Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Hockenheimring, 2018

Hamilton says the quality of his German GP drive was “missed” by TV coverage

2018 German Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton has clarified his complaints about the television coverage of the German Grand Prix, saying he feels the quality of his drive was overlooked.

The Mercedes driver took to social media after the race to complain about remarks by ex-F1 drivers on Sky UK’s coverage. “Not a single one of them could find a good word to say,” Hamilton remarked in a post which was later deleted. “Whatever the reason is, it’s OK I forgive you,” the post continued.

Speaking to media at the Hungaroring yesterday Hamilton explained his reaction to the coverage.

“I just watched this race that felt so great in my heart,” he said. “There were certain things that I was like it’s not being perceived that why by who’s reporting it. But also there [were] things missed.

“There was a point when it started to rain, I was three seconds quicker than the other drivers but for some reason there on the TV screen there was only the gaps between us there was no times being shown so people couldn’t see the difference.

“And also it wasn’t being explained the difference I was making, the different lines that I would choose. Being that we had racing drivers commentating I would have thought they would pick those things out but they didn’t.

“I can look at, for example when I watch the race I can look at Sebastian [Vettel], how he enters the corner and positions the car.”

Hamilton said he expected more technical analysis from former racing drivers.

“There’s drivers that I grew up watching and succeed and it’s interesting. It seems a little bit different how they sometimes commentate – it’s different from race to race – how they commentate as opposed to when you watch an ex-tennis player commentate on the technicality of a tennis player, how they do fast balls or they work well on grass as opposed to sand. I don’t see that happen as much, but I don’t watch all the races.”

Some of the coverage was more positive, Hamilton added. “In the end there was some good comments from some drivers. But they have a tough job to report what’s going on in the race, so I respect that.”

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106 comments on “Hamilton says the quality of his German GP drive was “missed” by TV coverage”

  1. To be honest, I really can’t stand the commentary on Sky’s F1 coverage any more. I used to love Martin Brundle’s commentary, but watching Sky now feels like all he does is moan and criticise. Feels like a grumpy old man constantly moaning about how this and that was better in his day. I know that in some respects, the C4 races are picked mostly because they’re going to be the most enjoyable ones anyway, but I do feel like I enjoy watching F1 a lot more when I’m listening to Coulthard and Ben Edwards. They fulfil the brief of informing and entertaining. In my eyes, Brundle now does neither of these things.

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      27th July 2018, 9:01

      Couldn’t agree more with this. Crofty often seems to come across as if he’s angry and just shouts at the screen. Or talks about the pies he had for dinner the other night. He is even worse in practice. And I agree Brundle seems to be getting a bit miserable.

      Ben Edwards may make mistakes, but he sounds so passionate about what he’s talking about and he stays on topic. The coverage on sky is just going downhill. I’m not sure what I want in 2019 when there will be no live coverage in freeview. A good pair of commentaters like DC and Ben Edwards doing a channel 4 highlights package, or them both moving to sky. I’m not sure. Because I would be amazed if freeview didn’t even show any highlights after every race and I wouldn’t want this to have an all new line up. But at the same time, the Sky line up could do with replacing. I actually thought Brundle and DC were great when they were together so maybe this would cheer Brundle up again. I also really like the line up of Ben Edwards and Karun Chandhok in practice sessions, so I wouldn’t mind things going that way either.

      It is just a real shame that what is about to end on freeview is far better than what is going to take over all of the next 6 F1 seasons! I know it has less adverts and has more features before and after the race. But it isn’t cheap. And I find the nowtv service very poor. The picture is only 720p compared to freeview which is 1080p and only looks slightly better than SD if I’m honest. And at peak viewing times (start of the race) the coverage often buffers and the image often blurs or pixelates. Paying what they charge for this seems a bit much IMO, but what other option do I have?

