When Michael Schumacher's Formula One comeback was announced, Lewis Hamilton said he was looking forward to battling it out with the record championship winner on the track.
Over the last eighteen months, he has had very little opportunity to do so, but the situation changed dramatically at Monza.
In fact, it was the confrontation of the race – Lewis Hamilton against Michael Schumacher, sometimes with no holds barred. "It was a good race," said Hamilton. "I got some points and I finished, so I can't complain at all." And as regards the way the Mercedes man had held off his challenge? "That's racing," he said afterwards. During the Grand Prix, however, he had complained over the team radio that Schumacher was weaving about too much ahead of him.
The FIA officials agreed and informed Mercedes GP that Schumacher should be giving Hamilton more room. "And that's what he did," said team principal Ross Brawn. "It was all fair." Schumacher also saw no problem with his driving: "The stewards didn't call me in, so everything is fine."
Nevertheless, the duel with Schumacher cost the McLaren driver a lot of time. "But that was as fast as we could go today," said Hamilton. "I was losing time on the straights, so that's why I couldn't get past Michael." The most likely reason being that the McLaren was running with a seventh gear that had been set too short.