Hamilton accuses team of "disrespect"

18/12/2016
NEWS STORY

Having escaped censure for his Abu Dhabi tactics, Lewis Hamilton has now hit out at his team for "disrespecting" him.

While Toto Wolff, speaking in the moments after an emotional race, referred to Lewis Hamilton's failure to obey team orders as "anarchy", the Austrian subsequently had a change of heart.

As first the Red Bulls then Sebastian Vettel closed in, the Briton drove ever slower, knowing that his only chance of winning his fourth title was to back-up his teammate, Nico Rosberg, into the clutches of his pursuers.

First Hamilton's engineer, Pete Bonnington, politely advised the driver to up his pace, his tone subsequently becoming more strident as the Briton failed to respond.

Eventually technical boss Paddy Lowe took to the radio, ordering Hamilton to speed up. Again, the command was ignored.

Whether it was Nico Rosberg's shock decision to retire, thereby leaving the team with the headache of finding a replacement at a time nobody suitable was free of contract, Mercedes subsequently announced that it would not be taking any further action against the anarchist Hamilton. Indeed, Toto Wolff subsequently went a step further, admitting it was wrong for the team to have given its driver such an order in the first place.

Now, Hamilton has accused the team of disrespect in giving him such orders.

"That was one of many uncomfortable moments of the year," he told Channel 4. "Ultimately seeing what had been said afterwards, I felt quite disrespected by the individuals who had spoken. You don't expect that from those who are in charge of so many people."

Asked if the situation has been resolved, he said: "No, it hasn't."

Looks like another chapter for that much-anticipated book in ten years time.

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Published: 18/12/2016
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