Following the Mark Hughes, Lewis Hamiliton and a load of tweets article we published October 31, 2012, we sent a letter of complaint to Autosport’s Editor Charles Bradley and the board of Haymarket Media Group.
Here we share the response and so called ‘evidence’ – a screen grab of Lewis Hamiliton’s tweets – sent with the email.
Thank you for your email.
I completely refute your accusation that Mark Hughes¹s column, page 19, dated September 13 (not 12 as you state), 2012, is ³acutely racist².
In his opinion column, Mark quite clearly created a fictitious dialogue between caricatures of Lewis Hamilton and his future team boss at Mercedes, Ross Brawn.
To state that the quoted speech of Lewis ³has no relation² to the tweets that Hamilton posted on his feed is frankly inaccurate. In the weeks leading up to Mark¹s column, Lewis regularly used street culture phrases such as ³mofo², ³lol², ³chillin², ³WTF² etc (see attached screengrab). This is what the Lewis character¹s vernacular is based upon, not because of the colour of his skin.
Mark¹s column was intended to highlight, in an exaggerated fashion, the culture differences between the Œold-school Etonian¹ Ross Brawn and bright, young British F1 star Lewis, by the latter using similar street culture vernacular to his tweets.
I¹m not sure how acquainted you are with the intricacies of Formula 1, but in the article the Lewis character¹s observations were, in fact, highly insightful and answered every single issue that the Brawn character, who showed absolutely zero negativity towards the Lewis character¹s responses.
Lewis was in no way portrayed as the Œlesser¹ of the two; their conversation is very much peer-to-peer.
As one of the most respected journalists in the paddock, Mark deals with both Lewis and Ross on an almost day-to-day basis, certainly on grand prix weekends. He is Lewis¹s unofficial biographer, and informs me that both have read this column and that neither of them had a problem with it. I have written about Lewis¹s racing, from karting to F1, and would never allow a piece about him to be published in my magazine of a racist nature.
I hope this response clarifies our position, and I can further assure you that content of a racist nature will never appear in the pages of Autosport.