Lewis Hamilton was right at the centre of things in the early stages of the Montreal race weekend. He took part in the FIA press conference and was obliged to explain his behaviour in Monaco, where he criticised the FIA stewards and fellow drivers and what he had done about it afterwards.
Hamilton said that he had been home and had a rest and time to reflect on his words and actions last week. He wrote a letter to FIA president Jean Todt apologising for his words about the stewarding, and accusations that the FIA stewards pick on him.
It was suggested to him that Todt was considering a six race ban had he not received some kind of letter from Hamilton, but the 2008 champion denied that this had been the motivating factor behind him writing,
” It was not in my mind,” he said. “I had time to reflect on the weekend. We all know what it’s like to be under pressure and it’s easy to say the wrong thing in the heat of the moment. Afterwards I accepted that I was not in a position to make the move and I apologised.
“You have good and bad days and that was one of my worst days at the office. What’s important is that you learn from situations like this. Overtaking is hard in F1 and every move is questionable. Sometimes you get it right sometimes I don’t. I would prefer not to be in the stewards office but I’m trying to learn.”
Hamilton revealed the he had called Felipe Massa and talked through their collision, “I have a good relationship with Felipe,” he said. “I gave him a call and he’d calmed down and understood the position. With Pastor, I’ve known him and his family a long time. He was very quick that weekend and I do not want to put anyone out of the Grand Prix. ”
Hamilton was very interesting on the subject of comparison with other drivers. He was asked if his “behaviour was comparable with a young Schumacher?”
“I would hope not,” he said pointedly. He went on to talk of himself as a “passionate racer” and evoked some names he would prefer to be compared to, “Gilles Villeneuve, Ayrton, passionate drivers I hope one day to be referred to as something similar to them.”
Other matters arising in the morning conference were Sergio Perez confirming that he will race this weekend after being cleared by FIA doctors following his crash in Monaco.
Renault have a raft of updates on their car this weekend including a new rear wing and DRS which is designed to shed more drag than before as well as a new front wing to counterbalance it.
The drivers talked around the subject of racing in Bahrain, but not had anything interesting or firm to say about it, Most were concerned only with whether they would personally be safe there.