Lewis Hamilton has stirred up controversy again this weekend after claiming he was ‘too good’ to be battling with Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg for 4th place.
The Briton’s comments came soon after he criticised reigning World Champion Sebastian Vettel for being ‘boring’ and ‘putting fans to sleep’ with his dominance of the modern Formula One era.
Hamilton believes himself and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso to be ‘of a higher calibre’ than any of the other drivers currently competing in the sport.
“It’s strange, me and Fernando in fifth and sixth having our own little battle. We are of a higher calibre.” the Mercedes driver said.
“I like battling with Fernando. He’s the strongest driver here and really we should be battling at the front with the world champions, with Sebastian. If I’d been in the lead I think I’d have been able to stay there, but things just did not go my way.”
The Briton was passed at the start of the race by Lotus driver Romain Grosjean before losing out to Kimi Raikkonen and Nico Hulkenberg during the pit stops because of a botched strategy call by Mercedes. The team elected to keep Hamilton out for six laps in which he was losing well over a second a lap to closing team-mate Nico Rosberg, who had conserved his tyres better than Hamilton who had worn out his own Pirelli’s.
“An extra stop at lap 22 would have committed us to a much slower three-stop strategy, or we could leave Lewis in clean air to tough it out and try and reach the target lap to make our two-stop strategy work.” explained Team Principal Ross Brawn.
“We chose the latter option.”
Hamilton later admitted he had got it wrong, but claimed he was ‘confused’ by information coming in from his race engineer Pete Bonnington.
“We couldn’t have done thirty-five laps on the tyres.” he said.
“In hindsight, we could have stopped because the Safety Car came out, but we never knew that would have happened.”
On the subject of Sebastian Vettel’s brilliant race win, he added:
“Personally I feel for the fans because I remember the period of time when Michael Schumacher was winning. I remember waking up in the morning to watch the start of the race and then going to sleep, and then waking up when it ended because I already knew what would happen. I am pretty sure a lot of people were doing that today, at least in my family there is.”