Melbourne: New triple world champion Lewis Hamilton has denied claims of disrespecting Michael Schumacher, insisting that he is an admirer of the Formula One legend and holds him in the highest regard.
Hamilton took to his Instagram account to urge his fans not to believe the story and said that he grew up watching the German from the early days through to his seventh title, News.com.au reported.
Hamilton said that Schumacher was and is the greatest driver of their era and insisted that he was hugely proud and grateful to have met him and spent even the littlest time with. He added that the seven-time world champion was always kind to him.
The Mercedes driver came under severe criticism from the head of Schumacher's fan club, Reiner Ferling, when a German tabloid quoted Hamilton as saying that he has never done things which Schumacher had done to win the titles, adding that he won the races by his own 'natural abilities'.
A livid Ferling responded in a scathing manner saying that the Mercedes driver should first look at Michael's achievement before judging him.
Schumacher, who has won a record 91 races, has been going through his painfully slow recovery at his Swiss lakeside home after being injured while skiing during a French Alps vacation.
Hamilton said he keeps Schumacher in his prayers as a fellow driver and wished the beleaguered F1 legend for his speedy recovery.