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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 May 2007, 10:49 GMT 11:49 UK
Stewart backs McLaren on Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton
Hamilton was not happy about being asked to support Alonso
Sir Jackie Stewart says McLaren did nothing wrong in preventing Lewis Hamilton challenging team-mate Fernando Alonso for victory in Monaco.

Formula One rules say "team orders which interfere with a race result are prohibited" and governing body the FIA has launched an investigation.

But former team owner Stewart said: "I saw nothing wrong with what occurred."

The triple world champion said asking drivers to back off to make sure of the GP win "was the wise thing to do".

Talking to BBC Radio Five Live, Stewart said "the right man won", although he added that Hamilton had also driven a "beautiful race".

The 66-year-old said Alonso was "on pole oposition, he made a very good start, he took a lead that allowed him to have a good clear bit of air behind him.

Jackie Stewart
It's very difficult to start telling team owners that if you are running first and second that you should keep driving your drivers to the absolute limit of their ability

Sir Jackie Stewart
"He set the fastest lap, and he won the race. It was fairly straightforward."

Stewart said Monaco could not be compared with Ferrari's infamous decision to ask Rubens Barrichello to move over and hand Michael Schumacher the 2002 Austrian Grand Prix.

That decision led to the current rule on team orders being added to F1's sporting regulations.

"The Schumacher-Barrichello case was blatant - he reduced his speed by maybe 30 or 40mph to have Schumacher pass him before the finishing line," Stewart said.

"It was a pretty blatant thing, it wasn't enjoyed by the crowd, it wasn't enjoyed by the media.

"But it's a very difficult thing to start telling team owners that if you are running first and second that you should keep driving your drivers to the absolute limit of their ability.

606: DEBATE
AT

"I think it was a great result for Lewis Hamilton to finish second in the Monaco Grand Prix and get another podium finish.

"What if he had tried a little bit too hard in these last laps in Monaco and slid off the race track, hit a barrier and taken the Mclaren out of the race?

"Valuable world championship points would have been lost by McLaren."

Stewart added that he believed Hamilton would win races in his debut season.

"He is a remarkable young man and I think we are going to see him winning Grands Prix," he said.

SEE ALSO
McLaren deny anti-Hamilton bias
27 May 07 |  Formula One
McLaren race victory to be probed
28 May 07 |  Formula One
Alonso helped to Monaco victory
27 May 07 |  Formula One
Ferrari hit by $1m fine
26 Jun 02 |  Formula One
Ferrari tactics come under fire
13 May 02 |  Formula One
Schumacher steals Austrian win
12 May 02 |  Formula One


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