Hamilton: ‘Red Bull have a number one, we don’t’

2013 Malaysian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Sepang, 2013Lewis Hamilton has hit back at Helmut Marko’s claim that Mercedes operate a system of distinct number one and number two drivers.

“We don’t have a one and two at Mercedes,” said Hamilton. “I have always said, from the moment I was speaking to the team, that I wanted equality.”

“They didn’t offer me to be favoured but I just wanted to make the point that I am not a driver that comes and requests that like a lot of other drivers do.”

Following the Malaysian Grand Prix Marko said the situation at Red Bull was “not like at Mercedes where it?s clear number one and number two, basically we treat the drivers the same”.

During the race Nico Rosberg was repeatedly told not to overtake Hamilton for third place. After the race Hamilton told his team on the radio it “definitely didn?t feel right for me”.

Hamilton added: “Red Bull have a clear one and two, they always have. And that is why they have always had the problems they have had.”

Red Bull said in a statement the fall-out from Sunday’s race is being handled internally:

“It?s worth noting that this is not an entirely new situation for us. At Infiniti Red Bull Racing, we have two drivers who both want to win races and championships and this has been the case since Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel started driving together in 2009.

“Together, the driver pairing of Mark and Sebastian has achieved 35 wins, 80 podiums, 13 one-two finishes and six FIA Formula One world championships. This successful period includes some spells of intense on-track rivalry between our drivers.

“Each incident has been managed in our own way behind closed doors and this will be no different.”

2013 Malaysian Grand Prix

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160 comments on Hamilton: ‘Red Bull have a number one, we don’t’

  1. “If Vettel is Red Bull’s #1 driver, why was the team order for Vettel not to overtake Webber, rather than the order being for Webber to move over and let Vettel pass him? It seems a slightly unusual tactic to tell your #1 driver not to win a race, no?”

    Even if its not written in their contracts, I think both Redbull and Merc see Vettel and Hamilton as their number 1′s, but with it being so early in the season, and with how the race played out, and how marginal Redbull had been on tyres all weekend, and with Mercs best result since 2010 on the line, they both just wanted to bag the points.

    I do think though that Brawn thinks, providing they give him a half decent car season-long, Hamilton could be in with a shout of the title.

  2. the best in all that mess is that now everyone in RedBull are Seb’s bitches. he has clearely shown that he doesn’t care about team management, his teammate, anyone generally. Well done World Champ! – u are the best, buahahaha….

  3. Anonymouse said on 26th March 2013, 12:59

    A more direct statement would be Vettel is #2 @ Redbull

  4. Manule said on 26th March 2013, 13:14

    We have seen orders in RB for Webber not to overtake Vettel and for Vettel not to overtake Webber. So, RB at least tries to maintain the appearance of being impartial (not totally successfully but still). We have seen orders from Ferrari for Massa to let Alonso pass or to back down, we have seen Ferrari demoting Massa down the grid to improve Alonso’s position, but we have yet to see a single team order from Ferrari favoring Massa over Alonso, not that I believe we’ll ever see that. So, Ferrari doesn’t even try with these two. As for Merc – until I’ve seen an order from them favoring Rosberg over Hamilton, I’m of the opinion that HAM is No.1 for them. As Nico said to Ross, ‘Remember this one’.

    • Roberto (@roberto) said on 26th March 2013, 13:26

      This! RBR should just embrace this and do it the Ferrari way. Seems to be working out for them doesn’t it?

      • Minardi (@gitanes) said on 26th March 2013, 17:00

        Really the best way is to just let them race. Isn’t that what they did at Brazil 2010 when Webber was not waved pass Vettel for the lead? And they congratulated themselves after Abu Dhabi for letting the situation work itself out naturally.

        Team orders are always UN-natural and cause chaos – the dfference is that back in the 80s and 90s they might have been more necessary because teammates seemed to collide more often. Sure seems to me the driving standards these days are as ethical as I can ever remember – supporting the notion to just let them race (as Webber pointed out in Silverstone 2011). If team owners don’t like the risk, then you know what? Then you get to deal with a pissed off second driver instead (Rosberg and Webber today).

