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Hamilton criticism “taken on the chin” by Mercedes

Hamilton criticism “taken on the chin” by Mercedes

F1 News

Hamilton criticism “taken on the chin” by Mercedes

Hamilton criticism “taken on the chin” by Mercedes
Ian Parkes & Will Gray

Mercedes has given its drivers freedom to vent their frustrations at the team if things go wrong this year after Lewis Hamilton openly criticised his engineers following a dismal qualifying performance in Monaco.

Reigning champion Hamilton promised “some tough discussions” after qualifying seventh, hinting that failures in the garage contributed to his performance and adding: “I don't want to be critical of the team but behind closed doors, I will be.”

The long-dominant outfit has rarely had to handle such a situation and asked if he was surprised by Hamilton’s comments, team principal Toto Wolff said: “Not surprised. First of all, we want our drivers to speak their mind.

“There was a lot of frustration when you finish P7 in Monaco, you know, pretty much that is potentially the end of the weekend and venting your frustration is absolutely okay.

“No one in the team takes this the hard way because we express it the other way around to. He is the first to acknowledge and apologise when things go wrong and he has done it in public and privately.

“As a group, I think that is one of the big assets that has made us champions in the past. We have to take it on the chin.”

Hamilton has been left with a major task to recover the situation this weekend and with his title rival Max Verstappen starting from second it could be a costly mistake in the tightly balanced title race.

Wolff suggested the issues were down to a “particular aspect of tyre heating” that was discussed on Thursday after free practice and again on Saturday morning ahead of qualifying and put his hands up to accept mistakes were made.

“We could have taken a different direction, a direction he was interested to pursue that we didn't,” explained Wolff.

“P7 still scores you six points [and] you would rather have six points than none and if Max finishes the race first or second, they are still large enough gaps.

"In terms of strategy, we can take risks. They are obviously limited due to the traffic behind [but] I think we have a car that is quicker than P7."

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