Hamilton: Clear Ferrari are favouring Vettel

Vettel's victory in Monaco was significantly aided by Ferrari's strategy which enabled the championship leader to get ahead of his team-mate and pole-sitter Kimi Raikkonen during their only round of pit stops.

"And on the opposite side, Ferrari put the vehicle on the track in Barcelona and were quick from the get go, so yes, we are the underdog, yes we need to catch up. And this is the new reality at the moment".

But it was shrouded in controversy.

The Silver Arrows appear to be losing their grip on their mantle as the kings of F1 in the V6 hybrid era given the the performance of Ferrari this season, with Sebastian Vettel leading the Drivers' Championship by 25 points following his victory in Monaco on Sunday.

When asked for his view on Ferrari's strategy, Wolff said: "It wasn't clear how the tyre would perform".

So will Mercedes now have to follow suit, by making it equally clear that Valtteri Bottas' is Hamilton's wing-man?

'It turned out to be OK on Valtteri's vehicle but not great on mine. "Valtteri has been doing a great job and I don't now feel we have to favour one or the other".

"We have to work collectively as a team more than ever before to beat the Ferraris in the constructors' (championship)".

"But there might be some things along the way that position-wise, at some stage, might become valuable but who knows what is going to happen". "I really am happy", he said.

"They're going to be pushing everything to make sure Sebastian will get the maximum on all of his weekends".

Vettel, a four-time world champion and first Ferrari victor in Monaco since Schumacher, has now won three of the six races to Hamilton's two.

"They (Ferrari) are finally where we were back in the days that you finished one-two and then you have to explain why the right guy won", he said with a smile.

But the Briton insists he has no intentions on seeking the number one status at Mercedes for the remaining 14 races of the season.

On Sunday, Hamilton had started 13th after a nightmare in qualifying, when he was unable to get his car's tyres performing in the requisite window.

Hamilton put a fearless face on what has been a weekend to forget at the principality.

"I don't want to answer that question", said Finn Bottas.

On a circuit noted for the extreme difficulty it presents for overtaking, Hamilton was lucky simply to scrape into a points-paying result.

"On strategy that just doesn't happen - the leading vehicle, it's very hard for him to get jumped by the second auto unless the team decide to favour the other vehicle".

"The Ferrari seems to work everywhere so these next 14 races are going to be very hard".

  • Rosalie Stanley