Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Yas Marina, 2016

Mercedes naive not to foresee Hamilton tactics – Horner

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In the round-up: Christian Horner says Mercedes were naive not to expect Lewis Hamilton would try to hold up Nico Rosberg.

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A Hamilton fan gives credit to Rosberg for his victory:

It hurts watching your favourite driver lose out on the world championship, but all I can say is congratulations to Nico Rosberg.

It’s hard to accept when you see Hamilton win ten races and score more poles and still lose out, when he was the only one to lose a certain victory when his engine failed in Malaysia. Hamilton had a few scruffy moments, like some of the starts and Baku qualifying, but I think he also performed well enough to be deserving of the title. Still Rosberg is a driver that I admire, he does a fan video after every race regardless of the outcome, and has shown such resolve. Consistency helped him, yes, but he has proven to be blindingly quick too.

Both have shown what it takes, and at the end of the day, points mean prizes and we can only have one champion.

Well done Rosberg and well done Hamilton. Two fantastic drivers. I look forward to seeing you mix it with your rivals next season as two worthy champions.

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On this day in F1

Nico Rosberg beat Lewis Hamilton to pole position for the final race of the season last year at Yas Marina:

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  • 106 comments on “Mercedes naive not to foresee Hamilton tactics – Horner”

    1. The tactic of backing up your title rival is entirely legitimate in itself, so in that sense Hamilton did nothing wrong. But he deliberately disregarded team orders against a team mate who has been always obeyed team orders in battles between the two. In Malaysia 2013 and Monaco 2016 Rosberg completely disagreed with the issuing of the orders but complied. Yet today Lewis ignored instructions given pre-race, during the race, and even flouted a mid-race intervention from Paddy Lowe to cease the tactics he was employing against Rosberg.

      You may agree or disagree with team orders on principle, or dispute their application in each individual case, but when one driver is loyally obeying team orders and the other flouts them at will it seems unfair. Hamilton yesterday was creeping dangerously close to Pironi territory.

      1. I agree about team orders, but surely Nico has also ignored them (e.g. engine modes in 2014).

        1. Which race? @ians I’d been hoping someone would correct me if I was wrong about Rosberg.

          1. Bahrain 2014, he was using engine modes that they weren’t allowed to attack him. In the following race in Spain, Lewis did the same and Rosberg complained about it. It was then Lewis made it known that it was who first did.

      2. @ads21 being a gentleman doesn’t give you any world championship points. What Nico did in Monaco was great for Lewis, and Lewis probably should remember that.

        But these guys are winning machines. They care very little about others. Nico was a “gentleman” as Lewis said but he didn’t NEED to be one. He could’ve stayed ahead and let Lewis sort it out himself, why should he help him? the difference was that at that point, none of the titles were decided and wins for Mercedes meant a lot more than whatever fight Nico and Lewis were having.

        But you never know what lies behind the horizon, and at that point, Nico probably didn’t realize how much helpful a win for Daniel would’ve been to his title chances (a title being decided with a race to spare in his favour), and to some degree, to the discussion of who was the better man this year, with Lewis winning 10 races to Nico’s 9.

        To be honest, I want to see drivers race. I hate when the team gets involved, even if most of the times it’s necessary because they have the whole picture, they can read the whole race as it’s happening. But you don’t need anyone letting by anyone, and if Lewis’ only chance was to resort to this kind of thing, so be it, even if didn’t work out in the end.

        It was much better than 2 legends deciding 2 consecutive World Championships after colliding together at Suzuka…

        1. @fer-no65 I do agree with you; what Hamilton was doing was perfectly understandable, and in my opinion was a great piece of tactical driving which never went over the line. In fact, the way he was able to manage the pace was fantastic, keeping up his speed through the DRS zones while backing up in the corners to manage the pace – a real masterclass. I don’t think there was anything unfair or unsporting about it, and the only reason we’re having the debate is because the two drivers are teammates.

          But on that point, while I totally understand and support what Hamilton did in the race, I think when he reflects on it this morning, he might want to consider how things might have panned out had his tactics been successful. He may well be waking up this morning as a four-time World Champion, but what would it have cost him? How would his relationship with Rosberg and with his team be left? Hamilton presumably wants to remain in the Mercedes team and have their support for years to come – surely the best way for him to eventually get that fourth championship – but how hollow would that victory feel if the whole team were no longer behind him? If his relationship with the SMT was now irreperably damaged?

          I’m sure that collectively they can find a way to move on from this. In the end, the best team wants the best driver, and that drver is surely Hamilton. But it would be a lot harder to find a way forward if Hamilton had managed to screw his teammate and win the WDC. Of course multiple champions are selfish and ruthless – try and name a single one who isn’t – but plenty (including his hero Senna) have ended up suffering as a result of their own selfishness.