        Let em race. This aint Senna and Prost, nor is it DeCesaris and Arnoux. Those days are over.

      • Seems to be working out for them doesn’t it?

        @roberto Is it working for Ferrai? As they go with their No.1 driver all the time, they might win the Drivers Championship, but not the Constructors… and this is where Redbull is so strong, because Mark also can score some solid points..

        Redbull were not on top in Australia, which they wanted badly, hence they wanted to play it very safe in Malaysia…

  5. DaveW (@dmw) said on 26th March 2013, 13:30

    Is there any point to playing dozens against Helmut Marko? If the guy who lives in the park across from my office yells something about me as I pass by do I have to respond to avoid a tacit admisssion?

  6. Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 26th March 2013, 14:23

    Hamilton is the new star of Merc, and that doesnt mean he is or wants to be the clear Number 1 driver. Yes he is more talented and faster than Nico, but Helmut Marko didn’t use the best example when trying to prove a point. He probably should’ve aimed the comment at, oh I don’t know… Ferrari?

    Either way, Helmut was just being his usual self… A tool.

    • Akshay (@hamilfan) said on 26th March 2013, 17:06

      Maybe ferrari’s lead driver didn’t finish that day, so that would not strike as a very juicy quip of the day . Marko must be gold for journalists( the bad ones ) , A guy who insults at the press of a button and gives them a juicy tagline to use .

  7. Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 26th March 2013, 14:32

    Guys, it’s clear, Helmut is just a bit one-eyed with this situation. :p

  8. JB (@) said on 26th March 2013, 14:48

    I truly believe that Hamilton does not have or did not ask for #1 status at Merc. He seems to be a purist at heart. And his body language in the room where they dry up and drink their water really showed it… He told the camera man to get it out of his face, in other words, he couldn´t bear being looked at after such a performance.
    Now with regards to Helmet…. He really has some titanium cojones to say that RBR does not have a clear 1 & 2…. The entire F1 community laughed at him!

  9. Colm (@colm) said on 26th March 2013, 14:48

    That has to be the most hypocritical statement of all time from dr. Helmut Marko

  10. dkpioe said on 26th March 2013, 14:57

    The problem in these 2 teams is the “Helmut Marko” and “Ross Brawn”
    I live in Australia, and during the australian grand prix coverage and interviews, Mark Webber made it pretty clear that Marko does not like him, which we have known for a long time, he supports Vettel. Marko will say any rubbish after what Vettel did. and Marko seems to have more control over the team then
    Ross Brawn, – i really dont know what is up with him, his choice of team orders at that moment so early in the season is just unnaceptable, hamilton was only ahead of rosberg because he used up more fuel at the start of the race, hamilton was then running short of fuel and rosberg wasnt, how can he say it is a fair call to keep hamilton infront? even hamilton knew it wasnt. brawn is a bad sport, just like his words about Juan Montoya in 2003 when Montoya made a great move past Brawns driver Schumacher and then claimed Montoya was an “unclassy driver” because his driver schumacher spun when the move happened. i feel Brawn is a businessman only, and not interested in the sport of f1 racing. after the race, brawn said he was “not prepared to risk points” but the drivers still would have finished 3rd and 4th. if i were rosberg, i would be furious at brawn, rosberg has put in 3 hard years at mercedes, and beaten a 7 times champion every year, and now he has to put up with this. still, i think rosberg will show up hamiilton aswell, he is a gentleman and will do the arguing on track – which will prove Brawn wrong for a 4th year. Brawns cars have gone backwards each year since 2009, i do not expect this to be any different, he is not the genius some claim, it was Ferrari expertise that made him look better then he is in the schumacher era, and in 2009 it was honda expertise and his money he made from ferrari.

