F1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton received much flak from fans who believe that he dared criticize the Formula One legend, Michael Schumacher.
British-born Hamilton was reported by Express.de to have said that "I've never done the things that Michael has done to win titles. I won rather by my natural abilities," the UK Mirror reports.
Many took offense to the quote, and felt that Hamilton had been insinuating that Schumacher had done other things to boost his career, besides using his "natural abilities."
Yibada reports that it has yet to be proven that Hamilton made such a statement.
Nevertheless, Hamilton took action right away to refute claims that he had uttered this statement or that he had meant it within the context the public thinks.
He recently released an official statement on an Instagram picture that showed both him and the F1 star driver alongside one another. His statement read: "I grew up watching him from the early days through to his 7th title. He was and is the greatest of our time and I am hugely proud and grateful to have met him and spent even the littlest time with. He was always kind to me.
"One day at his last race, I managed to find the courage to see him and ask if he would honour me by swapping helmets in which he so graciously did. Please do not believe all that you read. I would never wish to disrespect him, nor his family and I hold them in the highest regard. I keep him in my prayers as a fellow driver wishing for his recovery."
On top of this, Hamilton is also scheduled to appear with Michael's son Mick Schumacher, in a Mercedes event in December. It is hoped that the appearance will quash rumors about Hamilton's negative remarks on the F1 racer.
Meanwhile, the Schumacher family has been keeping a quiet vigilance on all reports that come out from their private medical suite in Geneva, Switzerland. Christian Today reports that some friends have come out to assure the public that Schumacher is "fighting back" and that while news of developments is scarce, hope remains.
Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) president Jean Todt said, "I see Michael very often and Michael is still fighting. Michael is a close friend, his family is very close to me and I am very close to them as well. We must keep him fighting with the family."