Racing drivers very rarely say sorry, especially the really competitive ones who regard winning as their birthright.
Senna, Schumacher and the like rarely used the ‘S’ word. Schumacher was asked to on numerous occasions, but only did so under extreme duress, such as post Jerez 1997 when Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo demanded that he host a press conference and apologise for his collision with Jacques Villeneuve.
The subject has ignited furious debate online with both sides of the argument well represented.
Hamilton used twitter to send his message to drivers and fans alike,
“Hey guys. I wanted to apologise 4 last weekends performance & also my comments after, I never meant to offend no1.”
“I would also like to say thank u 2 everyone on here, 4 their positive messages & also 2 the angry messages. I can respect them both.”
“2 Massa & Maldonado, with the greatest respect I apologise if I offended u. Both of u r fantastic drivers who I regard highly.”
“2 my fans lost & my fans won, I wish u nothing but love & happiness. God Bless u. Onwards & upwards, Montreal next. Lewis”
The fact that Hamilton has apologised in this way, following his apology to the stewards for questioning their integrity on Sunday night, shows that he’s realised how far in the wrong he was in his comments.
Fans will debate long and hard as to whether he was entitled to feel aggrieved for being penalised when trying to pass. But his apologies will go a long way to repairing any ill feeling which may have been caused.
In short, it was a smart move and he didn’t take too long to make it either.