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Rivals slate Hamilton`s aggressive driving style.

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.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4-23, Italian F1 Grand Prix, Monza, 12th-14th, September, 2008
Williams Martini Racing FW40
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
McLaren MCL32
McLaren Honda MCL32
Ferrari SF70H
Ferrari SF70H
The Ferrari SF70H - Scuderia Ferrari
Ferrari SF70H, Ferrari launch [Credit: Ferrari]
Ferrari SF70H, Ferrari launch [Credit: Ferrari]

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Kiran Patel

September 15, 2008 3:19 PM

I guess we have to ask ourselves a question here and that is whether or not Formula 1 is a competitive sport or not? It is very easy for drivers to pick out LH's drive as aggressive becasue lets face it, anyone in the position he was needed to be. We have critised the likes of Fisico, Ralf Schumacher and Jenson Button amongst many others over the past two years for providing us with utterly spinless drives on occasion and I actually applaud Lewsi Hamilton for having the determination to give things a go yesterday. As fans of this sport, IMO we want to see drivers duelling with each other wheel to wheel, overtaking for position on track and showing F1 to be the spectacle it should be....

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