      1. @thegianthogweed Yeah I agree. I was lucky that when Sky first started covering F1 I got the F1 channel for no extra cost as part of the HD package. But I’ve since cancelled my subscription so would need to pay a huge amount for the HD F1 channel – something I simply can’t afford to do. The NowTV offering is poor – my major gripe with it (other than the awful quality as you mention) is that you don’t get any catch-up with it like you do the Entertainment package. So there have been weekends where I’ve paid £13 and circumstances have meant I’ve missed the race live and haven’t been able to watch it later.

        Anyway, about commentary. I really like Chandhok, and enjoy his practice commentary as well as his little insights during the race and afterwards. He’s that ideal package of a race driver who understands the technical requirements of driving an F1 car fast, while at the same time being a superfan who is absolutely clued up on all the latest paddock developments, all wrapped in a package of a person who can present information in a clear and interesting way.

        Your race coverage lineup should really have at least one ‘colour commentator’ in the form of an ex driver who can describe the technical stuff, and a personality commentator who can offer insight and entertainment. You then need someone down in the paddock interviewing people, and someone in the pits watching what the teams are doing. I’ve always loved the Radio Le Mans commentary for sportscar racing. A lot of that comes from them having a great personality in the form of John Hindhaugh, but also the thing that really comes through is the passion that everyone has for the sport and the excitement they feel at watching every race. That’s really what’s missing from Sky’s coverage for me. It feels like they don’t feel passionate about F1, and certainly don’t enjoy watching it.

        1. Jonathan Teague
          27th July 2018, 11:29

          I know what you mean re: Now TV. It’s how I’m watching now and we jokingly refer to it as Now or Never TV due to the lack of on demand catchup :-).

          Id rather have it than pay full price for Sky as they keep notching up the price and then put you on a “deal” when you complain then 2 months later another price hike. If I cant watch live or the replay in the evening I usually watch the 30 min highlights on F1 TV (which we can get in the UK). Not ideal but at least its something.

          1. guys if you use Plex at home you can use plex as a DVR and just record the races from now tv that way.

            Google “plex” it’s *free, excellent and totally legal.

            *you might have to pay for the DVR feature, i cant remember but I have a life membership with them which was really not much money, 60 quid or something like that

    2. @mazdachris John Watson, day and night difference in the quality of commentary, I bet he could do better all alone than the majority of Sky F1 squad.

    3. anon-e moss
      27th July 2018, 10:59

      When you run a monopoly you get to do whatever you like as you are the only game in town. That is why SKY sucks. If you want rid of SKY then cancel your subs, starve them of cash.

      1. If you want to blame anyone blame Bernie and the team that made the long term deal with Sky. Sky maximised the deal they could get from the offering party, the situation is not Sky’s fault.

        1. Sky overpaid, the saem way they over pay for football and cricket. They make the rightsholders offers they cant refuse and that nobody else can match and they do that so that they can maintain (or establish) a monopoly.

          Its got nothing, or very little to do with Ecclestone. His job was to wring out every last penny from it for the shareholders and he did very well at that.

          Sky have always been this way and this is why they are still around after all these years, football addicts all have sky.

          The only way to get out of this situation is to cancel and stop giving money to sky. when they seen that there is no money to be made ,they will drop F1 and we can have pay per view from F1 direct with no middle man.2

    4. I have a feeling they were all put through Sky’s trademarked journalism course which seems to reduce individuality, encourage whining and making up stories with next to no basis (see Herbert asking Alonso point blank if he was retiring a year or two ago when nothing suggested he would be)

    5. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      27th July 2018, 12:50

      You can’t imagine what it’s like for viewers from the US who had to switch from NBC to Sky/ESPN. We literally went from world class steak to processed meat. I know it’s a harsh comparison but it’s also the truth and probably a very kind comment to Sky. I’m not sure if Carey or anyone in the world can fix F1 at this point.

      The problem with F1 in the rest of the world has been that you didn’t have Diffey/Varsha, Hobbs, Matchett, and Buxton. That’s been the problem and no one knew it. That was Ecclestone’s biggest failure and Carey’s too. These guys took F1 to different levels.

