Hamilton defends aggressive driving style

McLaren Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain drives over a bump during the second practice session of the Singapore F1 Grand Prix at the Marina Bay street circuit in Singapore September 23, 2011. REUTERS/Edgar Su

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Britain’s ex-Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton defended his driving style on Friday, saying his aggression was simply due to the fact his McLaren car was not fast enough.

The 2008 champion has been a regular in the stewards’ room this season after a spate of crashes and controversies that have often overshadowed his performances on the track.

A low-point came at the Monaco Grand Prix where he first blasted race stewards after collecting two drive-through penalties and later was moved to apologise to two fellow drivers for insulting comments he made in the heat of the moment.

On Friday the 26-year-old finished third fastest in Singapore practice before launching a defence of his style.

“I drive the way I drive, if people have an issue with that, that’s their problem,” he told reporters at the Southeast Asian floodlit street circuit.

“I think there is a balance ... I don’t ever try to be aggressive to endanger anyone. I drive aggressively because my car is not fast enough at times and I have to push and be aggressive.”

Hamilton said the style was learnt when he first started racing go-karts.

“I had a go-kart that was not brand new and it was slow and I had to push extra, extra hard to make the time and that’s what I am doing now.

“If I had a car I could cruise around, then I wouldn’t have to be aggressive.”

Editing by Tony Jimenez