THE OUTSPOKEN former Formula One driver Jacques Villenueuve has criticised Lewis Hamilton of portraying himself on social media as a messianic figure in the sport.
Speaking after Hamilton secured an unexpected win last weekend at the German Grand Prix, the 1997 champion declared: “Lewis confuses Formula One with Hollywood. Everything is staged. He portrays himself on social media like he is Jesus”.
Referring to the Mercedes driver’s alleged biblical conduct at the Hockenheim, Villeneuve said: “The way [Hamilton] knelt next to his car after having his problem in qualifying looked like the suffering of Christ”.
Villeneuve also described the reigning champion’s post-qualifying comments as being “like the Sermon on the Mount”, and Hamilton’s dramatic gestures on the podium as being “so everyone could see who sent the sudden rain” that allowed the Briton to secure his 66th victory in Formula One.
Prior to last week’s German Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton’s hopes of victory were dashed when his car failed during the first part of qualifying, forcing the Brit to start from 14th place on the grid.
A combination of a strong recovery drive through the field, a clever strategy call from Mercedes, and the sudden rain that caused Ferrari driver and championship rival Sebastian Vettel to crash out of the race allowed Hamilton to finish on the top step of the podium.
As a result of his win in Germany, Lewis Hamilton now stands at the top of the Driver’s Championship standings, with a 17 point lead over his closest competitor, Vettel. Ten races now remain in the 2018 Formula One World Championship, with the next Grand Prix being held this Sunday (July 29) in Hungary.