Vettel's Monaco win 'will be part of our history — Ferrari chairman

Hamilton know he can not afford another low scoring weekend given Vettel's pace and consistency.

"The drivers are free to race".

Ferrari are giving Sebastian Vettel the Michael Schumacher treatment, according to the German's main title rival, Lewis Hamilton.

Toto Wolff says that being the underdog in the Formula 1 title fight is the "new reality" for Mercedes following Ferrari's emphatic victory in Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix.

Despite Mercedes' struggles in Monaco, Hamilton is pleased to have salvaged points he believes could turn out to be "valuable" in the closing stages of the title run in.

"I haven't spoken to the team, and I don't really plan to", said Hamilton, who finished seventh while team-mate Finn Valtteri Bottas was fourth.

Asked about Ferrari's strategy, Hamilton told reporters: "It's clear to me that they have chosen their number one driver so they're going to be pushing everything to make sure Sebastian will get the maximum on all of his weekends. We've just got to make sure we're ahead of them so we don't need to be in the same scenario". Ferrari are adamant that it was neither team orders nor a deliberate strategy to favour the championship leader.

It was a much different story past year, when Vettel was swearing and cursing on team radio, aiming expletives and broadsides at other drivers and even F1 officials.

Vettel went on to claim his 45th win in F1 and third of the season, with Raikkonen following home in second, but the doubt in the legitimacy of the tactics came in the timing of Raikkonen's pit stop.

The Telegraph's Oliver Brown also suggested the relationship between the two Ferrari drivers could deteriorate the same way Hamilton's and Nico Rosberg's did at Mercedes.

But a spate of crashes saw the safety vehicle limit Hamilton's opportunity to pressure the Toro Rosso and he was made to settle for seventh. The tyres started to slide in the first stint and the pack were catching up a bit but then I had a second attempt and had a couple of laps where the auto was really good. I was devastated yesterday but to come away with some points is better than nothing.

"The battle's not over, boys, We'll take these points".

He added: "The Ferrari seems to work everywhere so these next 14 races are going to be very hard". He drove well in the first stint and then obviously you get the message to go in. There's no point dwelling on the fact you can not afford it, you just work towards trying to rectify whatever issues you have and hope you do not come across it again.

"We have to work collectively as a team more than ever before to beat the Ferraris in the constructors' (championship)".

  • Julie Sanders