Mercedes have denied they did not send any of their team members to celebrate with Lewis Hamilton after TV images appeared to show him at the podium alone.
During the scenes of celebration in the immediate aftermath of the Singapore Grand Prix, a few TV viewers appeared to notice Hamilton was missing some of his colleagues.
While he was congratulated by the Ferrari and McLaren team members, who were there to support Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris respectively, the Mercedes crew appeared to be absent from the celebrations.
Mercedes deny not showing up to Lewis Hamilton celebrations
Regardless of what the camera showed, Mercedes’ technical director James Allison has dispelled any notion the team did not go, saying they were there to support their driver.
“I am going to have to disagree a little bit with the premise of the question,” Allison said. “Of course the team was there at the podium to celebrate with Lewis.
“As many of the team as it was practical to get to the podium were there because we enjoy it. We love standing there and clapping and cheering for our driver.
“Necessarily a certain amount of the team had to stay in the garage during that event because we needed to receive George [Russell]’s car back from the marshals who were bringing it back into the pit lane.
“But the rest of the team were all down at the podium and cheering along with everyone else, but the cameras do not show everything and the big story there was of course the first win this year for a non-Red Bull team.
“So showing all of the overjoyed Ferrari faces was very high up the list of things that made for good TV and indeed the pleasure from the McLaren folk as well. There was a very significant number of all teams down there at the podium ceremony, we were a big part of it but not maybe where the camera lighted during the podium celebrations.”
As for the other Mercedes driver, Allison commented that Russell was “inconsolable” following his late crash.
“I am sure none of you will be surprised to know that he was completely devastated,” he said. “Probably it is very easy for us to underestimate just how much these drivers put into their driving, how much it matters to them.
“We all know it is important but the degree to which it dominates all their decisions is something that is easy for us to underestimate, and George was absolutely inconsolable in the immediate aftermath of the race.
“However, it is a testament to his character to the strength of his character that instead of crawling into a little hole and suffering in silence notwithstanding the fact that he was that upset he came out he spoke to every single person on the team at the track, apologised to them in person for his mistake and owned it properly.”