Lowe refused to give Hamilton a second order to speed up

2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Mercedes’ executive director for technical Paddy Lowe has revealed how Lewis Hamilton’s controversial tactics in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix baffled the team’s strategists.

Hamilton infuriated the team by deliberately slowing in the latter phase of the race in an attempt to encourage other cars to pass Nico Rosberg, which was his last chance of winning the championship.

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix team radio transcript
A few laps from the flag Lowe was heard on the radio telling Hamilton: “We need you to pick up the pace to win this race. That is an instruction.”

Hamilton ignored the instruction and continued to restrict the pace but Lowe was reluctant to issue a second order, as he explained in an interview at the Autosport Awards.

“When I told Lewis to speed up the next debate on the pit wall came from Toto to ‘tell him again, he hasn’t done it’,” said Lowe. “So I said ‘no, then I will look a complete pillock if I do that again’.”

“James [Vowles] who sits to my right, is actually the most fantastic strategist. But it didn’t compute with him that the driver wasn’t going at the right speed. So he was struggling with that.”

“And then it was ‘well, make him speed up otherwise the graph shows we’ll lose’. So the conversation I was having was ‘don’t you think once he sees a red car in the mirror he’ll put the throttle in a bit harder?’ So we were having our own debates. But I put a marker down.”

Lowe said the tense conclusion to the season was “a great ending for not only the team but for the sport as a whole that will really have brought new fans to the sport”.

“Although I told Lewis to speed up I think it was fine what happened,” he added.

“It’s worth remembered that in Monaco we told Nico to let Lewis past and that was my other team instruction of the year and he did that within one corner. Just for a bit of balance, that’s worth remembering.”

2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
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    216 comments on “Lowe refused to give Hamilton a second order to speed up”

    1. So really, they were so focused on there computer data and forgot a human was driving the car infront.
      Thats quite embarrasing for such a clever bunch of guys.

      1. @theoddkiwi
        Have you tried reading the article?

        1. I’m going to go out on a limb and say yes, they have read the article. Because that is clearly what it says Vowles did.

          Lewis Hamilton was in a Mercedes and was in the lead. He wasn’t going to lose that race – you don’t need graphs to tell you that.

        2. make him speed up otherwise the graph shows we’ll lose

          I’d say he has read it yeah

          1. So the conversation I was having was ‘don’t you think once he sees a red car in the mirror he’ll put the throttle in a bit harder?’ So we were having our own debates. But I put a marker down.

            Seriously …

            1. Yes. The fact that Lowe had to say that to another team member proves the OPs point too.

            2. @ Martin:
              Op said they were so focussed on computer data that they forgot a human was driving the car. However, the article unambiguously says that the only one who seemed to struggle to reach that conclusion, was Mercedes’s strategy guy James Vowles, whereas Paddy Lowe completely disagreed with him.

              James Vowles is no they, is he? He’s a highly specialised numbers guy, but crucially, he is one person with a very particular view on that subject. The broad majority of the ‘bunch of clever guys’ were absolutely aware of what was happening, so there’s nothing they need to be embarrassed of.

            3. Ah the lack of reply buttons :(


              The broad majority of the ‘bunch of clever guys’ were absolutely aware of what was happening

              If that was the case how did it get to the point of Lowe radioing Hamilton to say to speed up?

            4. @nase

              If you include Toto then it is they

              “When I told Lewis to speed up the next debate on the pit wall came from Toto to ‘tell him again, he hasn’t done it’,” said Lowe. “So I said ‘no, then I will look a complete pillock if I do that again’.”

              I mean common you don’t need to be picky about the they. It is not clear who tought like that or not, apart from James.. who cares?

          2. petebaldwin (@)
            5th December 2016, 10:24

            All of this is irrelevant though – the fact is that they were asking Hamilton to speed up so that they (Mercedes) won a meaningless race in a championship that was already finished at the expense of him winning the drivers title.

            It shows what Mercedes thinks of the WDC – less important than winning a race that means absolutely nothing.

            1. No, it means that the team boss wants his cars to get a safe one-two every race and make his brand look as good as it can. What he doesn’t want is them crashing or being beaten by a Ferrari.

            2. No it more appropriately explains the complete disconnects that explain Monaco 015 or Austria 016.

              In other words races where Mr Strategy persistently penalises the out front leader by miles just to ensure a 1-2 even at the expense of said leader – and particularly Hamilton because Rosberg frankly always needed more help getting up the grid. It certainly caused Austria this year. It signposts a flaw in the equal driver and just one strategist like it or not.

              As for speeding up – every time LH has shown his absolute mastery and just vanished (something his ex team mate has never done )!it has come back and bit him.


              Just a couple – let alone the blow ups!

              You name it. And as a result I do not blame him for driving slow as possible. I mean with Malaysia as the last time you went for it? The race that ended your chamionship?

              Obviously there were other reasons for him doing so in Abu but honestly Mercedes were so far wrong in just about all reading of that race it’s untrue.

              And there lies the weakness – they fall apart in the one guy and his computers desperate to get 1-2’s is a substantial weakness particularly if one driver is much stronger and far in the lead and a slick team will take them apart if they do not have a car superiority.

              Time to get real. Before you end up like Macca who did not believe it was raining because the computer said so – even with plastic ducks floating down the pit lane…

          3. +1 Lowe says they were having a debate – probably between taking the calculations at face value and an alternative scenario where Hamilton reacts, speeds up and gets away. It doesn’t actually make a whole lot of sense, though, that they even had a debate: if they thought Lewis could speed up, then it’s fairly obvious he would if Vettel got past. The question is whether he could speed up enough. But given how long it was taking Vettel to pass at a slower speed, he probably had it covered.

      2. You have a point there.
        Maybe Nico realized he was being treated like a machine instead of a human being.
        So he decided his wife and child were more important then Mercedes or glory.

        1. So tired of this Nico the family man crap – he was coming back if he lost!,,

          It’s obvious he knew it would not happen again and picked up the ball and ran off with it.

          Just like the sportsman he has been throughout!

          1. Although to be fair, at least he will have “undefeated world champion” to his name, which Hamilton won’t be able to say (for now). The “for now” bit, is in case Hamilton wins the WDC again, and promptly retires himself, which could happen.

            1. I know it’s only words but it’s all we can go off for now but funnily today Hamilton was quoted saying he would not retire, he says he gives an opportunity for someone to take it from him. Who knows though in a few years he could win the WDC but it be the most intense season of his life and he thinks “i’m no way in hell doing that again” and bows out, kinda the way i think Rosberg has done it.

            2. I think Triple World Champion with two teams and once without the constructors winning car (2008) will always sound much better.

            3. You are not “undefeated” just because you decide to throw in the towel before the season even starts.

              That being said, I totally respect his decision. It is not easy to put the family before your career when most of your life has been centered around this. Might be a little bit easier at this point, and he decided to take the plunge. I can’t fault that.

            4. “undefeated” relative to what exactly? was ham beating bushes past three years?

            5. Caveat, LH Fan here:
              Respect to Nico for the family man’s choice AND for the “… and now you can’t take it from me!”.

              If Lewis can be a “Mercenary” in his actions (and he is) then more power to Nico for making the most of this moment.

            6. He’s been defeated for season after season for years. What part of, if you don’t win the Championship in a given season, you were defeated, don’t you understand?

          2. I agree with you Drg. My comment was too soon even though I linked it with Barry Foster. I respect what Nico did, it’s his decision like Fosters was to go professional fly fishing instead of playing NFL football. The whole, “classy family man” crap is hyperbolic.

      3. Theoddkiwi (@theoddkiwi) Back at Brackley there is a team of 20 strategists who are connected live and are reviewing the race and strategy lap by lap. their job is to look at the Data and make recomendations as the race progresses. Naturally they expect the driver to conform to the strategy pointers and decisions. They are not concerned with the human aspect as it could cloud their judgement and decisions so the only embarrassing aspect of this scenario is that either you did not know this or you are disregarding the ruling system. Whichever way you slice it and dice it, Hamilton is a paid employee and he should respect the decisions of the team. He was happy with the strategy at the beginning of the race where he got first call on pit stops and therefore the advantage that that gave him and then went against the team when it suited him. He needs to be disciplined. And your post make you look a little stupid imho.

        1. Well of course Hamilton was OK with the strategy at the beginning, because if he started backing up Rosberg right from the start, Mercedes would of brought Rosberg in first. They said that is what they would do. Therefore the only time Hamilton could start backing up Rosberg is after the final pitstop, which is exactly what he did.
          As for disobeying orders, please. Any driver trying to win a WDC who obeys such an order to basically give up winning such title would be considered a right fool.
          The last bit was uncalled for, he/she is right, plus it was pretty obvious that if they had looked at the actual rather than the timing screens, that there was never in any doubt that Hamilton had P1 “in the bag”. So a little less data watching and a bit more race watching is what they should done.
          Finally, Mercedes management went against the word that stated they would not interfere. Therefore when they issued those orders they were making themselves look foolish, not the driver trying to win a WDC.