      3. When one driver’s engines keep going bang & the other one’s runs like clockwork (ALL the other ones, mind you), it seems a hell of a lot more unfair… especially when you consider that the constructor’s title that actually pays the team was long decided, yet the team still felt it necessary to try and handicap the same driver who they’ve been handicapping all year in favor of the one who lives on the radio asking for advice on what his teammate is doing, & begging for the team to favor him (apparently he knows it’s a legitimate option for him, so there’s no incentive to do anything different, like actually race his teammate). The bottom line is that in the last race with nothing to lose, the team had two drivers in with a shot of the title, but were only interested in one of them getting a fair crack at it. Last week they went as far as to call Max’s dad & ask him to leave poor Nico alone. This championship was scripted from the off.

        1. In the last 3 years have both had 4 dnfs because of technical failure. I don’t agree with some peoples views that Hamilton lost because of technical failure, that means rosberg also lost the last 2 years because of technical failure. Hamilton lost because he scored less points over a season, mainly because of very bad starts.

          1. More like mainly because of an engine failure while leading, and multiple engine failures during qualifying forcing him to start further back, and the huge engine penalty in Spa. If he hadn’t had the bad starts, he’d likely be champion. But if he hadn’t had ONE of the engine failures (especially the Malaysia one) the same would be true.

          2. Are you saying that in 2014 Rosberg had more failures than Hamilton? You having a laugh? 2015 Rosberg had more failures but it did not change the championship result- it only magnified the scale of the defeat. There is a subtle difference there. Had all things been somewhat equal- on both Mercs people wouldn’t be going on about this. But fact is car number 6 ran like clockwork and car 44 ran like a car cobbled together by amateur mechanics.

          3. @kpcart nah, it was the starts *and* the reliability. You can’t claim one and not the other – Lewis did, after all, make hay after his bad starts, but his engine blow-up in Malaysia was a) out of his hands and b) was what technically did cost him the title, given the points swing (+12 to ROS) and how the subsequent races panned out.

            Still, c’est la vie – he said so himself.

            Rosberg did win because he had a more reliable and consistent than Hamilton – the fundamental point being that *he still won*. Anyone who says different is probably part of the group of idiots who still think Jenson Button didn’t win the championship in ’09.

            1. Miss Conception
              28th November 2016, 13:45

              My 4c, Ham clearly doesn’t have an optimised relationship with his pitwall – Monaco last year and yesterday would seem plum examples. This confirms my impression at the time that he (unnecessarily) risked and lost his own engine in Malaysia.
              I don’t know what they expect for the half billion pa but Mercedes should have looked dominant and serene yesterday, instead that look pandemonious and lucky.

            2. @Miss Conception
              you seriously think Merc didn’t look dominating yesterday?
              Ham perfectly managed his team mate’s speed. At the end Vettel said he thought he had a second or 2 over the Mercs but when he heard Lewis was deliberately hugely slower, Seb looked super deflated as the knowledge that both Mercs where still massively quicker than him dawned on him.

              Lewis driving slowly and still wining proved how dominant he is and the car is.
              Nico not bothering to try and over take Lewis showed how much a coward he was.
              Lewis would have gone for the over take, Nico would have just ran him off the track, but wide run off areas would have made for an epic battle

        2. @Aldoid you are the clear example of a “one-sided” view, both over the last 3 years have had the same mechanical failures, to say that Hamilton lost the championship because of a engine failure although correct on paper is a bit naive, so let me refresh your memory as Hamilton has only himself to blame for the poor starts and subsequent points losses due to that fact, but that fact must have “slipped” your mind ;-)

          Even Hamilton stated at one point his championship may be over to due the poor starts.

      4. Lewis and Nico’s hard work throughout the year meant that Mercedes had already clinched the Constructors races ago, so it would mean nothing if Mercedes went a 1-3 or 1-4 instead of 1-2 in the final race. It should have made no difference to the team what Lewis tried in a race that was between the drivers, not for Mercedes’ ego.

        1. No, but it would have made a difference to go 2-3 or 2-4.

        2. ColdFly F1 (@)
          28th November 2016, 9:56

          so it would mean nothing if Mercedes went a 1-3 or 1-4 instead of 1-2 in the final race.

          Of course it matters, @chaddy.
          Having more stars on the podium (marketing exposure) is what they race for.
          Even collecting 1-2’s is so important that there’s a statistic on that.

          As much as I liked the cat and mouse game in the race, I also fully understand why the team wanted to get the safest way to achieve a 1-2.

        3. @chaddy I dissagree with you, no team spends millions in transportation, accommodations, hospitality, staff to go to a race and say, ah who cares, we won them both any way so it doesn’t matter where the cars end up. I’m pretty certain they (and any team) would relish to finish 1-2 any day of the week no matter how may times they may have done it, for the fact that they can exploit that nationally and locally in the country they are in to flourish their business.

      5. I wonder if you and the team felt Nico deliberately disregarded the teams interests when he parked his car in Monaco 14 or in Spa 14 when he crashed into Lewis “To make a point.”

