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Lauda calls on FIA to act on Hamilton

NEWS STORY
13/06/2011

F1 legend Niki Lauda has called on the FIA to take action, warning that Lewis Hamilton i endangering himself and fellow competitors.

The Austrian, who won titles with Ferrari and McLaren made his comments while commentating for German broadcaster RTL, having witnessed Hamilton crash out of the Canadian Grand Prix after just seven laps.

"What Hamilton did there goes beyond all boundaries," he told viewers. "He is completely mad. If the FIA does not punish him, I do not understand the world any more. At some point there has to be an end to all the jokes. You cannot drive like this... it will result in someone getting killed."

Hamilton crashed out of the race after making a move on his teammate Jenson Button on the pit straight, just a few laps earlier he was involved in an incident that saw Mark Webber spin and lose a number of positions.

Just two weeks ago, Hamilton caused controversy in Monaco when he criticised the Race Stewards and a number of fellow drivers with whom he tangled. He subsequently wrote an apology to the FIA president Jean Todt and tweeted an apology to Felipe Massa and Pastor Maldonado.

Following yesterday's crash with his teammate, which threatened Button's win but was subsequently put down as a "racing incident", Hamilton was cautioned by the stewards, who included another world champion, Emerson Fittipaldi.

"I think Lewis is an exceptional talent, a world champion, but sometimes he is too aggressive when he tries to overtake," he told Brazilian websiteTotalrace. "It was like that in Monaco with Felipe, placing half of the car in the sidewalk and putting Felipe in a difficult position, at least.

"I think there has to be a limit for being aggressive, respecting the others and still being competitive," he added. "You can be competitive, but you have to respect the others."

While Hamilton makes no secret of the fact that he idolises Brazilian legend Ayrton Senna, who was also known for his no-nonsense aggressive attitude on track, Fittipaldi argues that his countryman had more respect for his rivals.

"Ayrton used to be a very aggressive driver, but I don't remember seeing him doing what Lewis did," he said, "not only in Monaco, but if you turn back three years ago, in the Belgium Grand Prix, in Spa. There he did some very critical manoeuvres with Raikkonen. That sort of aggressive overtaking is not a normal thing to do.

"I think he is spectacular," he added. "From the viewers' point of view it is cool to have a spectacular driver on the grid, but you have to respect the other drivers. When you lack respect and put others in a risky position, it is wrong."

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