          1. No they’re not.

            There was a rumour, and Wolff was asked point blank on the grid prior to the race if the plan of “if Lewis holds up Nico, you’ll bring Nico in first” was true, and he said it was. So of course Hamilton wasn’t going to noticeably hold him up until after the last stop.

            They also said prior to the race that they wouldn’t interfere with the championship race. Until they did.

            And as I’ve said already, Hamilton was in front driving a Mercedes – of course he had it under control.

          2. What is laughable is to defend data blindness in a *sport*. Sport is supposed to be about people. If I wanted to watch cars go round based on a simulation, I’d watch a simulation and I’d be bored to tears. Mercedes actively tried to take the climax to our sporting year away from us and replace it with a Mercedes advert. Even C4 have the respect to hold ads till after the race.

          3. “look foolish” you mean ‘complete pillocks’ :)

        2. Angela, your insult to theoddkiwi is unacceptable and the rest of your comment is an insult to logic, imho.

          1. Agree with Angela, and I think a point needs to be re-iterated that LH had agreed before the race not to do what he did. He is the one that put them in the spot of having to make an instruction.

            1. Too right Robbie. The LH drones miss this point every time.

        3. Hamilton is a paid employee and he should respect the decisions of the team.

          I take it you think Piquet jnr is blameless and deserves another chance in F1 as all he did was respect the decision of the team ?

          1. Yeah, that’s a reasonable comparison.

            1. @robbie
              It’s as reasonable as expecting a driver to listen to a silly instruction to throw away the only opportunity he has to win a championship over half way through the last race of a season when the constructors championship is already won.

            2. it’s not a reasonable comparism as he Piquet Jr should have said no, resigned and then sued Renault for constructive dismissal.

            3. @beneboy What have you been drinking… can I get some? :-)

            4. @robbie

              Yeah, that’s a reasonable comparison.

              So you see that a result was fixed in both cases? If so, should the team principal be banned from F1 like the responsible for the crashgate?
              And before you accuse me of being desingenuous or reading things you haven’t written, I’m only trying to see all the possibilities from a similar case (“…reasonable comparison.”).

            5. @humb I think you have missed my sarcasm.

          2. Good comparison. But, how many teams would take a disobedient LH – any team that could afford him, Mercedes included.

            That’s the “real politik” that LH knew was an option and Mercedes’ pit wall knew they’d be explaining against their radio statements if they made too big of a stand. Further, LH would take a pay cut if it meant a WDC. Mercedes “let them race” policy had a similar problem when they crashed into each other.

            It’s a complex world out there.

        4. It would be nice if all the ‘paid employee’ protagonists actually did a little research into how F1 drivers are Contracted And the role of the F1 contracts board.

          Instead of imposing their own employment issues and feelings or demands onto a contractual status that they clearly ignore or have no knowledge of while wishing said F1 driver would be treated as they are in their workplace.

          Despite the fact there is a reason they earn 10’s of Millions that said ’employee’ will not.

          1. geoffgroom44 (@)
            5th December 2016, 18:44


          2. Well said DRG. The economics of the driver-team contract are completely different. When people spout the usual “if I went against my boss’ orders I would lose my job” I just laugh. And no decent driver would agree to terms giving the team full authority to execute whatever team orders they deemed acceptable.

        5. He needs to be disciplined.

          Its Formula 1, not an S&M evening. (Though some people have occasionally mixed up the two.)

        6. Paid employee……. I prefer hired “Gun”.

        7. Then just stick a robot in the car and be done with it. Jeez.

      4. Michael Brown (@)
        6th December 2016, 1:54

        They’re the same bunch of guys who forgot that it is hard to overtake in Monaco last year.

    2. James is the most fantastic strategist but coudnt get his head around the slower timed laps that Lewis was doing in the race……surely that job is to work out from the drivers actual speeds…what the strategy then is…he’s not that fantastic then if he couldn’t work out what Lewis was doing after the pitstops…….thankfully Lewis had it all under control
      ….and Paddy you didn’t need a second call to make yourself look a pillock

      1. @jop452 yeah but what use is there for a strategist to work out a strategy when the driver is not following the current best strategy? Hamilton basically went rogue, and I would say it is normal for a strategist to be lost at that point.

        1. Went rogue = drove the car himself.

          1. Went rogue = ignored those without whom he wouldn’t be (paid to be) in that position, in that car, with that number of titles.

            1. David – remind me not to employ you…

              You do realise he won the race and is not an employee?

              No probably not but there is no amount of education that will resolve your issues…

            2. What Lewis isn’t employed Mercedes?

              I’m not a Mercedes employee, how do I get to drive?

            3. geoffgroom44 (@)
              5th December 2016, 18:50

              He is paid what he is paid and contracted precisely because ‘he goes rogue’ as you call it. Some call it genius.Some call it highly motivated.In sport, some call it impossible. He is a champ, and Verstappen is also coming along the ‘rogue route’ simply because they seem able to do the unthinkable and do it at tremendous speed. Just look at Max in Brazil.
              And whilst we are on the subject of the ‘technicians’ and ‘virtual reality experts’, why were they not seeing the failure of oil pressure in their engine prior to it blowing up?
              The art of F1 transcends merely the technical don’t you think?

          2. David BR
            5th December 2016, 10:30

            Went rogue = drove the car himself.
            No it = Totally diregarded the teams instructions because he is a little prima donna and need his butt kicking all the way home. Not a sporting bone in his body and totally disrespectful to his team with whom he had agreed a racing protocol with 3 years previously.

            1. Hahahaha riiiiiight. Wanting to win the WDC = not a sporting bone in his body? The only unsporting and disrespectful thing that happened in Abu Dhabi was Mercedes asking Hamilton to give Rosberg the championship.

            2. No it = Totally diregarded the teams instructions because he is a little prima donna and need his butt kicking all the way home.

              I think you are showing your anti-Hamilton bias there.

              Again, Mercedes hired Hamilton because he is one of the best. No top driver will give up on the WDC while he still has a chance. Ergo, Hamilton was doing exactly what the team employed him for, and the team issued an order which they knew he would never follow.

              “Not a sporting bone in his body” – Again, showing your bias.

              “totally disrespectful to his team” – Or doing exactly what the team pays him for: driving to the best of his ability, trying to win the WDC.

            3. Except you’re forgetting the most important part:

              The team said, “Hamilton, if you don’t speed up, Vettel will win the race”.

              Hamilton didn’t speed up.

              Vettel didn’t win the race. He didn’t even make it past Rosberg (although he came close once).

              This suggests the driver knew better than the team– and not for the first time, either (Hungary 2014, Canada 2012 being the first two examples I can think of)– and that’s why Paddy wouldn’t repeat the message.

            4. Tell us about previously agreeing things… Rosberg agreed to drive for more two years for Mercedes, and then he quits just like that! And making sure that the whole world knows that it wouldn’t be retiring for him is he had failed in getting the crown. That could be seen as selfish act, putting himself over the team, making the team at his disposal, not the other way around. But HE CAN, because he speaks even Esperanto, he has a wife, he has a daughter, he has blue eyes (pick one).
              Who’s letting the team down?

            5. @humb

              Who’s letting the team down?

              Which is precisely the question that would be looming were Mercedes to have carried through the threat to penalize Hamilton, and one very good reason why the idea was probably dropped two minutes after Rosberg’s announcement.

          3. David, Ham clearly Hamilton went rogue, he chose the dark side precisely because the force is strong with it! think not, do or do not… :) buzzz buzzz…

      2. ColdFly F1 (@)
        5th December 2016, 10:26

        Never liked it when Mercedes went with 2 bosses (or even 3 before the bullied the best one out).

        1. Ross Braun agreed a 3 year contract with Haug when Mercedes purchased the team and he left when his contract was up. So where is the bullying that you are referring to?

          1. Ross told recently that he left Mercedes because he felt he couldn’t trust Wolff and Lauda.
            He seems to be pretty on the point, given the way the two austrian managed the team in the last three years. Hampering their best driver’s season twice and making him lose once could be very, very costly, if Red Bull builts a good 2017 challenge.

            1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
              5th December 2016, 14:24

              @liko41 yes, that small comment carries a huge amount of truth and wasn’t made lightly by Ross.

