F1 »

'That's racing', muses Hamilton, but Whitmarsh says Schumacher was 'harsh'

Perhaps mindful of his own succession of run-ins with rivals and race stewards this season, Lewis Hamilton has remained tight-lipped on his duel with a 'super-aggressive' Michael Schumacher in Sunday's Italian Grand Prix at Monza...
Lewis Hamilton has refused to criticise Michael Schumacher in the wake of the pair's feisty duel in Sunday's Italian Grand Prix at Monza during which many believed the German legend went to the limit and beyond in defence of his position – to the extent that he was even warned by his own team to tone it down.

After catching Hamilton sleeping on the safety car re-start early in the race, the ever-opportunistic Schumacher immediately pounced to relieve the McLaren-Mercedes star of third place – and thereafter, the most successful driver in the sport's history would go on to frustrate the Briton's every attempt to overtake him.

It was not until halfway through that Hamilton finally succeeded in finding a way past – and by then, his victory shot had long since disappeared, notwithstanding a succession of lightning-quick laps as he doggedly hunted down former team-mate Fernando Alonso in pursuit of third – but prior to that, there had been a number of questionable defensive moves from Schumacher, including one that put his adversary momentarily on the grass and several occasions on which he appeared to transgress the rules by changing track position more than once.

Hamilton twice complained over his team radio that his rival was weaving – the exact same indiscretion that had earned the 2008 F1 World Champion a retrospective drive-through penalty in Malaysia earlier this year – and likely fearing a similar punishment, Mercedes Grand Prix team principal Ross Brawn advised 'Schumi' to be careful.

Perhaps mindful of his own series of on-track misdemeanours this season and run-ins with both rivals and FIA stewards, however, Hamilton was unwilling to point the finger at the seven-time world champion once the chequered flag had fallen.

“That's racing,” the 26-year-old shrugged, palpably disappointed but deliberately evading questions about whether Schumacher had been out-of-order. “It doesn't make any difference. I got past eventually, and I was able to finish ahead.

“He was incredibly fast. We were a little bit slow on the straight, which meant it was hard to get past Michael, who was faster even when I had my DRS activated. It was interesting being behind him; it was a real challenge to get past, but I think I did eventually, didn't I, or at the pit stops? One of the two.”

As to his poor re-start, Hamilton accepted full responsibility, explaining that 'Michael was on my outside...I was looking at him in my mirrors and then, all of a sudden, the guys ahead had gone...they caught me napping' – whilst at 126 points adrift now of runaway F1 2011 World Championship leader Vettel and only 150 remaining to play for, the 16-time grand prix-winner knows the odds are stacked almost impossibly against him in the chase for the crown, but he has characteristically vowed not to give up the fight.

“It's not a great result, to be honest,” he phlegmatically mused. “I started second and I fell back two places. I'm definitely not happy, but that's motor racing. At least I finished and got some points for the team, so that's a good step. I doubt it's still possible to beat Sebastian for the title, but we'll keep pushing. For now, I'm looking ahead to the 'flyaways' – they're going to be exciting. We still have six races left, and I'm really focussed on getting some more wins for the team.”





Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
27.08.2011- Saturday Practice, Martin Whitmarsh (GBR), Chief Executive Officer Mclaren
25.06.2011- Martin Whitmarsh (GBR), Chief Executive Officer Mclaren
10.09.2011- Saturday Practice, Michael Schumacher (GER), Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team, MGP W02
09.09.2011- Friday Practice 1, Michael Schumacher (GER), Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team, MGP W02
09.09.2011- Friday Practice 1, Michael Schumacher (GER), Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team, MGP W02
10.09.2011- Qualifying, Press conference, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
11.09.2011- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
11.09.2011- Race, Michael Schumacher (GER), Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team, MGP W02, Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
11.09.2011- Race, Michael Schumacher (GER), Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team, MGP W02 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
11.09.2011- Race, Michael Schumacher (GER), Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team, MGP W02 leads Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
31.07.2011 Michael Schumacher (GER), Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team, MGP W02 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren Mercedes, MP4-26
11.09.2011- Race, Michael Schumacher (GER), Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team, MGP W02 leads Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
27.07.2014- Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
27.07.2014- Race, Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams F1 Team FW36 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB10
27.07.2014- Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB10
27.07.2014- Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
27.07.2014- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
27.07.2014- Race, Crash, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


hocuspokus - Unregistered

September 12, 2011 3:28 PM

Hmmm, seemed like good racing to me, I saw Schumacher (on one occasion) move twice to defend his position but they all do that at some time or another, hadly a hanging offense. If you want to talk harsh look at that move Alonso pulled on Vettel, forcing him over onto the grass. That was as dangerous as it gets, completely calculated & totally deliberate but naturally with it being Alonso, in Italy and in a Ferrari not an official word is spoken about it. Incredible.

James Montgomery

September 12, 2011 3:50 PM
Last Edited 1050 days ago

Hamilton given a taste of his own medicine.... Apart from moving across once at the Lesmo's, I don't see what schuy did that was wrong, he was forceful with his defences but very well calculated with them too.. look at him going into ascari, always looking in the mirrors as breaking to make sure there was enough room for him to take the racing line back (more than what could be said for Hamilton at Spa). This was old school racing that I remember seeing 10 years ago from Hakkinen and Schumacher when battling for the lead! You don't get that anymore, Schuy was just doing what we all love/hate about him - being himself! Hamilton was wayyy too timid for the whole race anyway, 21 laps it took to get past him (only because of schuy missing a gear) whilst button took 1 lap! Go onto the BBc's website, look for the 1991 Italian Grand Prix Highlights, back then it was considered a great battle.... today that would be enough to get you thrown out the race!



© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.