• Drivers to hold discussion before Spanish Grand Prix
• Debate prompted by Nico Rosberg incident in Bahrain
Lewis Hamilton’s aggressive driving style will be discussed at what is expected to be a heated drivers’ meeting here on Friday night. Hamilton and Fernando Alonso were both forced wide by the Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg in last month’s Bahrain Grand Prix – Alonso backed off but Hamilton did not slow down and succeeded in passing the equally aggressive Rosberg, even though he had to go beyond the edge of the track to do so, which is against the rules.
Rosberg and Hamilton were cleared by stewards afterwards but that will not stop them being asked to defend their actions in front of their peers on Friday night. The Red Bull driver Mark Webber said on Thursday: “I was surprised that Lewis was allowed to keep his position. It was a situation that Lewis didn’t want to find himself in, off the track, but he stayed with it and ultimately the move was kept. I’m sure we’ll talk about it in the drivers’ briefing.”
When Hamilton was told of this he said he was not surprised. “Mark is probably one of the most – if not the most – outspoken individual here so that is the least I expect from him,” he said.
Ironically, Hamilton’s driving has been at it’s most controlled this season as he has battled to preserve his difficult tyres, and he is second in the championship. He added: “I’m not really bothered, to be honest. It’s in the past for me. I’m a racer and I didn’t feel I was in the wrong. Everyone has a right to their own opinions but it doesn’t mean they are right.
“You can’t see from the camera angles whether I was alongside but I know I was. I had a good slingshot out of the corner and as he [Rosberg] kept going over I had nowhere to go. The wall was quite far away but if it’d been there I would have been in it. We do have to give each other room to a certain extent and not do as Michael’s experience with Rubens.”
He was referring to the Hungarian Grand Prix in 2010 when Michael Schumacher almost shoved Rubens Barrichello into a wall.
But Hamilton appeared to welcome the meeting when he said: “It’s good to have clarity. Whatever they decide, will affect all the drivers.”
Reflecting on the incident with Rosberg he added: “Fortunately neither of us got in trouble, neither of us were hurt, and hopefully we will try and rectify the rules to make them clearer so that we won’t be in that position again.
“Lots of people have commented on it, but the only two people who know exactly what happened are myself and Nico. The footage you have of what occurred is from the front, and it is very difficult to see clearly what happened, whether I was alongside him or not.
“But the stewards made the right decision, and hopefully this weekend we will clarify the rules. Would it have happened if there had been grass or a wall? Probably not. If there had, it would have been an interesting situation.”
That was echoed by Rosberg, who said: “Of course if there had been the barriers at Monaco it would have been a different story, but then again the guys behind would have backed off a lot earlier. In that situation, which I’d probably do again, it was harsh but within the rules, and I didn’t judge I was putting my competitors in danger.”
Hamilton and Rosberg appeared to come under fire from Alonso this week when the Spaniard wrote on his Twitter account: “I think you are going to have fun in future races! You can defend position as you want and you can overtake outside the track! Enjoy!”