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
1Mercedes330
2Ferrari275
3Red Bull174
4Force India95
5Williams-Mercedes41
6Toro Rosso33
7Haas29
8Renault26
9Sauber5
10McLaren2
DriversTeamPoints
1Sebastian VettelFerrari177
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes176
3Valtteri BottasMercedes154
4Daniel RicciardoRed Bull117
5Kimi RaikkonenFerrari98
6Max VerstappenRed Bull57
7Sergio PerezForce India52
8Esteban OconForce India43
9Carlos SainzToro Rosso29
10Nico HulkenbergRenault26
11Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes23
12Lance StrollWilliams-Mercedes18
13Romain GrosjeanHaas18
14Kevin MagnussenHaas11
15Pascal WehrleinSauber5
16Daniil KvyatToro Rosso4
17Fernando AlonsoMcLaren2
18Jolyon PalmerRenault0
19Marcus EricssonSauber0
20Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren0
21Antonio GiovinazziSauber0
22Jenson ButtonMcLaren0