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GP Week : Issue 202
Having vented at team-mate Nico Rosberg after insisting he’d lost pole due to Rosberg’s qualifying error at Mirabeau, Lewis Hamilton wasn’t happy with the Mercedes team’s strategy call when a second safety Car was called at lap 25 of yesterday’s Monaco Grand Prix. Lewis believes his side of the garage should have reacted quicker and called him in a lap earlier than most of the field pitted: " When I was at McLaren we had two strategists and the strategy from my strategist was to get the best overall result for me," Lewis told Sky Sports F1 after wards. " Unfortunately we have one overall strategist, and he's amazing, but unfortunately the role in the team is that he has to look out for the number one (leader of the race) and the guy in second has to come second. I knew from the get-go that I had a lesser opportunity to win the race and I needed a miracle to win at a track like this. "An opportunity occurred where I could have come in. When I was at McLaren, l would have been pulled in on that lap and that may have given me the smallest advantage to get the jump over the Safety Car. But I'll work it out with the team. In these races, you need to grab every opportunity you can. The start was gone, I was closing up and then the Safety Car came out and really after that there was no opportunity." Added to Saturday’s qualifying controversy, it was a restrained Hamilton who dealt with post-race media commitments, having avoided any form of team-mate love -fest in the post-race prizegiving area. As Niki Lauda himself hinted, his mentoring role will need to be at its best as the team moves on to Canada. The ongoing rivalry between the two drivers continued throughout the Monaco weekend, with some strong words being said – then dismissed—by the pair. Prior to Monaco, Hamilton was attributed with a quote that suggested he “wanted it more” than his teammate, because of his “poor” background (as opposed to Rosberg’s privileged upbringing in Monaco). Then there was a report in the German media suggesting that Rosberg thought that Hamilton is susceptible to ‘cracking’ under sustained pressure. After their fifth 1-2 finish in a row, both drivers stepped away from their remarks. “ T hat is definitely very very far from anything that I’ve ever said and ever would say,” said Rosberg. “Definitely not and I’ve known Lewis for many many years and he’s always been strong, among other things mentally, so I’m definitely not expecting him to crack any time soon." The BBC had reported prior to the race that Hamilton, who appeared to be more than upset that he had to abort his last- minute attempt at pole after Rosberg went up an escape road, would handle the situation as Ayrton Senna might. “I don’t know if Senna and Prost talked about it, but I quite liked the way Senna dealt with that so I’ll take a page out of his book!” After the race, his tone was far less antagonistic; “I can’t really remember to be honest. I think it was just a joke. Obviously I didn’t .” The tension is definitely building ... F1 >>> nEWs ALL BETS OFF AS THE PRESSURE BUILDS 7 GPWEEK.com // 7 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: