LEWIS HAMILTON’S former sporting director has denied claims that the Mercedes star is a “dirty” driver.
The seven-time Formula One world champion is currently enduring a miserable campaign following last season’s disappointment.
However, before those troubles, the 38-year-old was involved in regular battles and incidents with rival Max Verstappen.
Those reached a boiling point in 2021 before the Brit missed out on a record-breaking eighth in the heartbreaking Abu Dhabi 2021 finale.
Hamilton and his foe, who is currently topping this year’s championship, had a number of crashes as the likes of Silverstone, Monza and Saudi Arabia.
Both drivers did not hide their anger towards the other’s antics and with many labelling their actions “reckless” and “dirty”.
But Sam Michael, who has held senior positions with F1 constructors Williams and McLaren told the Beyond the Grid podcast: “Some people need the confidence to say that there’s some other reason why they didn’t perform.
“They want to process it so that they’re the best and I get that their ego and confidence requires them to say something else must have happened for me not to win that race or for me to do this or that.
“Having said that, I don’t think Lewis was like that from my experience of working with Lewis at McLaren.
“Because there’s a downside to being like that which is that you may not properly process your weaknesses and I’d have to say Lewis is very good at that.”
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Michael added: “I don’t think I’ve ever seen him do something that you think ‘that was dirty’.
“Even looking at the recent stuff with him and Max, he goes out of his way to not do stuff.
“So he [Verstappen] might do things where [he’s] putting the car into a position where it’s like ‘you do this and we crash.’ You don’t see Lewis do that to you.”
Hamilton will be hoping to bounce back from his disappointing start to this season at this weekend’s Monaco GP.