Oct.17 (GMM) Felipe Massa, who is Lewis Hamilton's chief rival for the 2008 world championship, has declined to join in the current drubbing of the McLaren driver.
Ferrari's Massa, who less than a week ago was accused by the Briton of deliberately driving into him at Fuji, hailed Hamilton as a "very strong" competitor.At Shanghai perhaps more than anywhere else this year, there is an obvious air of negativity about 23-year-old Hamilton, who has a 5 point lead over Massa with two races to go.Some analysts wonder about his calm under pressure, while a group of fellow drivers have bandied together in concern about the safety of his racing style.Massa, however, warned observers not to confuse Hamilton's brassy character with his credentials as a racer."That's Lewis. That is his personality. To be aggressive and always over confident. That is true," the Brazilian told reporters in China."It doesn't mean that he cannot be good, cannot be competitive or cannot be strong because of that. Everybody knows that he is very strong and these things, many races, made him a lot of points."But another of Hamilton's usual allies, the former grand prix winner Johnny Herbert, has warned his countryman he needs to keep his head if he doesn't want to throw away another shot at the championship."You would think this year would be better (than 2007), but he has cut his lead to five points because he didn't use his head in the last race," Herbert, in Dubai testing for the Speedcar series, told Gulf News."We have to say that his temperament is letting him down. What he did in Fuji was not so clever and I hope he learns from that and uses that in China and then in Brazil."