Mixed Whitmarsh opinions over Hamilton crash
26 June 2012 – Martin Whitmarsh was torn between two opinions following the Valencia accident between Lewis Hamilton and Pastor Maldonado. While the McLaren Team Principal feels the crash was essentially the Venezuelan’s fault, he also believes Hamilton could have left more room.
The two came to blows at Turn 13 on the penultimate lap, while Hamilton – with tyres that had already fallen off the cliff – attempted to defend the final podium position. The duo had already collided before, at last year’s Monaco Grand Prix.
When asked if Hamilton needed to defend so hard, Whitmarsh told Autosport:
“Clearly not, but you are dragging me into the conversation. In my mind, you saw him defend with Grosjean and with Räikkönen and he didn't do anything different with Maldonado. It was a different outcome, but he didn't do anything different with those drivers.
“My own view is that it was Maldonado's fault and it is deeply frustrating – but he is a racing driver and that is it. I am sure in hindsight you have to say that dealing with someone like that you have to take a different approach, but you cannot anticipate it.”
Hamilton, who had led the Drivers’ World Championship heading to the European Grand Prix, now sits third and 23 points behind former team-mate Fernando Alonso.