Lewis Hamilton has admitted that he is keen to speak to his engineers after being called in earlier than he had expected for his second pit-stop at the Monaco Grand Prix.

The Briton had proven to be on a similar pace to McLaren team-mate Fernando Alonso throughout the race, and was anticipating a shot at victory when he was called in for his second scheduled stop. While denying that team orders had come into play to favour Alonso, Hamilton's body language after the race suggested that he felt hard done by.

"I'm looking forward to speaking to my engineers...," he told the post-race press conference, "I am pretty sure the reason they called me in earlier than I had fuel for is because of the [possibility of a] safety car.

"If the safety car had come out, they could really have changed the result, so it was better to get the pit-stop done. Felipe [Massa] had made his pit-stop, so he was no trouble to me and I could have kept my position. I thought we were going to go shorter on the middle stint, but we didn't. I just did my race. The team took care of it all.

"I was actually quite surprised because I was fuelled to do five laps, maybe six laps, longer than Fernando and they stopped me with three laps [to go], so there wasn't much time to pull out a gap or improve my time, I wasn't really given much time for it. I came in two or three laps after [Alonso]. That was unfortunate, but that's the way it goes."

Asked whether he felt that the team were favouring Alonso - who is reportedly feeling the heat from McLaren's relationship with the Briton - Hamilton tried to remain diplomatic.

"There weren't necessarily any team orders, they don't say that I had to stay behind Fernando...," he said, "The goal of the team is to score as many points as possible and we want to pull away from the Ferraris, and the only way we can do that is to finish in first and second - or ahead of them.

"It was easy for me to maybe push a bit harder and to touch the barrier and maybe to crash or push Fernando into a mistake, but that would have been a negative on the team. Coming into the season, I expect to be the number two driver. I am a rookie, it is my first season, and I am just pleased to be here. It is really is a great feeling for me to be sitting next to these drivers and still living my dream and to be on the podium in all five of my first grands prix... I hope to continue like that."

Pushed a bit harder, however, the slightest hint of frustration at still having to claim his first F1 win became apparent.

"I've got number two on my car, I am the number two driver, it is something I have to live with. ." he noted, "At the end of the day, I am a rookie. I am in my first season in Formula One and I have finished second in only my first Monaco Grand Prix, so I really can't complain, but to see that I am of a similar pace to Fernando is a positive for me."

 

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