The defiant Lewis Hamilton openly refused to acknowledge and follow team instructions. But we might be making mountains out of molehills here.
With Hamilton’s recent outright refusal to follow team orders, the talk of the town has been surrounding a potential penalty for his behavior. From sanctions and fines to everything in between, it seems that the spectatorship is split between those who want to see him get a reprimand, and those that are thrilled to see a driver strike out on his own.
We said we'd be champions back then, now we both are! Congratulations Nico, you did everything a champion needed to do. Well deserved 🙌🏾 pic.twitter.com/CIFPw1K2Fq
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) November 30, 2016
I’m in the latter group. While I’m aware that we can’t have drivers just doing whatever the hell they want, I do think that we need to take a closer look at the driver/team dynamic at play in F1.
We all know that without the team, none of it would be possible. Yet at the same time, without the driver the team would have a pimped-out ride just sitting pretty inside of the pits.
Ultimately, this whole “issue” is the sort that would give an overly-anal adherent to policy and form-filling prole erect nipples: Hamilton did no wrong.
Whatever Mercedes’s rules of engagement are for their teammates, they shouldn’t even be a factor in the conversation as they secured two wins for themselves. Hamilton got the race win, and Rosberg got the championship.
Hamilton’s “I suggest you let us race” comment over the radio is a succinct cap on this whole charade. It’s a goddamn race. It’s the spirit of the sport. Giving a driver orders to hold a position or block advancing racers for the sake of a teammate not only devalues the quality and integrity of the racer in question, but it damages the very element that makes F1 so exciting to watch: the drive to win.
Air Nico!! 💪🏻💪🏻 pic.twitter.com/pJmtd2JUSN
— Nico Rosberg (@nico_rosberg) November 29, 2016
If I’m taking time out of my day to see folks spin tires at ludicrous speeds around a track, I want to see that they’re giving it their all instead of getting tangled up in bullshit pit politics.