              No one has any idea of what Lewis has been able to achieve over the past 2 years. He must be equally shocked by Lewis’ achievements, probably more than Toto and Niki who are screaming “what on earth do we need to do here?”. Toto got so desperate that he called Verstappen’s dad – Nico was flying the Red Bull drivers and begging them to let him win. And before the last race, they were blackmailing Lewis and begging him to lose the WDC in the race…

              I think Mercedes banked on the fact that Nico would win the last 4 races as he did last year or at least match Lewis as he doesn’t favor those tracks but Lewis crushed Nico like a grape in quali and during the race in all 4:-)

              They didn’t even get that strategy right!!:-)

          2. ColdFly F1 (@)
            5th December 2016, 13:30

            @ Angela,

            So where is the bullying that you are referring to?

            In Ross’ own words “people were imposed on me I couldn’t trust”

    3. I think the issue here is that Nico obeyed the earlier order. Without that Lewis probably would not have one the Monaco GP. Nico was a team player and always has been, Lewis has always put himself before the team, forgetting that without the team he would not be the successful driver he deservedly is.

      1. geoffgroom44 (@)
        5th December 2016, 18:55

        Which is why, of course, in almost every interview Lewis gives after every win he is quick to pay tribute to all of the team and thank them for all of their work,dedication and encouragement. You probably miss this because you have already switched off in disgust that HAM has done it again.2016: 10 wins!

        1. Yeah that stupid drivel he spots every time, thx team, fans so great, blabla. He always totally ignores the question being asked and rams his vinyl record into play.

          1. geoffgroom44 (@)
            6th December 2016, 13:30

            My goodness, you really do hate him, don’t you? He was accused of not appreciating the team yet when he does you dismiss it. As for the question being asked, his ignoring of it is on a par with your ignoring of his thankful responses about the team.Pots and kettles,huh?

      2. I’m pretty sure walking away under contract because you want to raise your daughter (in others words, because YOU WANT to do so) can easily be seen as putting him/herself before the team. No matter the reason, he signed a contract, stated his will and terms. Is he that team player after all?

        1. @humb
          You cannot force someone to drive in F1. It is just too dangerous and you cannot do it properly if your ming is not there. Rosberg explained than now that he has achieved his goal he is not willing to go through it all again. He particularly said that trying to win the Championship had a big impact on his family.

          He did sign a contract, but Mercedes seem to be willing to cancel it just as a form of recognition of his contribution to the team.

          Mercedes have always respected their drivers even after they leave their team. For example they have not cancelled Shumacher’s sponshorship deal and they still pay to maintain Dick Seaman’s grave.

    4. I think when the pillocks thought about it they realised what a stupid order they gave Hamilton, no way on God’s earth would Hamilton make it easy for anyone in a title challenge, what the hell were they thinking…

      1. Worse is that he was very mild compared to other much more drastic and dubious tactics he could have tried, like blocking Rosberg at the start or luring Rosberg past and then effectively pushing him off. And quite a lot of drivers past and maybe present would, on evidence, have tried that.

      2. LH shouldn’t have told them before the race he wouldn’t back Nico up. He is the reason for the instruction.

        1. Yeah he should have told them his plan before hand so they would ensure Rosberg wins the race, great idea…..

          1. Well apparently the team discussed it, so even if LH was never going to obey an order, one can understand why it was given.

            1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
              5th December 2016, 13:57

              @damonw ha-ha poor Lewis though, that’s gotta be crazy. Imagine you’re standing in a meeting and your team is telling you to make sure you lose the WDC or they will make sure they do it for you. That’s on top of everything else you’ve had to put up over the year.

              I think Toto and Niki must be looking at Lewis’ poles and wins this year and scratching their heads thinking what would he have scored if they let Lewis actually race for a season.

            2. They discussed to fix the race?

        2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          5th December 2016, 13:42

          @Robbie Mercedes should not have blackmailed Lewis that they would pit him second if he backed it up before the race – why is Mercedes putting so much pressure on Lewis before the race and asking him to lose the WDC?

          They should have had faith in their main driver – after all, how many times has Lewis saved them on track when they (Mercedes) were Manor clueless? If Lewis could strategize and race, he’d probably have won have the races he’s raced as opposed to 1/3, not to mention the guaranteed WDC in 2016…

          Have you seen clueless Nico making a good call on anything? Have you seen Mercedes turn into Manor when it comes to Nico?

        3. @robbie – “LH shouldn’t have told them before the race he wouldn’t back Nico up”

          There is no evidence he “told” them that. The reports simply claim the team said IF he did that, they would bring Nico in first. At least, that is how i understand it.

        4. Whatever you do Robbie…

          Don’t join the army or work in a competitive environment.

          You will lose everything with that philosophy.

          1. @kbdavies According to gt-racer, from last week, LH and the team had a meeting and all agreed that LH would not try to back Nico up. Underlying this of course is that no matter what, LH had to win that race to have any chance.

            I’m not surprised nor disappointed that LH did what he did, but nor am I surprised, after hearing what occurred before the race, that the team gave him an instruction upon seeing Vettel’s strategy.

            At the same time the team had every right to protect Nico as well. Abu Dhabi was not about doing everything possible to help LH defeat NR. Why would they allow only LH extraordinary measures to help him, only to screw Nico?

            Where this all gets muddy is that a bunch of you are convinced that LH has been conspired against all season, including in the last race, and you can’t fathom that LH had equal treatment and just worse luck reliability wise, which is so so common in F1.

            I don’t believe for a second that there was any conspiracy, and I don’t believe the team owed LH a screwing over of Nico. Conspiracy theorists think LH was owed some extraordinary measures or it could only mean further conspiracy. And that’s incorrect, overdramatized drivel, pushed forward by LH himself.

            So from an equality standpoint, you have Mercedes knowing they haven’t done anything intentional against LH, yet LH himself stirs that pot all year, then in the last race they’re supposed to favour him over Nico? Why should they? The best they were going to do was what they did…urge him to ensure he gets the win, because he certainly wasn’t going to win the WDC without that.

            1. Nonsense.
              They should not favor anybody, they both are grown-ups and enough maturated in F1 world.
              Where this all gets muddy is that a bunch of you, the Anti-Hamilton Brigade and the Nico’s supporters, are convinced that Mercedes haven’t done anything unusual; even had followed F1 for years you are not being able to make good questions and are accepting being fed.
              You trully are a intelligent bloke, why are you failing in make the right questions about what happened in this season? The clues are all there.
              I am sure someday, while talking to somebody about the corporate environment and some imbalances in it you will remember the 2016 season. What you gonna do with that insight? We don’t know, and don’t care, because it is clear that you are not willing to change your point of view, but I guess you’re gonna lie to yourself using your beautiful and well crafted misconsceptions as you are doing now.
              Too bad.

            2. @robbie in the last race, the instruction to not let Hamilton use that strategy, was against him having an equal opportunity to win the WDC. The only way they could have equal opportunity in the race would be to allow them to use the strategy they needed to win the championship. The only rule they should have set would be for the drivers not to collide. All this uproar about ignoring the team is nonsense because in that instance the team were wrong

      3. geoffgroom44 (@)
        5th December 2016, 18:56


    5. The whole team looked like a ‘pillock’ either way imho.

      With both the drivers and constructors titles garuanteed to go to Merc, the 1-2 finish was never going to be more important than the title deciding race between Nico and Lewis. If they ‘couldn’t compute’ that, that represents a first-class show of incompetence imho. Or worse, they did know that but still interfered and thus just blatantly favored Rosberg over Hamilton.

      1. @jeffreyj they had to make the order to remain impartial. If not they would have changed their usual approach. At the same time they would have known he wouldn’t follow them. Basically they got the drivers to do what they wanted, while still being able to say they acted as in any other race.

        1. @mattds I do get where you’re coming from but what I’m saying is that merely mechanically enforcing the company rules here, given the situation, is naive and unreasonable.

          Look at it this way, you think that not applying the rules by the team leaders would be weak leadership, but to me strong leadership is quite the opposite of avoiding responsability by hiding behind rulles.

          Simply applying a static predetermined set of rules regardless of context and then, as management, throwing your arms up in the air is like saying you don’t understand your jobinstructions. As the management you make, change and apply the rules and you should understand the situation your employees are in and deal with it accordingly.

      2. ColdFly F1 (@)
        5th December 2016, 10:30

        the 1-2 finish was never going to be more important than the title deciding race between Nico and Lewis.

        As much as I hated Paddy’s instruction (I’d let them play it out), I can’t agree with you statement.
        With WCC and WDC guaranteed the next most important thing for the team become wins and 1-2’s. They don’t care which of their 2 employees becomes WDC!

        1. Not to mention that most teams give out bonuses to their employees depending on the race results. So risking the win might not be important to the driver who gets paid millions either way but it is to the guys in the pits or back at the factory.

