Mercedes to wait on decision whether to punish Hamilton
Mercedes have announced there is “no rush” on the decision as to whether or not they’re going to punish Lewis Hamilton following the season’s final Grand Prix at Abu Dhabi.
In a vain attempt to back track team-mate Nico Rosberg into the rest of the pack, Hamilton drove the final section of the race deliberately slow. The British driver’s efforts proved futile however with the German nailing the second place needed to end the season as Champion.
“There’s no time pressure,” a Mercedes spokesman said. “We’ll let the whole thing settle and then figure out the way forward.
“For now, the focus is on savouring and celebrating the world championships.”
Throughout the race, Hamilton was repeatedly ordered to speed up, telling him his chances of winning were in jeopardy if he didn’t.
Hamilton chose to ignore the team orders however, insisting they “let us race”.
At the start of the race, Hamilton trailed his rival by 12 points needing to win, and the German to finish lower than third in order to take the title.
Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff said: “We need to look at the overall situation and say ‘what does it mean?’.
“Everything is possible – from ‘let’s change the rules next year because it doesn’t work in those critical races and maybe we want to give them even more freedom in racing each other’, to the more harsh side that we feel the team’s values were not respected.
“This is 180 degrees and I am not sure yet where the needle is going to go.”
Despite saying he could understand Hamilton’s actions from a personal point of view, but as the man responsible for the racing operations of a global brand he had to take a different view.
“I was in two minds,” he said, adding that the team values of Mercedes are “pretty clear” and that “it cannot make a difference whether it was the first or last race”.
“Those principles and values have won us races and championships and so this is one side.
“And the other side, me the racer, says maybe I would have done the same.
“He had two choices – disappear into the distance and show he is the quickest guy on the planet irrespective of what’s happening in the back or decide the other way and bunch them up behind him.
“So we have to calm down. There is so much more going on in the background that plays a role in how we are thinking and this is why I don’t want to express an opinion before I have actually made up my mind for myself.”
Rosberg said: “I wasn’t expecting it, no. Maybe that was a bit naive, but I didn’t expect it.
“But it’s not something I need to discuss because it is really easy to understand the team’s side because we have done the same thing all year and it doesn’t change in the last race, but at the same time you can understand Lewis.
“It’s the world championship and we are out there fighting and you have to understand he wants to try something. We don’t need to discuss it any more.”