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Hamilton hints at Mercedes ‘disrespect’

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Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton attends a press conference in Vienna on December 2, 2016

LONDON, United Kingdom, Dec 19 – Lewis Hamilton says he “felt quite disrespected” over comments made by members of the Mercedes team about the tactics he employed at the final Formula 1 Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi.

The Brit, who was defending his Formula 1 crown from the previous season, ignored team instructions to speed up as he was trying to back up Nico Rosberg into the rest of the field.

Hamilton needed a victory and hope Rosberg finished outside of the podium places, however his efforts weren’t good enough as the German came second to claim his first championship.

Mercedes commercial chief Toto Wolff was particularly outspoken after the race about Hamilton’s behaviour, he said: “Anarchy does not work in any team or in any company.”

There had been talk of repercussions over Hamilton’s actions but that all changed following Rosberg’s decision to retire only days after his maiden victory.

“That was one of many uncomfortable moments of the year,” Hamilton told Channel 4. “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.”

When asked whether his issue with the team had been resolved, Hamilton responded: “no, it hasn’t”.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner thinks Mercedes may have reacted differently had they known about Rosberg’s retirement ahead of the event at Yas Marina.

“They would probably have supported Lewis a bit more in the last race if they’d known this was going to happen,” Horner told the .

On Rosberg’s retirement, he added: “He was probably concerned that if he told them before the event they would perhaps have not been as enthusiastic for him to win the championship.

“So you can understand it from a personal point of view.

“Of course that doesn’t serve the best interests of the team, it’s a very late call. He only signed a contract a couple of months ago. Then he was obviously happy to continue and then had a change of heart.”

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