Lewis Hamilton has issued a robust defence of his driving style and compared himself to drivers of a bygone era ahead of this weekend's Singapore Grand Prix.
The McLaren driver's aggressive manoeuvres have been a source of regular controversy this season, with crashes and collisions bringing him into repeated contact with stewards. The former world champion, who could well take his third win of the season in Singapore, said before the last grand prix at Monza that he had become an "easy target" in one of the toughest years of his career.
While he has said he will do his utmost to stay out of trouble, he is not about to change his style. Asked about a recent comment by the retired German driver Hans Stuck, whose best-ever finish was third place, suggesting Hamilton should undergo therapy, the Briton replied: "For me? How did he do in Formula One?"
"Not so well," came the answer. "Exactly. Exactly. That says it all," said Hamilton. "I think being slightly more risky in some ways is what separates the faster drivers from maybe the not-so-faster drivers," he said.
"You see generally older drivers sometimes that have families and things that kind of lose a little bit.
"David Coulthard said to me that when he had a child, 'I didn't want to risk much more because I wanted to make sure that I was there the next day to see my kid'. So he was willing to risk less and maybe that's natural," continued Hamilton.
"I'm still young and I'm not in that position yet and I can't say if when I have family whether that will happen. It's a long way away."
Hamilton suggested that his style of driving was out of step with modern times, and perhaps he would have been better suited to competing in a bygone age. "I think the guys in the older days were taking risks, their lives were more at risk I guess. I would have loved to have driven in the olden days," said the 26-year-old.
"I don't know why I'm like that but I've always been like that, more on the risky side. Not on the risk side to put others in danger but just I am willing to take just a little bit more."Reuse content