Lewis Hamilton Does Not Deserve Criticism, Punishment for Ignoring Team Orders

By Matthew Walthert
at Internationaled.org

Published: November 28, 2016

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There was plenty of handwringing and questioning after Sunday's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix about whether Lewis Hamilton's tactics were on the up-and-up.

In a last-ditch effort to swipe the Formula One title from Nico Rosberg, his Mercedes team-mate, Hamilton drove as slowly as he could, attempting to push Rosberg back into the clutches of Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen.

Hamilton needed a victory coupled with Rosberg finishing off the podium if he was going to grab the championship, but Rosberg held on to second place despite the Brit's ploy.

After the race, Mercedes executive director Toto Wolff was clearly not pleased that Hamilton had repeatedly ignored team orders to pick up the pace. He said the team would review the situation and might consider changing the rules for their drivers, but he also did not rule out punishing Hamilton, per ESPN F1's Laurence Edmondson.

But Wolff and anyone else who thinks Rosberg (or any other driver on the grid) would not have done the exact same thing in Hamilton's position are dreaming.

In fact, if any driver in Hamilton's position did not do everything (legal) within their power to win the championship, they would not belong in F1.

As Hamilton explained in the post-race press conference, "I don't think I did anything dangerous today. So, I don't feel I did anything unfair. We're fighting for a championship, I was in the lead, I control the pace. That's the rules."

Indeed, this wasn't Michael Schumacher slamming into Jacques Villeneuve. Anyone feeling the need to criticise Hamilton's tactics should first take a deep breath and then close their Twitter app.

"It was naive to think that there would be any different approach with what's at stake," said Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, per Autosport's Lawrence Barretto, Ben Anderson and Edd Straw.



Likewise, though, anyone questioning whether Ro...
Article Source: Bleacher Report - Formula 1

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