Lauda: Hamilton did nothing wrong

Former world champion Niki Lauda has given his full backing to Lewis Hamilton over the Belgian Grand Prix chicane-cutting controversy - claiming the Briton did 'nothing wrong' with the way he drove

Lauda: Hamilton did nothing wrong

Hamilton was handed a 25-second penalty for being judged to have gained an advantage when he cut a chicane in his battle with Kimi Raikkonen in the closing stages of the Spa-Francorchamps. It dropped him from first to third in the final result.

But Lauda believes the fact that Hamilton did hand the lead back to Raikkonen after the chicane incident meant he should have been in the clear.

"Hamilton did nothing wrong," said Lauda. "He was on the outside, and then let him (Raikkonen) by, which is the rule. Then afterwards he passed him. There was nothing wrong from Hamilton.

"There was nothing special in what happened. Hamilton did the right thing in letting him by, and then passed him. It was an absolutely perfect drive from Hamilton."

Lauda said that Hamilton had shown tremendous skill with his driving through the race, as he bounced back from a second lap spin to shadow and then close in on Raikkonen - who eventually spun off.

"I was disappointed that on the second lap with his spin, which was unnecessary," he said. "But in the end he made up for it in much more complicated conditions, and did a perfect race.

"It was very high risk at the end of the race for both of them, but he made fewer mistakes and won the race. He couldn't have done any better. He executed perfect car control when it was wet. He did a perfect job and won the race.

"You can only take your cap off to him, and congratulate him."

Lauda also reckons that the time had come for Raikkonen to play the support role to Felipe Massa in the championship battle now.

"He should now help Massa, which would be logical. It makes sense that from Monza on, they (Ferrari) make sure Massa always gets maximum points.

"Kimi has not done a good job this season. He has been quick in races, but not in qualifying. Even in practice here he was disappointing because he can't get the grip level together in one lap.

"In this race he did a perfect job, until the end when he threw it away."

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