Haug: Criticism will make Lewis stronger

Date published: June 13 2011

Norbert Haug reckons Lewis Hamilton will emerge a “stronger” driver and person in the wake of the barrage of criticism he is currently facing…

Norbert Haug reckons Lewis Hamilton will emerge a “stronger” driver and person in the wake of the barrage of criticism he is currently facing.

Hamilton has not had the best of times over the past few weeks as the frustration of not being able to challenge the Red Bulls effectively seems to be getting to him.

In Monaco, the Brit was involved in four accidents, two of which he was blamed for and handed penalties.

And it was more of the same in Canada on Sunday where, despite only being in the race for eight laps, he had three stewards investigations launched against him.

The first was for hitting Mark Webber, the second for his accident with his own team-mate Jenson Button and the third for speeding behind the Safety Car.

The Brit, though, was not penalised for any of his Montreal incidents as his collision with Button and the wall resulted in him having to retire.

Hamilton’s antics have earned him widespread criticism from past World Champs.

Niki Lauda told RTL television: “What Hamilton did there goes beyond all boundaries. He is completely mad.”

Emerson Fittipaldi, meanwhile, said that “sometimes he is too aggressive when he tries to overtake. I think there has to be a limit for being aggressive, respecting the others and still being competitive. You can be competitive, but you have to respect the others.”

However, Haug, the motorsport boss for Mercedes-Benz, who provide McLaren with engines, reckons Hamilton will only come out stronger at the end of this ‘phase.’

“I understand Lewis perfectly and I will defend him,” Haug told Autosport. “He is a good driver, he is a friend and I do not share the criticism that is on him.

“We will support him and he is a great driver. There are phases that you have to go through.

“There are difficult times but he will deliver okay and he is one of the great guys in the field.

“Of course he gets a lot of criticism, but this will make him only stronger.”

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