Lewis Hamilton was in a downbeat mood after finishing fourth in Monza, and carefully avoided making any negative comments about Michael Schumacher after the race.
Asked repeatedly by various international TV broadcasters about the battle, Hamilton was keen to avoid the subject, leading to awkward silences that don’t really come across in print.
A selection of the responses that he did give is as follows:
“It doesn’t make any difference. We had a good race and got some good points for the team.
“It was OK. I got past eventually, and I was able to finish ahead. He was faster on the straight even with my DRS.
“It was interesting being behind him, it was a real challenge to get past, but I think I did eventually, didn’t I, or at the pit stops? One of the two. But he was incredibly fast on the straights.”
It’s clear that on this occasion Lewis decided to avoid any controversy and keep his thoughts about the former World Champion’s driving private. While given his sometimes turbulent relationship with the media you might not blame him, he probably didn’t do himself too many favours with his approach today.
Speaking in more general terms about the race, he said: “It’s not a great result to be honest, I started second, and I fell back two places. I’m definitely not happy, but that’s motor racing. I’m happy that I finished and I got some points for the team, so that’s a good step.”
Regarding the safety car restart – which is where Schumacher got ahead – Hamilton admitted he’d made a mistake.
“Michael was on the outside of me, so I was looking at him in my mirrors, and then before I knew it, the guys had gone. I missed an opportunity to slipstream Sebastian, they caught me napping. But once I finally got past, I was able to chase down. I had fun chasing Fernando.”
While saying that he “highly doubted” that Vettel could lose the championship, Lewis said he still wanted to win races this year.
“I’m looking forward to the next couple of races when we go away overseas. It’s going to be exciting. We still have six races left. We’ll continue to push, and I hope that we’re able to at least get a couple more wins for the team.”