The Lewis Hamilton ‘Twittergate’ affair deepened on Sunday.
On Saturday, ‘Tweets’ posted by the 2008 world champion and featuring the obscenity-acronym ‘WTF’ suggested Jenson Button had been given a better front wing in qualifying. The tweets were subsequently deleted.
Then, ahead of Sunday’s Belgian grand prix, the ‘Twittergate’ affair shifted into a higher gear when Hamilton posted via his social media account an image of a confidential McLaren telemetry sheet. The sheet was apparently evidence of Button’s qualifying advantage at Spa-Francorchamps, with hand-written remarks making clear Hamilton lost ‘6 tenths on the STRAIGHT’ to the sister McLaren. It also included sensitive team information, including the MP4-27’s ride height.
“He was asked to take it down and he did it immediately,” team boss Martin Whitmarsh is quoted by the BBC.
The affair comes amid Hamilton’s reported tense negotiations with McLaren over his new contract for 2013.
“This is effectively a war,” an unnamed paddock member said.
Whitmarsh, adding that Hamilton apologised, explained: “He misjudged the (telemetry) situation. He wasn’t thinking clearly, obviously.”
The 27-year-old British driver crashed at the first corner on Sunday, and did not appear for interviews during the race.
Afterwards, he said: “I really don’t want to talk about the start. People can see what happened.”