Teammates are a pain

09:19, April 21, 2010      

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It's a clich but true that any driver's most important rival is his teammate. Imagine how Lewis Hamilton feels seeing Jenson Button join 'his' team, Vodafone McLaren-Mercedes, and score two race wins and lead the points table.

In Shanghai on Sunday as in Malaysia two weeks ago - and at the Australian Grand Prix before that - Hamilton was the center of excitement and often the fastest man on the track. He has become a specialist at the outside pass: in Shanghai he three times overtook by going the long way around the medium speed right-handed turn eight in order to hold the inside for the next corner. But there are no points for style in F1.

Pitting for wet tires too early put Hamilton back in 16th place and meant he would stop four times in all - against Button's twice. Hamilton overtook more cars than most but, again, no prizes. VMM's British duo hugged after the race and Hamilton tried to look happy. Certainly things are calmer at McLaren than here in 2007 when, after being out-qualified by Hamilton, Fernando Alonso kicked an office door off its hinges.

These days, at Ferrari, Alonso is more relaxed. After winning the season-opener in Bahrain the Spaniard could not pass his teammate Felipe Massa in Australia and retired in Malaysia. He re-asserted authority in Shanghai with a star turn in qualifying: third place to Massa's seventh. Alonso's jump start penalty pushed him back to 17th but he fought back to fourth - along the way barging past Massa on the way into the pits! This sent a clear message to the other side of the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro garage.

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