Lewis: I couldn’t give a toss

Date published: July 8 2011

In the face of constant criticism of his driving style, Lewis Hamilton says he ‘couldn’t give a toss’ what some of his detractors think of him.

In the face of constant criticism of his driving style, Lewis Hamilton says he ‘couldn’t give a toss’ what some of his detractors think of him.

Hamilton has faced the wrath of the race stewards on a number of occasions this season and was involved in two collisions in Montreal and Monaco, a record that has seen him come in for some harsh criticism.

Eddie Irvine suggested that Hamilton is ‘losing the plot’, Mark Webber said the Briton was ‘finding ways to trip over [his] own shoelaces’ and Nikki Lauda went as far as to say Hamilton was a danger to other drivers.

While many have had their say on the matter, Hamilton reveals he isn’t fazed by what others say.

“You get tough. It’s like if you fall down and bruise your knee, you get up and get stronger,” he told the Evening Standard.

“But it doesn’t affect my life what people say – it has no bearing. What Niki Lauda thinks about me, I really couldn’t give a toss about it.”

The 2008 World Champion says that criticism is part and parcel of the job and that when you’re not at the top of the pile you’ll come in for some stick.

“It’s the way the world works, everyone loves you when you’re doing well,” he said.

“If Michael Schumacher was winning races now, everyone would be praising him, wanting to be around him, the same if it was Heikki Kovalainen or whoever. At the moment Sebastian Vettel is winning and so everyone’s loving him. Just because of what people say and how they act, that doesn’t make me any worse a driver.”

Hamilton admits that he has made mistakes this season, but contends that it has been poor judgment rather than an overly aggressive driving style that has tripped him up.

“My judgment could be better maybe,” said the 26-year-old.

“I don’t think it’s my aggressive style that gets me into trouble. Sometimes, maybe, I don’t have the best judgment and sometimes maybe I’m in the wrong place at the wrong time. But the reality is that my priority in F1 is to be the best driver of all time and that takes dedication,” he added.