Former Niki Lauda F1 teammate John Watson calls Lewis Hamilton's actions 'pathetic'

Lewis Hamilton and the late Niki Lauda have combined for nine Formula 1 championships.

John Watson, former F1 teammate to Niki Lauda, branded Lewis Hamilton as “pathetic” this week at Monaco for skipping out on his press conference duties, saying that Lauda would have stepped up to the mark had the positions been reversed.

On Wednesday, Hamilton and Mercedes requested that the championship leader be released from attending the driver press conference because he was too emotionally hurt by the passing of Lauda, Mercedes non-executive chairman and three-time world champion.

While this was generally accepted by those involved in the sport, Watson – a veteran of 152 race starts and teammate to Lauda at both Brabham and McLaren – has been critical of the decision, saying that the straight-talking Austrian would have stood up and sung the praises of Hamilton had things been the other way around.

“It’s pathetic,” Watson told the Daily Mail. “I would like to know how Lewis can justify this. I know he was friendly with Niki, but I find it bizarre that a man of his stature would not be able to face people and tell them what Niki did for Mercedes and give him his due credit for the role he performed.

“He should have spoken out of respect. To be so upset that he apparently cannot discuss his admiration for how Niki helped him – that’s pathetic. If the roles were reversed, Niki would have been in there telling the press in his typically blunt way what a great driver and what a fine world champion Lewis is.”

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