Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has rejected the claims of using “dirty tricks” at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to win the Formula One (F1) world championship. The 31-year-old won the race, but came second in the drivers’ championship behind team-mate Nico Rosberg.
The Englishman drove his car slowly in an attempt to let other drivers overtake Rosberg, who was trailing him at second place. Hamilton repeatedly ignored radio instructions from his team to drive faster.
“I did nothing dangerous so I don’t feel I did anything unfair. We were fighting for the championship. I was leading. I control the pace.” Hamilton said, according to BBC.
The former MacLaren driver received instructions from his team to speed up. Mercedes later clarified that this was because the team was at risk of losing the race.
“Let us race. I am losing the world championship so right now I don’t really care whether I win or lose the race.” Hamilton replied on the radio.
The Brit needed to win the race with Rosberg finishing outside the top three to clinch the world championship. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vetter tried to overtake the German in the final lap of the race but was unable to do so.
“It was a tricky situation at the end with Lewis playing dirty tricks.” Vettel said over the radio to his team.
2016 F1 world champion Rosberg however refused to criticize his team-mate. The 31-year-old man from Wiesbaden, West Germany clarified that he understands Hamilton’s perspective. However, he agreed that the race was “not enjoyable.”
Video courtesy: YouTube.com/FORMULA 1
Will there be ramification of Hamilton’s actions?
Toto Wolff, Mercedes team boss said that he had not yet decided whether or not to take action against Lewis Hamilton. The 44-year-old stressed that the situation needs to be resolved as the incident has set a precedent for the future, according to Mirror.
Although Wolff is yet to decide on a possible punishment to Hamilton, Niki Lauda, non-executive chairman of Mercedes has a different opinion. The 67-year-old has negated any possibility of the Englishman getting punished.
“No, because we won the race and finished second, so we achieved the result. There’s nothing we want to do.” Lauda said.
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