'Unwell' Hamilton pulls out of tire test

Tue Nov 29, 2016 9:15am EST
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By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - Triple world champion Lewis Hamilton pulled out of a Formula One tire test in Abu Dhabi after a few laps on Tuesday because he felt unwell, his Mercedes team said.

The Briton lost his title to German team mate Nico Rosberg at the circuit on Sunday in a race that left Hamilton embroiled in controversy over his driving tactics and defiance of direct team orders to speed up.

Mercedes said he completed some early runs using the wider 2017 Pirelli tires before handing over to German reserve driver Pascal Wehrlein for the remainder of the session at Yas Marina.

The Briton, who won Sunday's race at a deliberately slow pace in a bid to back the second-placed Rosberg into the chasing pack, had been due to test all day.

"Pascal was on standby. Lewis felt unwell so Pascal took over," a team spokesman said.

Rosberg was in Malaysia with team boss Toto Wolff, who is still assessing his response to Hamilton's actions on Sunday, for an event organized by sponsors Petronas.

It was the second time in just over a month that Hamilton had pulled out of a tire test for medical reasons in the immediate aftermath of controversy.

In October, after a Japanese Grand Prix during which he snubbed the media following criticism for playing around with Snapchat during a news conference, he was ruled out of a test in Barcelona due to a sore foot.   Continued...

Mercedes' Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain celebrates on the podium. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed