Formula 1 World Championship leader Lewis Hamilton has again come under fire in the wake of the Italian Grand Prix at the weekend – this time for his driving etiquette.
The McLaren-Mercedes star – who divided paddock opinion with his chicane-cutting during the Belgian Grand Prix just over a week ago, and who only very recently criticised the behaviour of some of his fellow drivers during qualifying [see separate story – click here
] – qualified just 15th at Monza after making a severely misguided tyre choice in Q2.
That left him having to fight his way up through the order to his eventual seventh place finish at the chequered flag – rather too robustly on occasion, some have claimed.
“There were some unnecessary movements he made,” former team-mate and sworn rival Fernando Alonso told reporters at the famous Italian circuit, “and he repeated them with [Timo] Glock and [Mark] Webber. It is his way of racing.”
“I do not know what he was thinking,” agreed Toyota ace Glock – Hamilton's successor as GP2 Series Champion last year – in an interview with German broadcaster RTL
. “I was right next to him, but he left me no room.
“Sometimes he drives as though he is completely alone on the track. The next time I am with him on-track, I will behave with him in exactly the same way.”
The contact with Webber to which Alonso referred came late on in the race, as the Australian and Hamilton tussled over seventh place and locked wheels going into the first chicane – though the latter is adamant he did nothing wrong.
“I made sure I covered my inside spot, but I didn't want to stay there on the wet patch or I wouldn't have made the corner,” the 23-year-old explained. “He (Webber) just clipped my front wheel and went on.”
Following the race, Hamilton now holds a slender one-point advantage over Ferrari's Felipe Massa in the title chase, pending McLaren's Spa-Francorchamps appeal.