Lewis Hamilton a 'little ballerina', says Jackie Stewart as he calls for Mercedes to deliver an ultimatum
Jackie Stewart has accused Lewis Hamilton of being a "little ballerina" and called on Mercedes to hit him with an ultimatum of "do it our way or be excused" from the team.
Stewart, Britain's only other triple world champion, delivered his stinging verdict with Mercedes still deliberating as to what action they will take against Hamilton after he disobeyed orders in Abu Dhabi.
Mercedes were unhappy with Hamilton for backing team-mate Nico Rosberg into the clutches of the chasing pack in a ploy, which they believe, could have cost the team victory.
Hamilton returned to the scene of his championship defeat on Tuesday for a Pirelli tyre test, but he failed to complete the scheduled day in its entirety after withdrawing through illness.
"I think he (Hamilton) can be a little ballerina," Stewart told the Press Association. "Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda are not stupid people, and neither is the Mercedes chairman who often comes to grands prix.
"You cannot threaten a multi-national corporation of that size by one man who is just not doing it the right way.
"Give him the option of 'either do it our way or you have to be excused'."
Wolff, the Mercedes boss, suggested his team may take disciplinary action against Hamilton for ignoring two direct orders to speed up during Sunday's season finale.
Stewart, 77, who attended the Abu Dhabi race, added: "Lewis was refusing their instructions, and he was going against the management team.
"Now, I am sorry, but when you are paid between 20 and 30 million pounds a year and you are told to do something you have got to do it. I don't care who you are."
Wolff appeared alongside new world champion Rosberg at a news conference in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, and confirmed that he is yet to decide whether to punish Hamilton.
Mercedes strengthened their so-called 'Rules of Engagement' earlier this season after Hamilton and Rosberg crashed in Spain and then Austria.
They were both warned that they would be fined, or even banned, if they broke the strict terms which had been agreed.
"It is not the first time he has gone against instructions, and if he is going to continue to do that they have the choice of dropping him," Stewart added.
"He only does 21 races a year. It is no big deal. We worked our a*** off to make decent money, and they don't even do much testing now.
"Mercedes may just give him another heavy warning, but if they do that they would then have to say 'this is what is going to happen the next time you disobey orders'. Another way would be to penalise him financially."