Whitmarsh backs ‘passionate’ Lewis

Date published: June 14 2011

Lewis Hamilton has received support from all corners after his driving style came in for some heavy criticism at the Canadian Grand Prix…

Lewis Hamilton has received support from all corners after his driving style came in for some heavy criticism at the Canadian Grand Prix.

Just a fortnight after he was twice penalised for causing avoidable accidents at the Monaco Grand Prix, the McLaren driver was again involved in several racing incidents at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

First he sent Mark Webber into a spin after bumping into him and then he ran wide as he attempted a pass on Michael Schumacher. His afternoon came to a crashing halt on lap eight after he made contact with team-mate Jenson Button on the start-finish straight.

That prompted former World Champion Niki Lauda to warn that “someone is going to get killed” if Hamilton doesn’t tone the aggression down.

Button, though, has already given his support to Hamilton saying, “Lewis is in the headlines a lot, and a lot of it is because he is bloody good.

“He’s a racer, a fighter. For me that is the reason why I wanted to be here, against and with a driver that is super talented, one of the best drivers Formula One has ever seen.”

Hamilton has also received the public backing of his team principal Martin Whitmarsh while his management company XIX Entertainment has also defended him.

“Lewis is a passionate racing driver and he has to go for things,” said Whitmarsh.

“He’s clearly had an unfortunate run whether you look at it statistically or objectively.

“I suspect I’m not the most impartial, I want Lewis to attack, and obviously I don’t want him to have contact with cars.

“But at the same time if he holds hold back for fear of having contact then he won’t be the great racer he is and do the job he has to do.

“I’m sure he’ll continue to be a very tough racer and have many successes ahead in his career.”

Hamilton’s spokesperson has also hit back at Lauda.

“While we respect Niki’s views, he is plain wrong in this instance,” his spokesperson told The Guardian.

“Lewis was cleared by the stewards of causing any accidents on Sunday and has never come close to injuring or purposefully taking out another driver.”

A McLaren spokesman added: “It’s a bit like Geoff Boycott criticising Kevin Pietersen for scoring a century too fast.”