          1. Even if an engine blows up? Performing a pit stop under three seconds, but if the dominant team doesn’t get the 1-2 finish my whole work will mean nothing?
            I guess they manage to analise the context of certain situation in order to reward someone’s efforts the right way, like, if a bunch of mechanics can change the four tires within a certain amount of time, and so helping to put the car(s) on the highest spots, they can receive the bonus you mentioned, assuming you’re are right about the bonus

          2. @coldfly

            With WCC and WDC guaranteed the next most important thing for the team become wins and 1-2’s. They don’t care which of their 2 employees becomes WDC!

            I get that they don’t care who of their drivers wins the WDC and that’s how it should be. However, if you already have both titles garuanteed but you disregard the magnitude of a WDC deciding final race for your employee drivers over mere race 1-2 finish for the brand, you just disrespect and severely mismange your drivers imho.

            They didn’t say they did this, however. They said they “could’t compute” why Lewis drove slower than optimal (with regards to the 1-2 team finish). If thát would really true, the team show they don’t know what the context and magnitude of said context is and that they apparently don’t know what their drivers would logically do given said context i.e. incompetent management… either way.

            The third possibility is that they díd know all this, despite the story they put out there now (as they should really because we simple fans also know, it was obvious). If so, they knew ordering Lewis to speed up would equal deciding the championship by teamorders in Rosbergs favor.

            Like I said elswhere here on this forum, I never believed Merc favored Rosberg and I still don’t believe the reliability conspiracies, but in hindsight putting this weird radio conversation next to the 12 lap undercut in favor of Rosberg in Austria and the ‘no-help’ situation for Lewis in Baku versus the emediate help Rosberg got at the British GP and Lauda instantly blaming Lewis for the Spain crash before having talked to them…. I mean, in hindsight it adds up and I realized that, although no hard proof is there, it sure smells fishy to me at the very least.

    6. paddy mentioned what happened in monaco,but that was a completely different situation.

      in monaco nico wasnt slow on purpose,he was slow because he was struggling in the wet.i think he was about 2 seconds a lap slower.

      also the WCC hadnt been won yet.

      1. And yet Nico reacted to the request within one corner. He is the only driver of the two to respect his team’s instructions

        1. Drivers are there to drive the cars in any way they see fit. They are not puppets of the team they drive for. Both Nico & Lewis are grown men, able to make their own decisions & choices in life. The team already had the WDC & WCC in the bag so should let the drivers make their own choices & not interfere.

          1. No, they’re not. They’re part of a team. This is a team sport, as much as you personally may not like it. That’s why there are teams in the first place, a CC and DC, and not just a bunch of drivers in their own cars (anymore). If they don’t want to play by the team’s rules, buy or make their own car.

        2. Paddy seems to think this was significant, though it’s not clear if he thinks Lewis was good or bad. He’s been in it long enough to know that a driver who’s easy to control tends to be easy for other drivers to control too.

          And in Monaco both championships were open, a rival team was up the road, Rosberg had already cost the other car 14s, was 2s a lap slower which would have amounted to 2.5 minutes over the race, and was negotiating a contract. So the situations aren’t really comparable.

          1. geoffgroom44 (@)
            5th December 2016, 19:03

            You have made what I believe to be the single most pertinent comment in the whole of this ‘mini whitehall farce’, namely: “He’s (Paddy) been in it long enough to know that a driver who’s easy to control tends to be easy for other drivers to control too”

        3. Why should Lewis be blamed for Nico’s own foolish decision?

        4. He is the only driver of the two to respect his team’s instructions

          1) No hes not he has ignored the team too, 2) Rosberg had no choice. Imagine the fallout if Rosberg had cost Mercedes the race win for the second race in a row (after Spain). It was in Rosbergs best interest to let Hamilton pass him, Hamilton was always going to finish ahead anyway

          1. Not to mention also, at the time of Monaco, Rosberg was in contract negotiations and the ‘big bosses’ of Daimler (the company that owns Mercedes) where at the race.

    7. A real racer will done anything to win the race, some eg. Senna and Schumacher went beyond the legal to win. Lewis stayed within that boundary but he was never going to roll over and just give his championship away without some sort of fight. He did nothing wrong and the team should have left them to it.

      1. geoffgroom44 (@)
        6th December 2016, 13:34

        and a real racer would at least have attempted to go from 2nd to 1st, if that was possible. But settling for 2nd and the championship is heralded as strategic and smart, so why is what Hamilton did not similarly heralded?

    8. Lewis has gained out this. It’s clear he won’t be reprimanded (and wouldn’t care less anyway)
      With a strong team-mate next year he knows he can ignore protocol when it suits him, but it’s more likely Merc will just give him a number 2 driver now.
      It’s not as if they didn’t know what they were getting into when they signed him.

      1. You’re making a meal out of this. It’s really not a big deal.

        1. geoffgroom44 (@)
          6th December 2016, 13:45

          true. After all the ‘naughty boy’ did win 10 races this season and was mindblowingly controlling at Brazil in the horrendous conditions. Merc have to make a show but team bosses (team bosses, not inexperienced wafflers) still voted Lewis the best driver of 2016 with a score of 234 out of a max of 275 (51 points clear of….Verstappen, not Rosberg). JS calls him a ‘ballerina’ and it’s meant to be derisory,however, ballerinas exert incredible talent and control, precision and balance, in what they do – so I guess JS was actually being complimentary even if he didn’t mean to be.

    9. In a serious Mercedes team that would be the last race for Lewis at Mercedes…

      1. Why would Merc get rid of their only remaining driver?

        Even before Rosberg announced his retirement, why would they get rid of a driver who was likely to win them more championships?

        The team is serious about winning championships. To do that they need the best drivers. Hamilton is one of the best drivers, and they would be unlikely to lure a better driver from another team, or one whose “team spirit” made up for lower driving skills.

        And as much as people say that Mercedes gave Hamilton a car to win his WDCs, Hamilton gave Mercedes the driver they needed to win Championships. Even in a dominant car, you still need top drivers to win. They were happy to have Lewis there while he was winning them races, happy to have the competitive spirit needed to win championships, but expected him to turn that off in the final round?

      2. Lolita , this time I have to agree with you.

        Unfortunately, by giving that very unserious instruction to Hamilton, Mercedes showed themselves to be a very UN-serious team. At least for that race.

        1. geoffgroom44 (@)
          6th December 2016, 13:48

          In a serious Merc team the instruction would never have been given in the first place! But if they want to make it the last race for HAM then there’s a whole line up of F1 bosses who would contract him tomorrow. By a stunning majority they vote him the best driver of 2016. It was a major error by Merc and did nothing to enhance Nico’s championship win but rather substantially detracted from it.

    10. It was clear Lewis was trying to win the WDC and it was clear the team wanted Nico to win it. Thats all fair.

      It is really disturbing for the team to now state their previous radio comments were only driven by confusion. The team just looks ridiculous trying to justify their statements. It is always the ‘cover-up’ that offends the most.

      They should just drop it, anyone who cares has already made up their mind.

    11. I reckon James Vowles’ inability to compute the extra variable sheds a bit of light on Austria, where he basically gave Rosberg a 12-lap undercut on Hamilton, and thus basically the win after a slow stop and a lockup got thrown into the fragile mix he’d created.

      1. That Austria GP strategy, but also the pitwall messages in Abu Dhabi that would garuantee Rosberg to the title and not giving Lewis the instructions he needs in Baku but then emmediately giving Rosberg the instructions during the British GP, it’s….it’s just weird to me.

        I don’t believe the conspiracy talk about sabotaging Hamilton but it sure seems that the Merc team had a preference for Nico. I only really noticed it at Abu Dhabi because it was so blatent what it would mean if Lewis obeyed, but now looking back at the season that feeling just doesn’t go away.

        1. +1
          Hindsight shows some worrying issues.

      2. Even though Lewis came from the apparent ashes of that GP. I’m sure the unfair treatment he got that sunday was driving him nuts, because we all witnessed a guy who wasn’t driving, he was being driven, and Rosberg just did poo in his suit when the communication from the pitwalls warned him, no surprise he hit a curb that day (if I recall well). It’s not easy to run from the Hammer. LoL
        Then the wimp just collided with Lewis and after that tryed to block his returning to the track. Shameful (and there are those who try to claim Rosberg is a fine sportsman… Go figure), that was the second time in the season that Rosberg bad calls could had caused serious injuries to himself or his teammate. But when you speak even Esperanto you can do such things and the most of people will troll Lewis.

    12. Imagine the situation – Lewis is sitting in second place in the championship to Vettel in his Ferrari coming into the last race of the season. Lewis needs to win the race with Vettel finishing lower than 3rd. Lewis leads away from pole position and Vettel in second, late in the race a fast charging Max Verstappen is coming through the field on new tyres. What are the Mercedes strategists going to do?

