Britain's only other three-time F1 world champion Sir Jackie Stewart has criticised Lewis Hamilton for his tactics at the season ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix which saw Nico Rosberg lift his maiden Drivers' Championship title.
The Briton had to win the race to have the best chance of winning his fourth drivers crown and needed his teammate to finish fourth or below. Hamilton had the superior pace the entire weekend but did not utilise the speed at his disposal during the race and instead chose to drive slow in order to back up his teammate, who was in second place into a battle with the chasing pack.
The latter part of the race saw Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel catch up to the Mercedes cars owing to their different tyre strategies and with Hamilton slowing the pace down, they were both within two seconds of the German. The Silver Arrows team were keen to win the race and the Mercedes hierarchy were clearly not happy with the Briton's tactics as the team's executive director Paddy Lowe came on the radio to instruct Hamilton to up the pace, but he refused to do so which saw Rosberg endure a tense final few laps, but ultimately it did not cost him the title.
The Brackley-based team's head of motorsport Toto Wolff admitted after that they are pondering their next move in terms of a decision with regards to a penalty after making it clear that 'anarchy' does not work in any team or company.
"I think he (Hamilton) can be a little ballerina. Wolff and Niki Lauda are not stupid people, and neither is the Mercedes chairman who often comes to a grand prix," Stewart said, as quoted by news.com.au
"You cannot threaten a multinational corporation of that size by one man who is just not doing it the right way. Give him the option of, 'Either do it our way or you have to be excused'.
"Now, I am sorry, but when you are paid between £20-30m ($33m-$50m) a year and you are told to do something you have got to do it. I don't care who you are.
"It is not the first time he has gone against instructions, and if he is going to continue to do that they have the choice of dropping him. He only does 21 races a year. It is no big deal. We worked our a*** off to make decent money, and they don't even do much testing now," the former F1 world champion explained.
"Mercedes may just give him another heavy warning, but if they do that they would then have to say, 'This is what is going to happen the next time you disobey orders'. Another way would be to penalise him financially," he said.