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2016-11-29 13:49

SPLIT OPINIONS: Lewis Hamilton (right) is facing mixed comments over his antics at the 2016 Abu Dhabi GP. Image: AP / Luca Bruno

Abu Dhabi - Nico Rosberg and his equally famous father are not joining in the criticism of Lewis Hamilton following the 2016 title finale in Abu Dhabi.

Mercedes led the criticism after Hamilton ignored team orders in the closing stages of the race and deliberately left Rosberg exposed to the chasing Ferrari and Red Bull.

F1 fraternity responds

Many others also hit out, including 1992 world champion Nigel Mansell.

Mansell said on Twitter: "I am a sportsman so I would not do this."

READ: How an F1 veteran predicted Hamilton's antics ahead of the Abu Dhabi GP

But afterwards, Hamilton's tactics were also defended by many, notably including Red Bull team boss Christian Horner.

Horner's Mercedes counterpart Toto Wolff said: "Maybe he (Hamilton) should drive for him (Horner)."

Nico Rosberg and his father Keke, however, are conspicuously not critical of Hamilton, even though Rosberg jnr. said the pressure he was under in Abu Dhabi and especially the last few laps was "ridiculous".

When asked to summarise Hamilton's tactics, Rosberg jnr. said: "Ridiculous. No, no, no, ridiculous is the wrong word," he added. "It was ridiculously intense - for me."

Actually, Rosberg said Hamilton's defensive driving was "perfect" for the situation, even though British newspapers said Mercedes was contemplating punishing the triple world champion.

READ: Hamilton faces 'sack' over Abu Dhabi behaviour?

But writing for the Telegraph, journalist Tom Cary said: "Hamilton's tactics were within the rules, hurt no one and made F1's finale more exciting - why the fuss?"

Max Verstappen agreed, admitting: "Of course I would have done the same as him."

Hamilton's tactics not unexpected

And even Rosberg's Finnish dad, the 1982 world champion, was not surprised by Hamilton's 'go slow' tactics.

"It was not unexpected," the Finn said as he broke a six-year media silence in the wake of his 31-year-old son's title triumph.

He added: "In the last two laps I might have even expected more, so you have to say that it was ok."

READ: Rosberg vs. Hamilton - 2016 F1 title race by race

But he also said the end of the race was tough to watch from his Dubai hotel room, after vowing to keep the pressure off Rosberg by staying away from the track until the win was secured.

Keke said: "I think it was the hardest world championship ever, right down to the line of the last race."

He also rejected any claim that his son is not a deserving world champion, because Hamilton suffered more reliability dramas during the season.

Referring to Hamilton's reasoning for not winning the title, Keke said: "That is the sport. Button broke his suspension in Abu Dhabi because he hit the kerb so hard he was lucky the car didn't break in two, but he said 'Oh, bad car'. It is the nature of the drivers.

"I thought Lewis was lucky twice already, so why shouldn't Nico be once?"


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