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. 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.

    • Hamilfan (@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 .

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

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

  3. 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!

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

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

  5. 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.

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

    F1 is just full of kids!

  7. 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. .

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. kpcart said on 26th March 2013, 16:15

    after what manifested in the race, i am afraid Hamilton is wrong, Ross Brawn has made it clear who is number one at mercedes. I hope Rosberg for a fourth year wont take this laying down from this scumbag Brawn, he didnt take it laying down versus the favourite son Schumacher, so i am sure he can deal with hamilton favouratism. Brawn is the most overrated of all the team principles, he got lucky by being in the right place at the right time with ferrari, but since then, even with his team brawn (which was an exceptional Honda), his cars have a common habit of getting worse through out the year, in 2009 the honda brawn started the best, and was overtaken by redbull later. the mercedes under brawn in 2010, 2011 and 2012, they started well – then went backwards. 2013 wont change. ross brawn is overpaid and over opionionated, just read his comments about the team orders this past race, he is so wrong
    .

  12. jochenrindt78 (@jochenrindt78) said on 26th March 2013, 16:16

    They do, his name is Rosberg…

  13. This all depends on how you define “number 1 driver”: if it is meaning as in one driver is favoured by team orders and strategists, then Red Bull clearly don’t have a number 1 driver – team orders were imposed against Vettel in Malaysia (albeit which he chose to ignore, not to the delight of his team though mind). This is rather unlike Ferrari for example, where Alonso is favoured.

    If we take number one as having one driver who is clearly better than the other though, then yes Red Bull do have a number one, as do probably Mercedes (Hamilton is widely acknowledged to be better than Rosberg). That is a subject that is as clear as mud though.

    • Well… Only Red Bull technically have a number 1 driver, as Sebastian Vettel is the only driver on the grid with a big “1” on the nose.

    • @Vettel1

      I tend to disagree with the majority opinion of Alonso being favored at Ferrari…
      Every time Alonso received preferential treatment from Ferrari, he was the only Ferrari driver in WDC contention.. be it Germany 2010, USA 2012 or Brazil 2012…

      I am sure Ferrari considers Alonso their best shot for WDC… because he has proven that he is a better driver than Massa… But I am also sure if there comes a time when Massa is a title contender and alonso is not , Massa will be the one receiving preferential treatment..

      2007 and 2008 are best examples of that.. . Kimi received preferential treatment when massa was out of the title race… And the roles were reversed in 2008…
      What Ferrari wants is one of their drivers to win WDC, like any other team… and I dont think they would care if it’s Massa or Alonso …

      In each of the last three years, Alonso put himself in the position to receive preferential treatment by being so far ahead of Massa ..

      On a side note I am expecting a closer fight between the two this year but still expect Alonso to have the upper hand..

      • @puneethvb – this is very true, although I tend to see it as Ferrari favour one driver at a much earlier stage than some other teams – they don’t wait until their “second” driver is out of contention mathematically, so I would say this leans towards a number one policy (or at least a less balanced one than Red Bulls, which I don’t believe is a number one by the first definition).

  14. It seems as obvious as can be that, whatever Hamilton thinks, Mercedes regard him as their No 1 driver. And I notice that Lewis was not so bothered by the team orders as to wave Rosberg past him.

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

    That sentence makes no sense whatsoever. Ferrari have a clear one and two, and they always have. So have they always had problems with it?

  16. electrolite (@electrolite) said on 26th March 2013, 17:37

    This is all after two races…Guys – I think we’re in for a classic!

  17. WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 26th March 2013, 18:18

    …(amusingly snorts)…

  18. bemob said on 26th March 2013, 19:42

    It’s entirely possible that there could have been a title sponsor bonus for HAM on podium (marketability).

  19. dragoll (@dragoll) said on 26th March 2013, 20:04

    I don’t understand why HAM weighed into this debate, RBR have so much pressure on them at the moment and now he goes and shines the spotlight on Mercedes.

    I understand that a reporter would have asked HAM for his opinion, but there is no rule stating that you are obliged to answer.

  20. Jay Menon (@jaymenon10) said on 26th March 2013, 23:53

    Classic Flavio!

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/106393

    He may have a point though.

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