F1’s Hamilton must be sanctioned: Lauda

Tuesday, 14 June 2011 00:58 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Triple Formula One world champion Niki Lauda says someone will get killed if McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton, who tangled with Mark Webber and race winner Jenson Button at the Canadian Grand Prix, is not sanctioned.

While Button survived a clash with his teammate to win the best race of his career on a rain-sodden Montreal track and Webber fought back to finish third behind Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel, Hamilton was criticised by the Australian and the furious Austrian.

Webber described as “clumsy” a move by Hamilton at the start of the race which spun him around and dropped him from fourth to 12th.

Lauda described Hamilton as “completely mad” after the race and called on the FIA to punish him for dangerous driving but Webber was more circumspect.

“I think Lewis thought the chequered flag was in turn three,” Webber said.

“We made contact and it is not easy - I think it was a bit clumsy early in the race.”

The chaotic race was delayed by torrential rain for two hours, with drivers frantically switching from wet weather to immediate tyres as the track condition changed.

“I lost a lot of positions, managed to get them all back. [Kamui] Kobayashi, the two Renaults and [Paul] di Resta, guys I passed already, they got me with a free pit stop with the suspended race and a new set of tyres,” said the Australian.

“I got back past them and, with a dry line appearing, it was difficult to pull those moves off.”

Webber was one of the first drivers to switch to slick tyres, a move he admitted was a gamble, but which brought him up to third behind Michael Schumacher.

Although he passed the German, eventual winner Jenson Button passed them both amid a spectacular dice.

“I then decided to roll the dice, decided to put the dry tyres on,” Webber said.

“I knew parts of the circuit were going to be tricky, and then if I get on the grass, it is all over. “I then arrived on the back of Michael. We had a reasonable battle getting the dry line in the last chicane.

“Eventually we got it but JB arrived. He was very, very quick and I think ultimately even if I had got Michael earlier, he would have got me as well.”

Button pulled off a dramatic final lap pass to snatch the lead from Vettel and win, but he had to compose himself after Hamilton attempted to overtake him on the outside line and was squeezed into the wall, ending his race.

The incident with Button came just a fortnight after Hamilton was hit with two drive-through penalties in Monaco for his part in crashes there.

“What Hamilton did there goes beyond all boundaries,” Lauda said during his commentary on RTL television. “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 - as it will result in someone getting killed.”

Button’s triumph lifted him to second behind Vettel in the drivers’ championship.

Vettel has 161 points to Button on 101 with Webber third on 94 and Hamilton fourth on 85.

McLaren team chief Martin Whitmarsh described the pressure Button put on Vettel on the last lap, which forced an error from the German, as “the stuff of champions, that’s the stuff of dreams”.