Lewis Hamilton will not be punished for not obeying team orders during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, for which he ultimately lost the championship to former teammate Nico Rosberg.
In order to win the championship, Hamilton needed Rosberg to finish fourth or lower at the final race in Abu Dhabi. Out in front, with a clear gap after racing to the second pit stop, Hamilton then set about trying to make that result happen with both Vettel and Verstappen behind on different strategies. The team had already asked Hamilton not to do this, and would have pitted Rosberg earlier than Hamilton as a penalty.
Hamilton waited until the last stint though, pushing Rosberg into Vettel and Verstappen, with the British driver hoping that both would overtake, pushing Rosberg down to fourth and handing him the title. The team concerned at both drivers losing out on the win, urged Hamilton to speed up considering the advances of Vettel’s Ferrari.
It would have raised questions for next season had Rosberg stayed around, but with a new slate next season Mercedes team boss Niki Lauda confirmed to the Daily Mail no such penalty will apply, ‘There is no need to say anything to Lewis. We have no problem about how he raced in Abu Dhabi. We have drawn a line under it.’
With Nico Rosberg leaving the team unexpectedly this week, the team have more pressing concerns now in finding a replacement – a hard task considering the majority of the grid have committed contracts for next season.