nsucurrent.com May 23, 2018

Ferrari has chosen its number one driver - Hamilton

05 June 2017, 08:04 | Nina Perez

At the end of the day, it was the right result for the team and for the driver championship but I do not think it was orchestrated.

With the win, Vettel is now 25 points ahead of Hamilton for the lead in the driver's standings.Vettel was quick to play down claims he is being favoured by the Scuderia bosses, but Hamilton said: "It's clear to me that Ferrari have chosen their number one driver". It might be the other way."So yes, we are the underdog and we need to catch up. This is the reality of it at the moment".

Despite making the podium, Kimi Raikkonen was far from happy after Sunday's Monaco GP.

But it was shrouded in controversy.

Four-time world champion Vettel was kept out five laps longer after Raikkonen came in for his only stop, giving Vettel clear air to put in some fast times and "overcut" the Finn, who was visibly unhappy after the race.

Although the Red Bulls also had Valtteri Bottas' Mercedes in the mix, meaning it was not a straight fight between teammates, Vettel used the example as proof that Ferrari's strategy was not unusual.

Australian Daniel Ricciardo, who was unlucky not to win previous year, finished third for Red Bull, despite hitting the barrier at Ste Devote, ahead of Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes and Dutch teenager Max Verstappen in the second Red Bull. But when you are controlling the Monaco Grand Prix from the front in the fastest vehicle, you have to be some dunderhead to pit the leader and turn him into the runner-up. "Valtteri is doing a great job and I don't now feel that we have to have a No.1".

"There might be some things along the way that position-wise, at some stage, might become valuable, but who knows what is going to happen". "There is no reason to lie, I am very happy", Vettel said. "So they are going to be pushing everything to make sure Sebastian will maximise on all of his weekends".

Vettel, a four-time world champion and first Ferrari victor in Monaco since Schumacher, has now won three of the six races to Hamilton's two. "Because the underdog is the one that people want to see win". I don't now feel that we have to have a number one. "It is about bringing the tyres into the right window; we have a fast vehicle but she doesn't like the tyres and that is something we need to understand".

Hamilton put a courageous face on what has been a weekend to forget at the principality.

"We've just been missing pace", Bottas said.

On a circuit noted for the extreme difficulty it presents for overtaking, Hamilton was lucky simply to scrape into a points-paying result.

"It's very hard for the leading auto to get jumped by the second vehicle unless the team decide to favour the other vehicle, so that is very clear".

"Ferrari seems to work everywhere, so these next 14 races will be very very hard", he said.

They chose to run him long and hope to gain from his speed once he got some clear air, as cars pulled in to make their pit stops.

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