Rubens Barrichello is an example of a driver “content” to make up the numbers in Formula One according to McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton, who warned McLaren that he might leave the British team if he has to endure another car not worthy of fighting for the championship.
He contrasted his feisty attitude with that of Barrichello, who is pushing to extend his long F1 career into a twentieth season by re-signing with mid-grid team Williams in 2012.
“At some stage, if it continues the way this is going then my patience will be seriously tested,” said Hamilton.
“There are drivers that are content with being in F1 and just existing. Maybe they have families. Look at Rubens Barrichello and he seems content with where he is.
“Then there are people like me who only exist to be the best. If you aren’t busy trying to be the best then you’re not busy doing anything,” The Sun quotes him as saying.
The 2008 world champion has had a tough season; not only unable to challenge for the title with the MP4-26 but beaten on points by his teammate and criticised in the media for overly-aggressive driving.
He admitted to trying two weeks ago at Monza – where he struggled to pass Michael Schumacher – to simply get to the chequered flag.
“I wasn’t downbeat,” Hamilton told F1’s official website, “but I didn’t go ‘balls out’, basically. I didn’t take too many risks. It was all about finishing the race and walking away with some dignity.”
According to the Daily Star, his team boss Martin Whitmarsh said: “I told him that was a very disciplined drive, but I would like the old Lewis back.”