      James [Vowles] who sits to my right, is actually the most fantastic strategist. But it didn’t compute with him that the driver wasn’t going at the right speed. So he was struggling with that.

      I struggle to believe that a top strategist and extremely clever guy could not compute that his driver was executing the only strategy open to him at that point – Lewis was going at the right speed for his strategy, just not the right speed for Nico’s and Mercedes’ strategy. This suggests that the only strategy Mercedes were prepared to work on was one which gave Nico the championship. Had the situation involved another competitor as above Mercedes and Vowles would have been all over it.

      I’m glad to read that Paddy Lowe realised how stupid he could look by repeating a call which he knew would be ignored even if he delivered it every 10 seconds. He probably knew he would look silly the first time but I guess it’s his job so he had to do it. My only real criticism with Merc is not that they shouldn’t have done what they did (in the end they won both championships, had a 1-2 finish at the end of season race and made Rosberg a very happy man) – but rather that they look silly by saying things like “we didn’t expect him to do that”, “it didn’t compute that he was driving at the wrong speed”, “we though Vettel was going to win” when it was obvious to everyone else exactly what was likely to happen and why!

      1. +1 Exactly this.

        The problem Merc has is the 1strategist for both drivers means the team blatantly prefers 1 driver over another even though the team have the WCC.

        1. Nail – head!

          What really annoys me is they must think the viewing public are truly stupid and that is frankly unforgivable.

      2. @jerseyf1, you make a compelling case for MB wanting Nico to win a WDC. Wondering why it seemed so important to them, and being mischevious. could it be they actually have an agreement to employ a new driver next year and promised Nico the WDC if he retired. Okay it’s way too conspiratorial outside of a Hollywood movie, but sometimes truth is stranger than fiction, and what else will we talk about till next year anyway.

        1. @hohum I don’t believe any conspiracy theory about this. I think that Hamilton was just genuinely unlucky with his failure(s) over the season relative to Rosberg, and Rosberg maximised his chances. It’s not that unusual. I also think Hamilton either didn’t quite get on top of the clutch issues as well as Rosberg or perhaps was also unlucky there too. I don’t believe that there was a conspiracy by MB to have Rosberg win over the course of the season, just that when it came to the last race of the season they stuck to the same philosophy they have all year of trying to maximize both cars potential which in this particular scenario meant advantage Rosberg (or would have if Hamilton had complied).

          Remember the season finale in 2007 when the FIA had observers in the McLaren garage to make sure McLaren didn’t favour one driver over the other on strategy or other aspects of the race weekend (I could be wrong but I think this was more about Alonso’s insecurity than Hamilton’s)? Interesting that there was no similar policy in place for this race (or indeed at the final race of 2014) at Mercedes but that also is probably symptomatic of the FIA’s anti McLaren/Dennis stance under Mosley (now that’s a conspiracy I can buy into!!)

          1. @jerseyf1, I agree entirely, I just wish that these conspiracy claimers would at least have some kind of logical storyline to back up their unshakeable belief. 2007 team orders banned, 2016 not.

      3. Well said @jerseyf1, I am very glad someone – the guy who’s officially responsible what happens in the team during the race, ie. the one that needs to understand their, and their drivers position and goal in the race – had the right idea about what the situation was, but there is also clearly a dangerous situation where data is trusted regardless of common sense.

        It probably explains mistakes like Monaco 2015 with Hamilton, and perhaps also how Merc. seemed surprised when Rosberg’s recovery strategy got him ahead of Hamilton in Austria (good strategy for team, but handled clumsily), and some other oddities in strategic thinking. Seems like something to finally fix before the next season. Still was better team strategy work than at Ferrari this year though.

    13. “When I told Lewis to speed up the next debate on the pit wall came from Toto to ‘tell him again, he hasn’t done it’,” said Lowe. “So I said ‘no, then I will look a complete pillock if I do that again’.”

      So Paddy Lowe ALSO disobeyed/ignored a team order? Interesting!

      All I see here, is someone trying to distance himself from the foolishness that was the MB pit wall during the last few laps of that race. It was totally obvious what Mercedes was trying to do, and unfortunately it just kind of proved what they had been trying to do all season.

      Anyway, I guess this is all in hindsight now. We have a new champion, albeit a retired one!

      1. Great insight. Whys Paddy getting his excuses in now I wonder?

        1. Well when a driver agrees before a race one thing, and even if he’s not reasonably expected to hold to that, one can understand the instruction given the extreme 8 or 9 seconds per lap slower LH was going, that the team couldn’t have expected…nor Vettel’s strategy. NR is part of the team too…they’re allowed to look after his best interest too. If indeed Mercedes had been favouring Nico all season, which is not the case but even if so, why? I suggest it might be they haven’t taken kindly to LH’s attitude of entitlement going back to the last 3 races of last year. Even still, I saw LH have a great car most of the time, allowing him more wins and poles, and the team jumping with glee with each of his wins. The better driver lost the Championship, but the better man won it.

          1. Take a deep breath, @robbie. The article and discussion is about Paddy Lowe and his refusal to isuue a second instruction to Hamilton.

            Its not about Hamiltons ‘attitude of entitlement’; its not about Hamiltons great car ‘allowing’ him more wins and poles. Its not about Lewis Hamilton, @robbie, its about Paddy Lowe!

            I know how you feel @robbie, but please lets try to stay on point

          2. Jeez you just never ending Robbie.

            Your dislike is making you post comments that are frankly ridiculous.

            I imagine you are gutted by NR decision to run off with the ball and admission he just could not compete (without a reliability bonus) but seriously, you have to let it go.

            There is a better racer there.

            To suggest he is a lesser man is truly disgusting and it’s time we got an ignore button on this forum.

            1. Yes folks…I’M the unreasonable one here. I should segregate Lowe from Hamilton from Wolff from Rosberg because they’re not tied in at all. What a bunch of incessant crybabies, like LH. This is about Lowe, and Hamilton refusing the instruction, forcing Lowe to ponder a second volley of instruction, but don’t dare mention Hamilton. Lol.

              Nico won the WDC, LH didn’t. Let it go.

            2. @robbie I have for long pointed out to you your dislike for Hamilton, and now others are pointing it out too. That should tell you something @robbie. Maybe you don’t realise it, but EVERY post of yours has something negative about Hamilton. Even if the original post has absolutely nothing to do with Hamilton.

              From one F1 fanatic to another, may I suggest to you that you take a quiet moment to ask yourself why you dislike the man so much. Its just sport @robbie, and when such dislike becomes so obvious, then their definitely has to be some other reason.

              Hey….. not trying to get on you, just pointing out the obvious.

            3. Lol, so rich coming from someone who spews biased anti-Nico and anti-Mercedes LH-can-do-no-wrong drivel all season long. But that is typical of folks that like to cry conspiracy when they don’t get their way. Put it on someone else. Only you and your ilk are allowed to run a driver and a team down all year, but anyone running your man down has issues? Lol, as I say…typical.

            4. I rest my case with you @robbie.

              For some there is no help.

            5. Lol…yup, a vicious circle…except that I’m not the conspiracy theorist. The blamers have to point fingers, even at their own team if that’s what it takes, and anybody that has an issue with that, is the one that has issues. Typical deflection tactics.

            6. @Robbie

              I’ve agreed with you once about Lewi’s behavior but your bias is quite easy to see. Don’t you realise almost all these guys feel entitled? All of them. You hear more from Lewi and Nico because they’re in the fight. How much will we hear from him if they go by way of McLaren? I don’t believe there was a conspiracy against Lewi. On the other hand, how can you look at this season and at least not raise an eyebrow? Reality then sets in and you go, conspiracy makes no sense. The other part you seem to ignore is straight up Mercedes incompetence towards Lewi’s side of the garage. Some things these posters point out are definitely worth thinking about. Conspiracy is not one of them to me, neither is the Nico is undeserving crap. You can’t hate the guy that much can you?

          3. Btw, that order is completely unsportive.Have you ever competed at all for a championship of any kind? I’ve also looked for your version of Lewi agreed to not back up Rosberg, got a link? So far he said it wasn’t in his thought process. That’s not the same thing as agreeing not to do it.

            1. @jabosha I don’t recall any entitled driver taking it to the point of accusing their own team with sneaky innuendo for most of the season…a team that just provided him with the equipment for two WDCs and was still doing so in 2016. I didn’t raise an eyebrow because unreliability is unpredictable and normal in F1. Mercedes were hardly incompetent having won the WCC and achieved another 1-2 in the WDC. And my information about LH and the team agreeing he wouldn’t do that came from gt-racer on this site. Yes I am biased against LH because I don’t buy into his style and Inthink moreso than before, his WDCs have gone to his head.

