Michael Schumacher brushed off criticism of his defensive driving against Lewis Hamilton in the Italian Grand Prix.
Schumacher said his driving was within the rules: “I felt I did exactly what I was supposed to do and as far as I understand there was no request for me to see the stewards so I guess everything is in order.”
During the race Hamilton repeatedly complained to his team that Schumacher was making move defensive moves than he was allowed to, saying “He’s moving all over the place” and asking “I thought he was only allowed to move once?” to which the team replied: “Understood, Lewis. The FIA are aware.”
Schumacher was reminded by Ross Brawn to ensure he left room for Hamilton at Ascari, where Hamilton eventually passed the Mercedes.
After the race, asked if Schumacher’s driving had been fair, Hamilton said “Yeah, that’s racing.”
Hamilton added: “It was a good race. I got some points and I finished, so I can’t really complain.”
He also explained how he ended up behind Schumacher following the safety car period: “At the restart Michael was on the outside of me and I was looking at him in my mirrors.
“And then before I knew it the guys had gone so I missed the opportunity to slipstream Sebastian [Vettel].
“I got caught napping but once we finally got pas t I was able to chase down and I had fun chasing Fernando [Alonso].”
He said his car’s straight-line speed made it hard to pass the Mercedes: “We just lost a little bit on the straights and that’s why I couldn’t pass Michael.”
2011 Italian Grand Prix
Image © Daimler