'Little ballerina' Hamilton deserves punishment - Stewart

Niki Lauda and Sir Jackie Stewart
© XPB 

Triple world champion Jackie Stewart made it clear that Mercedes should discipline Lewis Hamilton for defying team orders in Sunday's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

A voice of authority always worth listening to, Stewart viewed the incident from the  'corporate' vantage point, believing that Hamilton, as a highly paid employee of a multi-national company, had no other choice but to follow his team's direct instructions, the denial of which now merits punishment.

"I think he (Hamilton) can be a little ballerina," Stewart told the Press Association.

"Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda are not stupid people, and neither is the Mercedes chairman who often comes to grands prix.

"You cannot threaten a multi-national corporation of that size by one man who is just not doing it the right way. Give him the option of 'either do it our way or you have to be excused'."

The 77-year-old's logic stems from the contract which binds a driver to the company which employs him.

"Now, I am sorry, but when you are paid between 20 and 30 million pounds a year and you are told to do something you have got to do it. I don't care who you are.

"It is not the first time he has gone against instructions, and if he is going to continue to do that they have the choice of dropping him."

Stewart believes any lack of action by Mercedes would introduce a malicious precedent into the mix.

"He only does 21 races a year. It is no big deal. We worked our a*** off to make decent money, and they don't even do much testing now.

"Mercedes may just give him another heavy warning, but if they do that they would then have to say 'this is what is going to happen the next time you disobey orders'. Another way would be to penalise him financially."

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