Hamilton felt 'disrespected' by Mercedes in team orders row


Lewis Hamilton says he felt "disrespected" by Mercedes in the team orders row that erupted in the final race of the 2016 Formula One season.

After winning the world title in each of the previous two campaigns, Hamilton had to settle for second in the drivers' standings this year as team-mate Nico Rosberg claimed his maiden crown.

Yet Rosberg, who sensationally retired within a week of his success, was made to work for glory as Hamilton backed up the field from first place in the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the Briton knowing he needed his rival to finish outside the top three in order to snatch the title.

Hamilton's tactics prompted an order to speed up from Mercedes executive director Paddy Lowe, while the company's head of motorsport Toto Wolff went on to suggest the former McLaren driver could face team sanctions for ignoring instructions.

The Telegraph quotes Hamilton as saying: "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 definitely don't expect that from those who are in charge of so many people."

Last week, Wolff acknowledged that Mercedes could have handled the issue better, stating: "We should have communicated differently and in hindsight let them race in the way they deemed to be appropriate."

Yet asked if the situation had been resolved, Hamilton added: "No, it hasn't."

Mercedes have yet to name a replacement for Rosberg, with Williams' Valtteri Bottas the favourite to partner Hamilton in 2017.