F1 drivers back Lewis Hamilton amid controversy

Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes walks in the paddock during previews to the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Catalunya on May 12, 2016
© Getty Images
F1 drivers past and present leap to the defence of Lewis Hamilton, as the controversy about his 'backing up' tactics in Abu Dhabi continues.

Formula 1 drivers past and present have leapt to the defence of Lewis Hamilton, as the controversy about his 'backing up' tactics in Abu Dhabi continues.

Mercedes are contemplating punishing the triple world champion for ignoring team orders, but 1979 world champion Jody Scheckter said that would be "ridiculous".

"Tactics are a part of racing as much as anything else and it happens in other sports all the time," he said.

Quadruple world champion Alain Prost agreed that although what happened on Sunday was rare for a title finale, Hamilton executed it well.

"In the regulations, there is nothing that says you have to drive as fast as you can. It was not dangerous, like braking in the corners, in fact is was good - it was well done," said Prost told Canal Plus.

"I was afraid that in the last laps we would see something unfair or dirty, but we didn't."

Another former driver who backed Hamilton was Gerhard Berger, even though the famous Austrian actually negotiated Nico Rosberg's new contract earlier this year.

"It was not unfair," he told Tiroler Tageszeitung newspaper. "I would even go further and say that Hamilton was quite fair. He had to play this card, and he could have played it more extremely."

Current Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat told Servus TV: "I would say that every driver would have done something similar, including Nico.

"So no-one should condemn it."

Hamilton's Abu Dhabi win saw him end the championship with 380 points to Rosberg's 385.

Nico Rosberg in action at the Spanish GP on May 14, 2016
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TeamPoints
1Ferrari37
2Mercedes33
3Red Bull10
4Williams-Mercedes8
5Force India7
6Toro Rosso6
7Haas0
8Renault0
9Sauber0
10McLaren0
DriversTeamPoints
1Sebastian VettelFerrari25
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes18
3Valtteri BottasMercedes15
4Kimi RaikkonenFerrari12
5Max VerstappenRed Bull10
6Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes8
7Sergio PerezForce India6
8Carlos SainzToro Rosso4
9Daniil KvyatToro Rosso2
10Esteban OconForce India1
11Fernando AlonsoMcLaren0
12Daniel RicciardoRed Bull0
13Romain GrosjeanHaas0
14Nico HulkenbergRenault0
15Kevin MagnussenHaas0
16Marcus EricssonSauber0
17Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren0
18Antonio GiovinazziSauber0
19Jolyon PalmerRenault0
20Lance StrollWilliams-Mercedes0