WORLD champion Lewis Hamilton has lambasted the instruction he received from his Mercedes team to consolidate second place behind eventual winner Nico Rosberg in the latter stages of yesterday’s Spanish Grand Prix.
Rosberg became the 19th driver in 25 grands prix at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona to convert pole into victory, his first of the season, to close Hamilton’s lead in the drivers’ championship to 20 points, as Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel came third.
Britain’s Hamilton maintained his record of finishing in the top two in each of his last 12 races, although was distinctly unimpressed by his team’s order despite being 18 seconds behind Rosberg after his final stop on lap 51 of the 66-lap race.
“It’s not nice for a driver ever to hear that. I’m here to race. I’m not here to finish second, so naturally I ignored that,” said Hamilton.
“When I realised there were seven laps to go and I had 13 seconds and I was only seven-tenths up, I had to take the smart approach and just bring the car home. But, still, it’s not something you want to hear. So I’ll definitely be making sure that it’s not said again.”
Rosberg, who was the ninth successive different winner of the Spanish Grand Prix, added: “It was a perfect weekend. Being on pole and winning the race. Finally I got the great start that I needed and I’m very happy. It’s been a while coming”
Hamilton 111pts Mercedes 202 pts
Rosberg 91 Ferrari 132
Vettel 80 Williams 81
Raikkonen 52 Red Bull 31
Bottas 42 Sauber 19
Massa 39 Lotus 16
Ricciardo 25 Toro Rosso 13
Grosjean 16 Force India 11