      1. @freelittlebirds Thank goodness we all have a different fingerprint or wouldn’t life be boring. I think exactly the opposite to you on Sky vs. NBC. Now in fairness, the only time I have had access to the Hobbs gang coverage here in Canada was when they were on Speed TV, and Canada didn’t black out that coverage like they did with NBC, except for Monaco I think.

        When they were on Speed I truly had the impression there was something else they would rather be doing. They were just watching the same footage as us without any further insight, and as I would watch races with the live timing on my laptop I would even pick up on things like someone coming into the pits or someone passing someone else, and they were obviously not even doing that because they would only mention it if the cameras fell on the situation. I just found their coverage very lacking and like I said, like they would rather be doing something else that day. Perhaps things got better at NBC, because at Speed I had come to the conclusion that F1 was never going to grow in the US with that crew covering it.

        1. bill mikels
          27th July 2018, 14:26

          people complained about the NBC crew, and all I heard was how great the Sky crew was. This year I have the Sky coverage and I don’t like it at all. I can’t even understand most of them, and that’s the English speakers! I think they suck. Miss the NBC guys.

      2. I 100% agree that the NBC team offered far better coverage and commentary than Sky. The only thing that Sky does better is they have access to the teams during the race and will get comments from Horner and others.

      3. I loved the Speed/NBC coverage team. My only complaint was that they dumbed things down a little bit, but I think they had to for their audience. So while every race they would explain DRS and the tire change regulations and didn’t get as far into some of the esoteric points that the Sky guys can, on the other hand they had so much enthusiasm and passion and humor that they were fantastic. Hobbs was like your crazy grandpa, just saying any ludicrous thing that came to him. Buxton acted like a child at his first GP ever and thought everything was the most exciting thing that ever happened, which was contagious. The drivers seemed to really respect him though. Matchett was the old professor trying to explain what was going on (and who always anthropomorphized all the cars– “whoa, easy girl, easy”), while clearly being amused by his colleagues, and Varsha/Diffey tied it all together. I miss those guys.

        Varsha — “The race, much like David Hobbs on a Saturday night, is subject to blackout”.

    6. Totally agree with@mazdachris and @thegianthogweed comments about Brundle and Crofty. However, I do not think that the Sky F1 coverage is a total loss – Ted Kravitz’ “Ted’s Notebook” portion of their coverage is some of the finest broadcasting out there today. The best part of the whole weekend is usually Ted’s qualifying notebook. Pinky is good fun also.

      Paul Di Resta is becoming a very good commentator and Anthony Davidson already is with his technical analysis. Surprisingly Jolyon Palmer also commentated really well for a F2 race earlier in the year – hopefully Brundle and Croft will move on so that one of these guys can take over in the near future. (Being in Australia I don’t have access to Channel 4, but from the snippets I have seen, their commentary team seem to be better than Sky on the whole.)

  2. Wow, Hamilton is really full of himself isn’t he. Maybe there should be a channel dedicated solely to him, with hand picked commentators. To make sure we don’t miss any of his awesomeness in the future. God forbid.

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      27th July 2018, 9:16

      Just saying, If Hamilton think his race was missed, then think about the drivers near the back in virtually every race. He himself probably gets over 20% of the coverage every single weekend. Grosjean and Ericsson didn’t get their many places gained filmed near the end. Hamilton seems to be implying the coverage was missing him more than others. It just wasn’t.

      I know Hamilton is an extremely good driver, But I just don’t like it when a driver seems so full of themselves. It may help with their confidence, but I haven’t seen many coma across quite like this.

      1. Yep, he is sounding like a right tool at the moment. His social life seems to consist mainly of hanging around other mega celebrities and this seems to be a breif glimpse into the mind of one of those types of people.

        deep down, he is ok but right now he sounds like a diva.

