Lewis Hamilton is hoping that everyone can move on from the team orders controversy that occurred in Russia last weekend. Hamilton was gifted victory by teammate Valtteri Bottas after Mercedes instructed the Finn to move over and let Hamilton past.
Hamilton extended his gap in the driver's championship over Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, but admitted after the race that the win didn't feel spectacular. And now in Japan, the four-time champion hopes that the sport can move on past the incident.
“It’s been something I’ve thought about but I don’t think you get your mind around it,” Hamilton said. “You just have to accept it and move forwards. I am definitely split just like 50 percent of the people, or all of the people who have split opinions about it.
“I feel one way about it and on the other side I feel another way about it. It’s happened and that’s it. I think collectively as a team we’ve stayed quite united through the whole experience.
I was at the factory on Monday and I am sure 50 percent of the guys at the factory have the same vibe but generally the support was quite amazing and also the respect for Valtteri. We all did a toast to Valtteri at the factory the other day. 900 people or whatever it is where standing there, it was pretty awesome.”
Hamilton added that he believes team orders will always remain a part of Formula 1, as it contains the two different championships, unlike many other professional sports.
"This is the most unusual sport in that sense that you have two championships,” he said. “So unlike people watching football or any other sport, where everyone works towards that one goal, there are two goals here. You’re conflicted in trying to achieve those two goals because there is only one driver that can win, yet there are two drivers and you have a team championship that you want to win.
“It’s a difficult dynamic because the team works together to win the championship but then they also want to win the drivers’ championship but only one of you can win so they’re conflicted as they don’t want to favour either driver and they would want both of their drivers to win but it’s impossible so you’re always at a loss.”
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing