LEWIS HAMILTON’S EVENTFUL season shows no sign of finishing in a whimper after the McLaren driver clashed with rival Felipe Massa once again at the Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday.
The English racer has now run into Massa, the driver he beat by a point to collect his first world title in 2008, three times this year – the latest encounter earning him a drive through penalty.
An irate Massa told BBC Sport that Hamilton “cannot use is mind” in a post-race interview and later approached Hamilton in the circuit’s interview area, slapping him on the shoulder and telling him ‘You’ll win a lot of world championships driving like that. Good job, very good job.’ before walking away. The incident was captured on Dutch TV with Hamilton retorting: ‘Don’t touch me man! Don’t touch me.”
Speaking to the BBC, Massa added: “He (Hamilton) could have caused a big accident and he’s praying for that. I was in the middle (of the track) and then got a puncture, which cost me a lot. The FIA must look at this and penalise him all the time. He can’t even listen to his father, so can you imagine he listens to me?”
“He tried to be Superman in the qualifying and (in the race) he tried to do the same. I tried to talk to him but he doesn’t listen,” the Ferrari racer added to reporters. Hamilton left the track without making any comment on the collision.
McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh later defended his driver (again), insisting that staying in his garage is the only way a driver can ensure he is never involved in an incident. “Lewis is a young guy. He’s an aggressive and assertive driver He’s learning and he’ll learn from all these. I believe he’ll win races and he’ll win more championships.”
Hamilton decided to replace his father Anthony as his manager last year and though the latter has backed his son to come through the current controversies, he also questioned his decision to hire XIX Entertainment – which looks after David Beckham and Andy Murray among others.
“You look up and down the pitlane and every driver, except for Lewis, has a driver-manager in his life,” he said, quoted by the Guardian. “Formula 1 drivers need people personally involved in the driver’s life because it is a big pressure. They have got to be here and I don’t think you can do the job by sending someone else.”
Hamilton Snr now looks after the career of Force India’s Paul di Resta, who enjoyed a career-best sixth place finish in Singapore.