Lewis Hamilton said it was “not my sort of place” to race in Saudi Arabia, after team orders led him to withdraw from an unscheduled practice session at the country’s season-ending Grand Prix on Friday.
The three-time Formula One world champion’s Mercedes team said it had consulted with him before stripping him of his car and ordering him to withdraw after he had “almost driven off the track” while executing a defensive move to avoid collision with Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari.
However, speaking at the country’s national day celebrations, the 29-year-old Hamilton was clearly unhappy about being forced to stop.
“It’s been a very emotional time for me, and it’s not one that I’m really comfortable with,” he said. “I don’t mind having an explanation and when you start introducing rules and discussing the rule book, I think it’s not the right place to bring Formula One into it.
“At the end of the day, I know when I’m 100 percent comfortable with what I’m doing and if I’m physically and mentally prepared to do the job.
“I was with the team as recently as an hour before we started this practice session. It wasn’t deemed necessary to talk to me or talk the mechanics around, because I was emotionally prepared to get in the car.
“So for me, it’s a very stressful situation, to say the least. But it’s a great country. We’ve got a fantastic opportunity to share this amazing country with the fans.”
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