Lewis Hamilton Tells Esteban Gutiérrez That He's Number One With A Finger

GIF via YouTube

There are a few ways that Formula One can inform a driver that there’s faster traffic behind him. One is with the traditional blue flag thrown by trackside marshals. Another, more desperate but more entertaining method, is for the overtaking driver to flip the bird as he blows by the slower car. Let’s watch!

le doigt d’honneur de Lewis Hamilton à Esteban... by Sport-Buzz

Here we see the driver of one of two routinely competitive cars in F1, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, in his natural habitat at the Hungarian Grand Prix: the lead. Haas F1 driver Esteban Gutiérrez was in front of Hamilton—about to be lapped—and was holding him up. Thus, Gutiérrez was blue flagged to let Hamilton by, and he was obligated to move out of the way.


Watch as Hamilton carefully eases his hand off the wheel and lowers three fingers to leave only the middle finger raised. Perhaps this is more aerodynamic that throwing up all fingers at once, given the high speeds Formula One cars reach on the Hungaroring’s straights.

Alternately, Hamilton could just be frustrated and feeling the need to act a tad rude to a car that was in his way for longer than he wanted. Mind you, his teammate Nico Rosberg in the other competitive car was gaining on Hamilton while Hamilton was stuck behind Gutiérrez.


Either way, Gutiérrez was not pleased that Hamilton would inform him of this pass in such a manner:

Gutiérrez received a five-second time penalty for ignoring blue flags shortly after getting flipped off by Hamilton. Hamilton went on to win the race after passing Rosberg at the very start, thus taking the lead in the drivers’ championship—six points ahead of Rosberg.

Moderator, OppositeLock. Former Staff Writer, Jalopnik. 1984 "Porschelump" 944 race car, 1971 Volkswagen 411 race car, 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS.

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What you’ve missed pointing out in your article, is that Gutierrez was a lapped car who had an obligation to get out of the way asap and safely. Yeah, you say the blue flags were waving, but half the readers of your content won’t know what that means.

Gutierrez didn’t cede the track position for too long, and got what he had coming to him - from both Lewis and the marshals. He held Hamilton up, causing him to lose a significant portion of his race lead against Rosberg. You could extrapolate from there that if Rosberg had made a successful pass soon after and gone on to win the race and then the championship by a margin of a few points, that Gutierrez was the trigger for it playing out like that.