The final race of the Formula One season certainly lived up to all the hype surrounding it.
Mercedes teammates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg both went into the ‘Duel in the Desert’ vying for victory in the Drivers’ World Championships.
The race was going to plan for Mercedes with a handful of laps remaining as Hamilton led and Rosberg was close behind him in second. Then, controversy struck.
Hamilton slowed down and tried to back Rosberg into rival cars, knowing that if he won the race and his teammate finished fourth, he would be crowned champion.
His team realised what he was trying to do and ordered Hamilton to speed up to ensure that they won the race. However, on three occasions, Hamilton ignored their calls before ultimately failing in his plan to get his teammate to finish fourth.
After the race, Mercedes’ head of motorsport, Toto Wolff, didn’t appear to be best pleased with Hamilton refusing to listen to instructions.
“One half of me says that with 1,500 people in this company, you respect those values,” he said.
“Undermining a structure means you are putting yourself before the team. It is very simple. Anarchy does not work in any team or in any company.”
“Everything is possible," he added when asked about a potential suspension for Hamilton.
So, what are the repercussions of Hamilton’s behaviour?
According to the Daily Mirror, Hamilton is actually facing the sack for his act. His contract with Mercedes expires in 2018 but the German car giant are considering ending it early - or suspending him from races next season.
Meanwhile, the Daily Mail suggests that his £30 million Mercedes contract could be ripped up after repeatedly defying team orders.
But would Mercedes really sack Hamilton?
With the ‘rules refresh’ coming into action next season, Mercedes would be foolish to get rid of their biggest asset. Both Ferrari and Red Bull are likely to be stronger next season and Mercedes will need Hamilton if they want to win the Constructors’ Championship again.
It will certainly be interesting to see what punishment - if any - Hamilton receives because of his behaviour this weekend.
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