Hamilton hopes Mercedes doesn’t invoke team orders

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Lewis Hamilton hopes that Mercedes’ Formula 1 bosses do not invoke team orders following his clash with teammate Nico Rosberg on the final lap of Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix.

The two Mercedes drivers collided while battling for the lead at the Red Bull Ring, leaving Rosberg with damage that meant he could only finish the race fourth.

Hamilton managed to continue and pick up his third victory of the season, cutting the gap to Rosberg in the drivers’ championship down to just 11 points.

Rosberg was deemed to have caused a collision by the stewards, leading team chief Toto Wolff to suggest that team orders may be used in the future to prevent repeat incidents.

Mercedes has persisted with letting its drivers race despite previous clashes, but the latest incident appears to have gone down as one too many.

However, Hamilton told reporters after the race that he wants to be able to race Rosberg freely on-track, having seen the impact of team orders before.

“I grew up wanting to race, and to get to Formula 1 and race the best and be the best by out driving another individual,” Hamilton said.

“I think they showed a replay of maybe Michael [Schumacher] and [Rubens] Barrichello many years ago and I was disappointed as a fan back then. We never want to see team orders like that ever happen.

“The great thing is that Toto and Niki [Lauda] have been great these past three years in allowing us to race and that’s what racing is about. It’s not always going to be blue skies and perfect, but that’s motor racing.

“We’re driving at 200 mph and you expect us to drive around and never have a problem? I doubt it.

“So I hope that it doesn’t change and I hope that we can continue to race. That’s just my honest opinion from my love of this sport.”