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
1Mercedes161
2Ferrari153
3Red Bull72
4Force India53
5Toro Rosso21
6Williams-Mercedes18
7Renault14
8Haas9
9Sauber4
10McLaren0
DriversTeamPoints
1Sebastian VettelFerrari104
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes98
3Valtteri BottasMercedes63
4Kimi RaikkonenFerrari49
5Daniel RicciardoRed Bull37
6Max VerstappenRed Bull35
7Sergio PerezForce India34
8Esteban OconForce India19
9Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes18
10Carlos SainzToro Rosso17
11Nico HulkenbergRenault14
12Romain GrosjeanHaas5
13Kevin MagnussenHaas4
14Pascal WehrleinSauber4
15Daniil KvyatToro Rosso4
16Lance StrollWilliams-Mercedes0
17Marcus EricssonSauber0
18Jolyon PalmerRenault0
19Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren0
20Fernando AlonsoMcLaren0
21Antonio GiovinazziSauber0