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Latest crash my fault, admits Hamilton

Hamilton holds his hands up after yet another racing incident blights his attempts to claim another Drivers’ Championship.

Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton
Image: Martin Meissner/AP/Press Association Images

McLAREN BOSS MARTIN Whitmarsh has been forced to defend Lewis Hamilton once more after another controversial weekend for the British driver, this time at the Belgian Grand Prix.

The former world champion ended his own race at Spa Francorchamps when he clashed with Sauber driver Kamui Kobayashi on the approach to Les Combes 13 laps into the main event on Sunday and was flung into the barriers in rather dramatic fashion.

It came after an incident with Williams driver Pastor Maldonado during qualifying and Hamilton took to Twitter to apologise for the incident, admitting:

“After watching the replay, I realise it was my fault 100%. I didn’t give Kobayashi enough room though I thought I was past.”


“Apologies to Kamui and to my team. The team deserves better from me,” he added, before congratulating team-mate Jenson Button on his third place finish – his colleague having started from 13th on the grid.

Incidents in Malaysia, Monaco, Montreal, Hungary and now Belgium have put Hamilton’s driving style under huge scrutiny this season.

Both Hamilton and Fernando Alonso were given 20-second time penalties following a collision between the pair during the Malaysian GP earlier this year, before another eventful race for the Briton in Monaco. He first appeared to barge Felipe Massa off the road at one of the slowest corners on the circuit (for which he was given a drive-through penalty) and then sent Maldonado into the barriers, earning himself another 20-second time penalty.


He collided with team-mate Jenson Button in Montreal – sending his colleague into the crash barriers on a very wet and misty main straight – and was penalised by stewards yet again in Hungary after an incident with Force India’s Paul di Resta.

Speaking after the race, however, Whitmarsh insisted that he won’t be trying to change his driver’s instincts, comparing him to some of the sport’s very best.

“He is a racing driver who is competitive, which people were saying throughout most of Ayrton Senna’s career, the same with Michael Schumacher,” he insisted. “For all those committed, competitive drivers, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.”

Sebastian Vettel’s latest victory has left him even further ahead in the battle for the 2011 Drivers’ Championship. The German is now on 259 points, well ahead of Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber. Hamilton is fifth overall on 146 points.

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