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GP Week : Issue 124
F1 NEWS >> It’s been a hard two months in which to be Lewis Hamilton. The British driver has faced rounds of criticism ever since the Monaco Grand Prix, and former drivers have been using the press to comment on his attitude, his future, and his chances at the championship. Last week, Hamilton hit back. Asked how he was dealing with the seemingly never-ending round of critiques, the British driver said he “really couldn’t give a toss”. “You get tough,” the McLaren driver said. “It’s like if you fall down and bruise your knee, you get up and get stronger. But it doesn’t affect my life what people say - it has no bearing. What Niki Lauda thinks about me, I really couldn’t give a toss about it.” When he first arrived in the paddock, Hamilton was Ron Dennis’ golden boy – the ingenue of Formula One – and his glowing press coverage mirrored his results on track. “It’s the way the world works, everyone loves you when you’re doing well,” Hamilton said. “If Michael Schumacher was winning races now, everyone would be praising him, wanting to be around him, the same if it was Heikki Kovalainen or whoever. At the moment Sebastian Vettel is winning and so everyone’s loving him. Just because of what people say and how they act, that doesn’t make me any worse a driver.” Lewis hits back at his detractors ... LewIs Hamilton’s public image has taken something of a beating in recent weeks, but the media took full advantage of the British Grand Prix week to really stick the fire-retardant Nomex racing boot in. Writing in the Daily Mail, Jonathan McEvoy (pictured right) performed a character assassination on the McLaren driver, damning with faint praise in the manner perfected by the red-tops. “ The events of this season – ill-judged jokes, visiting a rival team to ask for a drive and ragged performances at the wheel – have given us cause to rethink the veneration we lavished upon him,” McEvoy wrote. “Is he the man? No, he is still a man-child: prone to petulance, surly in defeat and deluded by his own well- developed sense of entitlement.” The piece – which acknowledges Hamilton’s prodigal talent – goes on to castigate the McLaren driver for his celebrity entourage and lack of focus, while reminding readers of his childhood on a Stevenage council estate. “His friends are P Diddy, Rihanna and Ice-T, he has a Pussycat Doll for a girlfriend, a tax-haven home in Zurich, a music mogul for a manager, a steady stream of return tickets to Los Angeles, and two diamond-encrusted earrings,” McEvoy writes. “Deep down he is the boy from a council estate in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, living in a surreal world.” Whatever the truth in McEvoy’s words, the only aspect of Hamilton’s upbringing that is even remotely relevant to his racing career is the years of sheer dedication it took to build a career in the high octane world of Formula One. ... but Britain’s Daily Mail crucifies him Daily Mai writter Johnathon McEvoy 11