Former racer and the 1996 Formula One world champion Damon Hill fears that Mercedes might back Lewis Hamilton into a corner, and eventually lose him if they do not tread carefully.
Hamilton has enjoyed great success with Mercedes since joining them in 2013, winning 32 races and two drivers' world championships, however, Hill warned Mercedes about trying to control Hamilton.
“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,” adding, “If it's not going well for Lewis, then he does have a tendency to make his feelings known.”
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It is easy to recall last year's controversy at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, when Hamilton disobeyed team orders as he unsuccessfully attempted to back teammate and rival Nico Rosberg into the chasing pack in one final.
However, Hill believes that there will be no problem if Mercedes gives Hamilton the freedom he wants to balance his celebrity lifestyle and his professional career.
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He presented a solution on how to manage Hamilton, saying: “If Lewis goes away and lets off steam and does whatever he has to do to keep himself fresh and then comes back, that's a good thing.”
He added: “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.”
Emphasising Hamilton's strong position, he said: “He might be in demand somewhere else.”
There is no question Hamilton would be sought after if he were to become available.
The 32-year-old won the Formula One world driver's championship in 2008, 2014, and 2015, and is considered the best driver in the world after Rosberg's early retirement.
Hamilton has hinted of leaving F1 in the past, most recently at the launch of the new Mercedes this year, when he said: “I don't know all the reasons Nico retired, but I can empathise with the feeling of wanting to stop and do something different.”
However, the departure of Rosberg, who won last season's world championship ahead of Hamilton, has only made the Brit's position stronger within the team.
Hamilton is now the number one driver for Mercedes and is their best chance of winning another title.
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