    2. Maybe there should be a channel dedicated solely to him,

      There is – it’s called SkySports F1

      1. This. Also if anyone was at Silverstone we were subjected to 3 days of Hamilton FM. You would think it was only him in the race.

        1. It’s almost as if it were on a British TV channel and he were the only Brit in the field.

      2. I was going to say dedicated cameras and commentator, but channel is good then we can switch of if he becomes to much.
        Really Hamilton is a very good driver and has proven it over the last decade. And I know that all top sports people have egos and need to have extreme confidence in themselves. I think He is pushing it with this though.

    3. @vjanik Agreed. I’m still of the opinion that his 2015 WDC went to his head and that he has been entitled and ungrateful since. Oh sure he’s full of thank you’s to the team and all…while he’s accusing them of sabotage at the same time. I think he has gone to the Kanye West school of self promotion. Just repeatedly tell the world you’re a gift to it, or that you’re hard done by when everything isn’t going perfectly, and a certain segment of the population will buy in and make you a billionaire for being a shallow egotist.

      1. while he’s accusing them of sabotage at the same time

        Never happened, there is not one quote of Hamilton saying Mercedes sabotaged him.

        1. @Martin No just plenty of comments that implied it.

          1. @Robbie

            I don’t have an account so no idea which poor sole is getting notifications when you (at)Martin

            No just plenty of comments that implied it.

            “No” .. exactly .. he never said it, anything else is your personal bias. He never accused Mercedes of sabotage but 2 years later you are still here lying about it. At least be mature enough to admit that instead of blaming Hamilton. There is a perfectly reasonable explanation for the comments he made that people who deliberately took them the wrong way (like you) just ignore.

            It’s like the other day when you claimed he was “reluctant” to give a place back to Bottas this time last year and then proceeded to deliberately misquote Hamilton to “prove” your point. It’s just a bit sad really.

      2. @robbie

        Over reaction much?

        1. @todfod Right? LH really did over react throughout 2016.

          1. @robbie
            No he didn’t. When Lewis said “somethings wrong” or “something’s not right” you thought he screamed sabotage.

            It’s funny because when I accuse Sebastian of whining you’re the first one to say that I interpret his statements incorrectly. So, I don’t see why you don’t follow the same principal for Lewis. Bias perhaps?

        2. @todfod You know yourself, unless you didn’t watch F1 in 2016, exactly the things LH said, and they were far from ‘something’s not right’ so you are being very disingenuous there. And SV is an entirely different personality and yes the things he has said have been subject to interpretations too, and they don’t circle around chest-pounding and entitlement. So for sure I am biased against entitled millionaires who only say they are grateful but don’t act that way.

          1. @robbie

            You know yourself, unless you didn’t watch F1 in 2016

            so you are being very disingenuous there

            There you go again. I honestly believe that he didn’t say anything of the sort… And I probably watched that season much closer than you did. So, avoid on your double standards.

            You’re biased towards entitled millionaires who aren’t grateful and I’m biased against whining, arrogant cowards in formula 1 cars. We both have our own biases.

          2. @todfod For sure we have our own biases. Wouldn’t life be boring if we all thought the same way and cheered for the same team or driver?

            Just to be clear I have never said LH literally used the word sabotage, and some posters would like me to produce a quote of him using that very word, or else it means he never did accuse the team of favouring Nico. But if indeed you watched more closely than me then you are well familiar with his remarks about the team changing crews from one side of the garage to the other ‘for no apparent reason’ which then stirred up all kinds of conspiracy theories including around here, which then caused TW to publish a letter defending the 1500 staff at Mercedes F1 and their integrity.

            There was his remark about ‘someone’ not wanting him to win, and about only him having the unreliability at Mercedes, and then at the end of the season his remark about a tell-all book once he was done with F1 implying he would speak of how they had favoured Nico for 2016.

