Chinese GP: Webber denies Lewis kill claim

Shortly before second practice began this afternoon, Jason Swales, the producer of BBC Radio 5 Live’s F1 programme, received a message from Mark Webber. He urgently wanted to be interviewed. F1 being the secretive business it is, and F1 drivers usually preferring to speak only when spoken to, this was unexpected.

Not even Webber, the most quotable and approachable of drivers, had been known to push himself forward in this manner.

When pit lane reporter Holly Samos got to Webber just before he climbed aboard his Red Bull, the Australian came straight to the point. He wanted to deny a quote attributed to him in a British newspaper this morning which read: “‘He’ll kill someone – Lewis Hamilton’s style is too dangerous’, says Mark Webber.”

Reading the actual quote, Webber had been critical of Hamilton’s driving. But he had been expressing concern about cars touching during a first lap scramble. He was referring to the Italian Grand Prix at Monza in 2000 when a flying wheel from a Jordan killed a marshal (who had actually been standing in the wrong place in order to get a closer view of the action).

At no point had Webber used the word ‘kill’ or come close to the interpretation chosen by the British tabloid. Webber had introduced the Monza incident to the conversation but he was angry that his words had been taken out of context.

Either way, it was an unfortunate reflection of Hamilton’s eventful start to last Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix. Hamilton didn’t actually make contact with another car, although several left the road briefly as a result of his aggressive move. But the incident was enough to provide ammunition for Hamilton’s detractors, several F1 drivers among them.

That should be no surprise, of course. Racing drivers are deeply competitive and, whether they admit it or not, resent a young driver coming in and rapidly becoming a superstar on their patch.

When Hamilton was nominated for the Thursday FIA press conference, along with Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen and Robert Kubica, he knew he was in for a difficult time. And so it turned out.

While there was no direct criticism, Hamilton was definitely the odd-man out as the other three, usually led by Alonso, engaged in winks and nudges and muttered conversations when Hamilton was speaking.

At one point, when asked a pointed question from the floor about who he would like to see win the championship, Alonso said his good friend Kubica, and then Massa. It was part of a game, and Jenson Button summed it up best.

‘Alonso was only saying that because he wants a reaction,’ said Button. ‘He’s not in the championship, so he just wants a bit of action. Quite comical, really.’

That’s probably true. It’s a pity the same could not be said about the emotive interpretation put on Webber’s words.

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Yes.. massa will win absolutely no doubt .
and surely with FIA interfere indeed.

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It’s a sad reflection on Formula One when, with two races to an undecided championship, the only headlines are invented.

Lewis Hamilton sliding the car, on what looks like the limit of control, is one of the few reasons left to watch. the so-called races. It’s his style, and the car will be set up to cope with it. Lewis is the best of an average bunch and can only be measured against the people competing against him. Though he’s not really proven himself yet (Good in the rain is not the same as being stuck with one gear and finishing second. At the moment he’s Jean Alesi but wheel to wheel with Boemi at 200mph for the title, we’ll see) he is a racer and has the makings of a multiple world champion.

Yet the championship desperately needs more characters like Alonso, if only Lewis and others would answer him back it would add a bit of spice to a bland, formulaic two hour tyre commercial where it is seen fit to criticize the current point leader’s exciting method of driving.

Bring on Vettel and Bruno!

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Lewis Hamilton IS great!!! All you who can’t stand his success are petulant and arrogant beyond belief. Check the facts you clowns! He is better at this stage of his career than anyone in the history of the sport! Maybe some of you dimwits and the rest of those jealous drivers on the grid who have been shown the way by the ‘newcomer’ would like some cheese with your whine! LOL…”Spit in the sky, it will fall in your eye.”

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Lewis is a young kid, of course he is going to be agresive he wants to make a name for himself. Some of the older drivers just need to stop holding on to it. Mark Webber didnt badmouth lewis it was just the press blowing things out of proportion again like so many other times total crap.

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if you look at last year, then you’d see hamilton and alonso overall are as good as each other, no denying it. but, because of his attitude, alonso moved back to a team that isn’t as good and has suffered for it. mclaren have never quite been up to the same standard as ferrari ever since the Hakkinen era, so it is a testament to Hamilton’s skill that he is able to regularly beat them. sure, Hamilton is very aggressive, but he isn’t stupid. yes, he’s made mistakes, but that is to be expected of a youngster with such talent. look at Schumacher. he never grew up in that sense. i’d much rather see a race full of aggressive overtaking and near-misses than a race where everyone holds back and waits for the pits.

and he’s british. we should all be supporting him, regardless of what wwe think of him. no-one ever thought henman would win wimbledon, but every year we got behind him

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Instead of arguing if he drives well, why dont we just kill him?

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INGRF1 you are an ass. why comment like that. Lewis is a superb driver he has raw talent. just what the f1 series needs nowadays. now you go home and live in your sad dream world. Bet you cant even drive lol

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