Formula 1 News

Hamilton blasts 'ridiculous' Schumacher drive

It seems that controversy has followed these two drivers throughout the season.
Saturday, October 8, 2011

Suzuka, Oct 8, 2011 (AFP) - Lewis Hamilton described Michael Schumacher's driving at the end of Saturday's qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix as "dangerous" and "ridiculous" after the pair nearly collided before their final laps.

The McLaren driver qualified third on the grid for Sunday's 53-lap race after topping the times in the second part of qualifying and after the first laps in the final 10-minute shootout for the top 10.

But he failed to start a second timed lap before the chequered flag after an incident with Mercedes driver Schumacher and Australian Mark Webber of Red Bull at the final chicane.

The Briton spoke flatly after the session in a clear effort to retain his composure.

"I was entering the last corner, and Mark out of nowhere shot up the inside and nearly crashed with me, so I had to avoid him," he said.

"Michael was on the outside trying to do something -- I don't know what the hell he was doing -- and went off onto the grass. It was the most ridiculous thing I've ever experienced at the beginning of qualifying, but that's motor
racing.

"I didn't see Michael, but he came past me and we nearly crashed to the left. It was quite dangerous."

The seven-time world champion Schumacher qualified seventh, after also failing to start a timed lap before the chequered flag, and felt Hamilton had pushed him onto the grass.

"I had Webber in front because Hamilton slowed down. I don't know what was in front of him (and) if he really had to slow down that much, but it was tight for all three of us," he said.

"I tried my best and Lewis pushed me a little bit wide onto the grass. I made it through, but a bit of an awkward start of a qualifying lap."

Schumacher said he did not feel the incident with Hamilton cost him places on the grid, as the three drivers to finish behind him in the top 10 -- Brazilian Bruno Senna of Renault, Senna's teammate Vitaly Petrov and Kamui Kobayashi of Sauber -- also failed to set a flying lap time at the end of the session.

"Luckily nobody else -- at least Kobayashi -- didn't go out again to set another lap, because that would have meant I would have been shy by probably a second which was a bit stupid," he said.

Webber, who did start his final flying lap before the chequered flag fell and was fastest of all through the first sector, faded later in his lap and qualified sixth, almost seven-tenths of a second behind German teammate and pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel.

Hamilton at Suzuka

Hamilton at Suzuka

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