Hamilton praises Mercedes team for 'levelling up' to clinch sixth constructors title
A morose Lewis Hamilton was clearly disappointed to finish third in the Japanese Grand Prix but took the time to pay tribute to his Mercedes team-mates for securing their sixth consecutive constructors title.
Despite the joy of the day for the constructor, Hamilton remained unhappy with team strategy and was consistently critical of policy across team radio throughout the race.
It seemed that Hamilton had been planned to be on a one-stop strategy but tyre degradation was such that Mercedes re-assessed mid-way through the race and moved the Brit onto a two-stop, like team-mate Valtteri Bottas.
But despite having a number of laps to try and hunt down Sebastian Vettel in second place, he couldn't squeeze past the German and so had to settle for third.
Speaking to Sky Sports post-race, he said: "It doesn't really matter because it's all hypothetical. We move onto Mexico which is going to be a nightmare for us but at least the team part is done and we can squabble over the remaining points.
[There has been] so much hard work over the year, and over the past seven years this team has done, elevating and levelling up every year.
"I'm happy to contribute and do my part and I hope everyone's having some champagne today."
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