Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain walks in the pits in Abu Dhabi.
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain walks in the pits in Abu Dhabi. Kamran Jebreili

Racing great slams Hamilton over defiance of team orders

BRITISH Formula One great Jackie Stewart has hit out at Lewis Hamilton, calling him "a little ballerina” after refusing Mercedes team orders at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Stewart, the only other Brit to have won the drivers' championship three times, also said the team should get rid of Hamilton if he did not do as team bosses asked again.

Hamilton needed to win the race - which he did - and have teammate Nico Rosberg finish below third place. The German finished second.

The 31-year-old deliberately slowed down in the season-ending race to allow other drivers to put pressure on Rosberg, going against his team bosses' instructions.

Stewart was not impressed.

"I think he (Hamilton) can be a little ballerina,” Stewart told Press Association Sport.

"Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda are not stupid people, and neither is the Mercedes chairman who often comes to a grand prix.

"You cannot threaten a multinational corporation of that size by one man who is just not doing it the right way.

"Give him the option of, 'Either do it our way or you have to be excused.'

"Now, I am sorry, but when you are paid between £20 million-£30 million ($33 million-$50 million) a year and you are told to do something, you have got to do it. I don't care who you are.

"It is not the first time he has gone against instructions, and if he is going to continue to do that they have the choice of dropping him.

"He only does 21 races a year. It is no big deal. We worked our a*** off to make decent money, and they don't even do much testing now.

"Mercedes may just give him another heavy warning, but if they do that they would then have to say, 'This is what is going to happen the next time you disobey orders.' Another way would be to penalise him financially.”


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