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Rediff News  All News  » Sports » McLaren boss throws arm round under-fire Hamilton

McLaren boss throws arm round under-fire Hamilton

September 26, 2011 13:46 IST

McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh threw the equivalent of a fatherly arm around his under-fire driver Lewis Hamilton after Sunday's Singapore Grand Prix stoked further criticism of the Briton's aggressive driving style.

Hamilton drove superbly at times to finish the punishing floodlit street circuit in fifth position, but again his performance was overshadowed by an incident with Ferrari's Felipe Massa.

The Brazilian, who has clashed previously with the 2008 Formula One champion this season, said Hamilton had destroyed his race.

- Massa livid at Hamilton

The McLaren clipped Massa's Ferrari while attempting to pass early in the race and Hamilton collected a drive-through penalty for causing the collision.

An enraged Massa clearly felt the penalty had not fit the crime and railed against the Briton, saying the sport's governing body needed to step in because Hamilton drove dangerously and did not think about consequences on the track.

While Hamilton refused to be drawn into a war of words and retreated to his team's motorhome, Whitmarsh came to his defence.

"The truth is there are plenty of people who have spoken to me already who have a different view," Whitmarsh said of the manoeuvre.

"I think you have to take some risk in overtaking. And he (Hamilton) is a driver who wants to overtake in a hurry. Now, after the event he'll regret that and wish he'd backed out of it and waited for another three corners or whatever.

"The fact is, it happened. It was right or wrong. After that he drove an immaculate race and he shouldn't have had to have the penalty or his front wing knocked off.

"He shouldn't have lost places at the start. In sport and life things go well and go badly for you, I think it went badly."

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