Ferrari clearly favouring Vettel, says Hamilton

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"It's clear to me that Ferrari have chosen their No. 1 driver", said Hamilton, who finished seventh and is now 25 points behind Vettel in the championship race.

"And on the opposite side, Ferrari put the vehicle on the track in Barcelona and were quick from the get go, so yes, we are the underdog, yes we need to catch up. This is the reality of it at the moment".

A Ferrari team engineer along with a disappointed Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel.Getty Images.

But it was shrouded in controversy.

The Briton is now 25 points behind runaway championship leader Sebastian Vettel following the Ferrari driver's third victory from the opening six rounds of the season in Monaco.

Mercedes trail Ferrari in the constructors' championship by 17 points and the team's director of motorsport, Toto Wolff, backed his driver in confirming the team had to analyse why their auto was not handling the tyres as well as Ferrari.

The team have always been adamant that there would be no favouritism between Hamilton and team-mate Valtteri Bottas, who joined Mercedes in January. The vehicle was great.

"Valtteri's doing a great job, I don't now feel that we have to favour one over the other". We have to add this, because his team is far away from Ferrari and Mercedes, and yet they are very good until now.

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"But there might be some things along the way that position-wise, at some stage, might become valuable but who knows what is going to happen".

"I can understand that Kimi's not entirely happy today". "So they are going to be pushing everything to make sure Sebastian will maximise on all of his weekends".

With leads in both the Drivers' and Constructors' Championships one third of the way through the season, Ferrari are beginning to look increasingly formidable in their attempt to win a first world title in nine years.

"They are finally where we were back in the days when you finish one and two and you have to explain why the right guy won", Wolff said. "But the underdog is the one that people want to see winning".

"We have been dropping in and out of the tyre window, never had two drivers or two cars over the whole course of a weekend within that window".

Despite a disappointing weekend, Hamilton insists that things weren't as bad as some are claiming.

"We've just been missing pace", Bottas said. I could have been in a crash, could have damaged the vehicle, blown an engine, come away with no points. The leading vehicle, is very hard for him to get jumped unless the team decide to favor the other auto, so it's great for him.

"The Ferrari seems to work everywhere and these next 14 races are going to be very, very hard", he added.