Lewis Hamilton has hit back at claims it is his aggressive driving style that causes his tyres to so often deflate.
Joan Villadelprat, a F1 veteran who is bidding to bring his Spanish-based Le Mans team Epsilon Euskadi onto the grid next year, said after the Briton’s crash in Barcelona that Hamilton “needs to calm down”.
The tyre deflation was one of several in Hamilton’s career so far, but McLaren has clarified that it was caused by a loose wheel nut leading to a failed rim.
Asked in Monaco about comments like Villadelprat’s, the 2008 world champion said without smiling: “It makes me laugh to be honest.
“Everyone always talks about my aggressive style,” the 25-year-old is quoted by the Daily Telegraph.
“Before they even knew what the issue was last week, they said ‘he needs to calm down, he needs to look after his tyres, he needs to do this, he needs to do that’, which is absolute rubbish.
“In actual fact the way I look after my tyres, you know, I have grown a lot over the past couple of years. In the last race the tyres were sweet, really sweet,” added Hamilton.
He denied he is sensitive about the issue due to the widespread belief that his teammate Jenson Button – who has won two races this year – is particularly good at looking after his tyres.
“I’m not really sensitive about it because it (the opinions) doesn’t really have any impact on me as such. I know how to use my tyres,” Hamilton insisted.