Lewis Hamilton has gained more support in defence of his rather robust driving style this year, in the form of his father and former manager Anthony Hamilton.
The McLaren driver has copped a wave of criticism in the wake of four separate collisions with other drivers over the last two race weekends: colliding with Felipe Massa and Pastor Maldonado during the Monaco Grand Prix, and then having separate run-ins with Mark Webber and Jenson Button at the Canadian Grand Prix.
In turn, Hamilton has paid multiple visits to the FIA stewards at almost every event this season who have taken issue with his on-track driving, but the former World Champion has remained largely unapologetic for his actions, insisting that he was not to blame for his run-ins with other drivers.
|Four collisions, two races: Hamilton’s run-ins with Massa and Maldonado at Monaco (above), and with Webber and Button in Canada (below) have made him a target for criticism. But his dad argues that’s unfair…|
Several of his fellow drivers have publically criticised the Briton, while former World Champion Niki Lauda was heard to remark on German television that Hamilton was “completely mad” and that his driving “result in someone getting killed”.
On the flip-side, Hamilton has found support in BBC commentator David Coulthard and F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, who have both argued that he should just be allowed to get on with the job of racing.
But now Lewis’ father Anthony – who had a rather bitter falling-out with Hamilton last year which resulted in them dissolving their driver-manager relationship – has come out publically to declare that he doesn’t see “anything wrong with [his driving] at all”.
Citing the fact that Hamilton was not issued with any sanctions for his recent collisions in Canada, Hamilton Sr said: “The FIA didn’t agree with [Lauda’s view], and really it’s a shame that somebody as experienced as Niki didn’t take time to actually wait for the FIA to make their judgement.
“At the end of the day, it’s motor racing and you’ve only got split-seconds to make decisions. Right or wrong, you make a decision and go with it.
“If we could all foresee the future, you’d do things differently, but personally I think Lewis needs to remain the person that he is, drive as he’s driving and it will all come good. It’s important everybody remains who they are. There is no point in trying to be someone you are not. He’s always driven like that, and he became F1 World Champion with it. He will be like that for the rest of his career. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it at all.”
Hamilton’s DNF in Canada – stemming from his contact with team-mate Button on the start/finish straight – saw him drop from second to fourth in the Drivers’ Championship standings, and he now lies 76 points (the equivalent of more than three race wins) behind runaway championship leader Sebastian Vettel.
But his father still believes that he can mount a challenge for the championship with twelve races to go. No doubt he will be hoping that McLaren will be a more competitive prospect with the upcoming rules changes to restrict engine mapping changes and reduce the impact of the off-throttle use of the blown diffusers.
“If I were you, I would go and put a bet on Lewis winning the world championship this year,” he added. “You’ll get some great odds, and you might win a load of money!”