Lewis Hamilton has claimed that a lot more than necessary is being made of the tactics he used in the recent Malaysian Grand Prix, but admits that he now has a better understanding of the difference between legitimate defence and the weaving his rivals have been complaining about.
The Renault team said the stewards were wrong not to punish Hamilton after he weaved several times while battling Vitaly Petrov at Sepang. The incident occurred early in the race, as Hamilton was battling his way back up the field, and, after passing the Russian at the end of lap seven, he moved left and right a number of times on the start-finish straight to keep the rookie behind him.
Under the rules, drivers are only allowed to make one defensive move, and Hamilton was subsequently given a warning by the stewards, but maintained that he was trying to break the tow his McLaren may have been giving Petrov's Renault.
Although he refused to denounce the subsequent complaints from other drivers as 'whinging', Hamilton admitted that he couldn't understand why so much was being made of the incident.
"I didn't understand why everybody was fussing about it," the Briton told Reuters
in China, "They seemed to be talking about it for some time, but it wasn't really much of a problem for me."
As his rivals insisted that Hamilton's swerving was dangerous, the 2008 world champion sought clarification on the matter from F1 race director Charlie Whiting.
"He gave us a warning for that not to happen again, and I discussed it with him," the McLaren driver said, "It is just the ruling of how many times you can move when defending. [The rules are] not that clear in what is called defending and [what is] breaking the tow. That's not made clear, but Charlie made it clear that that's not what he wants to see and so we just don't do that again. Lesson learned and we move forward."