YAS MARINA, Abu Dhabi -- Red Bull boss Christian Horner defended Lewis Hamilton's tactics at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, saying the Englishman "didn't do anything dirty" while backing Nico Rosberg into other cars.
Hamilton spent the latter part of the race driving well below the maximum in an attempt to back Rosberg into the chasing Sebastian Vettel and Nico Rosberg, knowing his teammate would win the title with a podium finish. After the race Hamilton insisted he had been within his rights to drive in that manner, though Vettel accused the three-time world champion of "dirty tricks" and Mercedes remained divided on the issue.
When asked what he would have done if he was Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, Horner made a playful dig at his phone call to Max Verstappen ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix before defending Hamilton's tactics.
"We know that Toto likes to control most things in the paddock, including other team's drivers!" Horner said. "You couldn't expect anything different. They are racing for a world championship. The drivers' world championship. There are only two guys in it and they are both in the same car. Lewis, winning the race was never going to be enough for him today."
Horner thinks Hamilton did everything legal he could do to win the world championship.
"He drove a tactical race and he didn't do anything dirty, he didn't do anything against the rules. It would be unfair to criticize Lewis for the way that he drove. It was obvious coming into the weekend that was his only chance of achieving the result that he wanted. It would be unfair to criticise him."