Lewis Hamilton has come under fire from a fellow former F1 World Champion following his overly-aggressive performance and subsequent post-race outburst in Monaco on Sunday, with Sir Jackie Stewart arguing that 'the stewards could have been much more severe than they were' and suggesting the McLaren-Mercedes star might do well to keep his emotions better in-check in future.
Hamilton was handed down three penalties over the Monaco Grand Prix weekend, being stripped of his best qualifying time on Saturday afternoon for having cut a chicane on his sole flying effort in Q3, and finding himself in the bad books on two separate occasions 24 hours later, with a brace of drive-through punishments - one of them retrospective - for contentious collisions with Felipe Massa and Pastor Maldonado.
Adamant that he had not been to blame in either case and clearly believing himself to have been singled out for unjustified victimisation by the stewards this season, the 26-year-old - a former Monaco Grand Prix-winner - went on to slate all-and-sundry in an extraordinary post-race interview, even going so far as to ill-advisedly quip that he was perhaps being penalised due to the colour of his skin [see separate story - click here], a slur upon the sport's officialdom for which its governing body could yet choose to administer further sanctions.
"Monte Carlo is the kind of place where you try to give your car a little valium and yourself a little more than the car," Stewart - himself three times a winner around the narrow, tortuous streets of the glamorous Principality - told the Daily Mail. "Pushing and shoving usually brings tears.
"He (Hamilton) did run into some very controversial manoeuvres. I thought the last manoeuvre by Hamilton (on Maldonado) was overly aggressive, and he was very lucky to get out of that one without any damage. I think the stewards could have been much more severe than they were, and that is not a criticism of the stewards."
Admitting that some of Hamilton's moves during the race were 'questionable' and stressing that 'when you are a driver, you don't see it from the other side', the Scot added that the 2008 F1 World Champion needs to better harness his emotions outside of the car to prevent his tongue from running away with itself so carelessly again.
"It comes down to mind management," he underlined. "He (Hamilton) has got to be more mindful of how he allows his emotions to run into statements that he might later regret. Emotions can be very dangerous, and if you allow them to get the better of you, then you can say things that later you wish you may never have said. He has got to be careful of that, not only to the administrators but also to his colleagues on the track because they can react as well.
"I like Lewis a lot and he is not having his best season so far, but we have all had bad seasons - what can we do? You have just got to have patience, work it out and ensure that, going forward, you are better-prepared for next year."
Hamilton's remarks in Monte Carlo recall an interview given to Stewart by the late, great Ayrton Senna back in 1990 following the Brazilian legend's title-winning, first corner Japanese Grand Prix collision with arch-nemesis Alain Prost at Suzuka.
"Being a racing driver means you are racing with other people, and if you no longer go for a gap that exists, then you are no longer a racing driver," he had unrepentantly asserted. "Because we are competing, we are competing to win and the main motivation for all of us is to compete for a victory. It is not to come third, fourth, fifth or sixth."
Senna is Hamilton's idol - and many contend that their driving and on-track aggression have more than just a little in common - but Maldonado, for one, was palpably unimpressed by the manner in which his adversary's belligerent forcefulness in Monaco had ruined his own race and denied him what would deservedly have been his first handful of F1 points.
"I think he tried the same manoeuvre on myself that he tried on Felipe [Massa]," railed the Venezuelan. "Exactly the same - he was too optimistic. This is a very narrow track, and you must be very careful with your overtaking. I made many passes during the race and I never had problems, because I was very convinced to do it."