Formula 1 World Champion-elect Lewis Hamilton has been advised to 'be ready' should Felipe Massa attempt to drive into him in the Brazilian Grand Prix this weekend – and to 'be ready', if needs be, to 'take [Massa's] wheel off'.
Those are the words of warning from former F1 team principal Eddie Jordan, who ran his eponymous Jordan Grand Prix outfit in the top flight from its debut in 1991 to its purchase by Midland (now Force India) 14 years later.
The Irishman is still a keen observer of the sport, and he suggests that should Massa run into Hamilton as he did in the Japanese Grand Prix earlier this month, then the Briton – given his advantageous position in the standings – should be prepared to be equally ruthless in return and fight fire with fire.
“People may not like me for saying this,” Jordan told UK newspaper the Daily Express
, “but if Massa tries to take him out as he did in Japan in order to steal the title, then Lewis has to be ready for it. If he tries that on then Lewis has to turn his wheel into Massa to ensure he does not finish the race either – he has to take his wheel off.”
The 60-year-old has never been one to pull his punches, and he went on to suggest that the destiny of the laurels may depend just as much upon which Lewis Hamilton arrives in São Paulo – the one who triumphed so consummately in Shanghai, Monaco and Silverstone this season…or the one who lost his head both into the first corner at Fuji and in the Interlagos showdown this time last year.
“What happens next in the championship depends on whether Lewis has learnt from his last two races,” Jordan underlined. “He was brilliant in China when he drove flawlessly to victory but awful, just awful in Japan. If the Hamilton of China turns up in Brazil, he will be world champion.
“He should look no further than his old team-mate Fernando Alonso. Alonso may not care much for Lewis, but he has shown him how to win the title.
“He has won two out of the last three races by driving consummately, professionally and calmly. You did not see him doing that by taking unnecessary risks. Lewis could do a lot worse than learn from that.
“He needs to be careful. He knows that right now the world is against him – the other drivers are against him and the stewards are against him. I think what happened to him after his win at Spa was ghastly, and his penalty in the Japanese Grand Prix was harsh too. That's what he has to contend with.”