Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Hamilton issues warning on 'bias'

Lewis Hamilton says he would quit McLaren if he ever felt the team were favouring team-mate Fernando Alonso. The Englishman, five races into a stunning debut season, said if he was given lower priority in a team he "wouldn't be there for much longer".McLaren have in sisted the two drivers have equal status despite asking Hamilton not to challenge Alonso for victory in Monaco last month. Hamilton said McLaren were "not biased" and were "very level and very equal". He insists the team is fully supportive of him but warned two-time world champion Alonso he is closing the gap between them."Every week when I match the times, if not do better, I'm showing I've got the ability to be a champion, or at least that I deserve to be equal," Hamilton added. "I've bonded with the guys so well, they want me to win as much I want to win for them. "The 22-year-old has made a sensational impact in his first season in Formula One, and although he has not yet won a race, he is tied with Alonso at the top of the standings after five rounds of the championship. There is no doubt Alonso did the best job and deserved to win Lewis Hamilton At the Monaco Grand Prix, McLaren were heavily criticised for asking the drivers not to race each other, and to conserve their cars toensure they secured a one-two victory. They also appeared to bring forward Hamilton's second pit stop top revent him passing Alonso. McLaren were heavily criticised in the British media for manipulating the race in Alonso's favour. And the sport's governing body the FIA initiated an inquiry, which quickly cleared McLaren of using illegal team orders. Hamilton said he had no problem with what happened and was shocked by how much of an issue had been made out of the incident."I could see the story was just getting bigger and bigger. I was quite surprised that such a big thing was made out of it. McLaren's Fernando Alonso leads team-mate Lewis Hamilton at the Monaco Grand Prix Hamilton was ordered not to challenge Alonso at Monaco"Alonso did a fantastic job in the race and there is no doubt he did the best job and deserved to win."My time will come, though. I am only 22; we have got time."Hamilton said he believed the title fight between the two men would go down to the wire."I feel the team is going to give me the car, me and Fernando, to win and I feel it is going to come down to the end [of the season]."It will just be at the end who is the most consistent and who makes the least mistakes."The pair are five points clear of their closest rival, Ferrari's Felipe Massa, heading into this weekend's Canadian Grand Prix.Hamilton also shrugged off criticism from former world champion Jacques Villeneuve, who said he had been guilty of "chopping" rivals dangerously at the start of races."Jacques deserves to have his opinions about it and I can respect that, but this is racing," Hamilton said."If you are cutting across people, being dangerous and possibly taking them out, then I would totally agree. But that has not been the casein any of the races I have seen."It has not been dangerous up until now and I think you can see that it is for the FIA to make the choice."

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