      6. I remember Rosberg letting Hamilton pass in Monaco and was utterly unimpressed by it. Felt that he was never going to be a world champion with that weak-willed attitude. I can understand how it’s unfair from Rosberg’s POV, but it also feels off to be holding that against Hamilton when there is a title on te line.

      7. Well said! Hamilton is an arrogant ass!

      8. Lewis is a winner, Nico isn’t. Nico likes team orders because he doesn’t enjoy on-track battles with Lewis, he panics and invariably comes out the loser. So of course it’s in his interest to obey team orders in the hope that Lewis does the same. Lewis is the better racer so it’s in his interest to ignore team orders.

        It’s shocking how F1 has degenerated into whining that drivers are trying to win races instead of play team politics.

      9. In Monaco, Rosberg being slow was allowing another team (Ricciardo) to clear them out front, so he was hindering Mercedes chances of winning the race, so he had to move, given that’s their rule. In Abu Dhabi, that was not the case, a Merc was leading and had a lot of pace in hand if the Ferrari got passed Rosberg, the 2 scenarios are completely different, hence Hamiltons ‘im comfortable at this pace’ – code for “we are obviously not in danger of this race”

        Also, In Monaco, the Daimler bosses where there, a race that came directly off the back of Spain where Rosberg used wrong engine modes and then put both cars out.

      10. I thought this was racing?
        Stick your team orders where the sun don’t shine!

    2. Complaints about Hamilton being ‘unsportsmanlike’ are utter drivel. Go watch formation crochet if you don’t like it. #F1 #AbuDhabiGP

      If this is referring to the way he drove in the race, I fully agree. But he does come across as a bad loser off the track, so I think some criticism is justified. I watched the post-race press conference in its entirety and I felt pretty uncomfortable on Rosberg’s behalf every time Hamilton spoke. Yes, he offered half-hearted congratulations, but he spent much more time talking about the problems that had prevented him from winning the championship he clearly feels he deserves. Even if some of his complaints were merited, it would have been better to save them for another day, I feel. I also seem to remember Rosberg being quite magnanimous in 2014, though I know the relationship between the two of them has gotten considerably worse since then.

      1. Dominant winners tend to be terrible losers.

      2. I watched the race later in the day “as live” and immediately after the race my wife told me that she saw in the news (which she was reading in the race without me knowing) that the reports were saying Hamilton had apparently been a bit churlish after the race. I didn’t see it that way. In parc ferme Hamilton patted him on the back when he was celebrating with his mechanics and once they made eye contact he gave him a hug (still both with their helmets on). They shook hands on the podium, twice and he congratulated him in all his interviews. I don’t see what else he could be expected to do. They are competitors at the end of the day and Hamilton lost the title, we can hardly expect him to be a chatty Kathy with him out there. One of them had to lose and that guy was going to be gutted.

        Rosberg was incredibly magnanimous in 2014, and it definitely bumped him up a few notches in my book, but he was also sullen in the cool down room after Austin 2015 (though the cap incident may have played a role). They are competitors at the end of the day and I think it is a bit disingenuous of people to expect them to be ecstatic when the other wins the ultimate prize at their expense.

      3. Apart from his “because I’m black” comment I’ve never once heard Hamilton come across as a bad loser. I have however several times seen Nico sulk after races. I feel the “bad loser” stigma is just people who dislike Hamilton trying to rationalise a reason to hate him. Personally I hate his stupid beards, I don’t need to pretend that he’s a terrible person.

    3. COTD is bang on, and all credit to Hamilton for how well he took it.

      I think Mercedes should, and hopefully will, leave Hamilton alone on this. Ultimately they had sealed the constructors a while ago, and the battle was down to the drivers. Before the race they said they would let them race, and let them race they should have done.

      In any other race I might agree with the frustration they might have but the drivers championship decider is not a normal race is it? Above all it was great for giving their cars, brand, and sponsors air time, as well as a story to tell.

      1. Before the race they said they would let them race

        Before the race Hamilton swore he would not back up Nico. lol

        1. You could consider that Hamilton wasn’t racing, but cruising around. And with that bringing the win for Mercedes in real danger.

      2. Completely agree @strontium

    4. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      28th November 2016, 0:21

      But he deliberately disregarded team orders against a team mate who has been always obeyed team orders in battles between the two.

      Are you seriously saying that if Rosberg were in Hamilton’s position, that he’d have obeyed the orders given in the race? Your team has won the Constructors, and either you or your teammate are guaranteed the Drivers championship and you have one race to try and win it, and you’re telling me that he’d seriously obey team orders in that situation?

      I can tell you right now that not a single driver in the world would compromise their own chances of winning the WDC by obeying team orders in such circumstances.

