Lewis Hamilton should have known better before going wheel-to-wheel with Pastor Maldonado in the dying stages of Sunday’s European grand prix. That is the view of the McLaren driver’s boss Martin Whitmarsh, after the British team’s top 2012 driver fell 23 points off the championship lead at Valencia.
He crashed almost within sight of the chequered flag in a dice with Williams’ Pastor Maldonado, and it was the Venezuelan who was penalised for the crash by the FIA.
And while Maldonado hit out at his rival afterwards, Hamilton’s measured reaction was an obvious case of resisting the urge “to throw a tantrum,” according to Times journalist Kevin Eason.
In the official post-race McLaren statement, Hamilton said losing the title lead to Fernando Alonso and Red Bull’s Mark Webber is “not the end of the world”. But “With hindsight you have to say if you are dealing with someone like that (Maldonado) then you maybe have to take a different approach,” boss Whitmarsh is quoted by British newspapers.
Triple world champion Niki Lauda, meanwhile, said in Kleine Zeitung newspaper that he hopes the top drivers are soon once again dominating F1.
“The winner in Barcelona? Who was that? Maldonado, but no one remembers. Seven winners from seven races, which for you journalists is a hoot. But now I would like to return to some normality.
“The people who watch Formula One need their heroes,” the Austrian legend said.