Formula 1

John Surtees unimpressed by Lewis Hamilton's conduct

Hamilton sulking in Monaco (©GettyImages)
Hamilton sulking in Monaco (©GettyImages).

Former British Formula One world champion, John Surtees has criticised Lewis Hamilton for the way he handled himself at last weekend's Monaco Grand Prix.

Hamilton questioned the actions of his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg after the German locked up after setting his qualifying time in Q3 and prevented Hamilton from recording a time of his own. Rosberg secured the all important pole position on the streets of Monte Carlo where it is so notoriously difficult to overtake and went on to win the race comfortably, retaking control of the drivers' championship in the battle between the pair.

Surtees, 80, said in Motor Sport Magazine: "I have no doubt about Lewis Hamilton's driving ability, but I didn't like what I saw and heard from Monaco."

Hamilton's presentation of himself on the podium at Monaco, where he finished second to Rosberg, was extremely negative and his body language displayed clear antagonism towards not only his team-mate but the podium interviewer and those around.

"I can understand the frustration that Lewis must have felt in not having that opportunity on the last lap of qualifying to get pole. But I think his reaction to his team-mate and team was wrong.

"Considering the speed that Nico Rosberg had been able to exit Casino, and the way the road down to Mirabeau moves the car around, and the fact that having decided to abort the corner he went to the end of the slip road, I would have given him the benefit of the doubt."

It is not the first time that Hamilton has been seen to be unable to control his emotions, though it had been suggested that he had matured a lot more from the earlier days of his career. But what is clear is that the Englishman is a driver who is always going to wear his heart firmly on his sleeve and you can't take that out of his personality.

It is turning into a feisty situation between Hamilton and Rosberg and there seems to be a lot of confusion as to whether or not the two are friends. What is certain is that they have known each other for a long time and their relationship, at whatever level it was, has certainly decreased to some extent.

We are only six races into the season but already there are clear problems developing. It will be down to the management team at Mercedes to keep that under control and create a fair opportunity for both drivers to have an equal chance at the world championship without it boiling over.

It will be fascinating to see how it plays out in the remaining two thirds of the season. Rosberg now leads Hamilton by four points after ending his four-race win streak. The Mercedes men will head to Canada next week where Hamilton took his first race victory in Formula One and is very strong. Mercedes have themselves a 141 point advantage at the top of the constructors' championship.

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Formula 1

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