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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 June 2007, 18:32 GMT 19:32 UK
Hamilton rejects Alonso complaint
Lewis Hamilton (right) and McLaren team-mate Fernando Alonso
Hamilton (right) leads Alonso in the world drivers' championship
Lewis Hamilton has rejected team-mate Fernando's Alonso claim that McLaren are favouring him but admits it is "a difficult situation".

The Spanish double world champion said after Hamilton's maiden Grand Prix win in Canada that the Englishman was getting "all the support and help".

But Hamilton, 22, who leads Alonso in the world championship race, responded: "I find it strange that he said that.

"The team has pushed us both to win but it's a very difficult situation."

Alonso joined McLaren from Renault at the end of last season but admitted this week that he had misgivings about joining Ron Dennis's team.

The Spaniard, 26, told Spain's Cadena Ser radio: "From the first moment, I wasn't completely comfortable.

"I am in an English team, with an English team-mate, who is doing brilliantly."

I doubt very much Fernando was expecting me to do as well as I have but I don't know if that's why he would be saying what he's saying

Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton agrees that he does have a closer bond with McLaren after joining their driver development programme in his early teens.

However, in the wake of Alonso's Monaco victory he suggested the team had told him not to try and beat his team-mate. The sport's governing body, the FIA, later cleared McLaren of issuing team orders.

But now the British rookie has echoed Dennis's claims that the team does not favour either driver.

"Ron and the guys on the team have been pushing extremely hard and working extremely hard to make sure we have equal opportunities," Hamilton said.

"I've got a great relationship with all the guys on the team because I've been there since I was 13.

"But, at the end of the day, when Fernando came into the team, they were extremely excited and I feel that they've built a very good relationship with him.

"So I don't see why he would say that but I guess, because he is Spanish and I am English, he might feel that way but I don't agree with it personally."

606: DEBATE

Hamilton holds an eight-point lead over Alonso at the top of the drivers' standings after a spectacular start to his Formula One career.

The Briton claimed his first GP victory in Montreal to follow up a third-place on his debut in Australia and four second-place finishes.

Alonso was expected to lead McLaren's charge this season and Hamilton concedes his impressive form may have affected the Spaniard.

"I doubt very much he was expecting me to do as well as I have but I don't know if that's why he would be saying what he's saying," he said.

"Coming into the team, he's the two-time world champion and I don't think he's really been challenged.

"Well, he's had one or two challenges in the past but not from someone as close as me and as good a friend off the track."

Hamilton makes his US Grand Prix debut in Indianapolis after winning on his Canadian GP bow last weekend.

"I've seen it on computer games but I don't really know what to expect," he said.

"I am really excited to be racing at Indianapolis. It is such a legendary venue, you can't escape the history here and I am looking forward to experiencing the atmosphere for the first time."

  • Meanwhile, F1 ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone has warned that the USA could lose its Grand Prix.

    "It is not vital to Formula One to be in the United States," the 76-year-old told the Daily Express newspaper.

    "There are bigger markets for us to be in other parts of the world.

    "We don't have a lot of sponsors from the US, no American teams and only one driver."

    SEE ALSO
    McLaren look to cool Hamilton row
    13 Jun 07 |  Formula One
    McLaren favour Hamilton - Alonso
    12 Jun 07 |  Formula One
    Hamilton hails 'historic' victory
    10 Jun 07 |  Formula One
    Hamilton takes maiden F1 victory
    10 Jun 07 |  Formula One
    McLaren cleared over Hamilton row
    30 May 07 |  Formula One
    Hamilton issues warning on 'bias'
    08 Jun 07 |  Formula One
    Button wants Indianapolis revival
    13 Jun 07 |  Formula One
    Indianapolis, USA
    17 Feb 06 |  Circuit Guide


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