            So if you want to believe he didn’t say anything of the sort then the direct quotes are available in the archives on this site and many others. Perhaps if you watched more closely than me, you just blocked those kinds of things out because you didn’t want to hear them. But I didn’t invent them I can promise you that. If you think you are catching me out because he never used the word sabotage but I have, simply because that is what his sentiment through 2016 boiled down to, well you’re not, because I never claimed he used that word, but certainly the words I do claim he said are in the annals of F1 history.

          3. Just to be clear I have never said LH literally used the word sabotage, and some posters would like me to produce a quote of him using that very word

            No some posters would just like you to provide any evidence of him accusing Mercedes of sabotage, he doesn’t have to use the word sabotage, he just has to say something along the lines of “Mercedes deliberately caused a failure on my car”

            It’s not hard, I really dont understand how you dont get it.

          4. @Robbie

            The many paragraphs of rambling in your post

            Give me a break. “Someone/Something doesn’t want me to X” is a perfectly valid phrase that does not mean that your team is sabotaging you. It means things are just going against you. The mechanic change he said he was unhappy with because change is unsettling, he didn’t however say the Mechanic change was done to deliberately sabotage him, or anything like that, that is your interpretation.

            because I never claimed he used that word

            But you did claim he said Mercedes sabotaged him, and he never did

    4. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      27th July 2018, 13:01

      @vjanik @robbie If the commentators need the driver them that they don’t understand the sport, then they should be in that position. If Nadal and Djokovic had to explain to McEnroe the quality of tennis that they played at the Wimbledon epic final, McEnroe would probably resign. Of course having McEnroe comment on the game is an absolute delight for anyone watching cause he does see the things and it’s almost there’s an echo when he comments.

    5. @vjanik
      If a driver, anyone, is lapping two or three seconds faster than the other lead cars, it deserves attention from the TV coverage. And he is entirely right that experienced F1 drivers should be commenting on and analyzing that. He did his job well. I have no problems, ever, in anyone telling others that they’ve done a bad job and can do better, when it’s true and they can.

    6. He is actually making a very good point. Hope you get that point

    7. You are full of yourself. Hamilton is 100% spot on. Just watch Tennis and see ex-Tennis players commentate and watch F1 and watch ex-F1 drivers commentate and the difference in knowledge is day and night.

  3. I thought Lewis was all about ‘Love conquers all’.
    Why is he bothered about the comments ex drivers made ? So what if they weren’t convinced ? He is a 4 time champion. So is Sebastian; and Seb was criticized for many of his words and actions during the early part of this decade.
    I understand he wants to be the center of attraction at all race weekends. He has built a certain brand around himself and is doing what he can to limit the damage to that brand. Don’t think the ex drivers or fans look at him that way.

  4. Only highlights, but if he wants to watch F1 where its about the racing try C4. Over there they will tell you that the guys on the wrong tyres, so the car won’t turn, and that’s why he went off. Meanwhile Croft will make some pathetic comment about the guy going for a trip across the desert before he tells you Vettel has thrown away the championship.

  5. He’s not wrong regarding tennis vs F1 in terms of their ability to describe the technical detail. Which is odd for such a technical sport.

    1. You couldn’t be more right. Unless you don’t watch Tennis because if you do you see exactly what he’s talking about with Brundle et al

  6. Hamilton is a little adrift here. Its not the ex-drivers who set the tone. Its the one whose voice and annoying conversational diversions is beginning the annoy mightily.

    It seems every time Vettel ( or in the past, Rosberg) is leading the championship he is repeatedly described by Croft as ‘the championship leader’. I can’t remember him regularly describing Hamilton that way. So much he says is actively or passively negative about Hamilton. And when, rarely, there is a positive commentary on Hamilton it seems grudging.

    Perhaps it is my impression only.

    1. Huh? What commentary are you watching? Are you suggesting that Sky F1 is not ludicrously biased towards Hamilton? Sky would sooner have you believe that Lewis was walking on water rather than driving through it.

