Former Formula One driver and FIA Steward Derek Warwick has slapped down claims by Lewis Hamilton fans that he made an incorrect judgement in not penalising Nico Rosberg for the incident in qualifying that saw the German start on pole ahead of Hamilton.
Warwick was speaking after a barrage of anti-Rosberg material surfaced from embittered fans of the British driver in the week after the race. Some even questioned Warwick’s ability to make decisions in an unbiased manner.
“We had all Mercedes’s data, including Lewis’s data to overlay on Nico’s. We had the FIA data. We had onboard shots, overhead shots, circuit shots. We had throttle traces, braking traces, everything we needed to make, hopefully, the right decision.” said Warwick.
“I have been around a long time and seen people try to pull the wool over my eyes. Did I have doubts in my mind, of course I did. But he [Rosberg] gave me the answers I needed. I know there are conspiracy theories but you will not find a more honest driver in grand prix racing than Nico.”
“You could argue that as president of the BRDC I would have a reason to come to a decision that would have favoured the British driver, but obviously that is not how I would approach it. I am there to be independent.”
Nevertheless the online frenzy continues to rage, with some Hamilton fans particularly scathing with their comments on the former F1 man.
‘Naive, simply naive on Warwicks part.’ claimed one forum user.
‘It’s no secret, and quite clear to everyone, that Derek Warwick can’t stand Lewis Hamilton.’ added another.
Many however sided with the stewards and Warwick, suggesting the outpouring of criticism was unique to Hamilton fans who felt hard done by.
‘No surprise that the people still questioning the decision are all Lewis Hamilton lovers. Telemetry proves he’s clean, simple as.’ typed one.
‘Warwick (president of the BRDC) says it was a honest mistake. ALL stewards, with ALL the data (and more) they needed to make the decision, say it was a honest mistake……….. But NO, all Hamilton’s fans still think Nico cheated.’ argued another forum member.
Hamilton and Rosberg have both taken different viewpoints to last weekend’s events, Rosberg saying he believes ‘nothing has changed’ and that he and the Briton are ‘still friends’, while Hamilton dismissed the claims and said there would be ‘no more hugs’ for Rosberg if the German continues to beat him.