Seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton has hit back at Sir Jackie Stewart for his recent “short-minded” comments about him.
Ahead of the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, Mercedes announced Hamilton had finally signed a new two-year contract extension until the end of the 2025 season following months of intense speculation.
But, in the aftermath, Hamilton found himself at the centre of criticism from three-time World Champion Stewart.
What did Stewart say about Lewis Hamilton?
In a recent interview with German outlet BILD, Stewart caused quite the stir when he made the claim that Hamilton has some “serious problems” to address as his F1 career continues.
“First of all, Lewis is one of the best to ever drive in Formula 1,” Stewart said.
“But the truth is that in the last decade he competed with Mercedes for a team that was virtually out of competition.
“During this time, Lewis only had one real competitor: his respective team-mate. Except for 2016, he always emerged victorious from the duel. And then he lost to Nico Rosberg. With respect: a good driver, but not the most talented in the world.
“But Rosberg was hungry and had the absolute will to become world champion. Lewis no longer has that hunger. Because of that – and because the car is no longer quite as powerful – he has serious problems.”
Lewis Hamilton issues a simple response to Stewart
Hamilton was asked specifically about Stewart’s recent comments during an interview with BBC Breakfast as he returned to his home town of Stevenage to meet students part of his Mission 44 project to help create more opportunities for youngsters to embark on STEM careers.
“There are people who are very short minded that make the comments that they do, not knowing the work that has been done in the background,” Hamilton said.
He then went on to say that, when he retires from active participation in motorsport, he wants to set a better example to the next generation of drivers.
“One thing I hope, and I never want to do is, in the future, when I one day stop and looking back on the youth or the next driver generation, I want to be encouraging them and let them know it’s okay to make mistakes.
“It’s about being inspiring rather than shutting them down. That’s the kind of figure that I want to be.”
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Back to matters on the track, Hamilton was asked about how he has adapted to an F1 world dominated by rivals Red Bull and without having experienced that winning feeling since the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix all the way back in 2021.
Hamilton responded: “I think this past two years have been, whilst we’ve not had any success, it’s been a really amazing period of time.
“We’ve all had to pull together, lift each other up, so that when we eventually get the car where we need it to be, I’ll be even better equipped, I think, than I have ever been before.”