      1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
        28th November 2016, 0:23

        Whoops, that was supposed to be in reply to @ads21

      2. Sure, it’s happened in the past, saying Hamilton was straying into Pironi territory was relevant to my point. In 1979 Villeneuve obeyed team orders not to pass Scheckter at Monza, and forfeited his chance at the title by doing so, and Gilles was one of the greatest drivers who’s ever lived. Rosberg has shown no sign he’d disobey team orders in his career so I sincerely doubt he’d have done what Hamilton did if positions had been reversed.

        1. You’re making your point by saying Rosberg obeys team orders and puts the first, in that case Rosberg wouldn’t have deliberately driven into he’s teammate, therefore your argument holds no water. Meanwhile congrats to Rosberg.

          Lewis drove brilliantly, a pity about the reliability for him, his new contract should include heavy fines for the team to encourage and discourage certain behaviors, even though and don’t believe they are biased towards any driver. I believe he is the number 1 driver on the planet.

        2. @ads21 I think today’s values differ from those of 1979. Like @tophercheese21, I can’t imagine any current F1 drivers behaving differently to how Hamilton did

      3. Agree 100%. Why did Mercede’s feel the need to issue the team order in the first place. All they needed to say was “don’t crash into each other”.

        In my mind drivers should only obey team orders, when it was the benefit of the team, as a whole, not when it purely benefits their team mate.

    5. After hearing Hamiltons’ comments about only losing the championship because of mechanical failures I get the feeling that those comments are not very smart.

      With his comments he reduces Rosbergs’ achievements. And that is maybe his intention, but with that he degrade his own two last championships. Apparently it takes just one cherry picked mechanical failure to lose a championship according to Hamilton. (And it is not like Rosberg hasn’t had any problems; BBW-failure and gearbox in Austria, engine in Baku, gearbox again in Silverstone and maybe I’m forgetting some.)

      Look for example at Senna. One of the reason he is seen as one, if not the best F1-driver is because he was capable of beating Prost. And to this day there is discussion about who is the better driver, but with the understanding that both are great drivers.

      If Hamilton would acknowledge Rosberg as a true and great champion, it would increase the value of the two championships he won against Rosberg and thus increase his status as one of the best drivers in F1.

      Second, Mercedes pays Hamilton tens of millions every year. And those millions aren’t only because he can drive really fast, but also because he is very useful for there marketing. But every time he mentions mechanical failure he damages the Mercedes brand. I don’t think that Mercedes are very happy about a well paid employee who does that.

      Last of all, losing with grace can give you a lot of respect and fans. Watch how Massa behaved in 2008 after losing the world championship. He may at that time have lost the world championship, but that does not mean that you must pass up an opportunity to win the respect of many. Moreover, it shows that you are a team player, you win together and you lose together. Again, look at Massa (a team player par excellence) and see how much respect is shown at his farewell.

      1. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
        28th November 2016, 2:29

        But every time he mentions mechanical failure he damages the Mercedes brand. I don’t think that Mercedes are very happy about a well paid employee who does that.

        @felidae Oh! Honestly, that detail had skipped from my overview. And you are right. Now Lewis should be more careful about what he says. I mean, after all, Mercedes now has the luxury of having the current world champion, if they decide Lewis is damaging their image despite the good profit he makes.

        Watch how Massa behaved in 2008 after losing the world championship.

        And to enhance that good behavior, he had just been beaten AT HOME. And he behaved like a true gentleman that day. Speaking about Massa, I wonder what Lewis’s fans would say now if they consider Massa would have been the champion confortably if it weren’t for the mechanical failure in the Hungaroring, and the farce of the Crashgate in Singapore, which, as mentioned before, could have very well been scrapped, as all the outcome of the race depended on cheating.

        1. At no point was scrapping the result possible. The beneficiary intended by the conspirators (i.e. Alonso) could have been removed had the cheating been revealed earlier, but there is nothing in the regulations that allows those who benefitted from unintended consequences (Rosberg and everyone behind him) to lose the points or positions they gained, nor for those who unexpectedly lost out to have their rightful due restored (note that the conspiracy did not specify a loser).

          What would have been possible – and should have happened – was for the incident not to occur in the first place, thus not triggering the mass rush into the pits that likely contributed to Ferrari messing up its pit stop and Felipe tumbling down the order as a result.

        2. @omarr-pepper

          I wonder what Lewis’s fans would say now if they consider Massa would have been the champion confortably if it weren’t for the mechanical failure in the Hungaroring, and the farce of the Crashgate in Singapore,

          They would probably mention that Massa was the beneficiary of a questionable stewarding decision at Spa. ;)

          1. Lewisham Milton
            28th November 2016, 10:29

            But what if there’d been an extra race in Peru, where Massa’s car had been flicked off the track by a giant kitten?

      2. @felidae I don’t think it would “degrade” HAM’s last 2 championships.

        Not more so than 2008 (when Massa would’ve been champion if his engine held up 3 more laps in Hungary), anyway

        1. Yeah, just gloss over his terrible races in Malaysia and Silverstone where he couldn’t keep his car pointing forwards while his title rival was lapping the entire field.

