Robert Kubica stirred up already muddied waters when he was asked who he would rather see win this year's Formula One world championship and launched into another attack on Lewis Hamilton's driving style.
The Briton had already come in for criticism after a 'robust' performance in the Italian Grand Prix, but Kubica - who Hamilton would have regarded as being among his few friends on the grid after coming up through the ranks with the Pole - said that he felt his rival crossed the line in terms of what was fair, and that since they had both entered F1 the pair had lost touch because they have 'different mindsets'.
Although Kubica himself retains a slim chance of taking the title, and insists that he will not give up the fight despite trailing Hamilton by 20 points, he admitted that he would rather see Ferrari's Felipe Massa take this year's crown because of the way the McLaren man has conducted himself in 2008.
"My head says Hamilton, my heart says Felipe," the BMW Sauber driver admitted in an interview with Germany's Bild
, "Sure, Hamilton has a seven-point advantage but, if you ask who I'd prefer
[to win the title], I'd say Massa. He has been underestimated for a long time."
Asked whether he felt that the battle between the top two, who have been closely matched on track in recent rounds and continued in a similar vein on the opening day of the Japanese Grand Prix at Fuji, Kubica admitted that F1 would be accused of being lifeless if they did not go wheel-to-wheel, but hoped that the battle remained clean.
"If there are no hard moves, everyone will say F1 is boring! - wheel-to-wheel duels are too rare in F1," he admitted, "But then there are two possibilities [when it comes to [racing]. Either one goes hard, but remains fair, or one is too aggressive and too self-assured."
The latter category is the one into which Kubica clearly places Hamilton, a rival from both his karting and F3 days. Stirring up the arguments that followed this year's trip to Monza, the Pole revealed that discussions were still revolving around some of the Briton's tactics.
"What he did, for example, at Monza, that was too much," Kubica insisted, "If you cut Timo Glock off the way he did and push him on to the grass, or if Alonso must brake on the straight because Hamilton pushes himself in front, is it too much - and dangerous.
"Several of us have the same views on the subject but, at the end of the day, we only can talk about it. If someone is convinced that that is the way to do things, we can have no influence [over them]. Then there must be punishments."