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Hamilton denies FIA favouritism

Saturday 31st July 2010

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Hamilton denies FIA favouritism

Hamilton denies FIA favouritism

Lewis Hamilton has defended himself against accusations of favouritism this season from motor sport's world governing body.

The $100,000 fine levied against Ferrari and threat of further sanctions from the World Motor Sport Council following the team orders debate in Sunday's German Grand Prix sparked outrage amongst fans of the Maranello marque and driver Fernando Alonso.

They have been left bemused why their team was so heavily punished and why Alonso has come in for such stern criticism for taking a win after team-mate Felipe Massa allowed him to pass.

In contrast, they feel Hamilton has been let off lightly on several occasions, the most recent of which saw him receive a drive-through penalty in Valencia for overtaking the safety car.

Asked if he had got away with murder this season, Hamilton said: "I don't feel that's the case at all.

"The FIA have a tough job, and this year they've helped us put on the best show in the recent history of the sport, certainly since I've been watching.

"It's been one of the most spectacular years, and they contribute to that.

"So I don't feel in any way I've been favoured. I've had penalties and had to serve them."

Many critics have recalled an incident in Hockenheim two years ago, remarkably similar to the one that took place on Sunday.

That was when then McLaren team-mate Heikki Kovalainen eased to one side to allow a charging Hamilton to pass, claiming fourth place at that time before rolling on to victory.

It is understood, however, there was no call over the radio, just an understanding between the drivers as far as Hamilton is concerned.

"As far as I remember I was quickest all weekend, I qualified on pole, led the race, but then the team didn't make the right call at a pit stop," added Hamilton.

"After the safety car I dropped back to fifth, but I was blindingly quick compared to everyone else, and I took everyone in the field.

"After the race I do actually remember thanking Heikki for being a gentleman, and that was because when he was in the team we had a good understanding between us.

"We always wanted to finish a race one-two if we could, and it's the same situation with Jenson (Button).

"We are not going to take each other out and give each other the hardest time.

"That day I was a second quicker than Heikki and he could see it, and he didn't want to do anything dangerous to put our race in jeopardy."

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