            2. Here you go again, it’s one extreme or the other with you. You probably didn’t raise an eyebrow because you don’t like him, not because reliability is an unknown. You get to hide your bias behind that. Regardless of winning both championships, Mercedes incompetence has been pointed out more so on Lewi’s side of the garage. There’s no mention of the Mercedes meeting in the press. Is gt racer connected? I know gt racer is quite knowledgeable but that doesn’t mean connected. Now that you’ve admitted your bias, I’ll take your Ham posts with a raised eyebrow. What would you be saying if Rosbergs engine blew up at Abu Dhabi? Would you be talking about, Nics bad starts, how he should have not been in harvesting mode in Spain directly contributing to his own dnf? How he should have won more races? I doubt it.

            3. @jabosha I think you and I both know that we all have our biases. I have supported Nico all along, but it has not been a passion like I have had for other drivers. And it really began when I saw how well he dealt with Schumacher as a teammate. Lewis has never really been my cup of tea, but I was absolutely fine with him winning in 2014 and 2015. All the while I have hoped NR would keep raising his game, and I of course recognize that finally winning the WDC does not make him a superior driver. Other circumstances helped, plus he had to be there going through the same motions, unable to do anything about LH’s luck.

              I do not consider Mercedes incompetent in any way. I consider that reliability is never a guarantee, so I take offence on Mercedes’ behalf with LH’s (and his fans’) constant insinuations of conspiracy.

              Gt-racer has worked in FOM up until 07 I believe, and gets some first hand information to this day which he occasionally shares. Lately he spoke of LH having a big hissy fit in Spain and claiming things like that he doesn’t need Mercedes etc etc. He also shared that ahead of Abu Dhabi LH agreed with the team to not back up Nico. We also know of the sneaky hints LH has implied that reveal he thinks he has been treated unfairly this year.

              So mainly I have been turned off LH particularly going back to Austin 2015, after which he took the attitude that his job was done and it was party time. Yet he still asked during those last 3 races last year for extraordinary measures to get by Nico, which were denied him. He then loses 7 races in a row to Nico going into this season and the next thing you know his ‘no apparent reason comment’ forcing the team to publish a letter defending the whole Mercedes staff. We now know of a hissy fit he had in Spain, and there’s his commentary ahead of Abu Dhabi saying he’ll tell us the truth in 10 years. Does that not sound like a guy pointing the finger at his own team like it can’t possibly be just racing…it MUST be a fix? And people slam Mercedes now for not helping LH with extraordinary measures to screw Nico out of the Championship? Frankly Lewis may have earned that with his performances on the track many times this year, but his attitude of entitlement has been deplorable, imho, and may have cost him any desire from the team to help him in any way beyond what is normal and expected. To have expected extraordinary measures in Abu Dhabi from the team, is pretty rich from LH after all he’s put the team through verbally. His compliments to them have been backhanded given his numerous insinuations of unfair treatment on the team. And that remains a big turnoff to me. There’s my bias explained. I’ve pulled nothing out of thin air that we haven’t seen or heard ourselves from LH, or from reliable sources like gt-racer who simply does not spread rumours but speaks factually.

            4. @Robbie
              The ps4 has no reply button to you. No idea why. That out of the way, I’ll take the inside stuff with a grain of salt. Is there proof what gt racer said is fact? Your saying it’s fact, the question, is it? But regardless, you’ve explained yourself very well here and I’m not being sarcastic/facetious. The sneaky hints about the “higher power” to cover his real thoughts is exactly where I agreed with you about Lewi’s behavior. There was another time I agreed he should have been reprimanded and even released, forgot what for. I’m not one of the complete Lewi supporters. If Lewi truly said/did the things gt racer brings up and it was an actual “hissy fit” anyone who can’t see your position as a valid one, (I definitely do now, not that you care) well you know how that goes. I don’t agree that Mercedes has not been incompetent from a reliabilty stand point on Lewi’s side. They definitely were.

              Again, regardless of details we’ve come to an understanding?

            5. @Robbie
              I remember what the reprimand/dismisal should have been for. Lewi was saying, he wouldn’t practice for “reliability reasons”. My take on that was, coupled with his remarks about the higher power and the further degrading of the Mercedes brand he should have at least been reprimanded. Outright saying, I won’t practice can/will definitely be perceived as a further vote in no confidence of the Mercedes brand in a public forum. His itentions are not what’s at play here, perception is. Dismissal may be harsh but reprimand based on how F1 teams are run today? Sure.

    14. So sick of this. Bring on 2017.

    15. Maybe I’ve missed something here but the teams care far more about the WCC and race 1-2’s than the WDC. The team gets nothing from the FIA for WDC. WCC has MILLIONS of dollars at stake. Race wins, or in this case, race 1-2’s has far more prestige for the brand as a whole.

      Just saying

      1. You have missed something.

        They had already won both championships.

        An extra 1-2 does nothing other than cost money due to the points payment system.

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          5th December 2016, 16:26

          @Drg would it really have cost Mercedes more money to score more points? sorry, I just don’t know the specifics in paying constructors

          1. Yeah championship entry fee is at least partially based on points scored in the previous season. The more points you score the more it costs you to enter in the following year

          2. The F1 Entry Fee paid to the FIA is based upon the previous years points tally. So the more points you score, the higher your Entry Fee for the subsequent year. So, if Hamilton had actually managed to get a 1-4 result for Mercedes in Abu Dhabi, not only would he still be World Championship, he would of saved them $60K ($10K per point – I think). Oh, and Rosberg would of stayed on for another year! Win, win, win all round. ;-)

            1. Give me a break, that’s a complete red herring. Mercedes spends $400 million per year on F1 and you think they are worried about 60-grand of additional cost versus the marketing benefit of an additional Grand Prix victory? Wow.
              And in other news, outside Ford’s Theater in Washington D.C. a reporter asked: “other than that, Mrs Lincoln, how was the play?”

            2. you think they are worried about 60-grand of additional cost

              Please highlight where anyone said they thought Mercedes were worried about cost. SMH

    16. Theses guys at Mercedes sure thing people is dumb.
      Other day Toto compared Rosberg’s car failure at Abu Dhabi 2014 with Hamilton’s on Malaysia this year saying “both failures cost championships”. But even if Rosberg had won Abu Dhabi 2014 with Hamilton 2nd he wouldn’t be WDC that year, he would lose by 3 points.

      And now they compare orders given back there on the beginning of the championship with others given on the final race.

      1. + – a few billion.

        I am astounded by this teams attempts to rewrite history.

        It’s nearly as good as the forum posters on the Internet!

        1. +1000
          I find a lot of Toto’s statements a crass insult to the intelligence of fans. To claim the WHOLE pit wall, engineers and all boffins at the HQ face control really thought Vettel could challenge Lewis in that race is absolute madness.

          If most of the “simple minded” fans could know this, how come Mercedes didn’t know? They have all the race data simulations from all the teams, know how difficult it is to overtake at that track, and even outqualified Ferrari by almost a second. It really is quite annoying.

    17. Lewis deserved to do exactly what he did in the race. He had been given chit engines all year which cost him points and a title to guy who had NEVER beaten him over a season. Mercedes look like fools now because golden boy retired and they were exposed. They pay Hamilton £30 million per year for a reason. He is box office and they know it. Mercedes were essentially irrelevant prior to Lewis and Mclaren are 4+ years winless without him. That is not an accident. Just look at the press this “story” has generated.

      1. @Jay Well said mate.

      2. What is even more interesting – for me – is the revelation that Toto was demanding Lowe tells Lewis to speed up. I have always thought Toto was hiding some serious bias given the sorts of comments he made every time Nico and Lewis had issues, and this one more or less proves it.
        The “old F1 heads” always pooh pooh any claims of Mercedes conspiring against Lewis, but I think this season, particularly Abu Dhabi, made it clear the team cared more about Nico than about Lewis – at least this year.
        As for Lewis, I am surprised he is staying with Mercedes – there cannot be a shortage of drives for him on the grid. After the Mercedes treatment this year, with the sort of money Lewis already has, I’d have ripped up the contract and moved to another team – Renault maybe.

        1. Nicely all stepping over the fact that it’s 80% car 20% driver that makes the championship..

          Hamilton moving to Renault, don’t make me laugh, to run just on the edge of of top ten? Great prospect.. Whoever is in the merc in the past 3 years had a 50% chance of being champion. One could argue any of the two drivers on the grid would have done so. Yes, the car is THAT much better.

