Lewis Hamilton has defended his antics in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, where he purposely backed Nico Rosberg into rivals in a faint hope of stealing the world champion.
Aware that second place would be enough for Rosberg to win the title, Hamilton slowed down in the latter stages of the race, allowing Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel to close the gap to the German.
Mercedes intervened in the situation by asking Hamilton to up his pace, but the Englishman defied the orders and held to his words when he was interrogated after the race.
"I don't think I did anything dangerous, I don't think I did anything unfair," Hamilton said. "We were fighting for the championship, I was in the lead so I control the pace. That is the rules."
The instructions from Mercedes pit crew grew out of fear that Vettel could potentially win the race on fresher tyres, but Hamilton was adamant that he had everything under control.
"There was never a moment where I feel I was going to lose the race. It is a shame that it is quite clear their thought process. I don't have much to say to be honest.
"I was hoping he [Vettel] would close up but his tyres were going off towards the end and Nico drove well to not make mistakes.
"It was pretty chilled at the end. It may have been intense for you but not intense for me. For me, I am in a position where I had a lot of points lost during the season so for me I am out there fighting and generally never try to do anything to harm the team or the brand.
"But we won the constructors' championship so it was down to me and Nico today. However they felt they still needed to make comments. We will discuss it afterwards as we all do."
In the end, Rosberg held on to second place and secured his maiden world champion by five points.
by Rachit Thukral