Hamilton: I’ve always had resepct for Massa and still do

Lewis Hamilton appears to have lost patience with Felipe Massa in Korea, as their spat in the wake of recent collisions rumbled on.

After their latest crash in Japan, the beleaguered McLaren driver changed his tone to an inward-looking conciliatory one, insisting he has high respect for his 2008 championship rival.

Hamilton, 26, even issued apologies in the media, but La Gazzetta dello Sport quotes Massa as saying on Thursday: “He has not apologised to me.”

And as for the claim that the mirrors in F1 are not good enough, Massa is quoted by Autosprint: “I think mine are OK.”

In light of the latest developments, Hamilton kept his cool but indicated it is the Ferrari driver who needs to start looking inwardly now.

“I think I’ve always had respect for Felipe and I still do today regardless of the negative comments that he is coming out with,” he told reporters.

“If he doesn’t want to be a grown-up about it, then that’s fine,” added Hamilton.

He openly admits 2011 has been the worst season in his recent motor racing career, and sounded pessimistic about turning around his form any time soon.

“It will take a lot to finally put aside all the difficulties I’ve had this year,” said Hamilton.

“When things go badly they get worse, just like dominoes. At some stage it will stop and things will get better. I will keep pushing and bouncing back until it happens.”