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Risk taking sets top drivers apart - Hamilton

ESPNF1 Staff
September 20, 2011 « 'Anything is possible' - Sutil | »
Lewis Hamilton: "I think being slightly more risky in some ways is what separates the faster drivers from maybe the not-so-fast drivers" © Sutton Images
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Lewis Hamilton believes the most successful drivers in Formula One have always been those that are willing to take risks.

Hamilton has been involved in a number of incidents this season, from two collisions at Monaco to a clash with his own team-mate in Canada. He has received four drive-through penalties (or the equivalent post-race penalty) and two reprimands for his driving, and his track record has attracted criticism from some quarters of the press.

"I think just generally in motor racing there is a fine line between being very dangerous and putting other people's lives at risk and then being just beneath the danger zone," he told Reuters. "And that's kind of where you just try never to go over the line. But this is motor racing and we are racing wheel-to-wheel at 200 mph so it's going to happen. There are crashes all the time and people are going to touch at some stage.

"I have some comments as well from drivers that say I am too aggressive but again it's just trying to find a fine balance. I'm not here to ruin anyone else's races, I am just trying to beat them and that's the best way to do your talking. If I have been too aggressive and I have come together with someone, in Monaco for example, I think okay. You just step back a little bit, but not completely change my approach because this is my life and this is how I do it."

And he believes that those willing to take extra risks are the ones that will ultimately be the most successful.

"I think the guys in the older days were taking risks, their lives were more at risk I guess," he added. "I would have loved to have driven in the olden days.

"I don't know why I'm like that but I've always been like that, more on the risky side. Not on the risk side to put others in danger but just I am willing to take just a little bit more. I think being slightly more risky in some ways is what separates the faster drivers from maybe the not-so-fast drivers."

"You see generally older drivers sometimes that have families and things that kind of lose a little bit. David Coulthard said to me that when he had a child 'I didn't want to risk much more because I wanted to make sure that I was there the next day to see my kid'. So he was willing to risk less and maybe that's natural."

"I'm still young and I'm not in that position yet and I can't say if when I have family whether that will happen. It's a long way away."