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Page last updated at 12:08 GMT, Saturday, 17 April 2010 13:08 UK

Lewis Hamilton 'learns lesson' after driving criticism

Sebastian Vettel

Highlights - Malaysian Grand Prix

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton says he has "learned a lesson" after his racing tactics led to criticism by his fellow drivers and a rule clarification.

Some drivers were not happy he received only a warning for what they saw as weaving on the straight during the Malaysian race two weeks ago.

Race director Charlie Whiting was asked to clarify the rules at a meeting at the Chinese Grand Prix this weekend.

Hamilton, 25, said: "It's not what Charlie wants to see. Lesson learned."

Some of the other drivers were critical of what they saw as Hamilton's weaving down the straight in Malaysia as he tried to shake off the pursuing Renault of Vitaly Petrov.

The McLaren driver initially defended himself in China this weekend, saying what others described as weaving was in fact him trying to stop Petrov benefiting from getting a 'tow' in his slipstream that would help him slingshot past.

I didn't understand why everyone was fussing about it, it wasn't really much of a problem

Lewis Hamilton

But the 2008 world champion has been forced to accept he will not be able to drive in the same way again after the subject was discussed extensively by the drivers in their Friday briefing.

BBC Sport has learned that most of the drivers who spoke on the subject made it clear that they felt Hamilton's side-to-side manoeuvring down the pit straight was against the rules, which state drivers can only move once to defend their position.

Hamilton was only given a warning following his behaviour in Malaysia, but the drivers agreed with Whiting that in future any similar manoeuvres would be reported to the stewards for them to take a view on whether to issue a penalty.

"I think the ruling was fair at the race and Charlie - I believe he took a fair decision and gave us a warning for that not to happen again," Hamilton added.


"I didn't understand why everyone was fussing about it, it wasn't really much of a problem."

Hamilton's team-mate Jenson Button insisted that the conversation in the drivers' briefing had been "just for clarification."

But Hamilton admitted: "They seemed to be talking about it for some time."

Earlier in the weekend, he had said: "I have spoken to a couple of drivers about this and my personal feeling is that if you are defending into a corner and you weave more than once, that is illegal but I am not aware that trying to break the tow was illegal," he said.

"I wasn't cutting him up. He was a good car's length behind me and I was trying to get him out of the tow. I don't feel it was dangerous. I thought it was good racing and it didn't affect anyone else. I am relaxed about it."

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see also
McLaren drivers expect fightback
17 Apr 10 |  Formula 1
Vettel charges to pole in China
17 Apr 10 |  Formula 1

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