t like what I saw and heard from Monaco,” Surtees, who won the 1964 title, wrote in his column in Motor Sport Magazine.
“I can understand the frustration that Lewis must have felt in not having that opportunity on the last lap of qualifying to get pole. But I think his reaction to his team-mate and team was wrong.”
Two-time champion Häkkinen added to the discussion, calling Hamilton a sore loser.
Having previously suggested to the Finnish media that Hamilton should apologise for his conduct, Häkkinen changed his tune somewhat in his regular column in the Hermes magazine: “I don’t know if Lewis would even consider apologising for his behaviour. It is a very individual thing.
“But in my opinion, one of the characteristics of a good winner is that he also knows how to lose.
“It’s hard to tell if something is going to change significantly,” he added.
Images via XPB Images