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‘Red Bull have a clear No 1’

2013-03-26 07:40

MALAYSIAN GP CONTROVERSY: Lewis Hamilton is in hot water following controversial team orders which saw him race to third place ahead of Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg in Malaysia.

Lewis Hamilton hit back at Formula 1 rivals Red Bull for suggesting after a controversial 2013 Malaysian Grand Prix that he has joined Mercedes as its No 1 driver.

The race at Sepang was dominated by controversial team orders issued by champions Red Bull and Mercedes but Red Bull consultant Helmut Marko said afterwards that his team had a different approach to Hamilton's.

Marko said: "The team will have a word because we have to control the drivers. It's not like at Mercedes where it's a clear No 1 and No 2. Basically we treat the drivers the same.


Hamilton said that was nonsense and he and Nico Rosberg had equal status: "They (Red Bull) have a clear one and two, they always have, and that is why they have always had the problems they have had.

"We don't have a one and two here (at Mercedes). I have always said, from the moment I was speaking to the team, that I wanted equality.

"I am not a driver that comes and requests that (favoured status) like a lot of other drivers do. You have to be able to look yourself in the mirror (and say) you won fair and square."

Hamilton finished third at Sepang, the 2008 world champion's first podium for the team since his move from McLaren at the end of last season, while Rosberg was fourth after being told to stay behind.

The team, whose title sponsor is Malaysian oil company Petronas, explained that was because fuel levels were low and they had to manage the pace.

Rosberg did as he was told but Hamilton said on the podium after that race that he felt Rosberg should have been up there instead of him.

Hamilton said: "In Malaysia I don't feel like I won my spot fair and square.  Although I did drive a decent race, I don't feel spectacular about it."

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