  11. Ahmed Alhojairat (@) said on 26th March 2013, 15:18

    F1 is just full of kids!

  12. HiPn0tIc (@hipn0tic) said on 26th March 2013, 15:33

    LOL Hamilton, i don’t think anyone believed in that statement. It’s obvious that Nico isn’t the no.1 driver, because he was faster than Hamilton, in terms of squad points the Mercedes with Ham-Nico or Nico-Ham would score the same, so, Hamilton is clearly the no.1. .

  13. The Limit said on 26th March 2013, 15:45

    The biggest problem Red Bull have is Helmut Marko. In my opinion, this guy is without doubt one of the most arrogant and downright nasty characters F1 has to offer. Which is saying something! This is the same Helmut Marko who, within the last six months, described Mark Webber as a ‘choker’ who can’t handle the pressure. So much for keeping team morale and spirits high!
    We all saw the grands prix on Sunday, we all heard Ross Brawn on the radio on several occasions talking to Nico Rosberg. Despite Rosberg’s numerous requests, Brawn ordered him to hold position and not to attack Lewis Hamilton. The best result for Mercedes was a three/four finish, did it really matter which driver finished ahead of the other? If both drivers are equal, as Hamilton claims, within the team, then the answer to that question is no! It certainly didn’t look that way at Sepang, and Rosberg’s comment at the end to Brawn to
    ‘remember this’ shows you what Nico thought about it.
    Lets not forget that Ross Brawn presided over one of the biggest fiasco’s in F1 history at the Austrian Grands Prix eleven years ago, by ordering Rubens Barrichello to move aside for Michael Schumacher to win the race. It was that hugely unpopular decision that made the FIA ban team orders in the first place, a ruling that was only scrapped in 2011. Ross Brawn knows how to run an F1 team, and to bring both cars home and score as many points as possible. He is as good a strategist and Adrian Newey is at making air do things over a car that almost defy belief.
    But for Marko to imply that he, and Red Bull especially, hold the morale high ground just because Mercedes implemented team orders is an utter nonsense. Red Bull made Webber turn his engine down for one soul reason, and that reason was so that Sebastien Vettel could catch him up and pass him. They got cold feet when the two fought on track as hard as they did, because they thought they may lose one if not both cars similar to Turkey 2010. And that’s that. This is why Webber was so angry, he realized WHY he had been given the order to preserve the car and that really ticked him off.

    • TMF (@tmf42) said on 26th March 2013, 17:05

      I’m a RB fan but every time I hear or see Marko I cringe. He drove the wedge between Vettel and Webber in 09 and threw salt on open wounds in 10.
      If that Vettel/Webber thing blows up this year – I know who to blame.

    • jimscreechy (@) said on 26th March 2013, 18:22

      I completely agree, but seriously is it even worth the thought and time it takes to rebuff a Marko comment that even the Red Bull team knows is… (lets put it politely) nothing but Rhetoric.

  14. tmax (@tmax) said on 26th March 2013, 15:49

    Oh yeah RedBull has a No 1 who is not allowed to overtake his team mate.

    Mercedes has NO No 1 even though a driver was not allowed to overtake his team mate who was slower.

    Lewis. Just accept the fact that you are No 1 in Mercedes. It is agood thing to be in. Dont feel guilty about it.

    So funny. Vettel feels guilty about winning and Lewis feels guilty about being No 1. Crazy.

    • kpcart said on 26th March 2013, 16:20

      its true. i dont know if lewis feeling is real but, i think ross brawn is having an input into it, ross brawn is the worst sportsman in the f1 field, his record since ferrari team order days is true to this – and he is continueing it now, i dont know what he wants to achieve, obviously not results in a sporting sence, i think just in “dollars” – he seems more a politician or businessman then an active man in the sporting field. i really despise him, and i hope others can see his true side too

  15. Bear Claw Chris Lap said on 26th March 2013, 15:59

    Quite right, Lewis.

    You have a #4 and a #7 but, clearly, no #1 or #2.

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