    6. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
      28th November 2016, 0:32

      Hamilton’s tactis weren’t an issue for me. The issue is that he disobeyed the Mercedes management, the people who employ him. Will be interested to see if they end up punishing or do what I expect absolutely nothing.

      1. They’ll “punish” him, but they will also want him at 100% by Australia, so don’t expect suspensions or anything meaningful, it’ll be a talking to and an entirely meaningless dock of pay

    7. I totally agree with COTD and @F1 fanatic, but well done Nico, kept your cool and like many before you succeeded in a World championship where good fortune is always necessary. Lewis cannot but help be disappointed this year, he certainly drove well enough to claim another title and any suggestion that it was bad sportsmanship to win the race at the slowest possible speed is, I suspect, a case of selective morality especially when you remember how some of the most successful and popular WDCs won theirs.

      1. Agreed @hohum, I don’t really think he had any other choice. I was surprised (and disappointed) to hear Mercedes state before the start of the race that they would be dead against that approach when it was the WDC decider and they’d already seen up both championships

    8. It’s a bit disconcerting to see Hamilton’s fan base simultaneously saying that HAM’s unprecedented tactics are not unsportsmanlike and that HAM didn’t have to be a gentlemen about his loss, but that at the same time Nico Rosberg shouldn’t accept ending the championship with more points and should probably be a gentlemen about it and park the car after the start so that the worthy champion could be champion again.

      Rosberg gave Hamiton his win in Monaco. Hamilton doesn’t respect the team that employs him. Had realiability problems, sure, like Rosberg had in the past seasons, but also poor starts and occasionally was just plain slower than Nico. He also has his fair share of luckying into championships even though many felt he didn’t deserve it.

      He should set the example and show he can at least be graceful in defeat. A shame he can’t.

      1. If you genuinely saw someone say that thing about rosberg parking his car, then note them as a troll and ignore everything else they say, forever. I doubt you could link to any credible source who said that

      2. Well said @James Coulee. It was disconcerting to see Hamilton’s behavior post-race and on the podium. Probably the engine failures in the season are coming to his mind more. But in any case he did behave childishly off the track…

      3. What championship wins did Lewis luck into?

    9. There’s one thing we can all take away from this: Horner loves to play at stirring up trouble inside other teams. He’d be best advised to keep his trap shut.

    10. It’s so nice to see that Verstappen has seen fit to say he doesn’t blame Hulkenburg for the crash. He’s such a nice guy and owns all his mistakes!

      Hulkenburg had the better start. He drove around the outside of Verstappen, was on the racing line and left space for him. Verstappen then just crashed into the side of him. 100% Verstappen’s fault and he was lucky he didn’t take Hulkenburg out or completely ruin his own race.

      Far out Max, you are arrogant. “Sorry and “It was my fault” clearly aren’t words in your vocabulary.

      1. Maybe he was asked the question,”do you think it was hulkenberg fault?” Just saying. Never hurts to get the whole picture before getting all fired up.

      2. He literally said that Hulkenberg had the better start and did nothing to cause the accident. You’re basically creating your own animosity towards Max.

        1. Miss Conception
          28th November 2016, 13:54

          He did say that he did everything to avoid the Hulk – must have forgotten his right foot could have sorted the understeer.

    11. Congratulations to Rosberg on being current world champion. At least we can all finally agree that he is a better driver than Hamilton

    12. I guess it’s just sinking in….

      Did Hamilton really say he doesn’t care whether he wins or loses?

      Let’s hope a worthy driver finds himself teammates with Nico next year if that is true.

      Put Hamilton in a 2015 mclaren and let’s see how much of a champion he really is.

      1. He did near the end :( That was the one thing that really disappointed me.

        If the result has ceased to matter, then there really is no reason to care that one is being ordered to let one’s team-mate try to build up a gap to protect one from whatever potential risk Mercedes saw. I don’t think there was that much risk, and tend to agree with Lewis’ take on the lack of point to the order – but disobeyed still only made sense if Lewis cared about the win, which he claimed he didn’t. After all, what if there was some other risk involved (e.g. the car was about to weaken) that the team didn’t want to send out in plain code in case Mercedes’ rivals smelt blood?

        1. Oh come on ! He said something along the lines of “at the moment I’m losing the Championship and that’s more important” referring to the fact he’d rather risk the race win to win the Championship. He never said he didn’t care about the win at all. He was basically telling the team he wouldn’t speed up as he’s going to do everything physically possible to win the Championship.

    13. There was nothing illegal about Hamilton’s go-slow – sportsmanship isn’t defined in the rules. That isn’t in question. The team didn’t order the pace to pick up until the very end. Should he have gone faster? No. Saving tyre life and fuel is a part of this season’s racing. But when the suggestion from the pitwall changes to an order from team management, that is when you need to listen.

