Hamilton dismisses conspiracy theories
May 01 2016 06:38 PM
Winner Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team's German driver Nico Rosberg (C) celebrates on the podium next
Winner Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team's German driver Nico Rosberg (C) celebrates on the podium next to second placed Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team's British driver Lewis Hamilton (L) and third placed Scuderia Ferrari's Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen after the Formula One Russian Grand Prix

AFP/ Sochi

World champion Lewis Hamilton has dismissed the conspiracy theories that suggest he is the victim of favouritism to ensure his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg wins this year's title race.

After finishing second behind Rosberg in Sunday's incident-filled Russian Grand Prix, Hamilton said he had ‘no reason’ to believe it was happening.

‘All I can say is that my side of the garage are having a hard time,’ he said.

‘I have every confidence and faith in them. It's unusual for them - the majority were on Nico's car last year and Nico's (current) guys were with me for three years.

‘We swapped for no apparent reason, but that is not the reason we're having issues.

‘Don't jump the gun. It's not happened in the last three years (favouritism) and I have no reason to think that it's happening now.’

Hamilton started 10th on the grid following an engine failure in Saturday's qualifying session and then suffered another mechanical problem,

The defending three-time champion said also that he felt very grateful to the team for helping him finish the race and score 18 points.

‘I would like to thank the guys who flew over the from the factory and the mechanics who worked until 2am to get my car ready,’ he told Sky Sports TV. ‘Without that, I wouldn't have got to this point.

‘The water pressure issue just happened and I had to nurse it home. I'm just happy the car finished. It was another issue leading to a failure. I've got a long way to go with not a lot of engines.’

Sunday's Russian race saw Hamilton survive the first lap without incident for the first time this year.

He was involved in damaging opening lap collisions in Australia, Bahrain and China and also suffered a power unit failure in Shanghai.

Hamilton was hoping to complete a hat-trick of Sochi victories.

Since winning at the Black Sea resort last year, Hamilton has won only once - the following race in the United States where he clinched the title.

In the same run of events, Rosberg - who retired in Russia last year - has won seven out of eight races and finished second once.



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