Four and a-half hours after the race, a decision on Max Verstappen’s official classification was still unconfirmed after Mercedes filed a complaint for his defensive manners against Hamilton. The incident in question didn’t look more than a racing incident at the time.
The racing stewards were unable to proceed with the complaint because Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton had already left the circuit by the time their accounts of the incident were needed.
— Mercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) October 10, 2016
In a bizarre move, Mercedes then withdrew their original complaint, a spokesperson stating that,
“We have done this in the interests of establishing a final official result this evening once it became apparent that the hearing could not be concluded today.”
– Mercedes Spokesperson
Hamilton was quick to distance himself from the decision to file a complaint in the first place. He posted this on Twitter:
There is no protest from myself. Just heard the team had but I told them it is not what we do. We are champions, we move on. End of!
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) October 9, 2016
So Max Verstappen keeps his 2nd place finish after a long period of uncertainty and this post-race drama rounds out a terrible week for Lewis Hamilton.
It would seem that the British driver has alienated himself from the British press with his alleged rudeness on Snapchat and a lack of cooperation in interviews over the Japanese GP race weekend.
Proof of a polished arrogance? Possibly. More likely is the fact that we are witnessing a deterioration in belief in the context of the 2016 Formula One World Championship. Hamilton himself wouldn’t have believed that by this stage of the season, it would be Nico Rosberg’s to lose. Having spent so long at the top of the pecking order, perhaps Hamilton is slightly sour grapes about the pace of his teammate.
Podium Jump 🇯🇵👊🏻 pic.twitter.com/pAOcx0p4ip
— Nico Rosberg (@nico_rosberg) October 10, 2016
It is Hamilton’s prerogative to display his personality for all to see and the potent critics of his antics at Fleet Street would do well to remember that they’re reporting on competitive sports people, they’re not busting an International scandal. This weekend has been embroiled in a dull narrative of Hamilton’s relationship with the press that has been a bit self-important from both parties.
His stock is the highest from a journalistic perspective, but there are 21 other drivers on the grid to interview. There hasn’t been much focus of Nico’s rise because the British press would rather sedate that notion with the idea that Hamilton has fallen spectacularly.
— Nico Rosberg (@nico_rosberg) October 9, 2016
‘The extra few per cent which ensured in the last two years that Rosberg was left trailing have gone missing. More worrying are signs the apparent psychological fortitude he has built up can crumble so spectacularly under pressure from Rosberg.’
– Daniel Johnson
A guy working for a New Zealand publication (outside the current sphere of inter-Brit vitriol) seems to get it. Hamilton’s bizarre behavior this weekend surely has something to do with Rosberg’s pressure in performances.