      3. Rosberg beat Hamilton fair and square in 2016 and 2013.

        In 2013, Rosberg only finished a small margin behind Hamilton in the points despite Rosberg having THREE non-points finishes through mechanical failure and the very lucky Hamilton having ZERO. To put that into context, Hamilton had ONE non-points finish through mechanical failure this year. From 2013-16 Rosberg had 8 non-points finishes through mechanical failure, and Rosberg had 4. 2016 was just slightly evening up the score. Also, in 2013, Mercedes imposed team orders on Rosberg, forbidding him to pass Hamilton in the final laps at Sepang. Despite all those advantages, Hamilton only just beat Rosberg.

        In 2016, the last four races are irrelevant because Rosberg just brought the car home safely. After Japan, Rosberg had 9 wins to Hamilton’s 6.

        Hamilton messed up at least 9 of the 21 races this season. 5 times he lost his bottle on the start, crashed in Baku, crashed in Spain, threw his toys out of the pram in China and wasn’t interested all weekend in Singapore. Do you deserve to be world champion if you completely mess up 9 of the 21 race weekends? Change one of those 9 weekends and Hamilton might be champion.

        Rosberg was a model of consistency. Hamilton was a model of inconsistency. Rosberg might not be an all-time great, but he deserved this championship.

        Like I said, Rosberg might not be an all-time great, but neither is Hamilton. Lucky in 2008, outscored by Button 2010-12, Rosberg effectively out-drove him in 2 of their 4 seasons together, Rosberg took the title to the last race in 2 of 3 seasons.

        1. @anon Well said.

    18. “Although I told Lewis to speed up I think it was fine what happened,” he added.

      Debate over about whether the tactic was questionable or not.

      1. @geemac Aaargh! That sounds like you are inviting yet more needless blather, but I’m hoping you actually mean the opposite?

        As in: Debate over FULL STOP

        1. Yes, I mean “debate over, full stop”. Cease and desist all needless blather.

    19. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      5th December 2016, 14:30

      Paddy is probably laughing because Toto and Niki underestimated Lewis over the past 3 years.

      I think they banked on the fact that Nico would win the last 4 races as he did last year or at least match Lewis as he doesn’t favor those tracks but Lewis crushed Nico in quali and during the race in all 4…

      Mercedes didn’t even get that strategy right!!:-) Lewis must be laughing to himself thinking “what you guys thought I’d let you win without a fight just because my car is on fire and won’t start?”.

      1. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
        5th December 2016, 18:07

        @freelittlebirds hahaha… You always make it sound as if Lewis had driven a Honda GP2 (ask Alonso) engine and that he won 10 races with #blessed power, or maybe Roscoe waa hidden in the back of his car, running in a giant wheel to transmit 9000rpm to his rear tyres?
        Lewis drove greatly. Yes, I agree. But don’t deny he has had better reliability than many other drivers, and that many other WDC challengers in F1 history. Try to remember Massa, Kimi, Vettel (yes, that 2010 Korean GP that almost left him without the title), Mansell, etc, etc.

        1. Giant dog wheel fan car! Lol.
          It’s true he’s had pretty good car reliability, but it’s not been all plain sailing. Brazil 2007 and Singapore 2012 spring to mind as absolutely crucial failures.

    20. The only thing to say about this is that Rosberg was free to pass Hamilton if he was stressed about his situation. As for the risk of losing the race, anyone watching could see that Hamilton was cruising and would take off like the Millenium Falcon should Vettel have passed Rosberg. That was laughable at the time.

      1. I love Lewis, i understand why he polarises opinion so much but he is a winner, great driver and i feel pretty privileged as an F1 fan to witness some of the things he has done on a racetrack. The whole team orders is nothing but a storm in a tea cup. Personally i would have avoided issuing an instruction but from a more clinical standpoint its pretty easy to see the rationale.

        However for all parties (Bar Lewis) it couldn’t have worked out in a better way, i think Nico proved something to himself over those last few laps under intense pressure. His first (and only) WDC could not have been more satisfying knowing he beat Lewis over those last few races and performed in the manner in which he did to close it out. Another supreme race from Hamilton as well, doing everything he could in a manner just on the right side of sportsmanship but coming up short when Nico showed he had the balls to bring it home. And for us fans, a great spectacle of sporting drama leaving us desperate for the season to start again.

        Thos last few laps are everything good about F1. Im unsure as to how anyone could complain about the result or the way it was achieved.

        1. In the retrospect, with Vettel complaining (sounds so normal) that he could not pass Nico because Nico was in Hamiltons DRS: maybe Hamilton would have been better of speeding up? It might have enabled Vettel to overtake, Rosberg to get more nervous and mess up a little bit of time for Verstappen to get close.

        2. “His first (and only) WDC could not have been more satisfying knowing HE BEAT LEWIS OVER THOSE FEW LAST RACES and performed in the manner in which he did to close it out. ”

          How do people blatantly rewrite history like so? Are we existing in multiple universes?? Which “last few races” did Rosberg “beat” Lewis at?

          1. Over those last few races he beat LH to the WDC by doing what he had to do. Obviously nobody is claiming Nico won those last few races.

    21. Mark in Florida
      5th December 2016, 15:35

      One point that many people may be missing is that statistics mean everything to Mercedes. For them to get position one and two is paramount for the record book’s. Mercedes is a very structure oriented team when one of their employees goes and does their own thing it really upsets them. That’s why Nico was so down after the wreck with Lewis. He obviously was chewed out for his rough driving. Nico was a team player as evidenced by following team directions in Monaco. If Lewis had been in the lead he would have refused by saying that he was comfortable with his pace. This stunt that he pulled in Abu Dhabi will not bode well for the future. Mercedes wants to know that they can depend on the driver’s to follow directives. Look for some chaos next year as the new driver will obviously try to muscle his out his place in the team.

      1. Then they should have not changed his mechanics for the inferior teammate. They should not have given him crap engines while teammate had no problems. There lies the problem

      2. Right…?

        Think about what your saying.

        Not a team player…

        Just what had they achieved before he arrived?

        How much of LH ‘driving’ was disseminated to the ‘weaker’ driver, let alone race strategies and favourable assistance when behind… In the best car on the grid.

        There are racers that take their engineers to different teams – it’s that important yet at Mercedes you can even keep your own ones because of being a team player?

        I could go on but people will just see what they want to see.

        Particularly if they can still see it after the team player up and walked away leaving the ‘team’ and its 3000 employees completely in the lurch without any single complaint other than bleating ‘but but Hamilton ignored an order while trying ( and succeeding) to win a race while also trying to keep his title despite said team completely letting him and only him down this year’

        Right there suggests there is no hope…

        1. +1 well put

        2. @Drg –

          There are racers that take their engineers to different teams – it’s that important yet at Mercedes you can even keep your own ones because of being a team player?

          Well said!

    22. Isn’t obvious by now that F1 cars should be driven by robot or RC to avoid team members looking like pillocks?

    23. I found a great deal of humor in reading all of the above posts this morning.
      I few comments I feel compelled to make:
      – Mercedes could not and would never favor a driver. Rubbish on those claims.
      – It appears overwhelmingly that people feel Runner-Up Ham should have been left alone by the team to treat Ros as he pleased at the end of the race. TEAM. The Team can not allow that, it shows they would be favoring a driver, Ham. It is obvious that most “F1Fanatics” favor Ham, a Brit. Mercedes did not. They remained neutral, looking after BOTH drivers.

      1. Bulls eye I am astounded by this, I wonder if it was reverse maybe people will be having the same argument.

      2. @dbHenry Thanks for sharing your thoughts and opinions, and for adding to the humor.

        I am assuming they are exactly that – your personal thoughts and opinions, right?

    24. To me this is a very telling comment from Paddy to Mercedes. Haven’t there been rumours of him leaving? He refused to give the second order, that came from Toto (can someone clarify their job status, is Toto boss over Paddy or are they equal?) and i believe it’s because he knew Lewis was purposefully backing them up and completely understood the extra pace the car had and the moment Verstappen or Vettel got past Rosberg he would hist the gas.
      “‘don’t you think once he sees a red car in the mirror he’ll put the throttle in a bit harder?’ So we were having our own debates. But I put a marker down.”

      “Although I told Lewis to speed up I think it was fine what happened,” he added.

      He only gave the order to please Toto and the board. It’s completely understandable to claim a second time would look bad and lets him off for the first. To claim it’s fine goes against what Mercedes have been saying to the press, pretty messy situation for an act that every fan understood would happen the moment Rosberg finished second in Brazil.

    25. It’s about time they stop with this equal treatment nonsense if they can’t even honour their words. It makes them look worse than a team who will just be straight and admit they have team orders that will go against equality.

