Lewis Hamilton has revealed he finds it difficult to follow team instructions when he does not “fully know the whole picture” after a tricky tyre call left him down in fifth place in the Turkish Grand Prix.
Hamilton wanted to go the distance on worn intermediate tyres to gain positions after starting from 11th on the grid due to an engine change but his team asked him to give up the strategy and switch to a new set late in the race.
Hamilton was openly critical on the team radio - something he has since moved to clarify and cool down - but after the race he explained: “For me, it’s hard to want to give something up when you don’t fully know the whole picture.
“It doesn’t affect your focus or concentration. It feels, in that moment, I only have a certain amount of information and the team have other information. They see everyone else, so that is why you have to rely on your team.
“[You have to] accept the choices that they make and hope that it’s the right one. I always say we win and we lose as a team and so I listened to the team today.
"Could we have stayed out? Who knows. If you look at a couple other drivers that did, they dropped off massively and lost positions so it was a risk either way.”
Hamilton – I am a risk taker
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff suggested Hamilton had the potential to finish third with a different strategy, which would have left him one point behind Verstappen instead of the six-point gap that now exists.
The reigning champion said that “only time will tell” if such strategic decisions could cost him the title and added: “If I had of stayed out, you don’t know if I would have held position. But I’m a risk-taker so I would have wanted to take that risk
“We started 11th, we’ve got a new engine, we’ve got points [so] it’s not as big of a loss. If you look at the last race, [Verstappen] lost seven points and in Turkey, I lost eight so it’s similar.
"We’ve just got to work hard to try not to drop any more points going forwards.”
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