Call for equality is final insult to Lewis

FIA plan to have 'nanny' steward in pit is surest sign that petulant Alonso cannot cope with his rookie team-mate

Lewis Hamilton is too focused on the final grand prix of the season, in Brazil next weekend, to take any notice of the FIA's extraordinary insistence on putting a 'nanny' stewardin the McLaren pit to make sure that his team-mate, Fernando Alonso, gets equal treatment.

In a season in which the knife has firmly been stuck into the Anglo-German team as a matter of routine, the governing body's plan to ensure equality comes as the final insult, the resultof yet another petulant outburst from a champion who cannot cope with the fact that a rookie has come into his domain and beaten him. Those with memories long enough to remember how everybody turned a blind eye to the way Ferrari favoured Michael Schumacher over cannon fodder such as Eddie Irvine and Rubens Barrichello find the situation offensive, given that even in the acrimonious days of Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna, McLaren have always been a team who have let their drivers race.

Carlos Garcia, the head of the Spanish motorsport federation, who has been invited to attend the race by McLaren's chief, Ron Dennis, told the Spanish newspaper AS: "The FIA will have a steward making sure that nothing wrong happens to Fernando, especially in qualifying, which is where there have been more complaints or strange situations in the last few grands prix.

"On 3 October I had a meeting with Max Mosley where I showed my concern over the situation that Fernando is going through, which is no secret, and he reassured me."

Garcia added that he expected fair play, "as there is a Ferrari driver behind and the British team have to fight against the red cars, not against their drivers. Fernando must be calm".

If anyone should be unhappy it is Hamilton, whose agonising slide into the gravel bed in the pit lane on the 31st lap of last weekend's Chinese Grand Prix – when he could have clinched the title – postponed the showdown until Brazil and threw Alonso and the race winner, Kimi Raikkonen, crucial lifelines. But he has taken thesetback on the chin.

"It was fairly straightforward; we made a joint decision to stay out on intermediate tyres," he says. "Kimi and Fernando had three or four laps' more fuel than me. I stopped first on lap 15, followed by Fer-nando on lap 18 and Kimi on lap 19. I was going faster and eating into my tyres. My mirrors were covered in mud and dirt. I couldn't see behind me. I couldn't see the condition of my tyres. I wasn't pushing, I knew the tyres were close to the end of their life; the rears were gone, they were down to the canvas. I could not see that but I could feel a big vibration. It was like driving on ice. I was off the dry line going into the pits on lap 31. I approached with caution but lost the back end, and got beached.

"It was not completely my fault, but it was unfortunate, as I was clearly the quickest. I wanted to win the race and things like that can happen."

Hamilton insists that he goes to Brazil, for the first time, aiming to win. "I will approach the race in the same way, to win it. Some part of my mind will be focused on the end result, winning the world championship not the race, but I go to win. I understand the position I'm in and what I have to do. I aim on finishing on the podium and know I can't take risks. Maybe I took a risk at the last race."

Far from whining in defeat, Hamilton is already fighting back, and the contrast between him and Alonso is indicative of why the rookie has so shaken the champion.

"I've got a lot of confidence in myself," Hamilton says. "It's got to be a hard hit knowing the championship was there and I didn't take it, but it's still there to win. In spite of having a non-finish in China I'm still in the lead and I've still got a good chance of winning, so I'm feeling pretty cool, as I'm in the best position to do that.

"I'm mentally stronger after the weekend in China. Some drivers would be on the back foot, but I've taken the negatives and made them into positives."

His attitude is totally reminiscent of his childhood idol, the late Ayrton Senna. Hamilton says that after the race he may visit the Brazilian legend's grave in Morumbi.

"That's definitely something I'd like to do. I'll find it emotional and moving to go there. I've not thought about going to see his grave, but I will think about visiting after the race. It's impor-tant I have a clear mind going into the weekend, and that would be too emot-ional to do before the race."

Sport
Australia vs New Zealand live
cricket Follow over-by-over coverage as rivals New Zealand and Australia face off
News
Zayn has become the first member to leave One Direction. 'I have to do what feels right in my heart,' he said
peopleWe wince at anguish of fans, but his 1D departure shows the perils of fame in the social media age
Life and Style
Researchers found that just 10 one-minute swill-and-spit sessions are enough to soften tooth enamel and make teeth vulnerable to erosion
health
News
i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Regent Street Cinema’s projection room in the 1920s
film
News
Leah Devine is only the ninth female to have made the Young Magician of the Year final since the contest began more than 50 years
peopleMeet the 16-year-old who has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year
News
Jonathan Anderson was born in Northern Ireland but now based between London, where he presents a line named JW Anderson
peopleBritish designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
News
Andy Davidhazy at the beginning (left) and end (right) of his hike
video
News
Taylor Swift is applying to trademark song lyrics from 1989
people
Voices
The popularity of TV shows such as The Liver Birds encouraged Liverpudlians to exaggerate their Scouse accent
voicesWe exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing