"I'm hired to race, not obey team orders" - Lewis Hamilton

The British superstar has hit back at suggestions he was wrong to ignore team orders during Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix.

"I'm hired to race, not obey team orders" - Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 Team and Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 Team
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W05
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 leads Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 W05
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB10 and Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W05
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 Team and Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 Team
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 and third placed Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 celebrate with the champagne on the podium
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W05
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W05 recovers from a spin at turn two at the start of the race

Niki Lauda, who after Hamilton's qualifying fire had cheered the Briton up over pizza, insisting with typical clarity that the driver was "right" and the German team "wrong".

"Lewis ignored it because he remembered before the season that we said they could fight freely against each other.

I was racing against him! Why would I be concerned for him?

Lewis Hamilton

"That's why he did the right thing," the great Austrian told Bild newspaper.

Not everyone is as convinced.

The Hamilton ego-show?

The headline in the major German daily Welt claims Mercedes is the victim of "Hamilton's ego-show".

"With his disobedience, Hamilton weakened the authority of the team leadership and provoked his teammate Nico Rosberg, for a comparatively low reward."

But according to Hamilton, that's not the point. On Monday, he insisted he is "hired to race".

"It is not questioning authority," the 2008 world champion explained. "I am hired to be me, and race my heart out."

Team boss Toto Wolff and Rosberg agreed after the race that Hamilton's defiance had cost Mercedes a race win.

Again, Hamilton doesn't see it that way.

"I did not cost Nico a win," he insisted. "I was racing against him! Why would I be concerned for him?

"I don't think I was being ruthless. I was not even being bloody minded. I was doing my job. I tried my hardest to be ahead and I don't feel as though I was obligated to help."

And now, here's Johnny

John Watson, a former F1 driver turned commentator, thinks the problem is home grown.

"Is Toto Wolff more interested in projecting himself?" he wondered. "Does he really have the authority?" the former McLaren driver told the Daily Mail.

"Paddy Lowe is a fantastic guy, but he is not the person to deal with this. Lauda is a very clever man, but I don't know what authority he has.

"If there was one person who could kick ass in that team, it is the person that they let go, Ross (Brawn)," said Watson.

shares
comments
Villeneuve makes comments 'for the headlines'

Previous article

Villeneuve makes comments 'for the headlines'

Next article

Cool Rosberg admits Hamilton cost him Hungary win

Cool Rosberg admits Hamilton cost him Hungary win
Load comments
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Prime

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment.

Why a misunderstood Kimi Raikkonen will thrive in retirement Prime

Why a misunderstood Kimi Raikkonen will thrive in retirement

Three years on from Kimi Raikkonen's last Grand Prix victory at Austin, he is now six races away from ending the longest Formula 1 career in history. His friend and former Ice1 Racing rally team PR man Anthony Peacock explains why there’s nobody quite like the 2007 world champion and why F1 will miss him (but he won’t miss it).

How Verstappen has become F1 champion material Prime

How Verstappen has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle Prime

Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be set to be another close contest.

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Prime

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Prime

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner Prime

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner

Stepping up to F1 in 1962, Jo Siffert shone with Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM before his career was abruptly ended in a fatal crash at Brands Hatch in 1971. Kevin Turner looks back at the life of Switzerland's first F1 winner on the 50th anniversary of his death

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Prime

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021