Date: 29th November 2016 at 9:30am
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Nico Rosberg may well be the 2016 Formula One World Champion, but Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton is the clear and obvious story of 2016.

Even in the aftermath of Nico Rosberg’s first Formula One World Championship, everyone in the paddock and the media is talking about one man, Lewis Hamilton.

His tactics in the final race of the 2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix appears to have polarised the sport.

The Brit knew that winning the race simply wasn’t enough for him to claim a fourth Formula One title, he needed Rosberg to finish off the podium.

On the grid before the race, everyone assumed that Hamilton would try to back-up Rosberg into a fight with the Red Bull’s and Ferrari’s, this was his only available tactic, other than causing a collision with his Mercedes team-mate.

This had to be expected, if he wasn’t to at least try then he would leave himself open to other forms of criticism like losing his desire for success etc.

Mercedes probably always knew that Hamilton would not take the route of causing a collision, something the greats such as Alain Prost, Aryton Senna and Michael Schumacher have all attempted.

But they also wanted to avoid the scenario of Hamilton risking the race win by gamesmanship with Rosberg.

Mercedes threatened Hamilton with favouring Rosberg in pit-stop calls to get Rosberg ahead of Hamilton by using the under-cut, if the Brit attempted it.

But once both drivers had made their final pit-stop, things were somewhat out of Mercedes hands enabling Hamilton to try his one and only available tactic, driving slowly.

This infuriated many, anyone who simply doesn’t like Hamilton jumped on the bandwagon of the ‘dirty tactics’ labelled on Hamilton by Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel.

‘It was a difficult situation in the end with Lewis playing some dirty tricks,’ Vettel said in the aftermath as quoted by motorsport.com.

It also annoyed his team bosses, so much so that Hamilton is supposedly in line for a disciplinary which could be as little as a fine, or as much as a race suspension or even sacking [summary of the papers by Sky Sports].

But Hamilton was defiant after the race, defending his decision to try and cause something to happen behind him whilst still winning his tenth Grand Prix of the season.

‘There was no point sitting up front, winning the GP and having him come second. I had to try. With all the issues I had through the year, it left me in the position I am in now,’ he told Sky Sports.

On the point of his reliability issues throughout the season he added: ‘I hope the team provides me with reliability the way they do with the other car,’