Formula 1 commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone has jumped to the defense of Lewis Hamilton over his recent on-track clashes, insisting that fans want to see drivers battling wheel to wheel.
Hamilton has been on the receiving end of criticism after a spate of collisions in Monaco and Canada, which included accidents with Felipe Massa, Pastor Maldonado, Mark Webber and Jenson Button. But Ecclestone insists that those upset with Hamilton should rethink their attitude, because F1 fans would prefer to see drivers fighting hard than following in their rivals' wheel tracks.
"People have been wrong to rubbish Lewis," Ecclestone told Britain's The Independent newspaper. "What we want is people racing, and all the people who watch it want that.
"If you analyze what's been happening and how other drivers have been performing, Lewis shows up very well, and so do Sebastian [Vettel] and Jenson [Button]. So let him race. That's what people like him do.
"I was very, very good friends with [Ayrton] Senna, and if you look at what he did, he was a racer, too, and people had to move over for him.
"Perhaps Lewis has made one or two questionable moves, but so have many of the others, and nobody bothers to look at what's happening farther down the field. It's always been like this. We saw a lot of people racing in Canada on Sunday, and Jenson did a super job. That's what the fans want to see."