Lewis Hamilton needs to rein back his aggression against his rivals on-track if he is to achieve his full potential, claims former World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi.
With Hamilton's driving under the spotlight after the drive-through penalties he was handed at the Monaco Grand Prix, Fittipaldi agrees with those who claim that the McLaren driver should calm down.
"I think Lewis is an exceptional talent, a World Champion, but sometimes he is too aggressive when he tries to overtake," Fittipaldi said in an interview with Brazilian website Totalrace. "It was like that in Monaco with Felipe [Massa], placing half of the car in the sidewalk and putting Felipe in a difficult position, at least.
"He put Felipe in a dangerous position, really. I think there has to be a limit for being aggressive, respecting the others and still being competitive. You can be competitive, but you have to respect the others."
Hamilton claims his aggressive driving is exactly what fans are after, and he sees no difference between the way that he goes about fighting his rivals and the way his hero Ayrton Senna did.
Fittipaldi, however, thinks that Senna had more respect for his opposition, and would never have pulled off moves like that which Hamilton did in Monaco.
"Ayrton used to be a very aggressive driver, but I don't remember seeing him doing what Lewis did, not only in Monaco, but if you turn back three years ago, in the Belgium Grand Prix, in Spa," continued Fittipaldi. "There he did some very critical maneuvers with [Kimi] Raikkonen. That sort of aggressive overtaking is not a normal thing to do.
"I think he is spectacular. From the viewers' point of view it is cool to have a spectacular driver on the grid, it is part of the show, but you have to respect the other drivers. When you lack respect and put others in a risky position, it is wrong."
Despite Fittipaldi's view on Hamilton's driving, Michael Schumacher jumped to the defense of his current rival in Canada,claiming he would not have punished him for the incident with Massa in Monaco.
"[In] Monaco we know it is very difficult to pass and if somebody doesn't want it, then it is very hard to avoid a collision," said Schumacher. "I guess, in two of the four cases he passed people, two didn't want it and two accepted it!
"It is a tough situation to be perfectly right. You will always find one or the other opinion on that, but put it this way: I would not have given him [a penalty] for Felipe at least."