Team orders at Mercedes threaten British Grand Prix spectacle, fears Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton fears British fans will be short-changed if Mercedes impose team orders in the wake of his latest crash with team-mate Nico Rosberg.

Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton (left) and Nico Rosberg (right) with Executive Director Toto Wolff.

A record crowd of nearly 140,000 fans is expected at Silverstone on Sunday for the British Grand Prix with home favourite Hamilton trailing his great rival Rosberg by just 11 points in what has been a thrilling championship battle.

But in the fall-out of Hamilton’s collision with Rosberg on the last lap at the Red Bull Ring – the third coming-together between the pair this season – Hamilton’s furious Mercedes team are now weighing up whether to stop their drivers from racing on track.

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Hamilton said in response to that: “I’ve been in that position before and it goes against all of your racing values, rules and the foundation of what racing is about.

“I didn’t come into this sport to be in that situation, so I will pray and hope that that’s not the case. Firstly, for myself because that would take the joy out of racing, and secondly for the fans because that will rob them of what they pay so much money for.

“They save up all year to go to the British Grand Prix. Team orders are not something that should deprive them of their excitement. Even if it’s the other way around and the other guy’s coming for me, that’s racing. That is what you turn up and you sit in the dirt and mud in the camper van at Silverstone for, and that is why you buy the cap because you have that passion and that fire.”

Of the last-lap collision, for which Rosberg was punished by the stewards with a 10-second elapsed time penalty, Mercedes chief Toto Wolff said: “It was brainless. We are looking like a bunch of idiots.’’ After being informed of Wolff’s comments, Hamilton replied: “Emotions are running high but it might not have been the best thing to say.”