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McLaren, Hamilton hit back at Vettel criticism

McLaren has defended Lewis Hamilton's move to try and unlap himself in the German GP, while the driver himself has hit back against Sebstian Vettel's criticism.
It's certainly not often that you see a lapped car try to race its way past the front runners to get back onto the lead lap, but that's exactly what Lewis Hamilton attempted during the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim, to the fury of one of the front runners he encountered - Sebastian Vettel.

"That was not nice of him," said Vettel after the race. "It's a bit stupid to disturb the leaders. He was a lap down so I don't see the point anyways." (See separate story - CLICK HERE.)

But McLaren stoutly defended their driver, with team principal Martin Whitmarsh telling reporters after the race: "Racing drivers race. If that's stupid, I don't know what isn't," he said. "He was quicker and he overtook [Vettel] and he pulled away. So I'm not quite sure where the stupidity is in that."

Lewis Hamilton himself went even further in defending his actions - and in attacking Vettel's criticism.

"It doesn't really bother me what he says," he said. "Maturity has come through I guess. It shows his maturity."

McLaren's sporting director Sam Michael explained that Hamilton was forced to make a decision when the blue flags started being shown.

"He came out and he was fast," said Michael. "We said to him that you've got blue flags for Jenson. When you get a blue flag, you have two choices. You let the car past, or you speed up significantly.

"So we told him to speed up significantly and overtake Vettel and he did so," he continued. "He didn't hold Vettel up at all because Vettel couldn't keep up with him. So it didn't have any material impact on Vettel's race and it's completely legal."

"I never give up, so I'm not going to back off and let everyone past me when I've got the pace to go past the guy in front," Hamilton himself told the UK Daily Mirror newspaper. "I don't think I've made any silly decisions throughout the race. I had nothing to gain apart from staying out of the way of my team-mate."

The incident was not referred to the race stewards, although Vettel's own move on Hamilton's team mate Jenson Button was - and Vettel was given a 20s penalty for exceeding the track limits to gain an advantage, which cost him his podium finish at his home event after the stewards did not accept that Vettel was 'forced' to run wide while making his pass so as not to crash into the Briton.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner was slightly more reserved in supporting Vettel's comments over Hamilton's unlapping moves.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
23.06.2012- Martin Whitmarsh (GBR), Chief Executive Officer Mclaren
07.07.2012- Qualifying, Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director nd Martin Whitmarsh (GBR), Chief Executive Officer Mclaren
20.07.2012 - Free Practice 2, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8
22.07.2012 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-27
22.07.2012 - Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-27
23.03.2017 - detail Red Bull Racing RB13
23.03.2017 - detail Red Bull Racing RB13
23.03.2017 - Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB13
23.03.2017 - Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) McLaren MCL32
23.03.2017 - Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32
23.03.2017 - Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
23.03.2017 - detail  McLaren MCL32
23.03.2017 - detail Red Bull Racing RB13
23.03.2017 - Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB13 helmet
23.03.2017 - Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB13 helmet
23.03.2017 - Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB13 helmet
23.03.2017 - The helmet of Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB13
23.03.2017 - The helmet of Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB13

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Rob01 - Unregistered

July 23, 2012 12:38 PM

I wouldn't give Vettels remarks a second thought. They are just worthless drivel coming from someone who has moaned nearly every race weekend since the season started.


July 23, 2012 12:23 PM
Last Edited 383 days ago

I have no issue with him wanting to race and unlap himself, but I thought his comment that he never gives up quite funny, given that is exactly what he told his team he wanted to do on the radio after a couple of laps.

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