Michael Trapido
Michael Trapido

The real reason for Hamilton’s crash

Lewis Hamilton, currently driving for the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 Team, confirmed that his Canadian GP crash was down to the aggressive driving techniques he had learned racing down Louis Botha Avenue, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Midway through the race Hamilton slammed into the back of Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari when he failed to spot a red light which denied him access back on to the race track from the pit lane.

McLaren’s lead driver confirmed that during the close season the team had enrolled him in a South African minibus taxi “training academy” to bring out his inner steel. As a result he found that during Sunday’s grand prix he had lapsed into the old habit of counting his change while pulling off. This had resulted in him missing the red light and “poesing straight into the back of Raikkonen’s vehicle”.

Hamilton said this was only half the problems he was experiencing since returning from Johannesburg. During one of the pit stops he “klapped” the guy who was cleaning his windscreen and warned him that if he ever comes near the car again he would “donner” (translates as Thursday from the dictionary we used) the crap out of him.

A bemused McLaren team manager said that what he found the most annoying was Lewis’s insistence on putting up an index finger and slowing down every time he drove passed a safety marshall. Hamilton admitted that while this was a problem, it was “nothing compared to the problem of having to soak the ball of my hand in hot water for hours after trying to get the hooter to work”.

When Anthony Hamilton, the driver’s father, was approached for comment, he expressed sympathy at Lewis’ plight having undergone the same course in South Africa, seemingly with more or less the same results as he plowed into a children’s playground while reversing his Porsche.

Apparently the minibus taxi course encourages the use of reverse gear when the rest of the gears have been burned out. Anthony said that the part that he missed the most was the bit where the passengers are praying while you apply this technique. Apparently it’s a very religious experience, best enjoyed in reverse, at around 90 mph through the S’s on Death Bend, just before Orange Grove in Johannesburg. Hamilton Senior takes up the story:

“Amazing! Those minibus passengers must be among the most devout people in the world. While I was sitting there next to the driver during my first trip, I noticed that every time the taxi came to a halt there was a chorus of “Thanks be to God”, which I found extremely uplifting. Yet at the same time, I have never heard so much swearing from a religious crowd of people ever before in my life! Damn it, every four letter word you can think of as we swerved, hooted and overtook every vehicle on the road…..talk about a pair of ducks…”


“No we hit a pair of ducks when the taxi left the road and smashed through someone’s wall!”

We asked Lewis Hamilton whether this minibus taxi course had improved his driving skills :

“I would be lying if I said it hadn’t. You try and stop a 12 seater minibus, with 43 passengers, marie biscuits for tyres, no brakes, gearbox shot to pieces, flying down a steep hill at 90mph …the frigging handbrake in your hand after you’ve tried using it…people crying hysterically, the radio blaring, your instructor telling you to stop to pick up more passengers….”

“Did you stop?”

“Only way I was going to stop that taxi was by either tying a rope to the ankle of the fattest passenger aboard and throwing him out the window…sort of like an anchor or against a huge truck!”

“How did you eventually stop?”

“On an uphill! About 9 miles up!”

“Were you scared?”

“My eyes were bleeding from crying, what do you think?”

We will be printing a schedule of Lewis and Anthony Hamilton’s whereabouts for the next two months in our late edition. You might want to walk or catch a train while they’re in your neighborhood.

Just to play safe.

10 Responses to “The real reason for Hamilton’s crash”

  1. Cool Down #

    I think he simply saw red seeing Kimi’s
    Ferrari in front of him, sort of like a red flag to a Bull,which of course is no bull.

    June 11, 2008 at 10:55 am
  2. he he he…just added some content on the Arrive Alive Website on advanced driving – having repromanded a friend recently for doing 210km/h on the M1 recently. Will try to send the link to Hamilton as well!

    June 11, 2008 at 11:52 am
  3. Guys Traps and I had breakfast this morning with John Smit (who will now be writing for Sports Leader), Jean De Villiers and Butch James.

    Traps warned them that he is going to be merciless with tommorow’s look at the breakfast.

    June 11, 2008 at 12:13 pm
  4. Bryn #

    Oh Traps, I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time. I used to drive a small section of Louis Botha on my way to classes at RAU. I attribute my ability to scare cars three times the size of my little Mazda to those crazy morning drives.

    June 11, 2008 at 1:20 pm
  5. Michael Trapido #

    Bryn I’ve driven Louis Botha my whole life – You mess with those taxis at your peril….

    June 11, 2008 at 2:20 pm
  6. Craig #

    In the UK they call the safety check on a motorbike the “Life Saver” – in SA the same manoeuver is called the “Death Check”…it speaks volumes :)

    June 11, 2008 at 4:00 pm
  7. Siphiwo Qangani with kangaroos #

    Jy ry nie!!!

    K53 Traps K53 My friend…Hammilton lacked that code on that day.

    Jy ry nie!!!

    K53 Traps K53 My friend…Hammilton lacked that code on the day.

    June 11, 2008 at 8:28 pm
  8. Michael Trapido #

    What’s K53? Siph?

    BTW I’m still pondering my column on John Smit tommorow? I’ll have to get permission…It makes my one on Os seem tame…


    June 11, 2008 at 8:43 pm
  9. Owishto #

    Traps, you just made my day. Considering i was seething with anger on sunday night after what that taxi trained boy did to King Kimi, i never thought anyone would turn that incident into something this hilarious.

    Can’t wait to read about JS….

    June 12, 2008 at 6:03 pm
  10. Michael Trapido #

    Owishto my pleasure – I love making people laugh!

    June 12, 2008 at 6:50 pm

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