Lewis Hamilton has claimed he felt “disrespected” after criticism from within his Mercedes team of the way he drove in the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
In a last-ditch bid to wrest the title from the clutches of teammate Nico Rosberg, race leader Hamilton slowed down the race pace and drew Rosberg into a battle for second place with Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen.
Hamilton needed to win the November 27 grand prix and hope that Rosberg finished outside the top three, but the German clung to second position and landed his first drivers’ title.
The tactics from Hamilton went against team orders, as Mercedes technical director Paddy Lowe told him to step up his speed over the closing laps.
Following the race, Mercedes head of motorsport Toto Wolff referred to the incident by stating: “Anarchy does not work in any team or in any company.”
Speaking to Channel 4, Hamilton said: “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.”
When asked if the situation had been resolved, Hamilton added: “No, it hasn’t.”
In the programme ‘Lewis v Nico: F1 2016’, Rosberg also expressed surprise at the way Hamilton drove, the Sunday Telegraph reported.
Rosberg retired in the week after landing the world title, a move which has forced Mercedes to launch an unforeseen hunt for a new teammate to partner Hamilton.
The new champion’s shock at the way the championship finale played out at the Yas Marina circuit was outlined as he suggested Hamilton abandoned pre-race plans.
Rosberg said: “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.”