Has Max gone too far?

01/11/2007
NEWS STORY

It's one thing pissing off F1 fans, whose anger and frustration is confined to message boards and forums. However, it's quite another when you piss off mainstream journalists with readership in the hundreds of thousands.

While Max Mosley might have thought his comments regarding Lewis Hamilton's significance to F1 almost throwaway, they have been seized upon by members of the British media who have quickly leapt to the youngster's defence.

Mosley usually gets away with saying what he pleases, and the British media - mindful of the all-important accreditation passes - laps it up, thankful for any scraps the master might throw its way.

At a recent luncheon, with specially invited British journos, there was barely a murmur when Mosley described Sir Jackie Stewart - a three-time World Champion, BRDC President and team owner - as a "certified halfwit". However, when the FIA President suggests that Lewis Hamilton might not be the 'F1 messiah' the press believes him to be, all hell breaks loose.

One newspaper today refers to the FIA President as 'Mad Max', a nickname that will have a familiar ring with anyone who has visited an F1 message board in the last decade, while The Daily Telegraph claims that the comments will have caused "offence to the British public".

For once, Mosley appears to have misjudged the mood of the mainstream media. Had he only looked the tabloids and indeed, many of the broadsheets during the course of the season, he might have realised that for many British journos Hamilton has taken on a special significance - indeed, when reading some of the more gushing articles the expression 'get a room' springs to mind.

In much the same way a teenage girl resents her parents for daring to criticize her latest boyfriend, the British media has turned on Mosley for failing to give Hamilton the credit it believes he so richly deserves.

Having picked upon their golden boy, the media is now questioning Mosley's comments regarding Stewart, and even mentioning the dreaded expression 'witch hunt' in relation to McLaren.

The backlash has left the forums and has entered the mainstream media, and it will be worth seeing how it develops.

Then again, with the FIA controlling those all-important passes, the righteous indignation will probably only last so long.

Funny how the mainstream F1 loving media never reacted to the news of a ten-year engine freeze.

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Published: 01/11/2007
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