Hamilton: I will obey team orders

Date published: December 23 2015 - Editor

Mercedes' reigning champion Lewis Hamilton says he will always put the team first when he is out on the track.

There were two incidents in the 2015 season where the Brit questioned his team orders, though he followed them in the end.

In Mexico, Hamilton believed he could make it to the end of the race on his tyres, but the team insisted he come in for a change for safety reasons.

The two weeks later in Brazil, Hamilton was behind teammate Nico Rosberg and asked mid-race on the radio if he could be put on a different strategy in the hopes of catching up. However, Hamilton was denied and again – like Mexico – he would finish behind Rosberg. 

Hamilton revealed that he knew the tyres would have lasted, but he followed orders anyway.

"In Mexico they said the tyres wouldn't last, but tyre life was 70 or 80 laps, so they would have lasted," the 30-year-old told Autosport.

"I found out afterwards the tyres would have lasted so I could have stayed out and made the tyres go the whole race, no problem.

"But the team didn't know that at the time and their choice was to do a stop for safety reasons. They didn't know what the tyres would do because in the past tyres have blown up.

"But at least I knew in my heart I was right in terms of the decision I thought about taking."

Hamilton added that the team provides an important framework for decisions to be made as they have almost all the information on hand.

“When you are in a car you don't have the bigger picture, hence the reason why you do have to fall back and rely on those guys quite a lot," said.

"The majority of the time the team is obviously in the best position, but every now and then the driver might be in a better position.

"But you work as a team. It's not about you on your own out there."

The three-time world champion also indicated that he would hate to disappoint the 1300-strong team by making a decision on the track that doesn't have their backing.

"It's a question of whether or not it's the right decision for the team because you also have to step back and realise it's not just about yourself,” he said.

"It's about 1300 people, and the decision I selfishly make can impact all of them. So, no, I don't make a decision for myself. I want to make sure I make the right decision on behalf of everyone."