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Hamilton criticised by Surtees

Two F1 world champions have become the latest to criticise Lewis Hamilton with regards to his attitude and comments throughout the Monaco GP.

Hamilton refused to acknowledge Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg on the podium following the latter's second consecutive victory around the streets of the principality.

That followed an incident in qualifying when Rosberg brought out the yellow flags, thwarting Hamilton in his bid to claim pole at a time when he was on a quicker lap than the German.

Starting from top spot on the grid proved crucial for Rosberg as he went on to win from lights to flag and return to the top of the drivers' standings, leaving Hamilton to settle for second.

Hamilton, though, did not disguise his displeasure at the antics of Rosberg, even though the 28-year-old was cleared by the stewards.

Mercedes non-executive chairman and three-times champion Niki Lauda chastised Hamilton after the race, suggesting that ignoring Rosberg was "not good" and reflected badly on the Mercedes brand.

Now John Surtees and Mika Hakkinen have waded into the debate and agree with Lauda that Hamilton's behaviour was unbecoming.

Surtees, the only driver to win world titles on two and four wheels, said in his column in Motor Sport magazine: "I have no doubt about Lewis Hamilton's driving ability, but I didn't like what I saw and heard from Monaco.

"I can understand the frustration Lewis must have felt in not having that opportunity on the last lap of qualifying to get pole.

"But I think his reaction to his team-mate and team was wrong."

Hakkinen, who won two titles with McLaren in 1998 and 1999, believes Hamilton displayed the attitude of a sore loser.

In his column for Hermes, Hakkinen said: "It's hard to tell if something is going to change significantly (between the drivers).

"I don't know if Lewis would even consider apologising for his behaviour. It is a very individual thing.

"But in my opinion, one of the characteristics of a good winner is he also knows how to lose."

Surtees, now 80, believes Hamilton was also wrong to highlight his upbringing as a source of motivation compared to that of Rosberg.

Hamilton suggested he was hungrier than Rosberg as he was raised on a council estate in Stevenage, whereas the German lived the life of luxury in Monaco.

Although Hamilton later claimed the quote was taken out of context, Surtees feels it has only added fuel to the fire for Rosberg.

"Lewis had said he had more motivation than Nico to win the world championship because of his upbringing in a flat in Stevenage as against Nico growing up in Monaco," added Surtees.

"If Nico wasn't already inspired to win his first world championship, then Lewis certainly would have provided some material for him to dig even deeper."

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff, meanwhile, has downplayed claims the rivalry between the pair is starting to resemble that of Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost.

Three-times champion Senna and four-times king Prost were bitter enemies during the two seasons they spent together at McLaren in 1988 and 1989.

On the team website, Wolff said: "We have seen a lot of talk about their relationship, but that's not the key thing for a successful campaign.

"It's a job, not a holiday, and the drivers need to work with and for the team first of all.

"There have been a lot of comparisons to the Senna/Prost scenario, which is a kind of compliment to both Lewis and Nico.

"But the situation here is very different. It's an intense relationship but this intensity is normal.

"The racing philosophy of Mercedes-Benz is to allow our drivers to compete. We let the boys play with their toys, unless they break them."