Lewis Hamilton may no longer be the Formula 1 world champion, but the tactics he used in a bid to retain his title on Sunday (November 27th) are not an issue, Nico Rosberg has said.
The new world champion said Hamilton's strategy of slowing down while in front in a bid to push second-placed Rosberg into the pack - potentially causing the German to be overtaken and lose the points he needed to clinch the crown - were understandable.
He said: "In terms of his tactics in the last race, you can understand the team's perspective that they weren’t too happy with that. But, at the same time, it's easy to understand his perspective.
"It's about the world championship, so you can understand that he wanted to try whatever it was possible to do."
While the Mercedes team considers whether to punish Hamilton for disobeying team orders - an action that might have jeopardised the team's victory - the Briton was backed by Red Bull boss Christian Horner, who said Hamilton drove a "tactical" race and it would be "naive" to have expected anything else in the circumstances.
Fans booking corporate hospitality for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone next July may be hoping Hamilton can answer all his critics and demonstrate more of the same steely resolve as he bids to win back the title in 2017.
Indeed, many will see his determination to do what it took to give himself a chance at the Yas Island Circuit as a sign that his hunger to add to his three titles is not diminished.
Hamilton himself has said he lost the title because his car proved less reliable during the season, so 2017 could be the year when he proves himself to be the best once again. However, with new regulations in force, Mercedes will need to make significant changes to their cars and it remains to be seen whether they will enjoy the same mechanical advantage over the likes of Red Bull and Ferrari that they have this year.