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Lewis Hamilton turns blind eye to team harmony

Teammates and rivals: Lewis Hamilton (L) and Nico Rosberg.

Teammates and rivals: Lewis Hamilton (L) and Nico Rosberg. Photo: AFP

MONTE CARLO - Lewis Hamilton said driving with one eye closed was 'virtually impossible' and then turned a blind eye to future visions of team harmony at Mercedes following the Monaco Grand Prix.

The 29-year-old Briton finished second to relinquish his leadership of the drivers' world championship to victorious Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg.

He said he had struggled to see and had no answer to questions about the prospect for repairing their relationship after an acrimonious weekend.

He said dirt had found its way inside his visor during the classic 78-lap street race in the Mediterranean principality.

It irritated him and reduced his left-eye vision, but eventually cleared itself, he said, but the setback undermined his chance to challenge Rosberg for victory.

Instead, he had to fend off Australian Daniel Ricciardo in a Red Bull to retain second place.

"I had quite a bit of wind coming in, I got close to Nico in one stage and I got some debris or dirt in my eye," Hamilton said on Sunday.

"I was driving with one eye which is virtually impossible to do. Through low speed corners, I had to close my eye which made it worse, but with five laps to go it cleared up and I was able to stay ahead of Daniel..."

Ricciardo pushed hard to close the gap and attack Hamilton.

"I pushed and didn't need to save tyres and we got close to one of the Mercedes in the end, but it is quite hard to pass," said Ricciardo.

"I tried to put a bit of pressure on, but third was the best we could do."

Loss of vision was not Hamilton's only problem.

He also complained about his team's strategy several times and was obviously upset at events on Saturday when Rosberg controversially ran off-circuit down an escape road on his final run in qualifying and wrecked his hopes of taking pole.

Asked if he felt the perceived problems between him and Rosberg could be solved, Hamilton replied: "I don't have an answer for you."

But Rosberg was more conciliatory. He said there were no issues that could not be reconciled.

"We've had discussions - and we have known each other for so long," he said.

"We always sit down and discuss it and move on and that is what we will do."

-AFP

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