Lewis Hamilton has responded to criticism about his driving style by saying: "I'm only human and every now and then people make mistakes."

The 23-year-old British Formula One driver, who is currently leading the Driver's Championship by five points with just the Chinese and Brazilian Grand Prix's remaining, saw his character questioned after Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix in Fuji, where he managed only a disappointing 12th place.

He had gained pole position, but then lost the lead on the opening lap and was penalised with a drive through penalty after forcing Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari off the track. 

And the McLaren driver's race got worse when he collided with the Finn's Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa on the second lap.

Hamilton then accused the Brazilian of deliberately scuppering his race, which has lead critics to question the Stevenage born racer's recent antics.  

However, Hamilton said: "When you're constantly scrutinised it is difficult.

"It's not easy to always say or do the right thing," Hamilton added.

The young driver who joined Ron Dennis' McLaren team last season, also denied media claims he is arrogant, stating: "I would never say I was better than anyone else.

"I look at the other drivers, I just think all these guys are the best and to be the best I have to beat them."

Despite reminders of the nightmare ending to his Championship hopes last year in China, where the Brit had all-but-won the title before crashing out in difficult conditions, Hamilton leads nearest rival Massa and can clinch the title in Shanghai on Sunday by scoring six more points than him.

 

Hamilton responds to scrutiny