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Lewis Hamilton has been warned by his McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh to change his approach when driving against Pastor Maldonado.
Hamilton and Maldonado have repeatedly clashed since the Venezuelan's introduction to F1, most recently - and indeed most spectacularly - on Sunday when the Williams driver rammed his McLaren rival out of the European GP as the pair squabbled over third place.
Having also hit Sergio Perez during Practice Three at last month's Monaco Grand Prix and spun out of the Australian GP whilst chasing down Fernando Alonso in the closing stages of the season-opening event, Maldonado has earned a reputation for 'robust driving' and Whitmarsh has now taken the fairly extraordinary step of advising Hamilton to alter his driving style against the South American.
"In hindsight you say that, dealing with someone like that you have to take a different approach, but you cannot anticipate it," Whitmarsh told The Daily Mail.
After an investigation into Sunday's crash, Valencia race stewards meted out a twenty-seconds time penalty against Maldonado. However, while insisting that the Williams driver was to blame for the clash, Whitmarsh has also implied that he thought Hamilton shouldn't have put up a fight.
Asked by the Mail 'if he thought Hamilton was right to try and fend off Maldonado, Whitmarsh replied: "Clearly not.'"'
The McLaren Team Principal then added: "To my mind he didn't do anything different with Maldonado as with Grosjean and Raikkonen, although it was a different outcome. It was Maldonado's fault, which was deeply frustrating, but Lewis is a racing driver and that's it."