Lewis Hamilton hits back at claims he’s ‘cheating’ in F1 title battle

The team chiefs have been constantly criticising and claiming foul play in the past few months

Karl Matchett
Thursday 02 December 2021 10:04
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Lewis Hamilton has responded to repeated claims from Christian Horner that Mercedes have been boosted by using illegal rear wing parts on their cars this season, saying such comments are “the worst” to make in sport.

Mercedes and Red Bull have been locked in a three-pronged battle for much of the past few months in Formula One, with Hamilton’s on-track rivalrly with Max Verstappen the most notable aspect. The Dutchman still leads the championship fight heading into the final two races of the season, while Mercedes lead the constructor standings by just five points.

More frequently of late, though, has been the two team chiefs sniping through the media at each other, with Horner and Mercedes counterpart Toto Wolff repeatedly taking aim in interviews and press conferences.

In one such discussion with The Telegraph this week, Horner repeated that social media evidence pointed to Mercedes using components which were a “clear breach” of regulations - which Hamilton refutes and wants no part of in the title fight.

“We all have egos and that’s what controls our emotions and it is egos fighting each other,” he said.

“There is defence, there is respect. But what is important... I did see someone say something about cheating and that’s the worst claim to make.

“I called [Mercedes senior engineers] James Allison and Mike Elliott and said ‘I really want to know about these things’ and they took me through details of where we are. We have done all these tests and this is where it is. But I don’t like it when people put that out there. I don’t think we have exploited any loophole. They [Red Bull] did at the start of the year with their wing and then they changed that rule and now it is much stricter and the wing can’t do anything.

“[The title fight] is not tarnished, it [alleging cheating] is just the wrong thing to do.”

Formula One heads to Jeddah this weekend, with Hamilton looking to make up eight points between himself and Verstappen in the final two race weeks.

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