Columns, Articles, and Thoughts from afar concerning the IRL

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Road of Bones

MTC Mole
Contributor
I thought this piece by Mo Hamilton was particularly pertinent:

http://www.grandprix.com/columns/maurice-hamilton/dealing-with-tragedy.html

A very brave column, where he delicately flirts with an extremely emotive subject - namely: "How do you point out that you think somebody's public display of condolence is as genuine as a 3-pound-note?".

He doesn't name the person directly, but I think we all know to whom he refers in this piece - I'll admit that I had a mini-cringe when I read that person's message on Monday. It had all the hallmarks of being prepared by a PA, rather by the driver in question. :rolleyes:
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
He doesn't name the person directly, but I think we all know to whom he refers in this piece - I'll admit that I had a mini-cringe when I read that person's message on Monday. It had all the hallmarks of being prepared by a PA, rather by the driver in question. :rolleyes:

Nope, no idea?
 

Road of Bones

MTC Mole
Contributor
Are you serious CaT?
Perhaps my cynicism reflex is overdeveloped, but of all the F1 tributes to Dan that I read, there was one that smelt so utterly false and contrived too hard to sound heartfelt, that it stuck out like a sore thumb. I'm not quoting it here - if you read it, you should know who the article was aimed at.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
I have no idea either and I saw some of the stuff being posted on Twitter.

I don't follow any of the drivers though so probably missed it.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
That's what I thought he was driving at however, I don't see anything wrong with that :dunno:

It's the Hamilton effect unfortunately.

Say nothing, get slated.
Say something, get slated.
Say the wrong thing (in someone's opinion), get slated.
Have absolutely nothing to do with a particular event, get slated.
Essentially, get slated.

It's been happening for years.

I'm actually almost speechless that he is now being criticised for his comments and just can't comprehend what it is he has done to make people react like this.
 

KekeTheKing

Banned
Supporter
Apart from the supremely unfortunate loss of human life, the most disturbing thing to come from this tragedy has been the almost immediate rush to condemn the race organizers, equipment, safety standards, and worst of all; the form of racing itself. Mark Webber appears to be joining in with others that have suggested drastic changes must be made to a form of motorsport that has thrived in the US for over a century. These are the comments that I am having a problem with right now. Not a message of condolence that has been somehow misconstrued to appear insincere.
 

jez101

Bookies drive nice cars because of people like me
Contributor
I also took Lewis' statement as genuine when I first read it. He is a sensitive guy who is feeling quite fragile at the moment as we have seen (and discussed at length :)). Not having a go RoB, just that I didn't see it that way although I can see why people might think is sounds like PR-speak. Personally, I just don't think it was...
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
It's difficult to say anything about this at the moment because emotions are pretty raw, I appreciate that. But the tone of the coverage in the UK (perhaps I'm being a little over-sensitive) seems to have been that "Our Brave Boy" was let down by a barbaric, anachronistic sport.

Oval racing is extremely dangerous, there's no doubt about it, but it's less dangerous than it used to be. That's not to say Wheldon wasn't a very brave boy indeed - they all are, have to be. As for Las Vegas - would the outcome have been any different if Dan had got up into the fencing at Indy at that speed? I wonder.

It's natural for people to ask why this happened, and a full investigation must be carried out to learn lessons for the future - but my feeling underlying it all is that it happened because, sadly, it happens. For those whom F1=Motorsport (or who are too young to remember Senna and others) this is shocking, no doubt, but a fatality remains a risk in all categories of motorsport - who could say that there will never be another death in F1? Not me.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
I certainly don't recall a similar reaction after Paul Dana was killed in 2006, or Tony Renna in 2003.

Or perhaps there was?
 

Road of Bones

MTC Mole
Contributor
*sigh*

Mea Culpa - look, I have nothing against Lewis Hamilton, ok? For all I know, neither has Maurice Hamilton - I read his column and drew my own conclusion based on how Lewis' message about Dan appeared to me.

I've always had a problem with the "Dianafication" of tragedy, and public expressions of grief - I happen to believe that unless you know the person involved on a personal level, then public displays of grief & loss are inappropriate. I feel sometimes that people these days find it obligatory to join in with the public weeping, and I just think it's wrong. Mo Hamilton's article struck a chord with me, is all. I was not out to witchunt Lewis - but neither should I have to walk on eggshells around the subject of him!
 

jez101

Bookies drive nice cars because of people like me
Contributor
I have a few concerns about sharing this link, but I will because for me, it answered the question, "how did the crash happen". While some will clearly feel that such detailed and public analysis of how someone died is inappropriate, for me though there are clear lessons to be learned. If you object, please don't hold it against me, just don't click the link - there is nothing gory, I promise: just a guy who has been through the videos and identified the sequence of crashes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZoUJ_KaAy28

Wheldon was the 9th or 10th car involved in the sequence of crashes. Power's was the 12th and both were in a third wave of collisions, each wave caused by the previous wave. That Power survived his crash was as much of a miracle as Wheldon's was a tragedy.

What I hope comes from tragic event is an agreement / understanding / rules between the drivers that describe what to do when the inevitable first collision ocurs. In this instance some lifted off, others took evasive action while others maintained a constant speed to avoid cars who had not seen the initial collision from crashing into the back of them.

In the tragic events of Sunday, each driver did something different causing the knock on effect we saw that ultimately led to Wheldon's death. It seems to me that in the heat of the moment, everyone made a different split-second decision which is something that could be avoided if events like the initial contact are planned for and reactions pre-programmed.
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
I've always had a problem with the "Dianafication" of tragedy, and public expressions of grief - I happen to believe that unless you know the person involved on a personal level, then public displays of grief & loss are inappropriate.

Just to reproduce:

Lewis Hamilton said:
This is a tragic loss at such a young age. My heart goes out to his family and friends during this extremely difficult time. #DanWheldon

He was an extremely talented driver. As a British guy, who not only went over to the States but who twice won the Indy 500,

Dan was a racer I’d followed throughout my career, as I often followed in his footsteps as we climbed the motorsport ladder in the UK

This is an extremely sad day.

He doesn't proclaim a personal relationship. He doesn't wail with grief. He mentions its a sad day and sends condolences to his family and friends.

I have a bit of a problem with the fact that the media suddenly care about Dan Wheldon when they hardly deigned to report his triumphs. But, to be quite frank, I don't think that Hamilton's comments "Dianafy" Wheldon in any way.

I think only newspapers can do that.
 

Jen

Here be dragons.
Contributor
I'm with ROB on this one and it has nothing to do with our lack of compassion or inability to see tragedy. It has everything to do with the current British way (albeit driven by our press) that almost confers sainthood on one of our own who has died, particularly if vaguely famous.

Let's be honest here, who was aware of Dan Wheldon? I knew the name and his achievements and am sorry for his loss - although not a follower of Indycar, but can grasp what his passing means for his family and the sport

Perhaps ROB's and Mo Hamilton's 'take' on Lewis's 'statement' was a tad harsh - I don't know. What I do know is that death happens, at any age and to anybody - it should be mourned privately and I do detest the way that all and sundry join in with what is and should be a very private time.

I do think it is time to tell the 'celebrities' to keep their thoughts to themselves and to allow those actually affected by the death their own space. Perhaps, send a card or something, but please keep it private.

The fact that he was a Brit is what has caught the media eye - sadly, Dana and Renna were American, so didn't feature in our world and why should they?
 
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