Hamilton 'too good for fifth place'

Sebastian Vettel

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton says he and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso are too good to be battling for fifth place.

Hamilton beat Alonso to the position in Sunday's Korean Grand Prix, which Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel won.

Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton

"It's strange, me and Fernando in fifth and sixth having our own little battle. We are of a higher calibre," he said.

"I like battling with Fernando. He's the strongest driver here and really we should be battling at the front with the world champions, with Sebastian."

Hamilton ran third in the early laps but lost time after Mercedes delayed his second pit stop despite him suffering heavy tyre wear and asking on the radio: "When are you going to call me in, man?"

"My [right front] tyre was dead and I was turning and turning and nothing was happening," Hamilton said.

"I was two or three seconds slower than Nico [Rosberg, his team-mate]. There was nothing I could do. I just had to get to a certain target [lap for a pit stop], which was unfortunate, so I lost a lot of ground there."

Mark Webber's Red Bull catches fire at Korean GP

He added: "If I'd been in the lead I think I'd have been able to stay there, but things just did not go my way.

"We need to figure it out because we are faster than our results."

In the closing laps, Hamilton and Alonso were locked in a battle trying to pass Sauber's Nico Hulkenberg for fourth place.

Hamilton did pass the German with seven laps to go, only to lose the place again immediately on the long main straight.

"There was nothing I could do," Hamilton said. "He was so quick on the straight, he just drove past me."

Korean Grand Prix, day three

Sunday 6 October:
Race highlights, 14:00 BST on BBC One.

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