      Hamilton is likely the best in the game and the way the team have treated him since the finale is disgusting. They should be building the man up for what he is and get fully behind him. The man is an ATG and one of the best of all time.

      1. What’s ATG? Anyway…how much should the team feel like building LH up, when all he has done all season is cry conspiracy?

        1. All time great what do you think it means……

          Why should they?? Have a good think about it for one second….

          Cry conspiracy, was that against the team then???? What words did he say, come on…..

          1. Guess you don’t recall…’for no apparent reason’…’I’ll tell you the reason in 10 years’…

            1. I do Robbie, Im not sure if you do though so let me quote it to you:

              From my side of the garage the mechanics are having a hard time. I have absolutely every bit of confidence and faith in them.
              The majority were on Nico’s car last year and Nico’s guys were with me for the last three years since i joined. The team all of a sudden swapped for no apparent reason. But that’s not the reason we’re having these issues, they’re somewhere else. I don’t know where the issues are coming from but for sure the team and guys in the background, they need to work hard to try and rectify these.

              Do you not think you are being slightly biased by taking, out of a paragraph where Hamilton fully absolves his mechanics of blame, the 4 words you can use to twist to your own agenda?

            2. @robbie
              ’I’ll tell you the reason in 10 years
              That was the press conference before the final race, hardly all season.

              The other quote is in relation to swapping his mechanics. Considering all the problems he’s had all year I’d say he’s justified in moaning about that, he’d obviously not mentioned it if he’d had no issues or if Nico had the unreliability.

              Lewis has just got on with the season as he always does. Nico took a leaf out of Lewis’s book and tried to act like Lewis by taking one race at a time, not lingering on the past and focussing on the present.

              If Nico also had an engine blowout he’d have lost the championship 3 races back. Despite all Lewis’s problems he finished just 5 points adrift but a whole race down, a race he was winning.

              Cut it up how you want but don’t forget Nico and the other 6 merc powered cars had no big issues or engine blow ups during the race, just Lewis’s. Conspiracy or not it all went in Nico’s favour, and not in Lewis’s, with no obvious reason why.

            3. @9chris9 There was no obvious reason why because that is just racing. No team can guarantee 100% reliability, which is why this go-to response including from LH that it must be a conspiracy is ridiculous.

            4. @robbie

              Lh never said it was a conspiracy, he pointed out non of the other engines had issues and wanted his to be like the others. No smspiracy there. He wanted it understood by all why his and his alone where having issues so the problem could get engineered out of his car.

            5. @Martin Those four words was all it took for Toto to have to publish a public letter defending the 1500 staff at Mercedes. LH is good at putting his foot in his mouth and then backtracking which is exactly what he did that day. And then many races later there he was still being asked about his attitude and he then moved the question over to Nico to answer while he then said he knows the real answer but can’t say for 10 years.

              You can try to shoot me down all you want…I’m not pulling anything out of thin air here. Just adding up his comments that millions have also picked up on and that the media has too.

        2. AGT?
          I was able to stay hip well into my 40’s due to UrbanDictionary. Now I can’t even make sense of the definitions.

    26. Love the discussion on this site but I have to add my own thoughts.

      I see so many people on here talking about gratitude to Mercedes and being an employee and I can’t stand it. This is F1 and not some corporate bull. The drivers are sporting superstars and not some ordinary “employee” so they play by different rules. Toto and some of you on here think you can manage their ahem “employees” like a HR department.

      Where has all the talk gone about punishing Lewis?

    27. Much easier to be all happy happy nicey nice about it now Rosberg’s retired and they need to keep Hamilton happy.

    28. If a strategist hasn’t considered what a driver is going to do in Hamilton’s situation.
      That person isn’t much of a strategist.

      1. Sorry meant to add;
        Read Sun Tzu – The Art of War.

      2. Perhaps we don’t know all the fine details and the fact is the team weren’t expecting him to back Nico up to this extreme, nor to see SV on that strategy. The reality is strategy has done both drivers very well for the most part over 4 years.

    29. It wasn’t a particularly great race so maybe the Merc boys just got bored and decided to spice up radio communications. As if Lewis would willfully let anyone pass. That would have made it even harder for him to win the title and would not have kept Nico from winning the title. Sometimes I can’t help but wonder how supposedly smart people think.

    30. James Vowles job would be so stressful, i couldn’t handle it. But really he needs to watch the TV! But c’mon James anyone watching the race could see what was going on and that the win was never in doubt!

      1. Suddenly being an ‘armchair pundit’ doesn’t seem so bad anymore!

    31. Commentators who believe that “employees should do as they are told” can only be talking about employees that are lucky to have the jobs that they have. And that were it not for “the company” said employee would be a nobody. There are hundreds of millions of us in those circumstances out in the 9-5 world. But I think one of the reasons people watch these drivers and other world class athletes is to absolutely revel in the spectacle of people who are so much more talented than the rest of us that they can BE PRIMA DONNAS WHENEVER THEY GD PLEASE. Those personalities are the draw. Those personalities are why robots aren’t driving. Who would tune into the show if they could read the stats and know that on race day there was a 97% chance that the Mercedes robot would win?

      This is what happens when the calculators tussle with personalities…


      “Sir, if Mercedes driving unit #1 continues performing within these parameters there is an increasing likely hood that Ferrari driving unit unit #2 will successfully pass Mercedes driving unit #2 before the terminating lap.”

      “Actuary unit engaged. Calculating…. calculating…. calculating. Minimal risk to Team Mercedes found. Instruct unit #1 to go faster.”

      “Instruction sent.”


      “Sir, driving unit #1 will not comply.”

      “Understood. Override driving controls.”

      “Sir, we are unable to navigate the vehicle remotely. Driving unit #1 is a human being.”

      “Understood. Motivate it with fame and money.”

      “Driving unit #1 has responded that it is already wealthy and famous.”

      “Understood. Instruct driving unit #1 that it will no longer be allowed to race for Mercedes and, therefore, no longer be rich or famous.”


      “Sir, driving unit #1 is chuckling.”


      “Actuary unit. Please advise.”





      “Instruct it to go faster. Instruct it to go faster. Instruct it to go faster.”

      Seriously, where is the thrill in that?????

      1. Kevin you are fired !

    32. All these opinions about what Lewis should have done and how he was disobedient, what Paddy should have said, etc, etc.

      Doesn’t it remind you of Vettel and Multi-21? A 3 time world champion feeling pretty darn safe in the team to do what they feel behind the wheel and basically ignore the team boss…”Come on Seb, this is silly”. After all, what can the team do? No one can take away points if you don’t do anything against the rules.

      Of course, we all know what happened in 2014 at Red Bull as soon the winning stopped. The now, 4-time champion somewhat overshadowed by the new, highly spirited, and energetic teammate, loses motivation and jumps ship. You know what they say about history repeating itself.

      For that matter, I think about Prost/Ferrari in 1991 also. The very best drivers just really aren’t designed to drive for one team for too overly long. Lewis’s time can’t be too far off.

      1. Minardi you are fired too !

    33. There is a huge difference between what Vettel did in the multi-21 situation and what Hamilton did at Abu Dhabi…

      It was the beginning of the season, not the championship decider. Therefore Webber turned his engine down per the request of the team, knowing Vettel would do the same and wasn’t going to attack him. Webber was completely caught by surprise by Vettel stabbing him in the back by not turning the engine down and attacking him. That was an unfair fight.

      Rosberg knew and expected Lewis was going to win the championship during this deciding final race (duh, what else was he supposed to do….?! I still can’t believe Merc said they didn’t see that comming) and he even said after the race that he knew and didn’t make a big deal out of it. So, this was a heads on fight, not a stab in the back like Vettel vs. Webber.

      1. Whoops, this was a reply to @gitanes

    34. Option 2 for Lewis was always disappear into the flag line, proof he is the fastest and bank on reliability for moral champion, however to me it looked like bad looser to the innevitable, specially in hindsight after classy step down from Rosberg.

      I think Vettel also may have played the final result.

    35. Lewis Hamilton
      6th December 2016, 11:14

      Paddy Lowe this is Lewis Hamilton.
      Next similar instruction to ME will put mercedes in a hot soap. Your instruction is inclined of making Nico win the championship and I am losing it, is a clear evident of favouring on one another and not honouring ‘equal and fair treatment’ clause on MY contract. I am considering legal action against you and will sue you in the region of £50 million, damages due to lost prize money, plus unconditional 10 years contract extension and immediate termination of Nico’s contract. How’s that?

      1. “@Lewishamilton” the new rich attitude is boring and naive, running a successful company has never left opportunities for rebel employees not doing what their told, I’ll fired all of them in a heart bit, Mercedes would have been there with or without paddy and the real driver lewis hamilton, as Rosberg proof.

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