McLaren boss Ron Dennis has spoken out against the ongoing criticism of his lead driver, Lewis Hamilton, claiming that the Briton's detractors might be better served concentrating on their own performance.
Dennis, speaking after Hamilton had claimed pole position for what could be a crucial Japanese Grand Prix at Fuji, was aiming his retort at BMW Sauber rival Robert Kubica, who reopened the debate about Hamilton's driving standards at the recent Italian Grand Prix.
Speaking on the eve of qualifying, Kubica had told a German newspaper that, in his opinion and those of many others up and down the F1 grid, the Briton had crossed the line in terms of what was fair and acceptable driving, singling out the Monza race where Hamilton had been accused of forcing rivals onto the grass.
"I think [Kubica] should focus on his own driving," Dennis told Reuters
, "He should leave [criticising others] to those people whose responsibility it is to determine how good or bad a driver's performance is. There is obviously a regulatory process in place. He should be mindful of the fact that his objective should be to raise his own game and do the best job he
can - and keep those opinions to himself."
Dennis admitted that he thought it particularly sad that people should choose to criticise a driver he feels has been a breath of fresh air for Formula One.
"I share the view held by probably everyone in this room, and most of the people down the pit-lane, that it is refreshing to have a highly-talented driver that has the ability to overtake and to do the pole positions he's done, in what is only his second season in Formula One," he said of Hamilton, who he has nurtured since his karting days.
Hamilton, meanwhile, also dismissed Kubica's criticism when the matter was raised during the post-qualifying press conference.
"I do my talking on the track," he said, clearly irritated by his former karting and F3 rival's comments, but equally keen not to be drawn into a slanging match, "I haven't really got much to say to it. I think everyone has their own opinion and I can respect that."