Lewis Hamilton was left 'frustrated' by Mercedes' strategy call that dropped him out of podium contention at the Turkish Grand Prix.
Hamilton faced a tough day at the Turkish Grand Prix after dropping 10 grid spots for an engine change and damp conditions ensuring a difficult challenge for the Mercedes strategy team.
The seven-time champion nursed his balding intermediate tyres for 50 of 58 laps as his nearest rivals pitted around him but sitting in third, Mercedes called him into the pits, a move that dropped him to fifth with no time to mount a challenge against Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez for third..
“The tyres are bald so you don’t know how far they’re going to go and so there is definitely the worry of the life of the tyre but also I wasn’t really that fussed at the end there," Hamilton told Sky Sports F1.
"I was struggling, had low grip, I’m not really sure why. But then all of a sudden I would have not bad pace.
“So I was losing performance to the guys behind but I think probably in hindsight I should have either stayed out or come in much earlier because when you come in with eight laps to go, you don’t have time to go through the graining phase of that medium tyre on a drying track.
“So then I went through this whole sliding phase where I nearly lost more positions so a bit frustrating but it is what it is.
"It felt good to be in third and I thought if I could just hold on to this, it’s a great result from 11th. Fifth is worse, but it could be worse.”
Asked if he believed the tyres could have lasted the distance, Hamilton quipped that "Ocon's did."
Although team-mate Valtteri Bottas scored his first race victory in over a year, Max Verstappen's second-place finish meant the Dutchman retook the championship lead by six points from Hamilton.
After pitting, Hamilton's frustration could be heard on the team radio when realising he had dropped two positions.
“I didn’t know at that time but I could have probably assumed that I would lose [places]," Hamilton conceded.
"The guys were only 15 seconds behind and it’s a 24-second pit stop, so I knew I would lose perhaps one.”
What do you think?
He himself was to blame for it. Refused to box in round 42. When it was inevitable 8 rounds further he began to blame the team.
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