Journalist gives Hamilton a grilling

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren-Mercedes, Interlagos, 2007 | DaimlerKimi Raikkonen didn’t complain about Lewis Hamilton’s behaviour in qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Nor did Ferrari lodge any protest when Raikkonen ran briefly wide after passing Hamilton’s car on his final lap.

But a French journalist waged a one-woman vendetta against the Briton in this afternoon’s press conference. Here’s what was said:

Annie Giunti (L’Equipe): For everybody, it is evident that twice you disturbed Kimi. Is everything good to become a world champion?” she asked.

Lewis Hamilton: “To be honest there is no reason for me to do anything to Kimi because if anything he can win. Well, I came out of the pits and the guys said that, obviously, because Fernando was behind me and I could not hold him up in the pits… So I came out of the pit lane and they said you will come out close to Kimi and I came out and when you are at that sort of speed your mirrors are vibrating and so you cannot see too much and then I realised that he was very, very close and so I slowed down and I noticed I can’t attack the corner like he was, so I backed out and he went past me.”

AG: “You never showed him clearly that you could give him the track free?”

LH: “What do you want me to do? Put the indicator on?”

AG: “You know exactly…”

LH: “I did the best job I could to get out of the way and I did apologise to him if I did get in his way.”

AG: “Is that what you call the best job?”

LH: “Yes.”

AG: “As a sportsman?”

LH: “Yes. How are you at your job? Are you the best at your job? You never made mistakes, no?”

AG: “Sometimes…”

LH: “Oh, really…”

Giunti seized the opportunity to continue pressing the point after another journalist described the row as a “ridiculous exchange.”

AG: “Let us continue the ‘ridiculous exchange’. Do you think you can do everything you want and then you just apologise – is that the way it works in Formula One?”

LH: “I’m not going to answer that. I just don’t want to talk to you, to be honest.”

What I want to know is, why was she only asking Hamilton whether what he did was wrong, and not asking the supposedly aggrieved Raikkonen whether he was annoyed about it?

Probably because if she asked Raikkonen and he said he wasn’t bothered it would have killed her story…

Update. Actually, she did ask Raikkonen…

AG: Kimi, could you count the time that you lost with Lewis and did you feel in that moment that he did something wrong to you?

KR: I don’t know. I haven’t seen any data to see what happened. I don’t know for sure, I don’t know. I think other people can judge what has been done and make decisions. For sure, there could have been a slightly easier way to let me pass, but it is the way it is now and it doesn’t interest me anymore.

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