    2. You’re 1000% correct. All of them does it from Brundle to even the new DiResta. Everything positive thing said about Hamilton is always grudgingly said. Especially to a true English speaker that’s how it comes off. Perhaps people who’s English is a second language might think they’re praising Hamilton. Far from it

  7. My goodness, he’s getting more petulant al lthe time it seems. So far in three races we’ve seen:

    – a strategic director needing to come on the radio to apologize to him… in order to not get him to throw his toys out of the pram during the race
    – the team needing to motivate him to keep on racing the race… the multi-millionaire rockstar driver… how do you think that makes his mechanics feel?
    – stating his retirement in qualifying was NOT HIS FAULT when it quite clearly was, to stroke his ego

    … and now he is complaining on social media about not enough favourable press coverage…
    I’m beginning to think Hamilton and Trump are related.

    This man (and I use the term loosely) has a serious ego and mentality problem.

    1. anon-e moss
      27th July 2018, 10:53

      If Hamilton’s attitude was different he would not be the champion he is. If he became soft to please his anti-fans he would become a mid field driver. I’ll take all his faults and self belief over him rolling over to please people. If he was that bad a person Merc and his team would and could not work with him. You guys seem not to understand the psyche of a winner. The world is full of likeable losers. I wonder why?

      1. pastaman (@)
        27th July 2018, 13:28

        He’s not the only winner in the paddock, but he’s definitely the biggest baby.

        1. Maybe he should have a good cry in his car, swear at ‘sir’ when he doesn’t get his own way, and run to the prat perch for a cuddle off Arrivabene/Horner when he fails. Like the other winner does.

        2. #special

      2. I had no idea f1 champions are minted by lots of adulation.

  8. Romain Grosjean would like a word. I saw him climbing the positions in the last few laps, by paying attention to the info panel on the left side of the screen.

    Crofty and Brundle either didn’t notice or didn’t care. Though it’s not entirely their fault, since they are only reporting on what the main camera feed is showing (i.e. what we’re seeing) and FOM decided to keep that stuck on the front 3 drivers.

    Also when the rain started, I saw the info panel on-screen that said Gasly was on Extreme Wet tyres – I was hoping that that was an error, and it took until it showed up on the camera feel for them to even notice or say anything about it. I was totally flabbergasted that Toro Rosso could even consider Extremes as an option, let alone Inters, but it took until a very quick camera shot before they even mentioned anything about it.

    I do like Crofty and Brundle, but I do feel like they sometimes ignore some of the information they are presented with – if I can pick up on these things, surely they can too.

  9. I get Lewis’ croticism but it’s easy to say in hindsight “well you should be mentioning what I’m doing here because it was key to me winning the race” but when the race is unfolding the commenrtors have to call it as they see it and there was a lot happening on track all race. I can’t really fault their peeformance last weekend.

    Generally speaking, my observations of the Channel 4 team are:

    Ben Edwards: He’s the lead commentator and does a great job telling what’s happening and trying to set up sections where DC can give his insight. His passion and enthusiasm for the sport really come across. 9/10.

    DC: Does an ok job these days. Seems to try to be too diplomatic at times, very reluctant to criticise those who he feels are better drivers than him while being keen to stick the boot into the likes of Ericsson. He also seems apologetic when discussing technical aspects of the sport, so his explanations never go far enough. 5/10, could do better.

    Karun Chandhok: The exact right mix of telling you whats happening, giving you an opinion and explaining things technically. The guy is a racer and a fan and it shows. 10/10.

    Lee MacKenzie: Seems to have a great rapport with the drivers and makes them feel at ease, always gets a good interview. A true pro. 10/10.

    Steve Jones: He’s a TV guy who seems to not be able to believe his luck at landing a job that allows him to travel round the world and mix with the rich and famous. Does the job of hearing ex racing drivers pretty well. 8/10.

    I can’t comment on the Sky team as I don’t have Sky.