Hamilton finds Red Bull complaints about Mercedes ‘funny’
SEPANG, Malaysia (AP) — Reigning Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton is amused by Red Bull’s complaints about Mercedes ongoing dominance, accusing the sport’s preceding power of double standards.
Mercedes is expected to dominate this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix, just as it dominated the season opener in Australia with a one-two finish, and the entire 2014 season.
The huge edge Mercedes enjoys prompted calls for rule changes to make F1 racing closer, and after the Melbourne procession, Red Bull even floated the idea of withdrawing from the sport if the situation does not improve.
“I genuinely find it quite funny,” Hamilton said Thursday, noting that Red Bull saw no problem with the sport when it was dominating and Sebastian Vettel won four straight championships.
“It’s an interesting opinion coming from individuals who had so much success. To already have comment after one race I find quite funny,” he said.
Hamilton said Mercedes had simply done a better job than its rivals, who need to work harder to catch up rather than seek to change the rules.
“Not once did this team ever complain to others to equalize things,” Hamilton said. “Now we are the best team, we pulled together and did an amazing job.”
The re-introduction of midseason engine upgrades this year does promise closer racing late in the year, but in the meantime Mercedes is expected to remain in a class of its own at the front of the field in Malaysia and beyond.
However Hamilton was wary of Ferrari’s performance during race-pace long runs in Melbourne, and saw the Italian team as the main threat.
“Definitely Ferrari have made a huge step and that is good to see,” Hamilton said. “They put in some really spectacular sectors in the last race weekend.”
Mercedes had cheekily invited Vettel to its Friday engineering briefing at Sepang after the German accepted an offer from Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg made during the post-race media conference in Australia.
However, Mercedes had since broadened the offer to any rival team to attend, and Ferrari said neither the team nor Vettel would be taking up the offer.