Damon Hill, who won the Formula One world title with Williams in 1996, has warned that imposing too many rules on the three time world champion – Lewis Hamilton could make Mercedes Benz loose him. Speaking about Nico Roseberg who left the team towards the end of 2016, he is of the belief that Hamilton’s position within the team is strong but he cautioned that attempting to impose too much control on him could turn out in another way – one not so pleasing.
Hamilton has not hidden his displeasure in some instances, voicing out whenever certain decisions are made in the team. He also clashed with the team officials at the final round in Abu Dhabi after refusing to obey team orders by attempting to back Rosberg into the chasing pack.
Lewis is an emotional beast and there might be a situation where he just goes: ‘I’ve had enough and I don’t want to do it,’” said Hill. “That’s true for every driver but some don’t have the luxury he has, as he might be in demand somewhere else. Speaking about his excellence in what he does, there is no gainsaying that he might be under certain pressure when decisions are going against him, which might lead him to joining another team. He is high in demand, let’s not forget that!
The Mercedes executive director, Toto Wolff, noted last month that the team’s rules of engagement for its drivers had “blank spots” in relation to Abu Dhabi and that they were being adjusted for 2017, part of which Hill expects will be an attempt to try to ensure Hamilton is more settled this season. ‚“He is in a strong position,” Hill said. “Mercedes have to recognise they either want Lewis Hamilton, the asset that he is to them and allowing him the space to do his work, or they don’t.
Hamilton is now entering his 11th season in F1 and Hill was confident that, should the team allow him the leeway he requires, he is experienced and mature enough to manage the relationship between his personal life and career.