Hamilton: No number one at Mercedes
26 March 2013 – Lewis Hamilton has hit back at claims by Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko that he is the number one driver at new team Mercedes, with the 2008 World Champion explaining that his only request was for equality when joining from rivals McLaren.
Marko spoke out shortly after the Malaysian Grand Prix, during which Nico Rosberg was ordered to hold station behind third-placed team-mate Hamilton. The Austrian, whose team endured its own controversy at Sepang, told Sky Sports: "It’s not like at Mercedes where it’s a clear number one. We treat the drivers the same."
However, Hamilton boldly responded by labelling Marko's view as ‘rubbish’ and arguing that Red Bull has more of an issue with the status of its two drivers.
"That is rubbish, they have a clear one and two, they always have had," Hamilton told the Daily Mirror. "And that is why they have always had the problems they have had. We don't have a one and two here.
"I have always said, from the moment I was speaking to the team, that I wanted equality. They didn't even offer me to be favoured but I just wanted to make the point that I am not a driver that comes and requests that, like a lot of other drivers do."
Hamilton also rebuffed comments recently made by Bernie Ecclestone, with the Formula 1 supremo claiming that he was chasing a move to Red Bull last year.
"I don't really know what to say about the comments he made," Hamilton added. "I think he said something about me talking to Red Bull? I said to my management team to speak to all the teams and give me what the best options were.
"There was no particular one that I was pushing for more. At the end of the day I am here [at Mercedes] and it's the best decision I have ever made."