      But when he disobeys a team order and then makes it about himself, that is where he crosses a line. When he calls into question the legitimacy of his teammate’s championship, that is when he has soiled himself.

      Lewis, shall we call into question your 2008 title because of Massa’s misfortune in Hungary and Singapore? I still don’t hear Kimi bemoaning Schumi’s 2003 title because of his Nürburgring retirement. Has Hamilton done the calculation to see how many points he gained when Rosberg let him by in Monaco for the good of the team?

      There is coming second and looking like a loser, and there is coming second with dignity: Being magnanimous, and accepting that sometimes in motorsport things don’t go your way, no matter how hard you try. Guess which one Hamilton is?

      Would Rosberg disobey a team order like that? Did he do it in Malaysia 2013? Everyone remembers Multi 21, but does everyone remember Ross Brawn telling Rosberg quite firmly to hold position. Hamilton disobeyed a team order in 2007 and Ron Dennis was too weak to take disciplinary measures. Look how that ended up for McLaren. Mercedes have a choice to make and they have precedent to know how it will end up if they try to sweep it under the rug.

      1. Brilliantly put.

      2. Hyia!

        Talking about 2008 without highlightening Spa?

        1. You mean the One Time stewards got the whole Raining a lasting Advantage thing right?
          I Really prefered ham over massa back then but his giving back of the Position was a Joke and he only has himself to blame for that penalty

          1. “Lasting advantage”, ironically enough, wasn’t in the formal regulations back then. It was introduced in response to Spa 2008 as a retrospective attempt to justify what had previously been an informal position designed to reduce steward workload.

      3. @kazinho, as others have pointed out, Rosberg has in the past disobeyed team orders on engine settings and on strategy calls, so there have been times when he has put his own personal interests over those of the team.

    14. Well done to Nico. He is World Champion and thats it, period. No caveats or asterix.

      Lewis and his legion of fans may think that he deserved to win. If its one thing that we know in this sport, there is no such thing as deserved. He is the champion and his achievement should be respected.

      Pretty disappointed with Lewis’ attitude, would have expected more from a multiple champion, at least a tinge of magnanimity. None of these guys in the paddock want to lose, they’re all there to win. Perhaps its in the heat of the moment, but Lewis did seem a rather sour. He of all people should know that you can win all the time, and should be grateful for the stellar job Mercedes have done for him over the last 3 years, mechanical faults and all.

      1. meant to say “CAN’T win all the time”!

        1. @jaymenon10 Err, Lewis did basically say he can’t win them all and did congratulate Nico, even going as far as actually being the one to initiate the handshake on the podium.

          Of course he’s smarting – he lost. Didn’t Senna lock himself in rooms for hours whenever he lost?

    15. Nice work @LewisHamilton for not making it easy for Nico, this is Formula 1 and Lewis did everything within the sporting code. That’s racing

      Can’t understand people saying Lewis was ‘unsporting’. He’s a racing driver trying to win a World Championship for goodness sake.

      Complaints about Hamilton being ‘unsportsmanlike’ are utter drivel. Go watch formation crochet if you don’t like it.

      What Hamilton did by slowing down Rosberg into other cars may be completely legal but it was very definitely unsporting, this is a fact whether you like it or not. I personally do not like to see this kind of behaviour because the whole point of racing and sport is to better yourself and to try your hardest, it certainly is not about compromising other competitors with underhand methods, it is very disappointing to see this from Hamilton. I used to believe he was a true racer at heart, I cannot say this anymore after what happened in this race.

      1. Greetings!

        it certainly is not about compromising other competitors with underhand methods

        , you should tell Mercedes that.
        Radio coach, political acts to avoiding penalties, failing in providing a good car to one driver, calling Max’s dad, pestering Hamilton to speed up… Can’t help the felling that they wanted to have TWO WDCs.

      2. Same here …

      3. but it was very definitely unsporting, this is a fact whether you like it or not

        Not a fact at all, that’s your opinion.

        The problem we have in this debate is that no-one is defining what we mean by “unsporting”. To me, it means doing something that – while within the rules – is clearly against the spirit of fair competition. Unsporting behaviour to me is batsmen in cricket refusing to walk when the ball’s been caught and they know they hit it. It’s asking for an opponent to be shown a yellow or red card in football. It’s attacking in cycling when an opponent has had a mechanical failure.

        For me, what Hamilton did yesterday was in no way comparable to this type of behaviour. He merely drove at exactly the right pace to slow down Rosberg without allowing himself to be attacked.

        He would’ve crossed the line into unsporting behaviour if he’d allowed Rosberg to pull alongside, only to close the door – or if he’d managed to cause a collision (which would likely have then crossed the line from unsporting into illegal). But he didn’t – he drove a clever race and did the only thing he could to try and win the WDC, all while staying within the rules and the boundaries of sporting behaviour.

