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2Fernando Alonso
3Sebastian Vettel

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Hamilton defends driving tactics

Friday 7th May 2010

Hamilton defends driving tactics

Hamilton defends driving tactics

The rivalry that has long existed between Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso has simmered again ahead of Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix.

Alonso last week made no secret of what he thought of Hamilton's moves in the Malaysian and Chinese Grands Prix that have resulted in him being labelled as "aggressive" by some of his fellow drivers.

The 25-year-old McLaren star received a warning from the stewards for repeatedly weaving in front of Renault's Vitaly Petrov during the race in Sepang. Two weeks later in Shanghai, Hamilton was reprimanded for jousting in the pit lane with Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel.

It prompted Alonso to claim the stewards' decisions had been "a little inconsistent", and that on another day he would have been punished.

Alonso added: "Lewis has had some warnings and if he does something in the next race, however little, there will be penalties because of the last two races."

The Spaniard has basically suggested his former team-mate at McLaren, where they endured a fractious relationship in 2007 that ultimately led to Alonso's early exit, was now on a yellow card.

Hamilton, though, has not missed the opportunity to respond in kind, bravely doing so on Alonso's home soil.

Assessing Alonso's passing manoeuvre on Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa in the pitlane in China that has since caused a stir, the 25-year-old pulled no punches.

"You are there to race one another, so on the track you race and you overtake professionally and as cleanly as possible," said Hamilton, speaking to Press Association Sport.

"I've never done that (Alonso's move), and it's definitely not in my nature to do what he did.

"That could have turned out really badly for Felipe. He could have been out of the race."

Asked if Alonso's driver instinct had been brought to the surface in that situation, the Briton added: "On the track, yes.

"I've never known it going into the pits before, but it's in the rules you can."

Hamilton's own bravado on track has resulted in 32 overtaking moves to keep him in the hunt in the Championship as he trails team-mate Jenson Button by 11 points after the opening four races.

Not for the first time, though, Hamilton's forthright style has raised eyebrows and questions among his peers.

"Some drivers here are seriously aggressive, perhaps more this year than I've ever seen, which is great to see," added Hamilton.

"People say I'm aggressive, but I don't know why. I just drive with the most passion. I'm more passionate than aggressive.

"I guess there's a fine dividing line. I'm not aggressive when I'm alongside people. I don't think I show aggression to them.

"When I go by, very rarely do I lean on someone or put them on the grass. I'm not like that. I always give people space.

"Whereas I feel others don't give you space and try running into you, I've never ever intentionally touched someone when I've passed them.

"I like to get past cleanly. I do it with a certain move rather than a half attempt."

Asked as to Alonso's suggestion the stewards would likely punish him for his next transgression, Hamilton replied: "The stewards have been very correct.

"They've been great with the way they've been managing the racing, and at the end of the day I'm in a race to overtake. I haven't put anyone in any danger.

"I always feel like I drive within the limits of the rules. I always want to be seen as a fair driver.

"People aren't happy when you overtake them. I'm not too happy when I get overtaken, so it's understandable when people make comments."

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