McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh believes Lewis Hamilton should have been more cautious in handling his battle with Pastor Maldonado in the closing stages of the European Grand Prix.
Hamilton crashed out of the Valencia event after a clash with the Venezuelan driver as they battled for third on the penultimate lap, losing him vital points in the World Championship standings.
Although the stewards said that Maldonado was to blame for the incident, and handed him a 20-second time penalty in lieu of a drive-hrough for what happened, that brought little consolation to Hamilton or his McLaren team. However, judging by the difficulties that Hamilton was having at the time of the incident with his tires, and knowing how aggressive Maldonado is as a driver, Whitmarsh suspects that his man would have been better off giving his rival more room than other rivals he had fought with earlier in the event.
When asked if he thought Hamilton should have defended so hard, Whitmarsh said: "Clearly not, but you are dragging me into the conversation.
"In my mind, you saw him defend with [Romain] Grosjean and with [Kimi] Raikkonen, and he didn't do anything different with Maldonado. It was a different outcome, but he didn't do anything different with those drivers.
"My own view is that it was Maldonado's fault, and it is deeply frustrating – but he is a racing driver and that is it. I am sure in hindsight you have to say that dealing with someone like that you have to take a different approach, but you cannot anticipate it."