Hamilton’s driving attracts more rebukes

Wed, 15 October 2008, 10:20

Oct.15 (GMM) Timo Glock and reigning world champion Kimi Raikkonen have added their voices to the growing discontent about Lewis Hamilton’s driving tactics

As McLaren’s 23-year-old closes in on his first title, the opposition to his often brash on-track style has grown louder, with Robert Kubica recently leading the way by using words including “overconfident”, “aggressive” and “dangerous” to describe some of Hamilton’s moves

The Pole, backed by his friend and Hamilton nemesis Fernando Alonso, is now quoted as saying by Sport Bild: “Hamilton makes up his own rules, particularly at the starts.”nnToyota’s Glock, aggrieved by a Hamilton manoeuvre at Monza last month, told the German broadcaster RTL: “In the next driver meeting, Jarno Trulli will ask (Hamilton) why he blocked him for two laps when he was a lap down (at Fuji)

“Jarno lost one and a half to two seconds, because Hamilton would not obey the blue flags,” the German charged

Raikkonen said this week: “What Hamilton did at the start at Fuji was not clean. He didn’t give me a chance to turn into the corner

“You have to learn how to find braking points when you are six years old in go karts. Obviously you should know how it goes at this level,” the Finn added

In an interview with the German newspaper Bild, Hamilton tried to explain his rivals’ unhappiness

“They are my opponents, and if you are going for the championship as I am, it has to be expected that your rivals try to put maximum pressure on you even off the track

“I have good friends among the drivers and I respect them all. I am also sure that they respect me as well

“But clearly not everyone is going to publicly support me — and why should you praise your opponents?” the Briton added

But even Hamilton’s usually staunchest supporters, like triple world champion and legend Sir Jackie Stewart, were unimpressed with the McLaren driver’s Fuji outing

“This was not his finest hour,” the Scot told rbssport.com. “His approach in that first corner was slightly arrogant to other drivers

“Weaving in and out of other cars, as Lewis did in the run to the first corner, puts other drivers in the position of having to avoid his manoeuvre

“The Japanese race demonstrated that Lewis is still very young, in only his second season, and although he comes across as very cool in interviews, he doesn’t always have the same level of mind management when he’s racing

“Lewis Hamilton can still win the championship, but not if he drives the last two races the way he drove in Japan,” Stewart added

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