        I would’ve liked him to be more magnanimous after the race. Those of us who follow F1 don’t need Hamilton to point out the mechanical issues to know that’s been a major factor this season. He could have simply praised Rosberg and left the rest of us to reach our own conclusions on whether the right man won.

    16. Any chance Red Bull & Ferrari can run with Mercedes next year? I would love for multiple teams be involved in the drivers Championship again. This argument is not that interesting. Bith men did what they had to do. Congrats to Nico. Congrats to Lewis. Congrats to Mercedes.

    17. Carefully chosen words and nice response from Toto.

      Personally I would do the same in Lewis’s position, but as a team boss you have to look at what such actions mean for the team in the long term, as well as your credibility and authority.

    18. What Hamilton did was completely within the rulebook, but will not win him any fans. It shows the desperation people can display whilst fighting for a championship.

      I still think his tactics were a little bit naughty, but he had to do something. And hey, it certainly spiced things up.

    19. People are going to draw a comparison of times Rosberg has complied with team orders. Malaysia 2013, I hated that order, and I think Hamilton did as well. Hamilton went on the attack, then when it didn’t work out had to go into fuel saving mode. I think that should have been tough luck and Rosberg should have been allowed past. You could visibly see how little Hamilton enjoyed being on that podium.

      Monaco this year, frankly Hamilton was going to pass Rosberg eventually. He was abysmally slow and risked ruining the teams result if he didn’t comply. The championship had a long way to go with nothing certain and it was a fair call.

      In Abu Dhabi though both championships were secure for Mercedes. Hamilton was confident of the win even if he lost them the other podium, a team order was ridiculous.

      1. In Monaco… no, it wasn’t fair!! Even if HAM would have passed ROS, which I hardly believe it would have happened on-track, would have been too late for HAM. HAM was lucky indeed in Monaco, had ROS let him pass 1-2 laps later, RIC would have kept 1st after pit-stops. Still, did Mercedes ask HAM to let ROS pass in this final race because HAM was lapping too slow?!!? No, but given your logic, they should have done it since HAM was lapping slow and, exactly like in Monaco, in order to cover VET who was threatening the 1st position for Mercedes as a team.

        1. @corrado-dub

          In Monaco both championships were being contended. Rosberg wasn’t backing up Hamilton being tactical, he was just slow.

          In Abu Dhabi both championships were already in Mercedes hands, Hamilton was tactically backing up Rosberg while still confident of taking race victory for the team.

    20. ColdFly F1 (@)
      28th November 2016, 8:02

      modern Mercedes is a worthy 3x WCC, winning 51/59 races (14-16).
      Consequently the possible WDC pool was reduced to only 2 drivers.
      HAM is a worthy multi WDC conquering 31/51 of those wins.
      ROS is a worthy single WDC winning 20 times, and improving every year.

      1. nice comment! I think neither of these 2 drivers would have one any of these past 3 championships if Vettel, Alonso and Ricciardo had equal cars to Ham and Ros in the past 3 years.

    21. If Lewis had won by 20 seconds he would have been called stupid for not trying to win the WDC.
      After Merc’s antics this year I wouldn’t be surprised if Lewis left the sport in the near future, who will the journo’s write about then ?

      1. why would Lewis leave the sport? he just had 2 easy world championship wins, and nearly a third. he hasn’t had to race the sports elite for 3 years.

    22. Lewis did react quite badly at the end of the race but I am sure this was a response mainly to the team interference . It seems the team hadn’t thought through the possible scenarios and given specific instructions before the race. But of course they had said they would just let the drivers race unless they perceived dangerous manoeuvring did they seriously think Lewis would just roll over. “Sorry Governor what was I thinking of after you Nico”. I don’t believe they just wanted a German Champion after all the first step would be German cars and engines.Sorry couldn’t resist getting that in.

    23. I don’t have a problem with Hamiltons tactics during the race. It is very easy to understand why he dit it. And I don’t know many or maybe any driver who would have done it differently.

      In contract, it gave Rosberg the opportunity to demonstrate that he is really championship material. And he passed that test masterfully.

    24. That Guardian headline is a bit tabloid. There is no chance whatsoever that Toto is going to suspend Lewis, or penalise him in any way at all. If anything Toto’ll be building bridges over the winter, persuading him that the team weren’t trying to fix a win for Rosberg.

      1. Miss Conception
        28th November 2016, 14:09

        Most likely, but there might be a couple of calls to people associated with people currently associated with Mclaren and Ferrari…you know, just in case Lewis wants the Safety Car gig.

        1. Hmmm, Miss C, what do we think Nando or Seb would have made of such a season as Lewis had? Would Toto expect less fuss from them, or more? Based on history….

