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Hamilton: I'd be 'devastated' if my reputation was 'tainted' like Schumi's

McLaren-Mercedes star Lewis Hamilton has revealed that he wants to go down in F1 history as a 'fair and clean' driver - admitting he would be 'devastated' were his reputation ever to be 'tainted' like that of Mercedes Grand Prix rival Michael Schumacher...
Lewis Hamilton has admitted that he would be 'devastated' were his reputation to be 'tainted' like that of record-breaking multiple F1 World Champion Michael Schumacher – as the McLaren-Mercedes star insisted he wants to go down in grand prix history as a 'fair and clean' competitor who 'always drove with his heart'.

Schumacher has arrived in Monaco this weekend to a barrage of questions about his infamous 'parking' indiscretion at Rascasse during qualifying the last time he competed there back in 2006 [see separate story – click here] – one of a number of incidents that has somewhat tarnished the German legend's global image and legacy, for all of the outstanding brilliance that yielded him an unparalleled seven world titles at the highest level.

Hamilton, of course, has already been caught up in a scandal of his own in Melbourne last year, but when asked by British media if he would like to be remembered in the years to come in a better light than his Mercedes Grand Prix rival – who is regarded alternately as a genius and a cheat – the Stevenage-born ace was quick to respond in the affirmative.

“When I think about history, it is not just about me, it is about how my family raised me, where we came from,” he explained. “For that to be tainted by something like that (Rascasse) would devastate me. When I leave F1, I want to be remembered as one of the best drivers of all time. I want to be remembered as a fair driver, a clean driver, one who always drove with his heart, who battled through thick and thin to score the points and the championships I will hopefully earn.”

Hamilton wound up seventh-quickest in both practice sessions on Thursday around the tight, tortuous, unforgiving streets of the glamorous Principality – a circuit at which his late, great hero Ayrton Senna triumphed on no fewer than six occasions, but one that broke the hearts of fellow world champions Nigel Mansell and Damon Hill, who never succeeded in ascending the top step of the rostrum there.

Whilst he clearly hopes for better come qualifying on Saturday, the 25-year-old street fighter was swift to dispel any notions that he needs to rapidly get back on terms with world championship-leading team-mate and compatriot Jenson Button, just behind him on the timing screens in both sessions.

“I don't feel I'm at the point where I need to 'turn it around',” he asserted, when asked if he is under pressure to get results. “What needs turning around is just my fortunes. It's not too late for me. You can make your own luck. The team and I just need to work together and make the right calls.

“Obviously, we weren't at the top of the timesheets [on Thursday], but I've really been enjoying driving around here. When you're in Monaco, things just seem to happen so much faster than normal – it feels two or three times quicker than at other circuits. You're always on the edge, and if you brake just a little bit too late then you'll be in the barrier. It's an incredible feeling.

“The driver with the biggest talent [and] the biggest balls should come out on top if he's got the car. At every track people say the car has everything to do with it, but the driver still has to pull something out of that car – and some can pull more out than others. This is a track where you have to have serious confidence in your car, the braking points, be confident with the barriers. I've never experienced anything like it anywhere. It's always been special for me – growing up, it was always the one I looked forward to watching most.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Thursday Practice2, Michael Schumacher (GER), Mercedes GP  F1 Team, MGP W01
Thursday Practice1, Michael Schumacher (GER), Mercedes GP  F1 Team, MGP W01
Michael Schumacher (GER), Mercedes GP  F1 Team, MGP W01
Saturday, Michael Schumacher (GER), Mercedes GP  F1 Team, MGP W01
Pre-Event Press Conference - Michael Schumacher, Lewis Hamilton, Adrian Sutil & Sebastien Buemi
Thursday Practice1, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-25
Qualifying, Press conference, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-25 3rd position
Friday Practice 2, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-25
Thursday Practice1, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-25
Antonio Giovinazzi - Sauber F1 Team
McLaren - Honda MCL32
Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32 F1 launch, [Credit: McLaren]
McLaren MCL32, McLaren-Honda, [Credit: McLaren]
Fernando Alonso - McLaren MCL32
McLaren MCL32
McLaren MCL32
McLaren MCL32
McLaren MCL32

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ENGINES RULE - Unregistered

May 14, 2010 5:40 PM

Wake up idiot. Your reputation is already tainted and you can't even say you have 7 world championships. Also Michael parked his car on purpose - yes - you beached yous in China. At least Michael knows how to park at a top speed and not beach as you come into the pits. And as for saying your upbringing wouldn't allow you to be like MS, have you met his parents. Do you know how he was raised. Its below the belt to pick on peoples family. Stick to MS. He can fight his battles. Unless his mother ressurects from the grave, she cannot defend herself. Sis on you LH

Ak - Unregistered

May 14, 2010 5:30 PM

stfu already. U already established urself as a cheat and arrogant, starting with liegate and the way u treat other drivers with no respect what so ever.

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