F1 Hungarian Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton revolt sparks review of team orders by Mercedes managers

Hamilton refused to let Rosberg through despite calls from his team to do so as it would have hampered his own result

Motor racing correspondent

Lewis Hamilton has defended his actions at the Hungarian Grand Prix, where the Mercedes driver disobeyed team orders and refused to let his team-mate, the championship leader Nico Rosberg, overtake during Sunday’s race.

As Mercedes team heads admit they are considering revising their approach to team orders, the British driver said: “It’s not questioning authority. I’m hired to race and bring in points for the team. I’m also hired to be me and race my heart out.

“I didn’t start at the front of the pack [as Rosberg did]. I started from the pit lane, so in my mind I couldn’t afford to lose anything else. I’ve already given away too much and at the end of the year I could be looking back saying, ‘If only the car didn’t catch on fire, or if only the brakes didn’t fail. If only I didn’t make a mistake in qualifying or if only the engine hadn’t stopped in the race...’ All these things.

“So today was just a case of not giving a single point away. I tried my hardest to be ahead and I don’t feel as though I was being obligated to help him.”

Read more: Ricciardo wins but Hamilton stars in Hungarian thriller
Hamilton disobeys order to let Rosberg through

Hamilton, who was later backed by the team’s non-executive chairman, Niki Lauda, who described the team orders as “a mistake” , denied that he was being ruthless, or even bloody-minded, just pragmatic in doing  his job.

“I was racing against [Rosberg] ,” Hamilton said. “Why would I be concerned for him? I was racing against Fernando [Alonso] and if I dropped any ground then it would stop me overtaking him later on, so it was case of not being able to lose any time.”

Get Adobe Flash player 

But he also said he was looking forward to the continuation of the battle with Rosberg as the gloves come off in the fight for the World Championship. “It’s going to be great. There will be scenarios where it will be sensible for the team to do that [team orders]. If I was in 10th and looking to get further up and I could hinder Nico getting points for the team, that’s a position I don’t want to be in. But it’s a different thing when we are racing against each other.”

Meanwhile, Rosberg stonewalled and fell back on the age-old response of needing to discuss the matter internally with the team rather than speaking his mind, but his manner in radio communications during the race made his anger clear. But he did agree that the situation between him and Hamilton would remain intense. “Definitely, but that’s natural because it’s both of us going for race wins every race. And that it’s going to be intense is clear, and it will remain so until the end of the year. It’s an ongoing process we need to manage. There’s not any one thing. We just need to keep managing the situation.”

Now that the team seem set to win the constructors’ world championship, the team chief, Toto Wolff, concedes it may be time to reappraise their approach on team orders.

“This is one of the thoughts we are having,” Wolff said. “At the moment, we have a 170-point advantage in the constructors’ championship and maybe it is a moment of loosening it a bit, in agreement with both of them.

“The longer the season goes, the more intense it gets, and the more difficult it is to beat your team-mate. Maybe we have come to a point where what we had at the beginning of the season doesn’t function any more, because we cannot ask either driver to give up positions or jeopardise their own campaign and championship chances for the benefit of the team.”

Unfolding rivalry: Hamilton-Rosberg feud

Spain Lewis Hamilton used an unauthorised engine mode to hold off Nico Rosberg, setting the feud brewing with the pair not on speaking terms afterwards.

Monaco Rosberg locked up on his final run in qualifying, and the caution flags prevented the Brit from challenging for the crucial pole position. Rosberg won the race, and Hamilton said: “We are not friends.”

Hungary Hamilton disobeyed orders to let Rosberg pass in the race.

Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments