NOVEMBER 29, 2016
Nico and Keke Rosberg not critical of Hamilton tactics
Nico Rosberg and his equally famous father are not joining in the criticism of Lewis Hamilton following the 2016 title finale in Abu Dhabi.
Mercedes led the criticism after Hamilton ignored team orders in the closing stages of Sunday's race and deliberately left Rosberg exposed to the chasing Ferrari and Red Bull.
Many others also hit out, including 1992 world champion Nigel Mansell.
"I am a sportsman so I would not do this," he said on Twitter on Sunday.
But afterwards, Hamilton's tactics were also defended by many, notably including Red Bull team boss Christian Horner.
Horner's Mercedes counterpart Toto Wolff said: "Maybe he (Hamilton) should drive for him (Horner)."
The Rosbergs, however, are conspicuously not critical of Hamilton, even though Nico said the pressure he was under in Abu Dhabi and especially the last few laps was "ridiculous".
When asked to summarise Hamilton's tactics, Rosberg said: "Ridiculous.
"No, no, no, ridiculous is the wrong word," he added. "It was ridiculously intense -- for me."
Actually, Rosberg said Hamilton's defensive driving was "perfect" for the situation, even though British newspapers said Mercedes was contemplating punishing the triple world champion.
But writing for the Telegraph, journalist Tom Cary said: "Hamilton's tactics were within the rules, hurt no one and made F1's finale more exciting -- why the fuss?"
Max Verstappen agreed, admitting: "Of course I would have done the same as him."
And even Rosberg's dad, the 1982 world champion Keke Rosberg, was not surprised by Hamilton's 'go slow' tactics.
"It was not unexpected," the Finn said as he broke a six-year media silence in the wake of his 31-year-old son's title triumph.
"In the last two laps I might have even expected more, so you have to say that it was ok," Keke added.
But he also said the end of the race was tough to watch from his Dubai hotel room, after vowing to keep the pressure off Rosberg by staying away from the track until the win was secured.
"I think it was the hardest world championship ever, right down to the line of the last race," said Keke.
He also rejected any claim that Nico is not a deserving world champion, because Hamilton suffered more reliability dramas during the season.
Referring to Hamilton's reasoning for not winning the title, Keke said: "That is the sport.
"Button broke his suspension in Abu Dhabi because he hit the kerb so hard he was lucky the car didn't break in two, but he said 'Oh, bad car'.
"It is the nature of the drivers," said Rosberg snr.
"I thought Lewis was lucky twice already, so why shouldn't Nico be once?"