autosport.com
Search:
Find out more about our subscriptions
  AUTOSPORT+ LOGIN AUTOSPORT Plus  
Username:
Password:
F1 NEWS 

Hamilton disappointed by driving criticism

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton found out just how lonely it is at the top when his driving was discussed by his peers at the Chinese Grand Prix.

The British rookie, who could win the world title on Sunday, was accused of erratic driving behind the safety car and contributing to a collision between Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber at a rainy Fuji in Japan last weekend.

The 22-year-old world championship leader went unpunished after the stewards' inquiry which followed a drivers' meeting but the frosty reception from his rivals on Friday clearly made an impression.

"Yesterday was an interesting day for me, I sat in the drivers' briefing and everyone basically had rifles ready to shoot me," said Hamilton.

"It was a strange feeling but I've had it various times in my life for obvious reasons. It was a bit disappointing because I knew a few of the drivers there and I didn't expect them to say certain things."

Hamilton, who will start from pole and needs only to beat his McLaren teammate Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen to become the first driver to win the world title in his first season, said he would use the experience to his own advantage.

"I just sat there and listened and I'll try to do a better job next time and if they're not happy with that then I don't know what I can do," he added.

"Things like yesterday can only make me stronger ... the biggest thing I've learnt to do this year is take the biggest lumps of negative energy and turn it into positives."

He said the criticism would not make his triumph any the less sweet were he to clinch the title on Sunday.

"No, not at all," he said. "At the end of the day, I'm not winning the championship through luck.

"I've worked really hard this year as have the team and I've done the best job I could with the car."

Even on the eve of possibly being crowned Formula One's youngest champion, Hamilton was still struggling to come to terms with his dream debut season.

"Never in a million years did I think I'd be challenging for the world championship in my first year."


  © 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved
  More news  
    advertisement
  RELATED LINKS
Read the AUTOSPORT Digital Edition
Visit the autosport.com shop
See highlights from 60 years of AUTOSPORT
  FOLLOW AUTOSPORT ON
FOLLOW AUTOSPORT ON TWITTER
Paddock insight from group F1 editor Jonathan Noble
Grand Prix news updates from F1 editor Edd Straw
Breaking news feed
Live commentary feed
  RELATED STORIES
Alonso says title decided off the track
Hamilton welcomes stewards decision
Hamilton escapes Japanese GP penalty
Hamilton, Webber, Vettel meet stewards
Q & A with Kovalainen on the Fuji SC row
Hamilton fears stewards will hit title bid
Webber clarifies Hamilton criticism
Tost tipped off stewards about video
Stewards investigating Hamilton's driving
Webber critical of Hamilton's driving
Haymarket