Was Hamilton told to avoid town parade?

Mercedes chief Toto Wolff with Lewis Hamilton (right)
Mercedes chief Toto Wolff with Lewis Hamilton (right)
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Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton was at the Brackley factory on the day of the parade but was ‘too busy’ to attend, it is understood.

A double decker open-top bus paraded around Brackley last week to give families the chance to congratulate the victorious Mercedes team.

Second placed Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain  gives the victory sign as he arrives for the ceremony of the Austrian Formula One Grand Prix race at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria, Sunday, June 22, 2014.  (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic) EMN-140207-151951002

Second placed Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain gives the victory sign as he arrives for the ceremony of the Austrian Formula One Grand Prix race at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria, Sunday, June 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic) EMN-140207-151951002

But Hamilton and his team-mate Nico Rosberg were said to have ‘extremely busy schedules’ so could not join the celebrations.

However, The Advertiser understands Hamilton was in fact having his seat fitted at the Brackley factory while the 40 workers signed autographs for pupils around the town.

Brackley Town Councillor Mark Morrell said South Northants Council and Mercedes ‘did not want the drivers there’.

He said: “They would have had thousands and thousands of people turning up.

“They wanted to do it for the children instead, keep it very local and small.

“I was like everyone else thinking they couldn’t be bothered to turn up but can you imagine that bus going into schools with drivers on board? You have to look at the bigger picture.

“We had children sitting in Hamilton’s car and touching the trophies – that wouldn’t have happened if the drivers were there. They’re the kind of photos that you look back on in later life.”

The Mercedes victory parade gave the town chance to toast a dominant season which saw the team bag a clean-sweep of constructors’ and drivers’ titles.

They enjoyed a champagne reception, hosted by town mayor Elaine Wiltshire.

Mercedes were unavailable for comment.