Monaco Grand Prix Lewis Hamilton's Ali G 'joke' against Monaco race stewards backfires Driver unhappy at three punishments in two days 'Maybe it's because I'm black,' he says Paul Weaver in Monte Carlo guardian.co.uk, Sunday 29 May 2011 22.13 BST <li class="history">Article history Great Britain's Lewis Hamilton regrets making a racial joke towards the Monaco stewards. Photograph: PA Lewis Hamilton launched an astonishing attack on race stewards after being punished three times in two days at the Monaco Grand Prix, going as far as to say: "Maybe it's because I'm black. That's what Ali G says. I don't know." The McLaren driver later apologised to the stewards for what he described as "a bit of a joke, which wasn't funny at the time". He said his emotions had been running high after another frustrating afternoon in which he had to suffer two drive-through penalties before finishing sixth while Sebastian Vettel moved closer to his second world title with another victory. "It's an absolute frickin' joke," Hamilton said. "I've been to see the stewards five times out of six this season." He was penalised on Saturday, when he was adjudged to have driven over a chicane, and moved back two places to ninth on the grid. He had dominated the first two sections of qualifying but then fell foul of McLaren's questionable strategy in Q3. The first incident on Sunday happened when he collided with Felipe Massa as he tried to pass the Ferrari driver on the inside at Loews Hairpin. He was pushed back two places, from seventh to ninth. On the second occasion he came together with the Williams driver Pastor Maldonado, which resulted in the rookie crashing into a barrier. This time Hamilton was punished retrospectively and 20 seconds were added to his time, though it did not change his placing. Hamilton also took a swipe at the drivers: "Massa held me up in qualifying and I got the penalty. Then he turned into me [during the race] and I got the penalty. I was quite a lot quicker than Massa. These drivers are ridiculous. It's stupid. "People want to see racing, but you get done trying to put on a show, trying to make a move. Fair play, if I feel I've gone too late I'd hold my hand up to admit I've caused an incident. But it's not the case. I'll just try to keep my mouth shut and try to enjoy the rest of the season." Clearly Hamilton did not try to keep his mouth shut very hard. But later in the day he showed contrition. "I've just been to the stewards to make peace. It was a bit of a joke, which wasn't funny at the time. I made them aware that when emotions are high, and it's very intense at the end of those kind of races, you don't always say the right thing, and the joke [the reference to his colour] didn't come at the most appropriate time." He was confident the FIA, the sport's governing body, would not take further action. "They accepted my explanation, they understood. We all shook hands afterwards. They said it was a tough weekend, let's move on, and they all wished me well for the season. They said at the end that they would make sure other people in the FIA understood." Massa, however, was clearly not in the mood to move on and called for more action to be taken. "He tried to pass me on the kerbs when I didn't think it was possible to overtake. He was too aggressive," he said. "What he did today was unbelievable. Not just with me, but with other drivers as well. He needs to be penalised again and in a good way otherwise he doesn't learn." Maldonado said: "He tried on myself the same manoeuvre that he tried on Felipe. I don't know what he was thinking but he was too optimistic and not only with me."