Belfast Telegraph

Formula One: I’m not rattled, says Lewis Hamilton

By Ian Parkes

Lewis Hamilton is adamant Red Bull do not have him rattled despite their current domination of Formula One.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner suggested this week Hamilton had resorted to “gamesmanship” and “distraction tactics” given his recent remarks relating to the Milton Keynes marque.

Prior to the season starting Hamilton had commented Red Bull were a “drinks manufacturer” lacking the heritage of McLaren and Ferrari.

Then after finishing runner-up to Vettel in the season-opening race in Australia 12 days ago, Hamilton claimed Fernando Alonso remained his primary rival.

That appeared dismissive of Vettel who last year wrestled from the Briton the honour of being F1's youngest world champion.

With the war of words intensifying between the two rivals, Hamilton said: “I don't think I've ever been rattled. I certainly don't remember a time when I've been rattled, so I would have to say ‘no, that's not the case' to that one.

“They are a fantastic team and they've done a great job, but they definitely don't have me rattled.”

Despite Hamilton's assertions to the contrary that he intends to stay at McLaren, speculation linking the 26-year-old with a move to Red Bull refuses to go away.

Horner again played down the talk when he said he could not see two drivers of the calibre of Hamilton and Vettel ever working together under one roof.

Horner further suggested “fireworks as we saw with Fernando (Alonso) and Lewis” during their time together at McLaren in 2007.

Hamilton, though, sees no reason why he and Vettel, who recently signed a new deal with Red Bull through to the end of 2014, could not join forces at some stage in the future.

“You saw me and Fernando, we were very competitive, and look at me and Jenson, proving world champions can definitely race together as long as there is quality in the team,” added Hamilton.

Hamilton maintains the gossip is not affecting him, but rather he is enjoying being in the spotlight.

“It's not frustrating. Whatever you are faced with you have to try and turn it into positives,” said Hamilton. “The positive thing is I'm being talked about, which means I'm not forgotten.”

Following yesterday's practice sessions ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix tomorrow, Hamilton took another swipe at Red Bull. Hamilton claimed the team were pulling the wool over people's eyes with regard to their true pace.

“I'm sure the Red Bulls will pull something out in qualifying,” said Hamilton.

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