Hamilton has reiterated that he hasn’t forgotten or forgiven some members of the Mercedes team after he was criticised after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix for his hold-up tactics.
The final few laps were emblematic of the entire season. A limping Lewis Hamilton and a Nico Rosberg unable to pass his teammate. It also highlighted how farcical the Silver Arrows advantage is and showed that even when a driver can take it easy in a Mercedes, they can win. It hopefully concludes a dull and sometimes petty era on-track.
Hamilton’s decision making at the end of the Grand Prix wasn’t clean, it wasn’t the nice thing to do or the yesman thing to do, but he had to do it and it’s hard to imagine any other competitive driver in that position doing anything differently.
The team that prides itself on “letting them race”, intervened and remained against Hamilton’s actions after the race. Since, the team have admitted that it was the wrong call to intervene, but Hamilton isn’t letting it go too easily.
“That was one of many uncomfortable moments of the year. 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.”
– Lewis Hamilton
The Brit did say in the special press conference before the race that the only mind games he would be playing over the weekend would be on-track. It’s clear with hindsight what he meant, but Rosberg wasn’t expecting it.
“It was probably naive, but I didn’t think Lewis would do it that way.
The way we had been speaking internally, it was very clear. He always said that he wanted to go as fast as possible and win by the biggest margin, to put out a statement. Little did I know.”
– Nico Rosberg
The significance here is that there’s a clear rift between Hamilton and some managerial figures at Mercedes. Getting on well with the majority of the race team is all well and good, but if the power-figures sitting on the pit-wall aren’t his favourite people, the Brit will go into 2017 with a real problem.