• Monaco Grand Prix

Hamilton apologises for joke

ESPNF1 Staff
May 30, 2011 « Dan Wheldon gets stunning Indy win | »
Lewis Hamilton endured a frustrating weekend in Monaco © Sutton Images

Lewis Hamilton says he apologised to the stewards for the joke he made in reference to why he had been penalised following the Monaco Grand Prix.

Hamilton was interviewed immediately after returning from the stewards for having to explain his part in a collision with Pastor Maldonado. He was subsequently given a 20 second time penalty, but before the penalty had been handed out Hamilton was asked by the BBC why he felt he was being victimised by the stewards and responded with "Maybe because I'm black, that's what Ali G says…"

The comment was a joke referencing the character portrayed by comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, but Hamilton said he went back to the stewards to ensure there was no misunderstanding.

"They said at the end that they would make sure other people in the FIA understand," Hamilton said. "They said that for anybody who has heard it and misunderstood, that they'll clarify it with them and it won't go any further than the meeting room. But what I said was a bit of a joke, which wasn't funny at the time.

"I made them aware that when emotions are high, and it's very intense at the end of those kinds of races, you don't always say the right thing, and the joke didn't come at the most appropriate time. So I went there, made that clear to them, we've made our peace.

"They accepted my explanation, they understood. They said 'We've all competed before and we understand the passion, where you are coming from', and we all shook hands afterwards. The weekend was tough, I feel like I've had everything thrown at me, and I've managed to catch it and deal with it the best I could."