LEWIS HAMILTON has escaped punishment for disobeying team orders during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, according to Mercedes chief Niki Lauda.
Lewis Hamilton led the race from the start but slowed in the closing stages in an attempt to force his team-mate and title rival Nico Rosberg back into the chasing pack.
He ignored direct instructions from the team to speed up and, while his efforts were in vain with Rosberg taking the championship victory, Mercedes executive director Toto Wolff admitted he could not tolerate "anarchy" in his team.
But now non-executive director Lauda, himself a three-time world champion, has revealed the team will not take any action against Hamilton.
"There is no need to say anything to Lewis," Lauda said.
"We have no problem about how he raced in Abu Dhabi.
"We have drawn a line under it."
Nico Rosberg retired just days after winning his first ever F1 world title
Hamilton will now be the No 1 driver at Mercedes next year with Rosberg having shocked the racing world by retiring days after his triumph.
The hunt for his replace is now on with Lauda admitting he wanted someone "better" than Rosberg to continue their success — Mercedes have now won three consecutive Constructors' Championship titles.
And the Brackley-based team are hoping to make a decision on Rosberg's replacement by the end of the year to allow their new driver as much time as possible to prepare for 2017 testing which starts again in February.
Manor Racing driver Pascal Wehrlein is currently favourite to fill the vacancy but Fernando Alonso and Valtteri Bottas have both also been floated as potential candidates.