Former Formula 1 world champion Damon Hill has a piece of advice for the current Mercedes team with regards to how they treat their star driver Lewis Hamilton. The 1996 Formula 1 champion said that Mercedes should give Hamilton the freedom he demands or risk him from being snagged by a rival team.
In an interview with The Guardian, Hill said, "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. Mercedes have to recognize 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."
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) March 12, 2017
With three Formula 1 champion under his belt, Hamilton is easily one of the most recognizable face in the sport. The 32-year-old driver is known for his lavish celebrity lifestyle while maintaining unrivaled performance once on the track. Hamilton is also notable for his enthusiastic use of the social media platform, something that many experts and fans deemed as a distraction to his career. Hamilton is well-regarded as a dominant force that could help Mercedes take its fourth straight championship double this year.
According to NBC Sports, the tension between Mercedes and Hamilton took the spotlight last year during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Hamilton ignored the team's orders in a last-minute bid to try and win the world championship.
Last month, Mercedes executive director Toto Wolff said that the team has established new rules of engagement for drivers as part of adjustments in relation to that incident in Abu Dhabi. The Formula 1 community is divided on Hamilton's decision in Abu Dhabi. For Damon Hill, he is convinced that Hamilton did the right thing of putting his interests first since the constructor's championship is already secured.