• Monaco GP - Race

Hamilton critical of Mercedes pit strategy

ESPN Staff
May 25, 2014 « Bianchi hit with five-place grid drop for gearbox change | Rosberg: No feud with Lewis »
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Lewis Hamilton thinks he would have been called in for an earlier pit stop after Adrian Sutil's crash if he was still at McLaren, adding that he and team-mate Nico Rosberg are colleagues rather than friends.

Hamilton was unable to beat Rosberg into Turn 1 and it looked like his best chance would be during the pit stops, but that immediately changed after Adrian Sutil's crash on Lap 27. Though it seemed to happen right in front of the Mercedes pair, the team decided to pit both drivers the following lap as the Safety Car came out, which consolidated Rosberg's lead and kept Hamilton behind, where he would stay for the rest of the race.

On the radio Hamilton questioned the decision, saying he knew he should have asked to pit and adding "I also knew you guys wouldn't pit me", which he says is down to the way Mercedes makes its strategy decisions compared to McLaren, the team he left in 2012.

"That's my opinion," Hamilton said when asked if he should have been brought in one lap earlier. "When I was at McLaren we had two strategists and the strategy would be, for my strategist, to get the best result for me. Unfortunately we have one strategist, who is amazing, but his role in the team is that he has to look out for number one and the second guy comes second. I know from the get-go I have less of an opportunity to win the race and why I need a miracle at a track like this."

When asked again about his well-documented friendship with Rosberg, which stretches back to their karting days, Hamilton said: "Well we're not friends, we're colleagues. We'll work together to get the team as many one-twos and points as possible."

In the final stages Hamilton's charge to Rosberg faltered, and he seemed to be losing big chunks of time each lap. He told the team he had something in his eye, which he admits very nearly cost him second with the flying Daniel Ricciardo finishing just four tenths behind.

"I just got a bit of dirt in it. Fortunately it cleaned up. It did but I don't think it made any difference to the outcome. Whilst [Ricciardo] was closing the gap it was a big concern because I was driving with one eye basically, so I knew he would get me unless it cleaned up. It did clean up with three or four laps to go and I was able to position myself in the best way I could to stay ahead."

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