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Hamilton escapes team orders sanction

NEWS STORY
05/12/2016

Lewis Hamilton will not be punished for ignoring team orders in Abu Dhabi.

As he eased the pace slower and slower, thereby backing-up his teammate Nico Rosberg into the clutches of the Red Bulls and Ferraris, what began as gentle advice became strict instructions, with technical boss Paddy Lowe eventually ordering the Briton to increase his pace.

Still however, Hamilton resisted, even though in the final laps his own position was under threat from Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari.

Despite talk of possible sanctions, the team has opted to take no further action, no doubt mindful of the fact that it has already lost one of its drivers.

"There is no need to say anything to Lewis," said Niki Lauda. "We have no problem about how he raced in Abu Dhabi. We have drawn a line under it."

Speaking hours after the race, Team boss Toto Wolff had described Hamilton's actions as "anarchy".

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1. Posted by Spindoctor, 05/12/2016 16:39

"'Formula One Driver ignores Team Orders. SHOCK! HORROR!!'

You can be 100% certain that every other World Champion driver would have done the same, under similar circumstances. Toto & Lauda know this, and the only precedent the lack of punishment will set is to confirm that F1 drivers are a greedy, selfish bunch of individualists.

Drivers will continue to obey Team Orders as long as said orders don't materially affect their egos and overall standing."

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2. Posted by Mad Matt, 05/12/2016 12:45

"Perhaps you're right. However, I feel it's more likely that he realised he can't have a family and push at that level, so he chose his family.

I think he feels he needs to be at 100% to compete with Lewis and if he gives it anything less people will say he was "lucky" and "not in the same class as Lewis". So, the other option is, retire and be a dad.

I wish him all the best.

As for Lewis, whether issuing the order to speed up was wrong or not, disobeying and going unpunished sets a precedent. If I say to my kids "do that again and you'll be punished", I have to follow it through or I've lost my authority."

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3. Posted by Jim Cargill, 05/12/2016 10:18

"Whether there is any truth in the apparent perception that Wolff et al favoured Rosberg this season, the issue has clearly come back to bite Mercedes in the bum. By now taking no action against Hamilton they have set a precedent that will doubtless lead to future problems.

Unless of course Mercedes go the Massa/Barrichello route with a number two driver…..Bottas or Button for a year until Alonso becomes available? Will Alonso still be attractive to Mercedes at his age? If Bottas did a good job he might even be kept on especially if Alonso struggles next year. Vandoorne may turn out to be Hamilton Mk II for Alonso.

It’s also clear why Rosberg has gone. Yes, he drove well in 2016 but that was obviously at the limits of his ability. Chasing an incentivized Hamilton round circuits in 2017 whilst having his 2016 victory rubbished as a consequence does not look appealing. The rise of Red Bull and Ferrari could push him even further down the pecking order.
"

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