Lewis Hamilton said that he felt the need on Tuesday to “clarify” comments he made in the wake of the Korean Grand Prix on Sunday to the effect that Sebastian Vettel’s dominance was becoming a turn-off for fans. The Mercedes driver said that he had intended no disrespect towards Red Bull driver Vettel, who he considered a “true champion”.
Hamilton told reporters following the race last Sunday that he “felt for the fans” after Vettel’s fourth successive victory put the Red Bull driver within touching distance of his fourth successive drivers’ title.
“Good morning all,” Hamilton wrote to his 1.7 million followers on Twitter. “Read some of the stories/reports of my comments on Seb. Feel the need to clarify my thoughts. Seb is great champion!!
“Not only that, he is a great human being who is funny and humble. Deserves all the success he is having! I admire his dedication & ability to consistently perform without mistakes. This is the mark of a true champion.”
The 2008 world champion ended his paean with a rather ambiguous comment regarding Vettel’s Red Bull car. “Regardless of what you & I may think about his car, at the end of the day he’s doing the perfect job. I’m just grateful I get to drive in an era with so many great drivers like him. God Bless & have an amazing day!”
Meanwhile, Lotus team principal Eric Boullier has given encouragement to Nico Hulkenberg by saying that the German’s weight would not be a major factor as to the team deciding whether to bring him in for the Ferrari-bound Kimi Raikkonen.
The issue has become a hot topic in the sport, with the introduction of a new and heavier V6 turbo power unit and energy recovery systems next year giving more of an advantage to the lighter drivers.
Hulkenberg, who races for Sauber, is one of the tallest and heaviest drivers on the grid.
“We’re more interested in the talent and potential of a driver rather than the difference of a few kilos,” Boullier said. “We have confidence in our development team to be able to produce a car for the 2014 regulations which should be competitive in the hands of any driver we consider for next year.”
John Grant, the former chairman of the Motor Sports Association, has been elected to replace Stuart Rolt as chairman of Silverstone’s owner the British Racing Drivers’ Club.
The BRDC said in a statement that Rolt would stay on as an adviser to the board while the long-awaited deal with an investor to develop the circuit was completed.