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Hamilton's tactics gave F1 finale excitement - Herbert

Hamilton's tactics gave F1 finale excitement - Herbert

Lewis Hamilton was right to back up the chasing pack at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to try and cause problems for F1 title rival Nico Rosberg, says Johnny Herbert.

Hamilton needed Rosberg to finish off the podium in the final race of 2016 if he was to stand any chance of retaining his drivers' crown and opted to slow the pace from the front to allow Rosberg's pursuers to gain ground. 

That decision brought Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen closer to Rosberg in second, but the German was able to fend them off and claim his maiden world title.

Hamilton was asked to speed up by Mercedes so as to not risk a crash but he chose to ignore their request and reports suggest he could be disciplined internally.

However, Herbert believes Hamilton was right to employ the tactics he did to keep the race entertaining.

"My bugbear in many respects is, [once] you get your constructors' championship, let the guys go racing," Herbert told Omnisport at the launch of his book 'What Doesn't Kill You...: My Life in Motor Racing'.

"It's not just Mercedes, it's everybody on the track. 

"And if that is allowed, what we would have seen in that last race in Abu Dhabi for the last couple of laps would have been fascinating to see how it would have played out. 

"Because Lewis doing what he was trying to do was a very risky thing to do. He could only do one thing, win the race. To then try and back up the pack to get his team-mate down to fourth would have been an amazing feat to be able to do that.

"Personally, I think that's a skill-set that you've got to use in this circumstance that he was with and I think he should been allowed to do that because that's what I love to do to outfox all the drivers that were around me; what the people watching TV, in the grandstands, at the Grand Prix, they want to see the drivers show why they are the best. 

"And I think as Lewis rightly said on the radio: 'You're basically taking the chance of me being world champion this year'. So that was where I didn't think it was the right thing for Formula One.

"It's exciting when that happens and excitement is part of the entertainment world that maybe we're more involved with in this day and age because I think it draws in people when there is an exciting end possibly coming our way. 

"But for that to be taken away I just didn't agree with what they [Mercedes] did. I understand it, from the corporate side of it, but for Formula One as a brand I think we just wanted to see these guys race. 

"And to be honest you've got to give Mercedes its due, they have allowed that to happen with the two for the last three years especially. But this was just an occasion where it would have been brilliant to see what the outcome was. Could he have done it? I don't know."