      2. Rosberg got a fine for Spa 2014 from Mercedes. so with all the past 2 years work by team Mercedes to try to have team orders intact, I see a possible suspension for Hamilton as real. Toto wolff today showed the numbers, with thousands of people working at Mercedes and one person acting as anarchist for his own gain over the teams ambitions. Hamilton is getting paid $30million to work for TEAM mercedes, and is expected to follow instruction – something no doubt in his contract, and something that has been reiterated after rosberg and Hamilton collisions. yesterday hamilton deliberately did not follow the team line, so a suspension or demotion is on the cards. I think after the fia awards ceremony next week, we could see havoc, maybe Hamilton even leaving Mercedes, because I know what the hierarchy in Mercedes will be thinking, how can they trust Hamilton anymore to promote the Mercedes line and be a team player? they have now seen that they do not need Hamilton to win a championship for the team, a less paid driver can do the same job (as Rosberg has).

        1. @kpcart who knows how things will pan out with the new regulations. I suspect that they’ll have Red Bull right with them next season, and if it’s neck and neck with another team of that callibre, then that’s when someone of Hamilton’s pedigree can make a difference

    25. It is kind of ironic that after six years of complaining about high-degradation Pirelli tyres that would not allow the drivers to ‘be on the limit’, the last race on them was artificially slowed down for an entirely different reason.

    26. I have to take my hat off to Christian Horner – he has been sowing some seeds of strife at Mercedes with comments like these, as well as previously informing the press about Toto’s call to Jos Verstappen. Toto’s comment of “Maybe Hamilton should be driving for Christian” shows that he is starting to get under the Austrian’s skin.

      While Adrian Newey and his team beaver away at building their 2017 challenger, Christian’s trying to drive a wedge between Hamilton and Mercedes. That way, he probably hopes that the Mercedes drivers will be battling as much between themselves as they’re battling the Red Bull pair on track next year.

      Whether this approach succeeds or blows up in his face (like last year’s lambasting of Renault) remains to be seen.

      1. Yep @phylyp the sniping between Christian and Toto is quite amusing :) Partly about Toto nixing Christian’s Merc engine deal I suppose, and partly about Toto building a rival power base in the paddock. Toto seems to be on the phone to everybody.

    27. This is racing and what Hamilton did is fair. He wanted to be the world champ and that is absolutely normal.

      Hamilton also should remember that talent alone does’nt get world championships. Good Team and Luck is really a thing. [ Look at Alonso probably the best driver on the grid but hardly seen on the front row for the last 5 years ] Going too much against Mercedes management will not do him much favors. As much as his talent, it is the Mercedes car that got him more than 50% of his wins. So he should be a little more careful about it. Even if Hamilton was not driving for Mercedes for the last 3 years they(Mercedes) would have won the WDC anyway. Sometimes it is better to create a good eco system around you. While 90% about the driver is his racing talent, 10% is about being a better personality on the grid. Folks like Button and Rosberg have done that part better than Lewis !!!

      I also think there is a bit of double standards sometimes. When Rosberg pushes hard within sporting limit then it is unfair, but when Hamilton does similar stuff it is sporting. Same like Vettel not obeying order in Malaysia is unfair !!!! But Hamilton not obeying is sporting !!!!

    28. Hamilton’s driving could have set a dangerous precedent. just because it was the last race of the season… but what is stopping drivers from using such tactics earlier in the season? that is why hamilton’s driving was wrong.. imagine if it happened earlier in the season, team santcions, heaps more public hate, calls of rigged races, calls of dirty driving…. but to win a championship, if you want to win it dirty, you can use these tactics early in the season! that is why I don’t agree that we should say hamilton’s driving was fair game… and to compare it to Senna and Schumacher is pathetic… imagine if we had the internet coverage then like now, because how I remember it, everyone hated how sSenna and Schumacher drove in the final races where they cause controversy, accusing them of cheating. Hamilton was on the verge of cheating yesterday, slowing a race on purpose deserves more penalty then how Rosberg braked late to push a driver off the driving line in Germany this year – that was a one lap incident, what Hamilton was doing was deliberate to force competitors to lose time, that IS NOT RACING.

      1. what Hamilton was doing was deliberate to force competitors to lose time, that IS NOT RACING.

        If you are saying what Hamilton did is wrong then you are saying that anytime any driver defends their position on track then they are driving dirty.

        Basically you think racing is not slowing anyone else down? So no one should defend a position they should just move over and let faster cars passed? What a heap of ****

    29. I didn’t see anything controversial yesterday. I thought David’s “not yet champion” was bitter but apart from that and sky’s “normal” stance on journalism it was fine. I think had it worked I would have find that controversial but only because you are not supposed to tamper a race, you are supposed to race, the race would end like motogp’s 2015 australian GP, a race that everybody including the people on this site loved but despite the resulted standing it was nothing more than a farce.

    30. People are short minded and blissful.

    31. Please forgive the lateness of this comment, but thank you for my first “comment of the day” @keithcollantine. I absolutely love this site. I visit F1F every day, and very much respect the views of, and enjoy reading the comments of many of the users on here, so it is a great honour to get COTD, and it brightened up what was certainly a very busy day. Thanks to you and your colleagues for your great work on site.

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